The FA WSL 1 relegation battle after Matchday 8

We are now entering the 2nd half  of the competition and it is fair to say 4 teams are still in danger of relegation.

Everton are unfortunately for them favourites to go down at the moment with a meagre 2 points out of 7 games and a bad goal difference currently at -7

Bristol are 2nd from bottom with 7 points and a -2 goal difference. They have been awarded 3 points for an away win at Notts, but result will be confirmed after Notts’ appeal. Should they get awarded the win, they would be really close to safety.

Notts County are 3rd from bottom with 7 points as well. their goal difference is 0. They are appealing against the 3 points given Bristol as they want to play that game and climb up the table.

Arsenal are 5th with 8 points and a -4 goal difference. They have started climbing up the table following their dreadful ( 1 point in 4 ) start in the competition. They probably need a win or two to make sure of staying up.

 

My relegation prediction :

Everton 60%

Bristol 15%

Notts 15%

Arsenal 10%

 

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FA WSL Division 1 Season 2014 statistics

Update 28 July

Goalscorers :

1. Yuki Ogimi ( Chelsea ) 4

2. Jess Clarke (Notts ), Kirsty Linnett ( Birmingham),  Nikita Parris ( Everton  )   3

5.  Karen Carney, Jo Potter ( Birmingham), Casey Stoney, Alex Scott ( Arsenal), Eni Aluko (Chelsea ), Nikki Watts ( Bristol ), Krystle Johnston,  Natasha Flint ( Man City)   2

13.  Kelly Smith, Danielle Carter ( Arsenal), Natasha Dowie, Fara Williams, Kate Longhurst, Gemma Davison, Katrin Omarsdottir, Gemma Bonner ( Liverpool), Angharad James , Jasmine Matthews,  Natalia Sanchon, Sophie Ingle, Natasha Harding ( Bristol), Toni Duggan, Jill Scott, ( Man City), Hannah Blundell, Ana Borges, Ji So-Yun, Katie Chapman, Jackie Groenen ( Chelsea), Chelsea Weston,  Emily Westwood, Kerys Harrop ( Birmingham), Fiona O’Sullivan ( Notts County)    1

Assists:

1. Eniola Aluko, Ji So-Yun, (Chelsea) , Laura Del Rio  ( Bristol ), Danielle Carter, Kelly Smith ( Arsenal) 2

6. Shinobu Ohno, Leah Williamson  (Arsenal), Amy Turner (Notts County ), Natasha Dowie, Lucy Bronze, Hannah Dale, Fara Williams, Amanda Da Costa (Liverpool), Hannah Blundell, Danielle Buet Ana Borges, Katie Chapman, Rachel Williams ( Chelsea),  Corinne Yorston, Nikki Watts, Sophie Ingle (Bristol), Sophie Walton, Katie Holtham, Rachel Corsie ( Notts ), Remi Allen, Karen Carney, Kirsty Linnett, Jade Moore, Emily Westwood, Jo Potter ( Birmingham) , Isobel Christiansen, Stephanie Houghton, Krystle Johnston ( Man City), Michelle Hinnigan ( Everton) 1

OG : Hannah George ( Birmingham ) 1

Booking :

1. Danielle Buet,  Hannah Blundell, Drew Spence (Chelsea ), Niamh Fahey, Emma Mitchell  ( Arsenal) 2

6. Alex Scott, Kelly Smith, Jordan Nobbs, Casey Stoney  ( Arsenal), Kate Longhurst, Gemma Bonner, Hannah Dale, Fara Williams ( Liverpool), Chelsea Nightingale, Jessica Holbrook, Krystle Johnston, Kathleen Radtke, Jill Scott, Abbie McManus ( Man City), Laura Bassett, Claire Rafferty,  Yuki Ogimi( Chelsea), Aoife Mannion, Hannah Keryakoplis, Kirsty Linnett ( Birmingham), Dunia Susi, Katie Hoyle, Sophie Walton, Katie Holtham, Caitlin Friend  ( Notts County), Nikita Parris (Everton) 1

