The View Presents is a new series where we focus on female content creators and give them a platform to tell us what football and Football Manager means to them. One of the reasons for us wanting to do this is because of all the sexism they receive when they post about football or the game. We want to use our own platform to showcase these fantastic women and get to know them a little better. Football and Football Manager should be inclusive but there are still a lot of people who don’t think they belong, which is ridiculous. The next time you try making a sexist, stereotypical joke about them, think beforehand and just don’t do it. Be better.
The View Presents – MooonoStreams
First of all, hi! I’m Monique, better known on the internet as MooonoStreams which is ironic since I don’t really stream anymore but the Mooono handle is taken everywhere, so I’m just rolling with it now. Anyway, I’m an addict. A Football Manager addict, to be precise. I haven’t really touched grass since I found a free version of FM19 somewhere during the pandemic. So yeah, I’m new, a rookie. So don’t ask me about tactics or wonderkids, I’m underqualified to share my expertise on that. What I do have expertise in is having opinions. I’m a woman, after all. And with the news dropping that Women’s football is coming to FM25, I’ve got some things to say.
Sexism in Football
If you would’ve asked me 6 months ago, to share my opinions on women’s football coming to one of my favourite games, I would’ve probably not even considered telling you. Because whether you realise it or not, football as a whole is still incredibly sexist. And I have crippling social anxiety and a fear of rejection, which I guess also doesn’t really help with speaking out.
But this time, I have a lot to say. And the fact that this is apparently still necessary genuinely hurts me. The rubbish that is being spewed on social media about Women’s football being added to the game we all love so much, especially as a woman, is very hard to read. It strengthens the belief that I am not welcome in the Football community and that I don’t belong there. Football should be for everyone, regardless of gender, race or who you love. Football SHOULD be inclusive. But it’s not. At least, not yet.
Football Manager and Realism
In my opinion, adding women’s football adds nothing but realism to the game. It’s part of football, and whether you like it or not, it makes the game more inclusive and accessible to a wider audience. Which, guess what doesn’t have to take anything away from your current gaming experiences. You can still play the game however you want, whether that’s with women’s football added or without it.
A lot of people online have been saying that they are just adding the women’s game and aren’t doing anything about the bugs and some other quality-of-life improvements we’ve been asking about. But then you clearly haven’t read what Sports Interactive said. The 25 game will be a sequel, built on a completely new engine, with graphical and UI changes. So women’s football being added is just 1 of multiple headlines of the game. Which does not mean that the community’s requests are being ignored. It’s a crazy concept, but improvements to the game and women’s football being added can coexist. Shocker right?
I’ve been calling out a lot of people on Twitter when they say women’s football does not belong in Football Manager. Because quite frankly, I don’t understand how you can be opposed to it. You can load the women’s teams in, just like any other league. But you don’t HAVE to. You are not forced to engage with this part of the game. But it is there for the people who do want to play it. Making it more accessible and inclusive.
It’s not even unrealistic, either. Plenty of coaches have coached women’s teams in their lives. Phil Neville for instance managed the England women’s team and has now moved on to coach at Inter Miami. Coaching a women’s team can be a great stepping stone for any manager, so why shouldn’t this be part of Football Manager?
The gap between women’s and men’s football
Then there is the argument that women’s football can’t be compared to men’s football in terms of quality and interest. And to some degree, I agree with that. You can’t grade these two on the same curve. But there are some pretty solid reasons for that, one being that women’s football was banned for the greater part of the 1900s in most countries. Which obviously impacted the development of the women’s game.
Not just the game being banned hindered development, there’s also the case of genetics. Women and men are built differently, we are genetically not the same. This means that our biomechanics are different too. Women for instance have a higher chance of sustaining ACL injuries. This happens because women tend to land with the knee in extension. Which puts a lot of force on your knee joint. Men, however, tend to land in a flexed position, which causes less force on the knee. Women also have an increased knee valgus. Which means our knees tend to be aligned more inward like an x. Which also puts more stress on the knee ligaments.
Now, normally these things won’t have much of an impact. But if you’re playing football, a game which is built to work for men and is not in any way optimised for women. You’re bound to play at a different level. Because, again, we’re built differently. Research into these differences in sports only started relatively recently due to the women’s football ban, which in the UK only ended in the 70s.
Football boots for instance have always been designed for men, which causes issues with women. The Sports Engineering journal released a study in late 2022 which alluded to a correlation between women’s ACL injuries and the boots women have been wearing. Because the boots have been designed with the male biomechanics in mind, not the women’s. It was only in 2020 that the first Women’s football boot was designed, and only this year Nike released an optimised football boot for women. Before that, a “women’s” boot was just pink. So physical differences between men and women and the lack of research on these differences, have hindered growth in women’s football in terms of technique and quality. Which in return also has an effect on the interest of fans.
If you’re anything like those wet wipes on Twitter, you would probably say: “But who the fuck cares about women’s football anyway? Why would we research that shit? Just get back in the kitchen.” Or something like that, you get the idea I guess. And honestly, I really hope you are different. But if those were your initial thoughts, I’d like to say I’m sorry. I’m sorry that you live in a blatantly sexist football bubble and that you can’t have others enjoy something you don’t like. So I’m just going to say it again, you don’t have to like it. I’m not trying to change your mind, but dear God, just let others enjoy it and stop opening your mouth about it constantly. You look like a total sexist douchebag saying these kinds of things.
Long story short
Now to get back to Football Manager. I am so incredibly happy that they are adding the women’s game. It will make the game more realistic, and accessible to a wider audience and honestly, to me, it feels like a sign of respect. It shows that the game is trying to be more inclusive. And it gives me the feeling that I am allowed to be a part of football, and I am convinced that women’s football is only going to grow in the coming years.
I have met some incredible people because of this game, and that’s the reason I now feel confident enough to speak up when I see sexism in football. The Football Manager player and creator community has been nothing but welcoming to me. And made me realise that even I, a girl, am allowed to enjoy football and Football Manager. Thankfully, the bigger part of the community is excited about the addition of women’s football. They see it as an opportunity for the game to be more inclusive. And honestly, we don’t all have to agree with each other. But let’s at least respect everyone and the way they decide to play. In the end, we all play a game we love, and everyone gets to enjoy it their own way.
TL;DR: I’m excited about the women’s game coming to FM25. It will make the game accessible to a bigger audience and adds realism. But if you’re not excited about it, that’s okay. The addition of women’s football will not impact you in any way. Play it or don’t, I don’t care. But if you’re being a sexist wet wipe online about it, I will call you out.
I also created a video on my YouTube channel about a woman’s take on the female game being added to Football Manager 2025.
We here at View From The Touchline would like to thank Monique for her honesty and time in writing this. If you want to interact with Monique you can do so at the following socials;