Day 7 out of 14 has just been played so let’s have a quick halfway point review.
Arsenal 16 pts 6 games
As far as the League is concerned, only 2 points dropped so far, the latest Birmingham win a confidence boost. Top of the League, 8 points ahead of 3rd placed team, which means Champions League should be there in 2013/14.
The cup form has been poor compared to the usual club standard with defeats to Lincoln and Chelsea and Champions League exit due to a defensive mindset especially in the away leg with no creative player in the midfield 3.
Birmingham 11 points 6 games
Unbeaten in all competition until last Sunday. FA Cup 2012 winners, in the semi-final in the Conti Cup. A season with silverware is so far a success. Champions League will be a discovery for a few players in September and not being seeded might prove difficult as Bristol found out last season. With the final League game at home to Arsenal, the title should go down to the wire again.
Lincoln 8 points 6 games
Leading the chasing pack on goal difference. The Champions League place that was the original the target is well within their grasp. Continental cup has been a success with 9 points out of 9 in a group with opponents like Chelsea and Arsenal. Consistency will be needed to get a top two finish.
Bristol 8 points 6 games
A good season with up and downs like multiple suspensions early in the season or a poor televised game against Arsenal, but also excellent performances against Birmingham at home or Everton away. A very unusual side set up in a 3-4-3 system you don’t see very often. Topped their group in the Conti cup against the likes of Everton and Birmingham.
Everton 8 points 6 games
Everton were very slow in the starting block last year and it cost them a champions league place. This is definitely an improvement this year being only 3 points away from 2nd place. Cup results were disappointing.
Chelsea 8 points 7 games
The only side to have complete the half season schedule, Chelsea have shown great form at time and also the opposite. The team has changed a lot from last season and is slowly gelling to form an exciting attacking side.
As the other 4 chasing teams will need consistency to dislodge Birmingham and Arsenal off the top 2.
Liverpool 4 points 6 games
There has been an improvement in term of football quality compared to last year. Some shrewd signings and a a first win last week was a oncfidence boost. Liverpool will cause problems to any team if they can compete physically a little more and install their gameplan.
Doncaster 3 points 5 games
Many changes from last seasons in term of playing staff. They are clearly trying and working hard at developping a passing and attacking football. The only thing missing is sharpness is better movement and shooting accuracy, combined with defensive organisation. The other problem is discontent voiced by a forward about players selection towards the manager, she might have a point, but that story shouldn’t really have come out in the press surely? And I am sure other players are unhappy but they don’t tweet it.
Overall, it is safe to say the League quality has improved compared to last year, abit more entertianment, a bit more attacking football. The weather has been poor and some pitches have suffered. Let’s hope there will be some top quality foreign signings after the Olympics to boost the League quality even more.