Li Xiaopeng [newly appointed coach of the Chinese Women’s National Football Team] is making Chinese football more beautiful. Under Li’s direction Chinese women’s football is once again ready to shine on the international stage. It is true that Li and his associates have not arrived on the scene at the best of times: At the moment the Steel Roses are suffering from years of tumultuous management at the hands of the National Football Association, and all things considered, a friendly loss to Canada was only to be expected (though conceding three goals does seem a little excessive). But I have found a number of silver linings in this result, the chief one being, our female athletes are prettier than before. In the past the management has operated under certain erroneous principles that led them to regulate every aspect of athletes’ lives – to the point that women have been denied the basic right to beautify themselves. But all of this looks to be changing under Li Xiaopeng.
Football is a joyous activity. In the last few years, however, it has been downright painful to watch Chinese women’s football. Coupled with the fact that our team has been losing more often than not, one can be forgiven for coming away with the impression that our female footballers have been getting uglier and uglier. But in the course of watching the 1-3 loss to Canada, I have found myself warming to our players. Due to the restrictive nature of team kits, the only form of self-expression they are allowed is their hairstyles.
The Canadian women’s football team is very beautiful, and their hair is even more beautiful. This time around, the Chinese players’ hair wasn’t looking bad either. We see from this example that Li Xiaopeng is in the process of changing the face of women’s soccer, beginning with the emancipation of players’ hairstyles – the best venue for women’ self-expression. For instance Number 13, Ma Qun, possesses only mediocre technique on the ball but she has a truly fabulous head of dyed gold hair. Even Xu Yuan, she of the never changing “Sun Wen style,” has now dyed hers. According to my observations, of the 17 Chinese players who stepped onto the pitch, half appeared to have dyed or permed their hair. I counted at least thirteen different hairstyles. I feel that this in a revolutionary new development.
The change in hairstyles goes hand in hand with a sea change in the Steel Roses’ attitude. Despite losing the match, they did not appear overly distraught. When Xu Yuan was subbed off the score was already 1-3 but she was nonetheless smiling; Zhou Gaoping who came on for her was also smiling. Li Xiapeng rose to notoriety under [Serbian coach] Bora Milutinovic, whose philosophy of “Happy Football” appears to have left an indelible impression on Li’s generation of players. In addition to improving the standard of football the national team is playing, Li is also charged with another task, and that is to make them play happily. When our players can laugh even in the face of defeat, then we will have achieved a new breakthrough in terms of freedom and openness. Again, football is a joyous activity. For a team in the process of reinventing and building itself, winning is not the only criteria for success.
Rome wasn’t built in a day and this football team won’t be either. If Chinese football is waiting for a savior it will probably have to wait for the Almighty Himself to take a hand. Li’s team might not have looked too impressive out there today, but you can see that the man has ideas and that he is already trying to change things up, and while it is too early to say that these changes will suit Chinese women’s football, at least we are keeping up with the times.
From the evidence of this encounter, currently the team’s three greatest weaknesses are as follows: One, giving away too many passes, frequently because our players our insecure about being able to retain the ball when the opposition is closing in. Two, the less-than-peak physical condition of our players, who are typically too weak to withstand challenges …….. Three, the relative youth and inexperience of the side means that tactically and technically, they are still a work in progress. Others might see this last point as a liability, but I see it as an opportunity, an opening to allow Li Xiaopeng to fulfill his team's enormous potential.
Now is not the time to make premature judgments. Li’s debut has resulted in a 1-3 loss to Canada. A lesser manager might not be able to turn this ship around, but I believe Li has the capability to do so. I would ask the fans to please be patient with Li and his team, and to keep supporting them!
Source is a blog and not an official news portal, so some statements should be taken tongue in cheek idk
Lol i don't think i've ever seen quite this brand of optimism before.
At the moment China is ranked fourteenth in the world and Canada thirteenth.