Equality? Be prepared then to take the rough with the smooth and the tsunami of pressure that comes with adversity.

The last decade has been a long conversation and sense of striving for parity across the women’s game but with it also has to come a level of accountability.

Simply put, the truth is that the lack of equality within the game is the very reason why some will still remain in post within the Scottish women’s national team set-up.

Pats on the head for wins in friendly games simply do not cut it. And to absolve the players and the management staff from the lacerating flak that comes on the back of a 6-0 hammering to England does them a gross disservice.

The reality is that there are few male managers at international level who would survive such a result and performance. There are players who would never wear the shirt of their country again on the back of the display Hampden witnessed on Tuesday night had they been called up to represent the men’s side.

It is patronising for all connected with the women’s team to remove the scrutiny and microscopic intensity that comes on the back of the performance against England.

Had it happened to Steve Clarke’s side or anyone who held the post before him, the post-mortem would have been long and drawn out with radio talk shows and tabloid headlines screaming for a response. Without that level of noise, the women’s team have been able to dip out of sight and coach Pedro Martinez Losa has been able to head back down south to lick his wounds.

The Spaniard is affable, courteous and progressive. He is the modern coach right down to his trackside attire of white trainers and SFA suit. He has strived to exact changes on and off the pitch, but on it there are simply no tangible signs of progress that Scotland can point to.

He admitted in the aftermath of the game that he avoided making substitutions in the opening period at Glossing over demolition does a disservice to women’s game Hampden because this was a big occasion for players and essentially he didn’t want to embarrass any individual by hooking them.

If this points to a lack of a ruthless streak which is surely a part of the job description, it is the antithesis of what is required at Scotland where there is a group of influential players who exert a firm control of the dressing room.

Friendly wins against higher ranking countries are great for confidence and as learning exercises, but they mean nothing when the real thing comes around. They most certainly do not offer substantial evidence that would warrant a fouryear contract.

The major issue for Scotland is that since 2019, when they qualified for the World Cup for the first time, there is a stagnant feel to the national side.

Shelley Kerr somehow survived the debacle in France; the above logic regarding how this works in the male side again applies. After squandering a 3-0 lead in 20 drastic minutes it is highly unlikely there would have been an opportunity to conduct a boozy team-meeting, reduce a few folk to tears and still stay in a job.

There is an omerta on this subject around the women’s team so no-one other than those in the room will ever really know what went on or about the aftermath and how it came to pass that a European Championships campaign played out with the inevitably limp conclusion.

But while Scotland have been treading water, the women’s game has gone up a level elsewhere. The quality of each major tournament – and there have been two that Scotland have sat out since that 2019 World Cup – has increased with the move towards more resources, investment and money in the game. The level seems a world away from the one where Scotland are operating at.

A crowd of 15,320 were inside Hampden on Tuesday.

There is an appetite for the national side. But to increase it there are certain standards that have to come because it is only by returning to major tournaments that the interest – and the funds to sustain that interest – come.

And that means being prepared to take the heat when it is not going as it should.


Let this be the end of the Team GB chat once and for all. What was originally supposed to be a one-off for the 2012 Olympic Games in London has managed to survive with last week’s result at Hampden putting an end to their involvement in Paris this summer.

Essentially Team GB is an England side with a few token players from the other home nations involved but it is a tournament that benefits no-one really other than England. More pertinently, though, is the threat it poses to independent football status.


Joey Barton was an irrelevance of a player and is now playing to the zoomer gallery with his nonsense fight to desperately hang on to a bit of the spotlight. A nonentity, the most offensive thing about his long-winded social media commentary last week was the random capitalisation of nouns midsentence. And all while preaching about journalistic standards.

Anyone wanting a more balanced take on his argument would do well to listen to what Emma Hayes had to say on the matter. The outgoing Chelsea manager offered a far more considered and articulate summation.