That 2-1 home defeat is a disappointment. It leaves the team with an uphill mountain to climb next Saturday in Frankfurt.
The girls clearly gave their best and did well using all the traditional British values and they should be praised for giving 110% and battling hard.
The game was also a good reminder of the gap between the WSL and the top champions league teams. Higher intensity, pace, footballing quality. You get away with things in the WSL but you can’t in those big games.
A draw would have been a fair result in my opinion because the team didn’t manage to get behind Frankfurt’s defense very often. I was saying to a friend just before Ciara’s equaliser. If we can’t do anything during normal play maybe on set pieces. Bang comes the goal, German gift gratefully accepted with an excellent timed run from Grant at the back post.
So what didn’t go right for me was the midfield battle and the ball utilisation to feed the front 3. Not to say the midfield 3 played badly at all, they were in place for the defending and working hard but they were bypassed often in attacking and possession in that area was scarce.
So with Kim up front unable to take control of the game or not playing back to goals to provide lay-offs and feed midfield players, logic would have had Jordan “the game accelarator” would have taken the playmaker position to create space and opening ? Nope, we had a number 6 and two number 8 type in a midfield three hence an imbalance towards the defensive work. A normal midfield three would have a 6-8-10 type combination.
A shame also that Jennifer Beattie isn’t available at the moment because she would have been useful upfront with her height power and skill.
As the team now needs to win by 2 clear goals, this is the one I would play next week in Frankfurt :
Byrne, Scott Houghton Flaherty Fahey, Chapman Nobbs Little, Davison Beattie or Carter Yankey.
Attack, attack, attack but not with all guns blazing.