Official Chinese womens football coach Shui Qingxia resigns due to failure to secure qualification for the Olympics, how should her coaching ability be evaluated?

After the end of the second stage of the Asian preliminary matches for the Paris Olympics womens football, the contract of the head coach and the original coaching team of the Chinese womens football team automatically terminated as agreed upon, as the team failed to qualify for the Olympics Shui Qingxia will no longer serve as the head coach of the Chinese womens football team To participate in the two warm-up matches between China and the United States on December 2nd and 6th, the Chinese womens football training team will be led by an interim coaching team to complete this task In the next step, the Chinese Football Association will carefully study and consider the selection of the new head coach for the Chinese womens football team in the new cycle We would like to thank Coach Shui Qingxia and her coaching team for their hard work during their time coaching the Chinese womens football team and wish Coach Shui Qingxia all the best in her future work and life Chinese Football Association, November 20, 2023 Official Announcement Shui Qingxia steps down as the head coach of the Chinese womens football team due to failure to qualify for the Olympics - Live Bar

The Unfortunate Fate of Coach Shui

  1. Coach Shui definitely had a set of coaching theories, but she also benefited from the serious training, tactical expertise, and physical fitness brought by Jia Xiuquan in the early stages, ultimately winning the Asian Cup. This should be acknowledged, but she should not be deified.

  2. In the later matches, it can only be said that she faced her own difficulties. Whenever Chinese football, regardless of men’s or women’s teams, encounters strange collapses or defeats, there is definitely the involvement of the incompetent football association. When the women’s football coach position was open for competition, she didn’t even apply for it, but the football association wanted Zhao Junzhe to take over. The process was going smoothly, but in the end, they directly appointed Coach Shui instead. It’s not necessary to argue over who, between Zhao Junzhe and Coach Shui, had higher skill levels—they are both just mediocre. But this inexplicable appointment is deserving of this chaotic dismissal, which is an old characteristic of Chinese football. The head coach is nothing more than a rag and scapegoat, used and then discarded.

  3. This time, Coach Shui’s dismissal will bring no more benefits, only a mess to clean up. Let’s wait and see who the next scapegoat will be.

The Mediocrity of Chinese Women’s Football

An Asian Cup championship has simply overestimated the level of the team.

In fact, the current strength of Chinese women’s football can only be considered as second-tier in Asia, with Australia and Japan being the two most outstanding teams. It’s hard to say about the North Korean team as they haven’t played any matches in recent years, but at least China, South Korea, and North Korea have consistently occupied the second-tier.

As for the other Asian women’s football teams… to be honest, they are all quite weak.

Winning the Asian Cup championship in ‘21, whether it was luck or strategy, it certainly did not reflect the true ability of the women’s team.

But since they have won the Asian Cup championship, they are still considered as the number one in Asia, right?

That’s how superficial fans think.

Therefore, when it comes to this year’s Women’s World Cup Asia Cup and the Paris Olympic Games qualifiers, these superficial fans believe that Chinese women’s football should naturally achieve a certain level of success.

If the team deviates from their expectations, then it becomes the team’s fault.

But in reality, the level of Chinese women’s football is more or less at this point.

Coach Shui’s words were intended for the domestic football industry and team management to hear.

When we won the Asian Cup, she was still just “Coach Shui.”

Now, people are nitpicking about the color of her nail polish.

Unfortunately, the Asian Football Confederation took too long to “make a U-turn.” On October 31, at the 2022 AFC Awards Ceremony in Doha, the capital of Qatar, Shui Qingxia was named the Best Female Coach of the Year.

In the end, isn’t it all because of the “failure on three fronts”? Losing 1-6 to England in the Women’s World Cup, failing to advance to the round of 16; at the Hangzhou Asian Games, only winning third place; in the Paris Olympic qualifiers, bidding farewell to the chance to participate in the games ahead of time.

Competitive sports are just that cruel. “Results speak louder than words, and determine everything.” Decisions are absolute, and there is no grey area.

As for the “truths” that Coach Shui has said in the past, who really cares?

