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19th Sep 2023

“I thought it was a huge lack of respect” – Cawley criticises Caldwell over Pauw outburst

Niall McIntyre

Alan Cawley says that, as well as lacking respect, Diane Caldwell’s wide-ranging criticism of Vera Pauw was also a case of a player failing to read the room.

Caldwell, the 35-year-old defender, hit out at Pauw on Monday afternoon in sensational fashion.

Perhaps most damningly of all, Caldwell said that Ireland qualified for the World Cup ‘in spite’ of their manager, but she also went onto lay into various strands of Pauw’s methodologies.

“I think our preparations for games could have been better, physical preparation, opponent analysis, match tactics, in-game match tactics, changes, systems of play,” she said.

“I think a group of players that were destined for success came together at the right time,” she added.

Caldwell’s comments came up for discussion on the latest episode of the House of Football, and both Alan Cawley and Keith Treacy were critical of the defender’s outburst.

“I didn’t like it at all,” said Cawley.

“Talk about reading the room poorly.

“All that good-will that has been held for the women’s team, I think they’ve lost an awful lot of that. Because when the review was done, it should have been left there and then.

“She questioned everything. Everything,” exclaimed Cawley.

“All we ever hear is that it’s results-based. But then when we get to the World Cup, it’s that she doesn’t fit the culture or the brand we’re trying to play with and all.

“And you’re thinking ‘really?’

“It’s the first time we’ve ever qualified. Are we all of a sudden going to play like Barcelona now? That’s not going to happen. I’ve watched them.”

Cawley, who follows the women’s game closely in his work as a pundit, thought that it came across as a case of sour grapes. Caldwell, let’s not forget, was dropped off the starting team by Pauw.

“For her to come out and obliterate the manager like she did, I thought it was bad form.

“I followed all the women’s games, worked on them all going back two or three years and I would have said that Diane Caldwell is a girl I would have played, because they sacrificed Megan Connolly (her attacking threat) to play in that left-sided centre half position, where Diane was normally playing.

“So she was the one who was left out. So it just looked to me like the disgruntled player who was left out. A little bit of that (sour grapes) as well.”

Vera Pauw

“After Vera lost her job,” continued Cawley, “she (Diane) had won at that stage, why come out and say all that stuff yesterday and again, heap more pressure on the players and to talk about the fact that we did this in spite of Vera and all, I thought it was a huge lack of respect.”

“Vera will always be labelled as the manager that led Ireland to their first women’s World Cup, that will never be taken away from her. Whatever those girls think.

“Even those opinions which she voiced yesterday, where were all these views and opinions back when they qualified against Scotland, or during the previous campaign?

“How come they were only voiced now after the World Cup. I thought it was really bad form, I didn’t like it at all,” he concluded.

Former Burnley winger Keith Treacy, meanwhile, seemed to think it was a case of ‘player power.”

“Vera Pauw has set the bar really high with this Irish squad.

“All of a sudden, the girls are coming out saying they’ve done this in spite of her.

“So what are you going to do next?

“Get to the quarter finals of a World Cup, or win a Euros. Jonathan Hill, as well, coming out and saying they’ve had 30 one-on-one interviews, some with players, some with staff. I’ve never been asked in my career, do I like the manager, am I happy with the tactics?”

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