2017 games attended

Here are the games I have and plan to attend in 2017.

1 – 08/01  Spurs Ladies 3 Gills Ladies 0 FA Women’s Cup Round

2 – 11/01 Middlesex 3 Kent 4

3 -15/01 Aston Villa 2 Durham Women 0 friendly

4 – 24/01 France U17 2 v England U17 0 international friendly

5 – 26/01 France U17 2 v Germany U17 7 international friendly

6 – 29/01  Reading dev 4 v London Bees dev 1  FA WSL Dev League Southern

7- 01/02 Juvisy 0 Olympique Lyonnais 1 Division 1 Feminine

8 – 05/02 Millwall 1 v London Bees  0 FA Women’s Cup R3

9-11/02 London Bees 1 v Brighton  1 FA WSL 2

10-12/02 Arsenal Development 8 Brighton Development 0 FA WSL Development League

11-19/02 Arsenal Ladies 4 v Kelly Smith All Start XI 2

12-25/02 Montpellier 0  Lyon 3 Division 1 Feminine

13-26/02 Watford 2 London Bees 3 FA WSL 2

14-04/03 London Bees 3 v Oxford 1 FA WSL 2

15-07/03 Scotland U19 0 Germany U19 3 La Manga

16- 07/03 England U19 4 Italy U19 0 La Manga

17- 07/03 France U19 0 USA U19 2 La Manga

18-12/03 Arsenal Res 2  Sunderland Res 0  FA WSL Dev League cup semi-final

19-19/03 Arsenal 10  Tottenham 0 FA Women’s Cup R5

20-25/03 England U17  2 Poland U17 0  UEFA Elite round

21-26/03 Birmingham 1 Arsenal 0 FA Womens’ Cup pR6

22- 27/03 England U17 2v Germany U17 1 UEFA Elite round

23- 01/04 London Bees 2  Sheffield 1

24- 02/04 Millwall 2 Everton 1

25- 06/04 France U19 3  Portugal U19 1 Elite round

26 -07/04 Netherlands 1  France 2 International Friendly

27- 08/04 France U19 4  Slovenia U19 0 Elite Round

28- 09/04 Watford 1 Birmingham 4 Friendly

29- 15/04 London Bees 1 Millwall 2 FA WSL 2

30- 16/04 Arsenal Ladies dev 10 Watford Ladies 0 FA WSL dev League

31- 17/04  Birmingham 1 Chelsea 1 *(4-2 pso)  FA Women’s Cup SF

32- 22/04 Bristol 1 Reading 3  FA WSL 1

33- 30/04 Chelsea 6  Yeovil Town 0 FA WSL 1

34- 03/05 Reading 0 Chelsea 4 FA WSL 1

35- 05/05 Germany 2 France 1 UEFA U17 Euros

36- 08/05 France 1 Spain 1 UEFA U17 Euros

37- 08/05 England 0 Norway 2 UEFA U17 Euros

38 – Watford 2 Spurs 0 Friendly bcd

39-13/05 Manchester City 4 Birmingham City 1 FA Women’s Cup final

40- 14/05 Millwall Lionesses Dev 5 Arsenal Ladies Dev 5 FA WSL Development League

41-17/05 Chelsea 2 Arsenal 2 FA WSL 1 Spring Series

42 – 20/05 Arsenal 4 Birmingham 2

43- 20/05 London Bees Everton

44- 21/05 Brighton 3 Sheffield 1

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Manchester City v Birmingham City

It was an easy 4-1 victory in the end for Manchester City as they dominated for most of the game and took advantage of the chances they got in the first half, then stayed in control in the second half.

On paper it looked like a promising encounter with Birmingham’s defensive strength and City’s attacking football. Unfortunately, a lot of Birmingham players offered underwhelming performances on the day and you cannot win games with an opponent like City under those circumstances.

What was really surprising to me was the manner in which the three first half goals were conceded. Three errors that you do not normally associate with Birmingham City.

1 Poor marking from a free kick at the near post with two players unmarked and it ended up with an own goal.

2 Then a ball lost from building up from the back with a careless giveaway, full credit to City for taking advantage in transition with the Birmingham defense out of position and punishing this error with a killer goal.

3 A misjudged cross by the goalkeeper and a simple finish with a header into the empty net. Again two players were unamrked.  What makes it even stranger is Berger was really superb dealing will all the other crosses and high ball during the whole game, but missed that one.

So with 3-0 at half time, there was no coming back for Birmingham, except if there was a huge effort from their side to create more chances as creativity was the missing element in the final third. They are certainly missing Follis in attack who has yet to kick a ball for them and with two defensive win-backs creativity is limited.