Compared to top-level teams in the world, we still have a long way to go and must face the challenge with a “fighting” attitude. Just because we’ve won the Asian Cup doesn’t mean anything. Since we know we’re inferior to others, we must strive to catch up and put in more effort than others. Honestly, I think we still have a long way to go in terms of competitiveness in international matches compared to other teams. The opponents’ transitions are truly too fast. I hope our domestic leagues can improve, and at the same time, we need to focus on training, enhance our competitiveness, including simulating real situations and anti-press training. We should have higher expectations so that the national team can adapt quickly to high-intensity rhythms in future matches.

These words were once taken seriously and noted down. That was because Coach Shui was standing at the Two Sessions as an accomplished coach. That’s all.

But now, these same words have become a way for certain people to criticize Coach Shui. That’s all.

These words contain business and strategic issues that no one has truly analyzed, understood, or resolved. Or perhaps, when Coach Shui said these words, she didn’t expect anyone to truly receive and understand the message.

So, I have one final question: who was Coach Shui speaking to when she said these words back then?

Water’s coaching ability declined, overseas legion unable to play a role, internal conflicts intensified, needs to be dismissed.

Since you don’t use “coaching ability” but “team leading ability”, I have to say, Water’s team leading ability in the past two or three years has been declining all the way.

During Chen Matou’s tenure, not much was done, but in women’s football, especially in the women’s national team, a lot has really been done. After being defeated in Tokyo Olympics, various strategies for overseas training began immediately, and for a while, the number of players training overseas exceeded that of South Korea. Moreover, it’s not like male football players Wu Lei and Li Lei who went overseas, with little possibility of growth. There are both relatively older players in women’s football (Xiao Shuang) and current and future stars. When they go overseas, they are not sitting on the bench and can play.

In theory, Water’s team should have been more prosperous than Jia Xiuquan. Jia Xiuquan had only been closed in Wuhan for a few months, not to mention the physical and mental condition of Xiao Shuang.

Having achieved success and reached the top of Asia, with a strong morale and gaining great resources, how many high-level warm-up opponents did the women’s football team compete against before the World Cup, much more than the logistical support provided to the men’s football team.

And what kind of team has the women’s football team become in this year?

The overseas legion learned things well but could not make good use of it. Even if they occasionally make it into the squad, they can’t get on the field. If you want to protect these girls from the fatigue of travel and the invasion of injuries, why do you recruit them? They don’t have as much fatigue from travel in the warm-up matches in Europe, so why don’t you let them play more and get used to each other?

The good atmosphere of Chinese women’s football in the past year or two can even be disrupted by internal discord. If you want to be tough, you might as well be like Teng Haige, who safeguards the bottom line. If you want to be like Gao Hongbo, who can keep the achievements stable at the actual level without bringing in support from Evergrande.

The performance in the Women’s World Cup was within expectations, but the further intensification of internal conflicts could not be handled properly. The Asian Games on our doorstep was poorly played, and the infighting continued. The conflicts are not resolved or solved, being stubborn and uninclusive, and the foundation cannot be sustained, resulting in the direct loss of qualification for the Paris Olympics…

The coaching ability that scattered a victorious team so quickly is not worthy of admiration.

We thank her for leading the team to achieve miracles, but in the past two years, in terms of coaching ability, personally, I even think she is not as good as Jia Xiuquan.

At least Jia Xiuquan openly said, “My team doesn’t need stars,” but when it comes to playing, it was still Xiao Shuang who saved his life and the 4:4 with the monster from Zambia. They are unbreakable and will use whatever is necessary. But Water, you don’t openly say anything, even when the players confront you, you don’t respond. You continue to not use them, and the more they play, the worse they get…

Unable to unite the majority, the professional ability is no longer able to support and maintain the level, so it is indeed time for her to step down. We appreciate her effort, she can train a few good talents for local teams and enrich the talent pool of women’s football. Perhaps a position more suitable for Water’s guidance.

Current situation of the development of Chinese women’s football

The evaluation of Shui Qingxia’s coaching ability depends on how one views the level of Chinese women’s football in the world and even in Asia.

Before winning the Asian Cup, the attention given to Chinese women’s football was limited to the “Gusu City Han 34” in the Tokyo Olympic Asian qualifiers and Bai Yansong’s words of “Don’t criticize women’s football, there are some players who still want to compete in the Olympics”.

