The top 10 games that I attended in 2012

10. Scotland v France, Euro 2013 qualifier

A good quality game in a beautiful city Edinburgh. The France team finishing the game in a 2-1-7 system was quite unusual. Last 10 minutes looked like a training drill. I also got the whole away team sandwich tray for myself as well.

9. Glasgow City v Arsenal Ladies, Friendly.

Mainly because Arsenal went quickly 2-0 down in a 4-4-2 system and changed back to 4-3-3 after 20 minutes. The last time I saw Arsenal Ladies use a 4-4-2 system was when we had the redcurrent shirts back in 2005/06.

8. Canada v France , Cyprus Cup final. 

First title at senior level for France. I had the pleasure of watching the game from the press area away from the cold which was a bonus.

7. USA v France,  Olympic games.

World class intensity, a disappointing game for the French team that  could not compete with the USA physical power and was steamrolled.

6. Japan v France,  Olympic games semi-final.

Another  bitter disappointing defeat, great spectacle for the neutrals. Loads of drama, too many costly defensive  mistakes mixed with a strange line-up. And a lack of luck.

5 .England v France Cyprus Cup

The lack of idea and attacking creativity from Hope Powell’s England was clearly exposed as poor lone strikers White and then Williams were totally isolated with no passes reaching  them for 90 minutes is the most vivid recollection. It is always good to work hard to win the ball back but if you don’t know what to do with it. Well we saw the result and we saw in the Olympics quarter finals with Team GB that the lesson had not been learnt.

4. USA v Japan Olympic Games final. 

World class football from the top 2 teams in the world. An opposition of style. Brilliant.

3. Chelsea v Arsenal FA Cup semi-final

An exceptional individual performance that night from Sarah Quantrill who kept a clean sheet in a 2-0 shock Chelsea win.

2. Lyon v Frankfurt UEFA Champions League Final

World class football between two great teams. Quality all over the pitch. Abily’s 35 yards lob was a peach.

1. Bristol v Birmingham Conti Cup

Tactically the most interesting game by a mile : a 3-4-3 against an asymetrical 4-4-2. It had everything : half time change to counter the opposition tactics, an immediate change to counter that response and all the ingredients that makes you understand why people say coaches play chess during a football game.


My 2012 football games schedule

Games attended in 2012 (87)

January (5)

08/01 Gillingham v Colchester United FA Cup

15/01 Haringey v Arsenal res London FA Cup

22/01 Bristol res v Arsenal res WPL reserves cup

28/01 Middlesex U17 v Everton U17 COE cup

29/01  Chelsea res v Arsenal res WPL Southern

February (7)

12/02 Keynsham v Gillingham FA Cup round 3

16/02 Army v Middlesex Southern counties competition

18/02 Rangers v Arsenal Friendly

19/02 Glasgow City v Arsenal Friendly

21/02 Forest v Arsenal friendly

23/02 Gillingham v Arsenal friendly

25/02 Middlesex v Arsenal COE U17 national cup

March (9)

04/03 England v France Cyprus cup

06/03 Canada v France Cyprus Cup

11/03 Chelsea v Brighton FA Cup

14/03 Arsenal v Goteborg UEFA WCL

14/03 Reading v Porstmouth WPL Cup

15/03 Watford v Spurs WPL Cup

18/03 Chelsea v Lincoln FA WSL Conti Cup

29/03 Spurs v MSA London FA County Cup final

31/03 Arsenal v Manchester United COE U17 national Cup

April (9)

02/04 Finland v Austria UEFA U19 Elite round

02/04 England v Wales UEFA U19 Elite round

04/04 Barnet v QPR Middlesex Senior Cup final

08/04 Arsenal v Everton FA WSL

09/04 Chelsea v Doncaster FA WSL

15/04 Arsenal v Frankfurt UEFA WCL

21/04 Frankfurt v Arsenal UEFA WCL

22/04 Chelsea v Liverpool FA WSL

26/04 Arsenal v Chelsea FA WSL

May (10)

03/05 Chelsea v Arsenal FA Women’s Cup

12/05 Arsenal v Millwall COE U17

12/05 Bristol v Birmingham FA WSL Conti Cup

13/05 Lincoln v Arsenal FA WSL Conti Cup

17/05 OL v Frankfurt UEFA Champions League final

19/05 Bristol v Doncaster FA WSL

20/05 Chelsea v Everton FA WSL

26/05 Chelsea v Birmingham FA Women’s Cup final

30/05 Bristol v Arsenal FA WSL

31/05 Birmingham v Chelsea FA WSL

June (4)

04/06 Denham Tournament

09/06 Watford Tournament

10/06 Arsenal v Chelsea FA WSL Conti Cup

17/06 England v Holland Euro qualifier

July (7)

01/07 Birmingham v Everton FA WSL

05/07 Chelsea v Arsenal  FA WSL

22/07 West-Ham v Watford Friendly

25/07 USA v France Olympics games

28/07 France v North Korea Olympic games + USA v Colombia

29/07 Celtic v Spartans Scottish Premier League

31/07 France v Colombia Olympic games + Canada v Sweden

August (10)

02/08 Brighton v Portsmouth Friendly

05/08 West Ham v Aston Villa Friendly

06/08 France v Japan Olympic Games

09/08 USA v Japan Olympic games

18/08 Middlesex U17 v North Meck Soccer club

18/08 Bristol v Liverpool FA WSL

19/08 QPR v Gillingham FA WPL Southern

25/08 Doncaster v Arsenal FA WSL

26/08 Watford v Cardiff FA WPL

30/08 Chelsea v Birmingham FA WSL

September (11)