Their 3-4-1-2 system  with White in the number 10 position did not seem to work against City’s 4-3-3, but I don’t think the system was the main  problem. They put Wellings on for Ayisi and kept the 3-4-1-2 and it produced a goal with the young forward bringing a good impetus as soon as she came on.

Manchester City  were as efficient and classical in their play as they usually do. A ball possession game with sharp passing using all the strength and technical skill from their players. They also had a lot of experience with a starting 11 full of international players. They went about their business professionally and did the job very well and were deserved winners.

Birmingham clearly had a younger side and maybe that explain why some players froze and did not perform especially in the first half. What was strange was their build up play, the ball went up to the midfield players then straight back at the defenders or at Berger. Just putting the defense and the goalie under pressure and inviting City to press them.

The four Birmingham midfielders were disappointing in the first half. The two wing back faced tough customers with Bronze and Stokes, backed up by Parris and Lawley with the centre backs helping the wing-back when they were in 2v1 situation. The usual and normal tactical situation in the 3-4-1-2 v 4-3-3 was not managed very well.

The two central midfielders faced the three City midfielders Scott, Christiansen and Walsh who was sitting deeper with White coming from her number 10 position to help them main it a 3v3 game in midfield.  Why the two central midfielders did not perform well on the day is a puzzling. It meant Man City dominated the wings and the central midfield area overall. When they are  in control they are extremely dangerous and had three goals at half-time to show for it.

Now I was expecting a Birmingham half-time tactical change, maybe go to a back four, or having White moving to a higher position on the pitch where she could do more damage in a 3-4-3 system or making substitutions for the players who performed badly in the first half.

No change happened and City went into control mode managing the game and making sure, it was well under control. Wellings introduction meant more direct runs and pace up front and it brought a goal and a small light of hope, that was extinguished with another superb City goal in transition from Jill Scott, who turned round Harrop and finished well.

Overall Manchester City were deserved winners on the day performing to the expectations while Birmingham could have given them a harder game but they did not manage to reach the performance level they reached against Arsenal and Chelsea unfortunately for them.

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The FA giving us fake news again, this time about the FA WSL2 Spring Series title

It is well documented that the FA WSL twitter and website are making gaffe after gaffe and again they have come with a new one about the FA WSL 2 Spring Series winner.

For those who do not know about the previous cock-ups they claimed that Manchester City was the first FA WSL team to reach the Champions League semi-final. Then advertised the FA Women’s Cup final with Chelsea Ladies as one of the team in it. The final will see Man City play Birmingham City tonight at 5.15pm at Wembley Stadium. By the way, if you are reading this blog, you should attend it and make it a record number.

So what are the FA claiming this time ? “The Toffees are targeting sweet title success this weekend”. Surely they made a mistake in the title, but the post itself must be correct ?

Well no, they repeat the same absurdity again :

“Everton will be crowned champions of the FA Women’s Super League 2 Spring Series if they beat Watford this Sunday.”

Let’s have a look at the table, Everton have 16 points and a 17-7 goal difference, Durham have 16 points and a 10-5 goal difference. And the fixture list : Everton v Watford 14/05, London Bees v Everton 20/05, Aston Villa v Durham 21/05 .

 

Let’s make a simple calculation : should Everton beat Watford 1-0, they would reach 19 points and a 18-7 goal difference. The FA would then give them the trophy according to the article.

 

Then the following week with nothing to play for, they could lose 3-0 at Bees. 19 points and a 18-10 goal difference. And on final day, should Durham win 4-0 at Villa, they would also reach 19 points and a 14-5 goal difference. As per the FA WSL Spring Series rules, the first tie-breaker in case of teams finishing level on points is the goal difference.

 

So we could with finish with Durham with +9 and Everton with +8. It is not an unrealistic prospect at all, although the Bees’ form suggest they will have a hard time beating the Toffees.  And as mentioned by my good friend Dion, something that I had not spotted

 

 

 

Aston Villa have 14 points and two games to play away to Doncaster and home to Durham. Should Villa win today, they would reach 17 points and could be crowned champions if Everton final tally is 19 points with a title shootout on final day.

 

 

Basically, the FA WSL putting fake news on their website / social media seems to be the flavor of the season and you wonder why there are no basics checks for accuracy from the governing body.

 

 

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Watford Ladies v Spurs Ladies

I went to Vicarage Road on Wednesday to watch an interesting friendly between Watford currently in FA WSL 2 and Spurs Ladies who have just won the FA WPL Southern Division and will contest the FA WSL promotion play-off against Blackburn Rovers.