As long as one has a little understanding of the history of confrontation between China and South Korea, especially the women’s teams, it is difficult to have any optimism about the results themselves in relation to the development of Chinese women’s football.

After successfully achieving the goal of winning the National Games with a gold medal, Shui Qingxia’s first test as the head coach was the Asian Cup.

Unexpectedly (even CCTV had not initially planned to broadcast), under Water Mama’s guidance, the Chinese women’s football team once again reached the top of Asia after 16 years.

Winning the Asian Cup, combined with the disasters of the Chinese men’s football team during the same time, brought the “Steel Roses” back into the public discourse and attracted attention far beyond their own strength.

Under the spotlight, the weaknesses of the Chinese women’s football team, still in the era of primitive weapons, gradually became exposed:

  • Insufficient talent reserves
  • Inability to compete at high intensity
  • Rough skills on both ends of attack and defense

At this time, some still fantasized that the Chinese women’s football team could reach the quarterfinals of the Women’s World Cup. Although the hype decreased after seeing a series of warm-up match results before the tournament, the exaggerated claims and 19 sponsors still left a lasting impression.

The match between China and England, watched by 55 million viewers, can be described as a crushing defeat for the Chinese women’s football team, who bid farewell to the World Cup stage with disappointment.

After the match,

Wang Shuang’s questioning,

The intention of certain officials to once again reach out and cause trouble for Water Mama was intentionally or unintentionally associated.

At this time,

The Chinese women’s football team still had the opportunity to turn public opinion in their favor at the Asian Games.

However, in the semifinals, they were quickly dismantled by Japan’s three teams in just 45 minutes. Even though they tried to revive their physical advantage in the second half, it was too late.

Shui Qingxia’s coaching decisions once again faced criticism.

Then came the first fire for the new chairman, struck by the North Korean women’s football team with a solid blow.

After the match, the North Korean team thanked the host and hastily left. Fortunately, this was not the men’s football team, otherwise it would have caused a major controversy.

In the absence of Wang Shuang in the second stage, Zhang Linyan, who was originally highly anticipated, showed a higher level of threat with the ball, but in this Chinese women’s football team, she still couldn’t become a true midfield core.

Excluding Zhang Linyan’s individual abilities, it is becoming increasingly apparent that the overall aging Chinese women’s football team is struggling to keep up with the modernization of women’s football.

By the way,

The average age of the Chinese women’s football team is 27+,

The oldest in all of Asia.

The first half of the match,

Is currently the best half that the Chinese women’s football team can present.

But with declining technical support,

The so-called “fighting spirit” is difficult to have a greater impact.

After barely tying with the South Korean team,

Shui Qingxia’s fate had already been decided.

As for the issue of management interfering in player selection again, it is difficult to find a scapegoat more important than this.

How should we evaluate it?

Shui Qingxia’s coaching ability in the domestic women’s football world can be considered top-notch.

However, the lack of talent reserves and the mindset of achieving great results with minimal investment in the era of professional women’s football present major challenges for Chinese women’s football.

Her efforts alone or the collective efforts of “Chinese women’s football” are unable to compete with the popular trend of professionalization in women’s football.

She has expressed things that should not be said in the eyes of many fans,

She must face the gaze of those who still live in fantasy or have their eyes on a piece of cake called women’s football,


Her true voice is:

For Chinese women’s football to establish good competitiveness on a global scale, it not only requires the girls to diligently complete every game and training, but also needs strong support for the youth training of Chinese women’s football. Youth training is the cradle of Chinese football development and only with a sustainable development mechanism can China’s women’s football produce talented players. The “spirit of women’s football” can be passed down.

How many people will think that bringing their children to play football is the greatest support for the development of Chinese women’s football?

Summary of Shui Qingxia’s Coaching Achievements

Conclusion: Achievements outweigh shortcomings!

Let’s first take stock of Shui Qingxia’s coaching achievements with the Chinese women’s football team:

1. 2022 Women’s Asian Cup: Chinese women’s football team won the championship.

