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Untold goes to the Ladies

By Walter Broeckx

 

Regular readers will know by now that from time to time when there is no Arsenal football around the regular writers will go to the end of the world to see some local football and report about it.

 

This time my travel didn’t take me to the end of the world. No in fact it took me to the closest top division ground to my house in Belgium. Only some 15 minutes away from my house depending on the 4 red lights I have to pass on the way to the stadium.

 

So off I went to see the Lierse Ladies play the ladies from PSV Eindhoven. For those who know a bit of geography will raise their eyebrows and say that Eindhoven is in Holland and that Walter lives in Belgium and that is also the country where Lierse is situated. So before we talk about football let me tell you that around 2 seasons ago the Belgium FA and the Dutch FA decided to improve the standards in women football. And the way forward was a joint top division with the best teams from Belgium and Holland.

 

A condition was that the teams involved should be linked to a first division club (or a professional football club at least) and that if possible the games should be played at the main pitch of the clubs. Now I really cannot judge if this has improved the football in both countries. But I must say it adds a bit of extra to it. After all you cannot go and watch a match of PSV Eindhoven any day of the week.

 

So the match was played at the Lierse stadium. A nice English shaped stadium with a capacity of some 14500 places in total. The stadium used to be called ‘Het Lisp’ which is the name of the site of the city it is located. And to link with English football. For those old enough to remember the sign at the Leeds ground ‘Remember Lierse’ this was the club that inflicted that famous victory over Leeds.

 

Lierse had lost the first leg 0-2 at their home ground in the Uefa cup 1971-1972. And nobody gave them a chance to overcome Leeds who at that time were  one of the strongest teams in England. But Lierse did the unexpected and trashed Leeds at their home ground with 0-4. A thing that still has all the locals exited up to this day even though only a handful will have seen it happening with their own eyes.

 

Anyway back to the women in the BeNeliga as it is called.

toss time

Heads or tails?

PSV Eindhoven was the best team in the opening stages. A few decent dribbles, a few shots, some pressure but no goals. But the Lierse goalkeeper was doing a good job and looked very strong. After 15 minutes a lovely ball to a PSV striker behind the defence resulted in a collision between the keeper and the striker. The keeper fell with her chin on the knee of the striker and this resulted in a very bad injury. A chin fracture and a bleeding wound that had to be stitched on the field resulted in the keeper having to leave the field.

keeper injured

An unlucky collision with bad consequences.

It took away the drive of the match a bit.  Referee, assistants and 4th ref doing a great job and they had the match completely in control.

ben lierse psv

A concentrated onlooking assistant keeps his eyes firmly on the pitch

I then had discovered that the captain of Lierse was a young girl that had done an internship at the place I work a year ago for her study. So I had an extra look at her. Pure football wise of course.  Lien Mermans was her name and she also plays for the national team of Belgium.

 

She was the one that turned the engine on for Lierse. PSV was the better team but couldn’t score and Lierse gradually grew in to the match. But apart from a few shots from distance they couldn’t really make things happen in the PSV penalty area.  Half time approached with the score at 0-0.

 

I went out of the stand to see if I could find something to eat in the stadium. A bag of crisps was all I could get. That wouldn’t satisfy Nicky at all. So off I went outside the stadium. And some 50 meters outside the stadium was a ‘frituur’. You always find a frituur nearby in Belgium. Apart from my own village where we hadn’t a frituur for a year or so. We almost lost the right to be called a village at that moment. You don’t need a church in your village to be called a village. No you need a frituur.

 

What is a frituur you might ask? Call it the original McDonald or Burger King fast food restaurants. You can buy chips and all kinds of meat made out of all kinds of stuff that you and I don’t want to know. I didn’t want to each chips or fries for other English speaking persons. We call it ‘fritten’ in Belgium by the way. So I needed to buy something and I took the Bicky Burger from the menu.

 

A burger backed in the same oil as the fries. Put it between a soft sandwich (the MCD/BK type) and add to it some fried onions, and on top of that 3 different ‘bicky’ sauces. A calorie bomb I can tell you that. Together with a cola I paid less than 5 euro for it. Around £4 in total. Including a paper napkin to wipe up the grease on the chin. And my beard.