Unfortunately for fans, the game was played behind closed door and I guess this is due to cost involved in policing stewarding etc as the matchday revenue would certainly not cover the use of the ground.

I think it was good for both team’s players to play at such a venue rather than their usual ground.  What I noticed is all the players seem to enjoy the venue and not troubled by playing at such a nice ground. Obviously a couple of Watford players had already played there and Spurs recently won the FA WPL title at White Hart Lane.

Watford ended up 2-0 winners in a game where both sides decided to rotate their team. Simona Petkova scored an excellent volley from a corner in the first half and Cherelle Albert added a second goal from the penalty spot.

It was certainly interesting as Spurs are certainly looking to promotion in the FA WSL and from the number of games I saw this year they would not look out of place, the only exception being the FA Women’s Cup North London Derby where they looked like a rabbit caught in the headlight and did not perform at their usual level.

Watford Ladies are obviously in a rebuilding process with Keith Boanas trying new players and he is likely to make even more signings during the Summer break as players become available.

So it was an entertaining game and a real shame, only friends and family were invited to watch it.

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FA WSL 2 Summer Transfer window

The Summer transfer windows opens on the 23rd of June and will close on the 14th of September

 

This week’s transfers

Confirmed transfers

Extended contracts

Expected deals to go through 

 

 

Doncaster Belles

In :

Out :

Everton Ladies

In :

Out :

Durham WFC

In :

Out :

Sheffield FC

In :

Out :

London Bees

In :

Out :

Aston Villa

In :

Out : Mollie Rouse ( Louisville Cardinals), Grace Smith ( West Virginia Mountainers)

Millwall Lionesses

In :

Out :

Oxford United

In :

Out :

Watford Ladies

In :

Out : A

Brighton Women

In :

Out :  Hollie Olding ( University of Kentucky), Alessia Russo

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FA WSL 1 Summer transfer window 2017

The Summer transfer windows opens on the 23rd of June and will close on the 14th of September

This week’s transfers

Confirmed transfers

Extended contracts

Expected deals to go through 

 

Manchester City

In :

Out :

 

Chelsea

In :

Out : Lois Joel ( West Virginia Mountainers)

 

Arsenal

In :

Out :

Liverpool

In :

Out :

Birmingham

In :

Out :

 

Sunderland

In :

Out :

Reading

In :

Out :

Yeovil Town

In :

Out :

Bristol City

In :

Out :

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FA WSL 1 winter transfer window 2017

Here is the recap for this winter’s transfer window that has closed on the 6th of April :

This week’s transfers

Confirmed transfers

Extended contracts

Expected deals to go through 

Manchester City

In : Keira Walsh (2019/20), Abbie McManus, Megan Campbell, Melissa Lawley ( Birmingham City), Carli Lloyd ( Houston Dash), Georgia Stanway

Out : Daphné Corboz ( Sky Blue FC)

Chelsea

In :  Laura Coombs ( Liverpool –  end of loan),  Maren Mjelde ( Avaldnes IL), Eniola Aluko, Gemma Davison, Anna Borges ( 2018), Ramona Bachmann ( Wolfsburg), Erin Cuthbert (Glasgow City), Crystal Dunn ( Washington Spirit), Millie Bright, Hannah Blundell, Rebecca Spencer, Jodie Brett, Millie Farrow, Fran Kitching, Deanna Cooper ( London Bees), Karen Carney, Hedvig Lindahl, Bethany England, Carly Telford ( Notts County)

Out : Laura Rafferty ( Brighton), Jenna Legg ( Brighton), Rosella Ayane, Ana Borges ( Sporting- loan ), Alessia Russo ( Brighton), Anne Meiwald ( London Bees), Jodie Brett ( Bristol -loan), Millie Farrow ( Bristol – loan), Laura Coombs ( Liverpool)

Arsenal

In : Kim Little ( Seattle Reign), Carla Humphrey ( Doncaster Belles – end of loan), Danielle Van De Donk, Heather O’Reilly ( FC Kansas City), Beth Mead ( Sunderland), Anna Moorhouse ( Doncaster Belles), Carla Humphrey, Chloe Kelly, Charlotte Devlin, Molly Peters ( West Ham), Jordan Littleboy ( London Bees), Louise Quinn ( Notts County)

Out : Natalia Pablos Sanchon ( Rayo Vallecano), Marta Corredera ( Atletico Madrid), Vicky Losada ( FC Barcelona) , Casey Stoney ( Liverpool ), Josephine Henning ( Olympique Lyonnais), Emma Byrne ( Brighton), Rachel Yankey, Lucy Parker ( LSU Soccer), Kelly Smith ( retirement), Asisat Osholala ( Dalian Quinjan), Charlotte Devlin ( Millwall – loan)