Comment: In this tournament, the Chinese women’s football team exceeded expectations and successively eliminated the South Korean and Japanese teams, reclaiming the top spot in Asia after 16 years. Under Shui’s guidance, they quickly reached the pinnacle.

2. 2022 EAFF E-1 Football Championship: Chinese women’s football team won second place with 1 win and 2 draws.

Comment: In this tournament, the Chinese women’s football team remained unbeaten against Japan and South Korea and won 2-0 against Chinese Taipei, securing second place, which is also satisfying.

3. 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup: Chinese women’s football team won 1 game and lost 2 in the group stage and did not advance.

Comment: In this Women’s World Cup, the Chinese women’s football team was grouped with England, Denmark, and Haiti. England was the strongest, Haiti was the weakest, and China and Denmark had similar strength, competing for one spot in the knockout stage. The Chinese women’s football team lost 0-1 to Denmark, failing to advance to the knockout stage. They also suffered a devastating 1-6 defeat against England in the final match.

In terms of strength, it is acceptable not to advance from the group stage. However, the controversy surrounding Shui Qingxia was sparked by her decision to play Wang Shanshan as a defender and the poor performances of key domestic veterans like Zhang Rui and Lou Jiahui, coupled with the 1-6 defeat against England.

4. 2023 Hangzhou Asian Games: Chinese women’s football team won the bronze medal!

Comment: The Chinese women’s football team won the bronze medal at the Hangzhou Asian Games, losing only 3-4 in the semifinals to eventual champions, Japan. Japanese women’s football is in a league of its own in Asia, and this Japanese team was predominantly made up of young players, and we still couldn’t beat them.

In the other matches of the tournament, the Chinese women’s football team easily defeated weaker opponents and scored many goals.

Overall, the bronze medal at the Hangzhou Asian Games is also acceptable for the Chinese women’s football team.

5. Tokyo Olympics Qualifying Tournament: Chinese women’s football team won 1, drew 1, and lost 1, and did not advance from the group stage!

Comment: The match that the Chinese women’s football team lost was against the mysterious North Korean team, which had not appeared on the international stage for several years. The Chinese women’s football team and North Korea were in the same group, and luck was not on their side.

In addition, the performance of the Chinese women’s football team with a 3-0 victory over Thailand and a 1-1 draw with South Korea was still less than satisfactory.

Taking everything into account, in the five major tournaments under Shui Qingxia’s coaching:

Winning the 2022 Women’s Asian Cup was an exceptional performance. Finishing as runner-up in the 2022 EAFF E-1 Football Championship, winning the bronze medal at the Hangzhou Asian Games, and not advancing from the group stage of the Women’s World Cup in 2023 were all normal performances. The results of the Tokyo Olympics Qualifying Tournament were affected by unfavorable group stage draws and did not meet the target.

Therefore, looking at the results, I personally believe that Shui Qingxia’s coaching achievements are satisfactory.

However, in terms of tactics and player selection, Shui Qingxia, like most domestic coaches, tends to be conservative in tactics and favors veteran players. Playing Wang Shanshan, who excels in attacking, as a defender and relying heavily on local league veterans like Zhang Rui and Lou Jiahui have been mistakes.

Moreover, Tang Jiali, Zhao Yujie, and Xiao Yuyi have all publicly questioned Shui Qingxia’s player selections on the internet, indicating that her choices failed to win the support of the players.

Currently, women’s football around the world is developing rapidly, and the Chinese team faces the risk of falling behind. In recent years, many high-level Chinese players have gone abroad, but Shui Qingxia has not fully utilized these players to cultivate a more competitive lineup.

Therefore, I also think it is time for Shui Qingxia to leave her position.

In conclusion: Shui Qingxia’s coaching experience started off on a high note, causing most people to forget the true level of Chinese women’s football, eventually leading to disappointment. However, Shui Qingxia’s contributions to the Chinese women’s football team outweigh her shortcomings!

Finally, I wish Shui Qingxia the best!

The Future of Changing Coaches in Women’s Football and the Discussion on Candidates

With the elimination from the Olympics, women’s football will not have any significant competitions to participate in for a long time.

During this vacuum period, changing coaches is not the issue; the issue is who to change to.