 

I made it just back in time to see the second half getting started. Lierse had a real big chance but the forward blew the ball over the bar.  And on the other side PSV got rewarded at last for their technical play. A good attack, foul from a defender and the excellent referee put the ball on the spot. Penalty for PSV that was coolly converted. 0-1 and I thought that there would be no way back for Lierse.

 

But the Lierse  captain took her team by the arm and by hard working she showed the way to a rise in the level. And after some good pressure from the home team they could equalise in the 66th minute of the match.

goal for Lierse

Lierse has just scored the equaliser

This was the signal for Lierse to ad even more pressure. And a bit later a ball hit the post and then a mighty  scramble followed with the ball going all the way in front of the goal line but no Lierse player could get the ball over the line.

 

Mean while the Lierse spionkop was very lively and the use of smoke bombs ruined the atmosphere a bit and the whole stadium trembled when they set off a fire cracker. I loved the signing guys but this was over the top. Luckily they left if with that one cracker.

smoke pots

cough cough cough. Just stick to the singing next time. cough cough

Meanwhile PSV was having some bad luck. A player having to leave the field. 3 subs in total being made. One PSV girl felt sick suddenly  and had to run in the dressing room to…get sick. And on top of that another PSV player twisted her foot and couldn’t carry on. So PSV only with 9 players in total on the field suddenly.

 

And this was the signal for Lierse to try to win the match they could and should have had in the bag by then. In the 89th minute a corner was taken shortly and the shot was diverted in to goal. Much to the delight of the few hundred home supporters. My estimation was that some 500 people attended the match.

lierse scores winner

Lierse has just scored the winner and starts to celebrate. PSV players hang their head in disappointment 

PSV couldn’t reply any more and had to accept defeat. The Lierse ladies were over the moon by this unexpected win over a team that is firmly above them in the league table. But this is football and even when women take the field anything can happen.

 

A very enjoyable evening in a nice surrounding. Two teams who gave it all and 4 referees who kept it all within the rules. Football can be a party. I had the impression when I left that many of the Lierse ladies were in for a party that night.

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29 comments to Untold goes to the Ladies

  • Gord

    Nothing wrong with watching the Ladies play, I’ve done it many times. Heck, I’ve even taped a few ankles for the Ladies. The only good national teams in Canada seem to be the Ladies. Glad you liked the game.

    I see that the Arsenal Ladies are out of Champion’s League next year. They finished out of the running in League play, and Birmingham knocked them out of the Champion’s League proper. Does a year out of Champion’s League effect their ability to draw in new talent?

    I’ve have heard of the Canadian Ladies team playing U16 Boys teams, and with the recent tendency for the Canadian Ladies to be slipping against the USA and England, I thought perhaps what the Ladies team should do, is play the Men’s team. Do you think any Ladies team could compete with a Men’s team in a game that is _strictly_ officiated (no fouls of any kinds allowed to get by)? Would it do any good?

    OT: The BBC had a story about a referee who reversed his own card/penalty decision overnight. It was on the main page, this morning it had slipped to League 1.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/26318934

  • nicky

    Walter,
    An interesting report on football performed by the fairer sex.
    I must say that I have never had much time for females playing football….not very ladylike and I prefer girls to be soft, cuddly and preferably not wearing shin-guards.
    Didn’t like the sound of the greasy burger but at least it wasn’t one of those UK pies, full of disgusting secret ingredients, that Tony keeps writing about.
    For me, I would have found a warm, cosy hostelry with warm cosy Belgian beer and warm cosy Belgian chips. And I would have left for home just before the match ended…..so as to avoid all those rough lady footballers who only talk about the offside rule and drink beer in pint glasses.

  • vintage gooner

    Walter
    I was very alarmed that in explaining Untold goes to the Ladies you immediately referred to four red lights and suggested that you would have to stop at every one of them. I had no idea you were so close to such a district. You then talked of fifteen minutes and I was unclear as to whether that was at each. By now I was thinking your post should have been x-rated and preserved for 18+ and probably not out before the watershed.