Liverpool

In : Mayumi Pacheco ( Doncaster – end of loan), Casey Stoney ( Arsenal), Kirtsy Hanson ( end of loan – Sheffield), Danielle Gibbons, Satara Murray, Marta Harris, Laura Coombs ( Chelsea), Jess Clarke ( Notts County), Amy Turner ( Notts County)

Out : Rosie White ( Boston Breakers), Emma Lundh ( IFK Viksjö), Mandy Van Den Berg ( Reading Women), Laura Coombs ( Chelsea – end of loan), Kirsty Hanson ( Doncaster), Mayumi Pacheco ( Doncaster – transfer), Hannah Dale( Sheffield – loan), Mollie Green ( Everton)

Birmingham

In : Mark Skinner ( manager), Leanne Hall ( assistant manager), Jess Carter, Sarah Mayling ( Aston Villa), Ellen White ( Notts County), Kerys Harrop, Paige Williams (Verona), Emma Follis ( Reading), Rachel Williams ( Notts County)

Out : David Parker ( manager), Marcus Bignot ( head coach), Melissa Lawley ( Manchester City), Corina Schroeder, Alex Windell, Kirsty Linnett ( Notts County)

Notts County Ladies ( folded)

In : Rachel Williams, Jo Potter, Jade Moore, Leanne Crichton, Angharad James, Kirsty Linnett ( Birmingham), Aileen Whelan, Louise Quinn ( Eskiltuna United), Shelly Provan ( Reading), Bianca Bragg (unattached)

Out : Avi Luik, Sophie Walton ( Doncaster Belles), Ellen White ( Birmingham City), Laura Jayne O’Neill (Forest),  Sophie Bradley-Auckland, Alice Hassall ( Aston Villa), Taome Oliver ( Oxford United), Jess Clarke ( Liverpool)

Sunderland

In : Hilde Gunn Olsen, Anke Preuss ( ASGM Verona), Dominique Bruinenberg ( ASGM Verona),  Beverly Leon, Stephanie Bannon, Abby Holmes, Hayley Sharp, Melanie Reay ( Head coach)

Out : Emma Kelly ( Middlesborough Ladies), Rachel Furness ( Reading), Beth Mead ( Arsenal),  Brooke Chaplen ( Reading), Rachel Laws ( Durham), Charlotte Potts ( Middlesborough Ladies)

Reading

In : Mandy Van Den Berg ( Liverpool), Mary Earps, Rachel Furness ( Sunderland), Lauren Bruton, Melissa Fletcher, Charlie Estcourt, Anna Green ( Malbackens IF), Rebecca Jane, Kirsty McGhee, Brooke Chaplen ( Sunderland), Harriet Scott, Emma Follis, Amber Stobbs, Anissa Lahmari ( PSG -loan), Kirsty Linnett ( Notts County), Jo Potter ( Notts County), Jade Moore (Notts County)

Out : Jade Boho-Sayo ( Madrid CFF) , Laura May-Walkley ( London Bees) , Helen Ward ( Yeovil), Lois Roche ( Aland United), Shelley Provan ( Notts County), Amber-Keegan Stobbs ( Everton), Emma Follis (Birmingham), Nia Jones ( Yeovil)

Yeovil Town

In : Helen Ward* ( Reading), Nathalie Haigh, Helen Bleazard, Ellie Curson, Hannah Short, Stephanie Williams, Charlotte Haynes, Jessie Jones, Leah Burridge, Kelly Snook, Lucy Quinn, Steph Williams, Nia Jones ( Reading), Molly Clark ( Chichester), Angharad James ( Notts County)

Out : Kayleigh Green ( Chietti Calcio Feminile), Ellis Hillmann, Emily Donovan ( Oxford), Lauren Townsend ( Cardiff Met), Danielle Carlton ( Spurs Ladies)

Bristol City

In : Millie Turner ( Everton), Georgia Evans, Caitlin Leach, Megan Alexander, Jasmine Matthews, Olivia Fergusson, Eloise Wilson, Lily Agg ( Brighton), Corinne Yorston, Frankie Brown, Chloe Arthur, Claire Emslie, Hayley Ladd, Loren Dykes, Jodie Brett ( Chelsea -loan), Millie Farrow ( Chelsea – loan)

Out : Grace McCatty ( Durham Women), Hannah Reid ( Hibs)

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