02/09 Bristol v Arsenal FA WPL reserves

03/09 Bristol v Arsenal Conti Cup semi-final

09/09 Arsenal v Lincoln FA WSL

15/09 Wales v Scotland Euro 2013 qualifier

16/09 West Ham Res v Arsenal res FA WPL reserves

19/09 Scotland v France Euro 2013 qualifier

22/09 Midlessex v Col U U17 COE

23/09 Arsenal v Liverpool FA WSL

29/09  Spurs V Watford FDP U17

30/09 West Ham res v Arsenal res FA WPL res Cup

30/09 Arsenal v Doncaster FA WSL

October (8)

04/10 Arsenal v Barcelona UEFA WCL

07/10 Arsenal res v Col U res FA WPL res

10/10 Arsenal v Birmingham FA WSL Conti Cup final

13/10 Middlesex v Millwall U17 COE

14/10 Lewes v Gillingham FA WPL Cup

20/10 France v England Friendly

27/10 Arsenal V Middlesex U17 COE

28/10 Arsenal res v Bristol res FA WPL res Cup

November (3)

04/11 Arsenal res v Bristol res FA WPL Res

17/11 PSG v OL Division 1 feminine

25/11 Barnet v Watford FA WPL Cup

December (4)

02/12 Millwall v Spurs FA WPL Southern

09/12 Arsenal res v Sawbridgeworth Herts Cup

16/12 Brighton v Lewes FA WPL Southern division

29/12 Enfield Ladies v lowesoft

FA WPL National Division tables at the Christmas break


National Division ( all team have played 9 games except when indicated)

1.Sunderland 23 pts

2. Watford 18 pts

3. Leeds 15 pts (8) +3

4. Aston Villa 15 pts -2

5. Manchester City 14 pts(10)

6. Coventry City 12 pts

7. Charlton Athletic 10 pts (8)

8. Cardiff City 9 pts

9. Portsmouth FC 8 pts

10. Barnet FC 3 pts (10)

Sunderland leading the way as they have been since the WSL teams left the WPL. Clearly the best team outside the WSL. Watford who managed the great escape last year carrying on with their positive streak. At the bottom of the table Barnet is having their worse season for a while with no win at the Christmas break.

We have to remember that the FA WSL Division 2 will start in 2014 and therefore the table will have no impact on who will play in the WSL 1 and 2.

Brighton Ladies v Lewes 1-0

For those who don’t know I am an Arsenal Ladies fan so don’t be surprised to see an Arsenal bias overall  in the blog. With the FA WSL on the winter break, I usually watch the reserves but their game was called off on Saturday. So I had to choose a game to attend on Sunday. Reading have a good team but difficult to reach the ground by public transport.

I originally planned to go to Watford as I have a season ticket to Watford Ladies and their coaching staff is friendly and so are the players there. In the end I got a message and I decided to go and watch Brighton v Lewes ,on the simple basis that I could watch 6 or 7 ex Arsenal and Arsenal academy players.

What I really like in women’s football  is you see the same old friendly fans face at games, so it was nice to meet up with @Girlswithballz and the usual @ThegangEng. A nice sunday roast after the game and pint of beer is always a pleasant experience.

The game was very open with both team going for it and it was a shame that the only goal came from an own goal late in the game as it could have well finished 4-3 with so many chances created. It was a well fought typical derby with both side overloading the midfield area to deny the opposition space and time and all the attacks were created from pacy runs down the wing.

Lewes created many clear cut chances and must still be wondering how they managed not to score. Brighton also threatened by periods and scored from a right wing run and a cut back that a poor defender fumbled into her own net.

It was also my first visit to the Withdean Stadium and it is located very close to Preston Park train station which makes it an easy and quick access to the ground.

Overall a very enjoyable experience except for a small inconvenience of an unfriendly guard at the lounge, who did not want to let me in after the game despite my being invited to go there.

He reluctantly let me in, but it was obvious he was not pleased with it, so I left straightaway and met my friends down the pub. Maybe that guy thought I was a stalker or was gonna bother the girls ? That’s fine with me, there are many grounds in England that I need to visit and hopefully security will be friendlier there.

FA WPL Cup last 16 draw

3 ties will be a repeat of certain group games.  The games will be played on the 13th of January 2013,  weather permitting of course


Barnet v Lewes
Cardiff City v Brighton & Hove Albion
Coventry City v Aston Villa (Group 3)
Portsmouth v Manchester City
Sunderland v Sheffield FC (Group 6)
Watford v Charlton Athletic
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Blackburn Rovers  (Group 4 )
Yeovil Town v Leeds United

Applications open for the FA WSL 2014

T he FA has finally disclosed the criteria needed to apply and be selected.

As expected there will be 2 tiers WSL 1 and WSL 2 and every team has to apply including current WSL 1 teams. Newcomers can apply for both division or one division only. Although I would be extremely surprised to see teams apply for WSL 1 only because if they get rejected they would have to go to winter football

For the WSL 1 division teams are obliged to create a new marketing role that has already been advertised by Lincoln. WSL 2 teams can merge that role with the General Manager role. It is a welcome addition because some teams have been close to nothing in term of information to fans on social media and on their website. Clearly more promotion needs to be done and should have been done especially after the Olympics. The failure to get a medal is costly in that sense and women’s football could have capitalised on it.

Another important parameter is all WSL side must have a UEFA A Licence manager. I don’t know how many A licence there is in women’s. football but I hope there are enough.

One think that will make everyone laugh is there will be a wage cap for 2014 but it will be disclosed apparently after all the bids have come in. Hence the possible scenario : Sorry x you are not going into the WSL 1 or 2 as you are 50k over the wage cap go back to winter football. Lmao, can you imagine a team with a big bidget wanting to pay all 20 girls and rejected from the WSL ?

Also it appears that some questions about marketing and commercial requirements won’t be answered before February, very close to deadline day.