Pauw claims she was 'angry and destroyed' by Caldwell's comments

Pauw claims she was 'angry and destroyed' by Caldwell's comments

Former Republic of Ireland manager Vera Pauw has said she was angry and destroyed by comments made by her former player, Dianne Caldwell, after her Ireland departure.

Pauw was the Ireland manager for four years, and in that time she managed to help the Irish women's team get to their first-ever Women's World Cup last summer.

However, there were internal disputes about playing style, and an issue about subbing a player off in the final group game became an issue for Katie McCabe.

The saga between Ireland's captain and the former Ireland manager became water under the bridge, but shortly after, Pauw was replaced by Eileen Gleeson for the Nations League games.

Another interesting aspect about Pauw's departure was Dianne Caldwell's comments claiming that Ireland's recent success was in spite of Pauw. This was seen as a swipe at Pauw.

"From my position as a pretty experienced player, I don't think it was up to the standard I expected at the international level," Caldwell said last year.

"I think the results and performances that we got were in spite of Vera being our coach.

"We just need to raise our standards at all levels of performance, on and off the pitch. Expectations of ourselves and expectations of staff."

Caldwell eventually cleared up her comments months later, but for Pauw, the comments have not naturally gone down well with her.

Pauw claimed that she wanted Caldwell on the Irish plane to the World Cup and was advised to do the opposite, but went with her initial choice and against the wishes of the rest of the staff, despite her lack of minutes for her club.

"Where in men's football would a player who is given the opportunity, who has only played a few minutes, go to the World Cup and be part of it?" Pauw said this on Richie Sadlier's podcast "Episode" with Second Captains.

"In our conversations, all the other technical staff members wanted to put her on the table as a discussion point. I have said, "Diane Caldwell is not a discussion point. "Niamh Fahey had a calf injury; she was still dealing with it. With us, she played all the games. I said, "If she falls out, who do you trust—someone with almost 100 caps?"

"I would choose the one with experience. Diane Caldwell is not on the table. So I protected her in all senses. She hardly played; she wasn't on the table as a discussion point, and she does this to me.

"She made sure to enter the field at the end of the last game. She probably had her mind set on playing her 100th cap at the World Cup or something.

"The fact is that staff members—plural—came to me and said, "If Diane is not playing, we need to consider bringing her because of her attitude." I said, "Well, we will manage. I think she's worth it; she deserves it." Then, coming out with this, we had planned every single detail."

When asked how she felt about Caldwell's remarks from 2023, Pauw claimed that she was hurt and destroyed. The former Ireland boss also added that if what had been said about her was said about a former coach during her tenure, then she would have told said player to pack their bags and go home. Pauw also took umbrage with current Ireland boss Eileen Gleeson for not pulling Caldwell up on her remarks.

"I was angry; I was destroyed. Probably everything that she wanted me to feel," Pauw added.

"I would have said, "You can go up to your room, pack your bag and leave the camp."

"I'm disappointed because two weeks earlier we [Pauw and Gleeson] said, "Nothing comes between us. We love each other." We spoke it out: "Nothing comes between us."

"The first thing she says is, "Diane has the right to say things because everybody can have an open opinion and everybody can share their opinion."

Pauw also went on to claim that she and McCabe have cleared the air since their dispute during the World Cup. However, Pauw claims that the Ireland captain did not thank her by name in her post-tournament speech.

"I've spent two times an hour on the phone with her after [the tournament]. She perfectly realised what she had done. Probably that is why she had a positive interview at the first camp after.

"That was positive; we said to each other what we felt. She never mentioned anything like things were not okay."

The full podcast can be listened to here.