Red Card :

1. Ji So-Yun, Gilly Flaherty ( Chelsea), Jemma Rose (Bristol)

 

Goals per game

FA WSL Division 2 Summer 2014 moves

Aston Villa

In : Katie Wilkinson ( Birmingham City – loan), Jess Myers ( Birmingham City)

Out :

Doncaster Rovers Belles

In : Courtney Sweetman-Kirk ( Notts County)

Out :

Durham WFC

In : Emily Scott ( Middlesborough), Sarah Wilson ( Newcastle united)

Out :

 

London Bees

In : Rebecca Anderson ( Coventry), Paula Howells ( Brighton), Amy Copper ( Spurs)

Out : Tom Donati ( manager)

Millwall

In :

Out :

Oxford United

In : Megan Alexander ( Liverpool -loan), Gemma Simmonds ( Portsmouth)

Out :

 Reading,

In : Laura-May Walkley ( Cardiff Met Ladies), Megan Ryan ( Arsenal reserves), Bonnie Horwood ( Watford Ladies), Bianca Bragg ( Arsenal Ladies)

Out :

 Sunderland

In :

Out :

 Watford

In : Kim Farrow ( Leicester City), Ella Hill ( Essex CoE), Sasha Adamson ( Essex CoE)

Out : Bonnie Horwood ( Reading Women), Sarah Wiltshire ( Yeovil Town)

 Yeovil Town.

In : Ellie Curson ( Bristol Academy),  Nicola Cousins ( Cardiff City Ladies ) Jamie Sherwood  ( Cardiff City Ladies), Sarah Wiltshire (Watford)

Out: Alice Evans ( Bristol Academy)

 

FA WSL 1 Matchday 8 & 9 preview

Match Day 8

Arsenal v Notts County Bailey, Williamson unavailable

Chelsea v Bristol Blundell unavailable, Rose suspended

Man City v Liverpool Harris, Stewart, Zelem, Flint unavailable

Match Day 9

Bristol v Man City

Liverpool v Chelsea

 

So after matchday 9 : Birmingham will have played 7 games and stay on 17 points.

Chelsea will have played 9 games and added to their 14 points.

Liverpool will have played 9 games and added to their 12 points.

One of those 2 teams might be top of the League come Matchday 10 when Birmingham are finished with their 2nd mid –season monthly break…

You do wonder why the FA did NOT plan the mid season break now, so that every team gets it at the same time. And seriously the mid-season break after 4 games out of 14 ? The person  who designed the schedule likes asymmetrical things surely.

Man City will have played 9 games and added to their 9 points.

Bristol will have played 9 games and added to their 10 points.

Arsenal will have played 8 games and added to their 7 points.

Notts County will have played 8 games and added to their 6 points.

Everton will have played 8 games and added to their 2 points.

Overall it means, there will be a certain number of fixtures to be added to the current schedule and we will see the same rubbish fixture pile-up as at the end of last season.

I still remember Everton and Bristol suffered with the competition that became a survival of the fittest mixed with get lucky with the Russian roulette schedule, rather than a football competition. Can someone sort this kind of trouble next season or will we have a 5th disorganised FA WSL season in a row.

FA WSL 1 Matchday 7 statistics

Everton 1 Arsenal 2

Goals : Parris, Carter, Scott

Assists : Hinnigan, Williamson, Smith

Bookings : Parris, Mitchell, Fahey, Stoney

Bristol 1 Liverpool 3

Goals : Harding, Davison, Omarsdottir, Bonner

Assists : Da Costa Williams

Booking : Williams

Red card : Rose

Notts County 0 Birmingham 1

Goal : Potter

 

Chelsea 2 Man City 1

Goals : Chapman, Groenen, Flint

Assists : Williams, So Yun

Bookings : Scott, McManus

 