    However then it became clear that you were at ladies football and we were able to revert to another interesting and enjoyable post. Thanks as ever

  • nicky

    @Vintage Gooner,
    I too noticed the four red lights in 15 minutes, but being of greater vintage than you, I preferred to be rather more circumspect
    In any event, the Belgian basic diet of chips,chocolate and beer is a well-known aphrodisiac in NW Europe. That is why the Belgian national football side have never won the World Cup.
    They simply have their priorities right.

  • WalterBroeckx

    LOL
    I must admit that the title translated in Dutch (well in Flemish anyway) can be interpreted in a dubious way. I took advantage of the fact that Tony was banned from his own site to put it on. 😉

    I never intended to add the red lights in such a way (the universal colour of Ladies with a not that good reputation I think) but then I realised that in English you probably will use traffic lights. But in my part of the world we don’t use the official term but talk about red lights.

    Alas Nicky, you cannot buy chocolates in a frituur….I had my part of fat for the next 7 days by eating it

  • WalterBroeckx

    The football was enjoyable to watch I must say.
    And today I just read in the paper that the Belgian national ladies team does play preparation matches against the menU16-17 teams in Belgium.

  • omgarsenal

    Gord….Generally speaking,women’s teams do not do all that well against adult men’s teams since the difference in pace,strength and shooting skills is noticeable. That said, I have seen adult women play as well as and in some ways more skillfully than their equivalent male counterparts, especially when it comes to using their brains. Since women generally don’t rely on brute strength to get things done, they tend to play more intelligently and astutely.
    I have a great deal of experience in coaching and managing women and girls and can say that they take the game far more seriously than most men do. FIFA recently revealed that the female’s game is the fastest growing part of world Football. It is however,NOT yet popular enough for its quality and merits. Talking about injuries, the most common one among females are knee injuries, due to a slight difference in the physiology of female knee joints and their meniscus.

  • Gord

    I have ulterior motives in asking, as the only football team(s) worth any support in Canada is the Women’s teams. But, I think Canada should do whatever it takes to help our Women’s team. Having the USA so close with 10 times the population and in general better weather for football, we need to take advantage where we can.

    I had forgotten about the size part. I suppose to play against the Men, you would want to limit the Men’s team by height and weight to the same statistics shared by the Top-10 Women’s teams worldwide.

    As I said, I taped a lot of women’s ankles. Thankfully I didn’t have many knee problems to look over. Surprsingly, I didn’t see many tailbone problems, which I think is surprising. The injury I was dreading, and thankfully never had to deal with, was a separated shoulder.

  • Pat

    Great stuff – especially the details about the food. That’s the great thing about Untold – it can be serious and it can be fun. Thanks! Good photos too.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Nice , Walter ,thanks .And since everyone is in a humourous mood ,here’s some jokes about the fairer sex .

    TIME TO THINK

    Who is a Psychiatrist?
    A qualified person who gives you an expensive & critical analysis about yourself, which your Spouse gives you for free, daily.

    Scotch is a brilliant invention….
    One double and you start feeling Single again.

    Notice at Church:
    Do not leave your mobiles, purses, wallets, handbags, girl-friends UNATTENDED – Others may think it is an answer to their prayers.

    Global Recession and Financial Crisis have become so critical and serious now days that…………..
    majority of the men have started loving their own wives!!!!!

    A Priest is called as a Father, A Bishop, Your Grace, A Cardinal, Your Eminence…and Even a Pope is called , His Highness,
    BUT , a lady in a BIKINI is called , ” OH ! MY GOD !”

  • Rupert Cook

    @Nicky, you’re showing your age with these comments about women. There are plenty of women footballers who can do “ladylike” as you put it. They look just as good as “normal” women, the demur types you prefer, once they’re in a cocktail dress. And they don’t wear shin guards when they’re in dresses so you don’t even know they can kick a ball.

    Catch up Nicky, women’s lib happened 50 years ago.

    Arsenal ladies have been eclipsed by Liverpool, mirroring what’s happening to the male team.

  • bjtgooner

    Only the rupert could comment on the ladies team and use it to drop a snide remark at the men. Did he not realize or not want to realize that we have 5 injured and missing first team players, one of whom was injured by a shocking tackle by Agger of his beloved Diverpool?

    @Walter – nice article, glad you enjoyed your day out!

