Women's World Cup: Casey Stoney – Man Utd boss on managing in men's game


As a woman in football, it feels like you have to be twice as good at your job, and you have to work twice as hard, which is impossible for me because I give enough as it is as Manchester United manager.

Whenever I go on a coaching course, I have to spend the week earning respect, whereas a man gets it automatically.

So I can only imagine the pressure a woman would be under if she was a manager in the men’s game, a subject that was brought up when Chelsea Women manager Emma Hayes was talked of as a potential successor to the Chelsea men’s team boss Maurizio Sarri.

Even if you went into League Two, take what happened to Macclesfield Town boss Sol Campbell as an example. The pressure on him was ramped up because of who he was, and if you’re a female doing the same, you’d be on the back foot even if you lose one game.

Those who have tried it tend not to last that long. Corinne Diacre was an exception, having managed French men’s team Clermont Foot for three seasons, but now she’s the manager of the France women’s team and doing well at the World Cup.

It would be a very brave decision taking that step, because you have to realise the timespan of a manager in the men’s game averages just over a year. When you have a family and have to keep a roof over your head, leaving a potentially more stable job in women’s football is a massive risk.

Right now, I can’t envisage ever going into men’s football and I wouldn’t necessarily see a job in the men’s game as a step up – but you can never say never about anything.

I love the women’s game and I owe it a lot because of what it did for me. I’m at a fantastic football club and I don’t think I’d ever get the opportunity to be a head coach at Manchester United otherwise. I’m well supported, I love the players I work with and I’m still learning about the game and the way I want to coach.

Sure, there are slight nuances in women’s football – you have to be a bit more emotionally intelligent – but players are players, and I think a woman can make the step because the skills are transferable to the men’s game.

Players need to know when they’ve done well, they need to be critiqued when they haven’t done well and you need to develop and help them.

It’s still a huge barrier that we have to overcome, but I think England head coach Phil Neville coming over from the men’s game has shown that the status of women’s football is improving.

Phil Neville is hoping to lead England to a first Women’s World Cup triumph

Moving the other way

Raymond Verheijen, the former Wales assistant manager, posted on social media last week