 

 

FA WSL 2 Matchday 7 preview

Doncaster v Sunderland

The BIG  game in WSL 2 with the 2 promotion contenders going head to head. Both are unbeaten with Sunderland yet to drop a point while Doncaster dropped 2 at Milwall last time round. The winner will take a small psychological advantage in the race for the title. If it is a draw, the chasing pack of Reading, Millwall and Yeovil will try to get close the gap. Beth Mead (Sunderland ) and Jess Sigsworth (Doncaster ) are on international duty with England U20

Reading v Bees

Controversy surrounded the recent game between those 2 teams with Reading ejected from the Continental Cup due to fielding an ineligible player. That game finished 8-1 and was the start of a bad run for bees who conceded 28 in 3. The game will be played at the Madejski Stadium.

Oxford v Watford

Watford are safe in mid table while Oxford are second from bottom having won the first League game in matchday 6. Oxford need the 3 points to climb up the table, while Watford have a minimal chance of promotion and really need to get those 3 points and hope for draw in the top of the table game.

Yeovil v Millwall

Both teams are chasing the 2 leaders and will be looking to get the 3 points to keep their tiny chance of promotion alive. Expect a good opposition of style between those 2 teams.

Villa v Durham P-P due to players on international duty ( although they are flying back today to England )

 

Bristol awarded 3 points for their away game to Notts County

There is a lengthy statement here from Notts County :

http://www.nclfc.co.uk/news/fa_award_bristol_three_points.html

I find some of the stuff very interesting and you do wonder what is happening behind the scene and other stuff totally irrevelant. Anyway, the FA has artificially made the relegation race more interesting and the champions league place race as well. Killing two birds with the same stone. So now the table is properly set at the halfway break with no game in hand and the picture is clear.

 

1. Birmingham 17 pts 10-3

2. Chelsea 14 pts 9-5

3. Liverpool 12 pts 6-3

4. Bristol 10 pts 7-8

5. Man City 9 pts 5-7

6. Arsenal 7 pts 5-9

7. Notts 6 pts 3-3

8. Everton 2 pts 3-10

 

Bristol now chasing Chelsea as they are now 4 pts behind them and will play each other on Sunday. Chelsea, Liverpool, Bristol and City will all try to gain points on Birmingham on matchday 8 and 9 while Blues are on holidays.

At the bottom of the table, Notts have been dumped into the relegation battle alongside Everton  and Arsenal. So that’s another relegation 6 pointer at Borehamwood on Sunday between Arsenal and Notts.

Notts will appeal so the table may change again.

 

FA WPL fixtures disclosed for the 2014/15 season.

We have 12 teams in the Northern Division :

Blackburn, Bradford, Coventry, Derby, Huddersfield, Newcastle, Forest, PNE, Sheffield FC, Sporting Albion, Stoke, Wolves

Fixtures are here : http://full-time.thefa.com/ListPublicFixture.do?divisionseason=12545623&league=872938

12 teams also in the Southern Division :  Brighton, Cardiff, Charlton, Copeswood ( Coventry) Gillingham, Keynsham, Lewes, Plymouth, Portsmouth, QPR, Spurs, West Ham

Fxitures are here : http://full-time.thefa.com/ListPublicFixture.do?divisionseason=868279534&league=872938

The steps below (step 4 ie the old combinations) has 4 divisions : Northern Division 1 with 12 teams, Midlands Division 1 with 12 teams , South East Division 1 with 11 teams and South West Division 1 with 11 teams as well.

As a reminder there will be promotion to WSL 2 from the FA WPL.

 

 

 

 

 

 

FA WSL 1Team by team mid-season form guide

We have now reached the halfway point in the league and the table looks a bit clearer than at the mid season break in June.

Everton Ladies

Bottom of the league with 2 points. They seem to be strong contender for the potential relegation place.  They really need to pick up their frist win and big  points quickly in the 2nd half of the season as they currently trail Notts County by 4 and Arsenal by 5. Notts County have a game in hand as well.

