Emma Hayes’ “male agression” comment after Arsenal Women’s Cup Final win was not acceptable

I agree with Jonas Eidevall’s being uncomfortable with Emma Hayes’ description of him using ‘male aggression’.

Tell anyone who’s experienced abuse that aggression consists of a football manager ranting on the touchline.

For clarification both Arsenal and Chelsea were asked did they want to use the multi ball system or just one ball in the Continental Cup?

Our opponents didn’t want multi ball so the rule is, that if clubs can’t agree, the same ball will be used.

In other words, the Blues got their wish. That was until they were losing. Wanting to speed up the game, they suddenly wanted to change protocol because it now suited them.

Mr Eidevall pointed this out and stood up for his players best interest, like any coach around the world would have. After all the Swede is being paid a lot of money to win trophies for Arsenal so naturally will be competitive.

This is why he was pushed by Hayes at the final whistle after she rejected his handshake. The irony being that that act was the most aggressive one of the whole afternoon, which contradicts her stance of wanting to be a role model.

Surely, it’s better for children to witness you congratulate the winners, no matter what’s gone on in the match?

Normally a tradition in Britain.

Whisper it quietly, but if the result had gone differently why do I sense Hayes would have shaken his hand?

Wouldn’t it be ideal if everyone on the touchline was respectful?

That all were polite to the 4th official?

That players don’t swear at each other or surround the officials?

That’s not impossible as it happens in Rugby, but in football it’s all been common for decades.

On Saturday Vincent Kompany was sent off for his language.

After the last round of the FA Cup Klopp was rude to a journalist.

Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho are famous for how passive aggressive they can be at times.

These are all examples of aggression, more aggressive then what Eidevall did at the weekend. Yet never explained as ‘male aggression’.

The WSL equally has players disagree with their peers, argue with the refs and not behave in the dugout. Again, that would just be described as aggression. There would be no need to add the world female and probably would be a backlash if you did?

Imagine a female in charge of Prem club having her attitude defined by her gender. There would be uproar.

So, what Hayes actually finds unacceptable is not how managers conduct themselves, but what sex you happen to be. Males can be rude to males and females can debate with females but not males disagreeing with females.

Being treated differently because of what you look like …. there is a word for that.

Hayes is great at what she does, but she has let herself down here. While the UK battles with the likes of Joey Barton for the national sport to filled with equality, this is the opposite.

Mr Barton isn’t comfortable with the amount of females who talk about men’s football, stressing the women’s version should be viewed as a separate entity.

Here’s the boss of the Champions of the Women’s Super League clearly not comfortable with male representation. In the Final she didn’t see a manager being a manager, she saw gender.

The 47-year-old has done so much to help grow the interest of women’s football in England, but this is a setback. She lives in a country who are wanting women footballers to receive identical standards to men in terms of training, travel, accommodation and stadiums. If she thinks that’s a topic in her homeland, wait till she moves to America who’s national team demand equal pay, etc.

She can’t have it both ways.

She either wants girls to be judged on talent and treated as professionals or deep down wants allowances because of gender?

She wants women to be presented as strong and independent when it means sponsorship and TV deals, but essentially what she was saying on Sunday, is my players are girls so should be protected from a male manager.

In other words, she wants equality …. when it suits her?

No matter gender, race, religion, etc, the football pitch should not discriminate, the ball should be kicked without prejudice.

If you want to play at the highest level – and I support all individuals getting to that stage, you have to accept the footballing culture and community.

Not saying this is right, but if you want to play in a Cup Final, broadcast on TV, in a professional stadium where you are now paid to be a professional athlete, you have to accept that in the final minutes, a rival manager is going to want to waste time, and feelings are not a priority when thousands of pounds are at stake.

This applies to any gender; Mikel Arteta would do the same against Rob Edwards. It would be accepted as part of the sport and not labelled ‘male aggression’.

The example Hayes set over Easter weekend was that gender clearly remains an issue for her.

Being defeated by a man is 100 percent an issue and shaking his hand a perceived weakness.

When in reality, youngsters would have learnt so much more if she had the class to accept the handshake. Which most managers have the grace to do, no matter what has gone on the touchline.

Gender should never have been an issue.

Dan Smith


So here are some simple rules which I must insist commenters follow….

You agree not to give any personal abuse to other Arsenal fans. Everyone is allowed to hold their own opinions even if you disagree with them. It COSTS NOTHING TO BE POLITE TO OTHER ARSENAL FANS.

Tags Arsenal women v Chelsea Eidevall Emma Hayes


  1. Sourpuss Hayes was gutted .They were trying to match Arsenals Quadruple feat in 2006? & realises it’s down the toilet hence the face like a kicked in kettle.
    Can’t stand her & the Nouveau Roche club she manages.Would be nice for them to get dumped out of Europe too.Heres hoping.

  2. She’s nothing but a sore loser. Arsenal ladies played better than Chelsea on the night and deserved to win the cup, QED.

  3. Yeh, bad loser who tried to cheat by changing the agreed rules. She should be named and shamed as the worst type of role model of how to not act as a professional. I wonder if she is also moody to her own players. Shameful cheating and very unprofessional by her actions after the game.

  4. Excellent article Dan and I agree 100%.
    Eidevall will have this thrown at him time after time, unless Hayes publicly apologises for her sexually abusive comment!!
    Imagine what would be happening now, if he has pushed her!!

  5. Great article Dan. I really do hope that this isn’t just swept under the carpet, as it certainly would not be if Eidevall had been physical with Hayes. It’s a disgrace to women’s football, and footie fans stateside have not missed it! There’s surely got to be something from the FA soon??

    1. Michelle, agreed, and something else that needs to be looked into is how in a one ball game a second ball suddenly becomes available. Did it come from the Chelsea bench, or was it lying there just incase?

  6. It’s not mentioned in the long article, but it was Chelsea’s Erin Cuthbert who got right in Jonas’ face following his protest over her throw in. She was the original aggressor, and he didn’t touch her, but most likely said something, and it’s this that Hayes is making such a fuss over.
    Made herself look so foolish, which is sad because I’ve always had a lot of time for Emma as a pundit and co-commentator.

  7. As one of a few females who comment on JA, I think that Hayes let herself down. What I haven’t checked on, is what it was that Jonas got booked for. Was it undeserved or was it a case of the official being over protective on behalfof a female player?

    Regardless, there is more than enough foul mouthed behaviour and aggression in the men’s game without her adding to it in a fledgling success story which is the WSL. Having been on the Piccadilly Line on the morning of the Arsenal v Utd WSL match fairly recently, the train was packed with women of all ages, sporting all the shirts and paraphernalia, alongside FAMILIES on a happy day out.

    Watching Emma Hayes shove Jonas on tv embarrassed and annoyed me as a woman- especially as I’ve fought most of my life to be treated on equal terms with men and resorting to that kind of behaviour was beneath her and let me down too

  8. Sue, I’m guessing that Jonas must have said something unpleasant to get the booking, as it was Cuthbert who instigated the confrontation, but the referee might have completely misjudged the situation and unfairly blamed him.

  9. Referee should apologise, she should have stopped Cuthbert using a second ball not Jonas.
    Hayes has purchased her last title.
    Sadly she will be back in 2027 when sacked as USA manager , can’t buy players there.

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