As Women’s Soccer Surges, a Blind Spot Holds It Back

Jul 26, 2022

Vicky Jepson has not found the driving all that bad. She has spent much of July on the road, racking up somewhere north of a thousand miles in only a couple weeks.

Her trajectory, at first glance, seems so haphazard that it is almost as if she has been trying to shake off a tail: London to Manchester, down to the seaside at Brighton, up north once more — to the unremarkable market town of Leigh — then back to the south coast, before retracing her steps back to Leigh.

A considerable amount of thought, though, has gone into every mile. Each stop has allowed Jepson, the assistant head coach of Tottenham Hotspur Women, to take in another game at Euro 2022: At one point, she had been to nine matches in just 15 days.

They had not been selected at random. Jepson went to some games to cast an eye over how Europe’s best teams were playing, paying especially close attention to how they built play out of defense. She went to others to watch specific players.

Often, though, her eye has been drawn not so much to how they play but to who they are. “It’s only when you see players in person that you get a sense of what they are like as people,” she said. “You see how they react in certain situations. How do they recover from conceding a goal? Do they keep focused after going ahead?”

Source: The New York Times