FA WSL

Eni back at Birmingham

It is always good news to see an English player who went to play professional football in the WPS back in England. Especially when the girls who was a rough diamond at the time she left has come back as a polished diamond and much improved technically ( cone slalom anyone).

So what will she bring to the Blues attack? First an extensive experience of the highest level and an unbelieveable pace that will unsettle every defence in England and in Europe in the Champions League. There won’t be many center back who will relish a race battle against her.

The big question is how she will affect the Blues football style ? It is obvious that her game is naturally efficient with space in front of her. She can outsprint anyone bar Rachel Williams and take on defenders in one on one at will.

So will Birmingham play a direct football towards the 2 arrows that Williams and Aluko are ? It would make sense to use the long ball up top behind the opposition defense. If we remember last WSL season, Birmingham started a bit like a ball possession team and in the second half of the season evolved into a team using direct football towards Rachel Williams.

So my guess is a very solid defensive block with a low position on the pitch and 2 forwards ready to run at every counter attack opportunity. A forward trio of Aluko, Taylor and Williams will certainly create havoc against defence with slow defenders. The only downside of it will be predictability…

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FA WSL

FA WSL transfer window – January

The January movements are in bold. The transfer window is  opened now, the FA does not communicate on it but the FIFA rules make it compulsory to have a 12 week transfer window.

Loaned players are not included as they will come back to their parent team for the soon starting pre-season.

Arsenal

In :

Out : Rebecca Spencer (ASJ Soyaux ) Meaghan Sargeant ( Lincoln)

Birmingham

In : Eni Aluko ( Sky Blue FC)

Out : Stephanie Curtis ( Bristol), – (Chelsea)

Bristol

In : Stephanie Curtis ( Birmingham )

Out : Katie Sherwood ( Chelsea ), Anouk Hoogendijk ( FC Utrecht)

Chelsea

In : Katie Sherwood ( Bristol ), Suzanne Lappin ( Liverpool),  Sophie Ingle (Cardiff), (Birmingham )

Out : Naomi Cole (Lewes)**,  Leanne Champ ( Millwall)**,  Emma Plewa (Spurs)**,  Rebecca Jane (Reading)**

Doncaster

In : Sue Smith , Leandra Little ( Lincoln ) Julie-Ann Russell (Peamount)

Out : Helen Alderson*** ( Sunderland), Abbie Prosser*** ( Barnet),  Shelly Cox*** (Porstmouth) , Vicky Exley***,  Precious Hamilton ( Lincoln)

Everton

In :

Out :

Lincoln

In : Laura Alleway ( Brisbane Roar ) , Collette McCallum ( Perth Glory), Meaghan Sargeant ( Arsenal) Precious Hamilton ( Doncaster)

Out : Sue Smith, Leandra Little ( Doncaster )

Liverpool

In :

Out : Suzanne Lappin ( Chelsea)

** No  longer on Chelsea website in the players squad list

*** No  longer on Doncaster website in the players squad list

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FA WPL

The FA Premier League Cup

Well a competition when you don’t know the definitive format when the season starts is a bit of a problem to be honest.

The League program now is going to be disrupted by those multiple group games as opposed to a the traditional knock-out format you expect in a  cup.

When you think that teams have vital games for win a title or avoid relegation, it beggars belief that those games can be played a month or 2 months apart with other teams already knowing what to do to win the League get promoted or save their bacon.  Not really a fair competition, IMO.  Anyway the draw was made :

The top two from each of the seven groups go through to the knockout stage, along with the two best third-placed sides.

Group 1 – Blackburn Rovers, Rochdale, Preston North End, Manchester City

Group 2 – Tottenham Hotspur, Barnet, Colchester United, West Ham United, Watford

Group 3 – Portsmouth, Plymouth Argyle, Reading, Keynsham Town

Group 4 – Charlton Athletic, Brighton & Hove Albion, Millwall Lionesses, Queens Park Rangers, Gillingham

Group 5 – Sheffield FC, Leeds United, Sunderland, Leeds City Vixens

Group 6 – Rotherham United, Derby County, Leicester City, Nottingham Forest

Group 7 – Sporting Club Albion, Cardiff City, Aston Villa, Coventry City

The big question is how the best 3rd placed will be decided especially as some groups have 4 teams and some other 5 teams.  At international level FIFA UEFA everything is clear with all rules published, here we are clearly in the dark and it is really annoying. Same as the 2nd champions league place offered to Birmingham after being originally given to the FA Cup winners.