Chen Wanting?

Gao Hong?

Someone from men’s football?

Someone from overseas?

Of course, the most discussed options now are Chen Wanting and Takakura Asako.

In comparison, Takakura’s impressive record of being named Asia’s Best Women’s Coach by AFC for seven times carries more persuasion.

What will Japanese women’s football do, what is it doing? Perhaps Takakura can bring some new ideas to us.

Of course, many people may consider these discussions as trivial matters compared to the development of the women’s football league, youth training, and even the authority of the Football Association.

This is definitely correct. Indeed, everything needs a source of living water before it can flow.

But before the living water comes, the stagnant pool still exists, provoking observation, discussion, and debate.

Besides, although I have expressed various opinions on water’s strategic lineup in almost every important match since the World Cup, I have always maintained respect for her.

In this regard, I also wish Coach Water all the best on her future path.

Responsibility of coaches and the challenge for Shui Qingxia

I have always advocated that coaches should have limited responsibility.

To pour dirty water on Shui Qingxia and label her as the cause of the complete failure in the three major competitions is just like what happened to Jia Xiuquan in the past.

For the Chinese women’s football team in the rebuilding period, it is absurd to fire the coach just because they failed to qualify for the Olympics. The player lineup does not allow the coach to make any significant changes.

Shui Qingxia’s ability as a coach is just at an average level for a local coach. Taking over the Chinese women’s football team, which is in such a mess after the disgraceful elimination in the Olympics, is the biggest challenge to her abilities.

The Glory and Current Level of Chinese Women’s Soccer

Just like the current level of women’s soccer, there is no such thing as someone not matching up to someone else.

The previous glory of Chinese women’s soccer was the result of the early bird catching the worm. Once everyone started paying attention, it was time to return to its original position.

Of course, it is definitely better than men’s soccer because many countries do not have the capability to develop women’s soccer.

The Next Candidate for the Women’s Football Head Coach Position

The position of the head coach of the Chinese national football team has always been a long-standing position with negative public opinion.

The root problem of the national team does not lie with the coach.

No matter how outstanding the personal ability of the head coach is, it can only create ripples on this stagnant water.

However, for the team, this is the bottom line.

To this day, I still remember Shi Qingxia’s interview before the Women’s World Cup: “The world of women’s football is no longer the same as it was twenty or thirty years ago. I hope we can recognize the current situation.”

This sentence hit the nail on the head.

Shi Qingxia’s coaching ability is average. From the Asian Cup to the Women’s World Cup, the women’s football team has almost stood still, to the point where they were completely dominated by teams of similar historical levels like Denmark. When playing against teams with far inferior historical strength like Haiti, they would be caught in a stalemate and could only rely on Wang Shuang’s penalty kick to win. And when faced with strong teams like England, they suffered a 1:6 defeat.

In the face of the development speed of women’s football in various countries around the world, our performance seems to say:


The lineup is also riddled with problems, but I don’t believe there isn’t some “mysterious force” behind it that influences everything, which is a problem that commentators, anchors, and even fans almost unanimously agree on. Can’t Shi Qingxia see it?

The most obvious issue is Wang Shanshan’s position.

The premise seems more reasonable.

But if we change the coach, will women’s football not lag behind the world anymore? Will the selection and arrangement of players be based on their own strategies and preferences?

Obviously, that’s not possible.

Winning the Asian Cup, defeating Japan and South Korea, and the thrilling final game on the sixth day of the Lunar New Year, how inspiring it was. Victory has elements of luck as well as the strength of the Japanese and Korean youth teams, after all, considering the constraints of conscription, claiming the right time, geographical advantage, and having the right people.

Of course, this does not deny Shi Qingxia’s contributions.

She is a hero.

In the Women’s World Cup group stage, two losses and one win, and an appearance that seemed rushed; biting the bronze medal at the Asian Games held at home; losing to North Korea and playing a draw against South Korea in the Women’s Olympic Asian Qualifiers, with no chance at all.

The series of declines after the Asian Cup is nothing more than a return to the original trajectory.

If we have to give an objective evaluation, it should be:

Someone with intercontinental coaching level, a contributor to the national team.


Who will be the next one?