    @Brickfiels – a good set of jokes.

  • Jax

    @Rupert
    It doesn’t take much to activate the btjgooner app. does it. He’ll probably accuse me of hypocritically calling him names but it has to be said that no sooner do you post a comment then a window opens and up he pops like an annoying fruit fly in Wetherspoons. Please keep it up. His blood pressure must be going through the ceiling. Does a fruit fly have blood?

  • bjtgooner

    @Jax

    I actually have a very normal blood pressure, so your attempt to incite the rupert to do something which you hope is injurious to my health is futile.

    This approach from you would cast some doubt on the quality or otherwise of your character. You are obviously still sore because you made the silly error of complaining about name calling while referring to other contributors as nazis – and you were rightly nailed for it – and not just by me.

    In your post above you make the same type of mistake – you suggest I will call you names – while trying to liken me to a fruit fly – what a pathetic comment.

  • Jax

    @bjtgonner
    Calm down dear! It’s only a blog.

  • bjtgooner

    @Jax

    I am, as always, extremely calm. You should be able to realize that. You do not have to try to be patronizing to cover up for your own error. You only continue to show up your shortcomings.

  • Jax

    @gonner

    This is too easy. I’m going to have to leave it here before I get a yellow card from the blogger. Which reminds me, I owe Walter an enormous apology for my unforgivable comment to his article following the Chelsea game. Sorry Walter.

  • bjtgooner

    @Jax

    Ah – we can agree on something. You are right to apologize to Walter – but are you man enough to apologize to all those you branded as nazis?

  • Rupert Cook

    @Jax, this bjtgooner guy said he was a pussycat in one post. Maybe so, it’s just a shame he uses this forum as his litter tray.

  • Jax

    @Rupert. He was half right then. I think he missed the Liverpool bloggers saying that they had surpassed out ladies & mens teams. I’m not sure if they’re one of the full time sides who train daily while ours only do twice a week. Bit surprising really as we can well afford a full time side.

  • bjtgooner

    @Jax

    So you are still around – but cannot apologize to those you called nazis. Your apology to Walter, while overdue, is partial redemption, why can not go for complete redemption?

  • Jax

    @gonner. Yes I’m still here. If you’d care to name those I called nazis i might consider and apology, but you won’t be able to as I did not name anyone but used the term “blog nazis” as a generalisation which only yourself and one other found fault with. You seem very obsessed by this, are you having problems that you’d like to discuss as I can be really unsympathetic sometimes. i’m off to play with my coffee grinder for a few hours now, so won’t be back until tomorrow.

  • Rantetta

    Walter and Editors

    Such an interesting an joyful article, thanks.

    But! You allow some posters to spoil it.

    I took heart from the founder of another positive blog. He wrote the following:

    “Your comments are not in moderation, they are in the trash,you disrespectful halfwit c**t.”! (My **’s).

    I wish you’d do something similar!

  • bjtgooner

    @Jax

    Still involved in silly name calling?

    There is no obsession with your inability to apologize. I have tried to prompt you into doing the decent thing, you are not man enough to do so – ok – you have to live with a reputation that sucks.

    Do be clear – you chose to use the term “nazis” in a general sense on this blog, you knew who you meant, so it is up to you, not anyone else, to apologize to those whom you set out to offend.

  • Jax

    @bjtgooner
    I’d made up my mind not to engage with you on this issue any longer, but you keep insisting that I apologise to unnamed people. Yes, you’re right, I do know who I meant, but you don’t, yet you’re taking on the responsibility of representing people unknown, unnamed and apparently unconcerned. Give me some names and I’ll say sorry. If anybody is offended or feels threatened by my generalisation I apologise. That’s the best I can do. Now back to my coffee grinder

  • bjtgooner

    @Jax

    Let me pick out your line: –

    “If anybody is offended or feels threatened by my generalisation I apologise.”

    If that can be taken as a general apology then as far as I am concerned the matter is closed, your reputation is reinstated and you can enjoy your coffee.

  • Jax

    Thank the Good Lord for that

  • bjtgooner

    @Jax

    Lets hope for a more amiable debate next time – and I mean that sincerely.

  • Jax

    bjtgooner

    OK by me.