Chelsea Women’s manager Emma Hayes recited poetry in a bizarre press conference on Friday regarding a previous incident. The future United States women’s national team coach made the remarks when she was asked about a recent confrontation with Arsenal Women’s coach Jonas Eidevall.

Hayes essentially shoved Eidevall out of the way after the two managers shook hands following game on March 31st. The Gunners edged the Blues 1-0 to collect the FA’s Women’s League Cup trophy on the day. Stina Blackstenius scored the lone goal in the game just four minutes from a potential penalty shootout.

The crux of the argument, according to Eidevall, came from how many soccer balls the two teams wanted to use throughout the matchup. Arsenal Women wanted to utilize a multi-ball system in order to help speed up the game. Hayes and Chelsea, on the other hand, preferred to use the same ball during the match. As a result of the disagreement, it was finally agreed that one ball would be used. Nevertheless, Eidevall claims that Chelsea players broke this agreement later during the tense matchup.

Chelsea coach says conversation with son helped her deal with controversy

Immediately following the incident, Hayes accused Eidval of “male aggression” during the matchup. However, nearly two weeks after the situation, the coach used an analogy based on a discussion with her son to better explain her actions. “My son said to me after the game: ‘Mummy, when you push someone in school you’re asked to go and take time out,'” Hayes told reporters on Friday.

“I said to him: ‘Do you know what darling? You can’t meet aggression with aggression, all you can do is tell the teacher. All you can do is go and explain to the teacher why you think something is unfair.'”

“You cannot meet aggression with aggression. I thought it was a really good conversation to have with my son after the final.”

Hayes answers reporter’s question by quoting Frost poem

Hayes was then asked about having any potential regrets over the shove or her postgame comments. The manager then quoted Robert Frost’s Choose Something Like A Star poem to answer the question.

“When at times the mob is swayed, to carry praise or blame too far, we may choose something like a star, to stay our minds on and be staid,” stated the Chelsea Women’s manager.

“I’ve already explained an important analogy that I shared with my son and the lessons learned. My focus is on moving forward and I’ve had time to look at my star. I can only control my own behaviors. I’ve reflected on that and next time I need to listen to my son’s advice and go to my teacher if I have anything to say.”

“I’ll lean on lots of things, not just poetry. I’ve got different mentors, different spiritual leaders, a great family. Being in my position is not easy so I need to keep my sanity. I’m grateful that things like that help.”

The coach’s actions may not exactly go down well if they continued here in the United States. Hayes is set to finish out the current campaign with Chelsea before officially taking the USWNT head coaching job. The Blues will end their 2023/24 season at the end of May. The USWNT then has two friendlies against South Korea scheduled for June 1st and June 4th. Hayes is set to become the highest paid women’s soccer coach in the world. 

Photo credits: IMAGO / News Images.