It's a topic I've picked up on over the last six months and it was raised again last week after the Matildas performances at the Asian Cup.
Why isn't women's football criticised like men's?
It's been a discussion I've had with people since I began as a football writer in both the women's and men's game.
It's not that we want to go easy on players or teams because of their gender or wanting to grow the game without any controversy, as has been suggested.
There are many different aspects to it, the main being that we should remain on the positive side of the spectrum.
But what does that really mean?
There is being critical which can range from nit-picking to making scathing comments about a player’s performance or the decisions made by a coach and then there is providing constructive comments and possible solutions for improving performance.
Now, you're probably thinking “aren’t these the same thing” personally I don't think so. They certainly would not achieve the same result. Positivity will always be far better than negative.
Constructive is beneficial and making destructive or scathing comments is not.
Constructive criticism gives views and reasons for an overall team performance, and is not just focused or critical of an individual player, after all football is a team sport and everyone on the field, as a unit, is responsible for the end result.
So, we can't lay blame on a single player for a team’s indifferent performance.
It's easy for someone to blame Elise Kellond-Knight for missing the penalty against Japan or blame Alen Stajcic for not starting a stronger team against Thailand.
Kellond-Knight will be rueing the missed opportunity from the spot against Japan as will most of the players thinking back to their missed chances against Thailand, as they wonder what they could have done differently to improve their game.
But it's not up to us to be critical of individuals or teams unless it is constructive, positive and helpful for the future development of the player and the team. I'm not the coach, all I have is my knowledge of the game in front me.
I do not have the knowledge of talk in the dressing room before, during or after the game. This is the position that most of the “critics” are in yet they still feel they have the right to savage a player or the team.
Players are generally more critical of themselves, they know when they have had a bad game and they will tell you. So, should we really be “stripping” them down with criticism that a lot of the time probably does not have any real knowledge, logic or basis to it.
This idea that women's football needs to be criticised just like the men's seems to stem from a belief that men's and women's football is the same, and therefore should be treated the same. Maybe we should be changing the way we deal out the criticism in the men’s game instead of changing the current positive aspect of commenting on the women’s game.
Of course, women's football should not be wrapped in cotton wool but are comments like the one’s below really going to progress the game;
Ohh 2010? When the standard of women’s football was about as good as my local club’s under 6’s— Old Steve (@OldSteveCheese3) April 21, 2018
Good riddance about time they got knocked off their high horse. Still miles behind the men.— Hush Deep (@hush_deep) April 21, 2018
They are certainly not assisting in any way.
People are so used to making absurd and scathing comments when the men play, that it just becomes a normal thing to do.
Maybe it is because more is expected of them or perhaps the bigger picture is not being looked at after the game.
It's not about women's football being criticised the same as the men's, it's about finding a different and better way to go about delivering the message with knowledge rather than opinion.
There are some things not so beautiful about “the beautiful game” but the fact that we are still civil, positive and constructive with criticism of the women’s football needs to be protected at all costs.