Eniola Aluko explains why there aren’t more ‘superstars’ in women’s football

Eniola Aluko has claimed that differences in coaching style to the men’s game has led to a dearth of ‘superstars’ in women’s football.

Aluko enjoyed a top level playing career, turning out for the likes of Chelsea, Birmingham City and several American sides, as well as earning 102 caps for England.


She retired in early 2020 and has since moved into executive roles with Aston Villa and now Angel City, who will join the NWSL next year.

Aluko was one of the most talented forwards of her generation, however, speaking to the On the Judy podcast, she revealed her belief that individual talents like her were not encouraged by coaches to the same extent as their male counterparts.

“Women’s football is a young sport. Right? So [coaches were] trying to shape it from a developmental perspective,” she said.

“Men’s football, obviously, has been around for hundreds of years, so there’s more space for superstars.

“So I feel like when you’re young and you’re a superstar in women’s football, it was like, we don’t really have time for that. Yeah, you’re good. You’re here, we’re picking you. But it’s more about the team.”

“And that’s fine. That’s totally fine, because you need that as well. But I just feel like in terms of individuality, and players who really know how to entertain, we’re limited because of the way we’ve been coached. Whereas in the guys game that stuff is celebrated.”

Aluko went on to reveal that her brother Sone, who currently turns out for Ipswich Town and previously enjoyed spells at Reading and Hull City, was encouraged to express himself more on the ball when they were growing up.

She explained that English coaching in general tends to place less emphasis on building superstars.

“I think it’s cultural. In England, even in the men’s game, you’d say: ‘don’t get too big for your boots’,” she said. “Don’t be a superstar. There’s this self deprecating thing where you’ve got to pretend that you’re not as good.

“I had a Brazilian coach in America. And I remember I did something in training and I was kind of looking at him to say: ‘Why aren’t you saying well done’. But because he he’d grown up in an environment where skill was the norm, he didn’t think it was anything special.”

“So his culture, I feel like it’s cultural in Brazil, all of that flicking over the head dribble, chop, all that is encouraged. Yeah. Whereas in England, I feel like the culture is more be humble, get it, get the ball and pass it to your teammates, even if you want to.”

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Author: XenBet