So here are yesterdays results and as it is round 1 only, it is a bit early to know who is likely to qualify with so many games to be played.

GROUP 1
Blackburn Rovers 3-0 Rochdale
Preston North End 2-4 Manchester City
GROUP 2
Colchester United 1-1 West Ham United
Tottenham Hotspur 0-3 Barnet
GROUP 3
Portsmouth 7-0 Plymouth Argyle
Reading 3-1 Keynsham Town
GROUP 4
Charlton Athletic 6-2 Brighton & Hove Albion
Millwall Lionesses 1-1 Queens Park Rangers
GROUP 5
Sheffield FC P-P Leeds United
Sunderland P-P Leeds City Vixens
GROUP 6
Leicester City WFC 1-2 Nottingham Forest
GROUP 7
Aston Villa P-P Coventry City
Sporting Club Albion 0-2 Cardiff City

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FA WPL

The promotion battle WPL Southern division ep 2

QPR 0 West Ham 1

West Ham takes another step towards promotion with that big away win at QPR.  Porstmouth game at Gillingham was called off due to an unplayable pitch. Colchester United League season is finished. They have cup games and friendlies gainst WSL side until the end of the season and have to wait anxiously for the other teams’ results.

1. Colchester 35 pts GD +16 (45-29)

2. West Ham 34 pts GD+16 (35-19) maximum 37 pts

3. Porstmouth 30 pts GD +22 (41-19) maximum 39 pts

 

Portsmouth definitely in the driving seat with 7 points good enough to clinch the title/promotion.

The upcoming fixtures are :

Porstmouth v Plymouth 26/02

West Ham v Brighton 04/03

QPR V Porsrmouth 18/03

Gillingham v Porstmouth TBA

 

 

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FA WPL

The title battle National division ep3

Sunderland beat Cardiff and now 3 points clear of Leeds with both team with 3 games to play.

All the other sides are now mathematically out of the race.
Sunderland has 35 points and a +28 goal difference. Leeds has 32 points and a +19  goal difference.
The 6  remaining games are :
Villa v Sunderland 19/02
Cardiff v Sunderland 26/02
Reading v Leeds 04/03 ( crucial game, title might be decided on the day, reading also in relegation trouble need points )
Charlton v Sunderland 18/03
Leeds v Cardiff 01/04
Cardiff v Leeds 15/04
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FA WPL

The relegation battle National division ep 4

Sunderland 3 Cardiff 0

Watford 2 Forest 0

Survival Sunday went well for Watford with goals for Wynne and Wiltshire. Forest soon to enter the relegation trouble zone soon if they carry on with their actual form.

Here is the table as of tonight 2 teams will go down from the following contenders, they are ranked by the maximum potential points they can reach and their actual League position is on the left column.

10. Watford 11 points (17 pts maximum) GD -26

7. Reading 16 points ( 22 pts maximum) GD -13

9. Forest 11 points (23 pts maximum) GD -20

6.  Aston Villa 18 points ( 33 pts maximum) GD 0

4. Coventry 21 points ( 33 pts maximum) GD 0

6.  Aston Villa 18 points ( 33 pts maximum) GD 0

8. Cardiff 15 points ( 33  pts maximum) GD0

 

Coventry 2 points away from safety with 4 games to play.

Villa 5 points away from safety with 5 games to play.

Cardiff 8 points away from safety with 6 games to play.

Forest 12 points away from safety with 4  games to play.

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FA Women's Cup, Game reports

Gillingham v Colchester United FA Cup

The game was played at Chatham FC on a cold Sunday afternoon. Gillingham is a friendly team with the chairman doing the turnstiles and a very pleasant chap.  The pink kit is a bit strange and the red kit from Col U was change from their usual home colours.

The games was played in a very good spirit and Gillingham won 3-0. I still haven’t managed to understand what formation Gillingham were using on the day ie back 3 or back 4.  It was a very competitive game played in a good spirit on the pitch that was not easy for a passing game.  The final score was logical with Gillingham defending well to keep a clean sheet and Col U clearly missing Longhurst up front. Especially her power and off the ball movement. Gillingham also could not play Quantrill as both players are Chelsea’s and would have been cup should they have been used. Overall a very entertaining game in a chilly weather.

Star player : Nathalie Crinean

Highlights of the game can be found here : http://gillinghamladies.clubfans.co.uk/2012/01/11/gills-ladies-tv-fa-cup-highlights/

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