Notts County Ladies

They were unbeaten in the League in the first 4 games, then lost 2 in a row and now sit in 7th place. This is how quickly things can go wrong. Their main problem is the same as last season when they were under Lincoln. Lack of goals, they got 3 in 6 all scored by Jess Clarke. They have a game in hand so will look to get the 3 points out of it to climb the table and get away as far as possible from Everton.

Arsenal Ladies

Still rooted to the 2nd half of the table following the awful start of the season with 1 point in 4 games. They came away with the win in the relegation battle 6 pointer at Everton and will be looking to consolidate a middle table position in the second part of the season as Champions League is unrealistic with Chelsea 7 points ahead of them.

Bristol Academy

In 5th place after a good start but having lost the last 2 games as seen them go down from the 2nd place to their current position. They have a game in hand and are playing a different type of football under the new coach.

Manchester City

Currently 4th and the only team not to draw a game so far. They are getting stronger and stronger as the season goes on and play some good attacking football. Might challenge for a top 3 place as they are 3 points behind Liverpool but 5 behind Chelsea  and 8 behind the leaders Birmingham.

Liverpool

In 3rd place in the first season defending their title they managed to ride the injury storm and are currently 2 points behind the runner-up position. They looked good in their last game and will surely push up for a title run should Birmingham start loosing points in the 2nd half of the season.

Chelsea

Solid showing this season, with a strong squad and many leaders in the side. They are trailing the unbeaten leaders by only 1 points and will be champions league places contenders and even title contenders if they carry on winning games with their attacking football

Birmingham

Unbeaten and top of the League. 3 points ahead of Chelsea. Looking to win the title that evaded them in the first 2 seasons of the FA WSL. They are solid and resilient and can score goals, being top scorers in the league. The main problem will be avoiding injuries to the regulars from the starting 11 as they are really a settled side.

The table at the halfway point

1. Birmingham 17 pts

2. Chelsea14 pts

3. Liverpool 12 pts

4. Man City 9 pts

5. Bristol* 7 pts

6. Arsenal 7 pts

7. Notts County* 6 pts

8. Everton 2 pts

Bristol and Notts County with a game in hand

Postponements in the FA WSL

News of Birmingham’s games against Everton and Arsenal being postponed remind us how cahotic the schedule organised by the FA is. If you look at the 4 seasons since the FA WSL started, it is amazing to note that they have not been able to organise a competition that has only 14 games into something else than a survival of the fittest or something that looks like randoming scheduling that does not take into account the UEFA and FIFA competitions except the World Cup and Euros. Champions League, U19 and U20 finals are just treated as background competitions that are not important in the schedule

UEFA forbids games to be played on same days as Champions League games for men’s football and it would be a good idea to do the same for women’s football in England We had the absurd situation of teams starting the season 2 games behind everyone else. If you think 2 games is nothing, well this is the equivalent of a team starting the Premier League on Day 6 and having to catch up those games later. You cannot see Man United start the season 5 games behind everybody else and having to catch up during the season ?

When you think that there are 4 games per matchday, it is not hard or difficult to get organised so that they are all played together on the same week-end, or the same weekday period Every year it is the same scenario. At least one time is playing catch up with the fixtures and you actually never know until the final weeks where the teams stand actually. On a very short 14 games season, there is a huge advantage/disadvantage to be behind by a game or two with the other teams. If the other teams have won their games you are under pressure to perform with every game. Basically the table lies because teams are in a false position simply because the schedule is badly organised.

Considering there are only 4 club competition to take into account 14 League games, 5 champions league games, 7 continental cup games and 4 FA Cup games for the FA WSL 1  teams, that is a maximum of 31 games to be played if a team manages to go all the way in all competitions which is far from the up to 44 games reached by Arsenal in 2006-07 when they won the 6 trophies available to grab, you wonder how things cannot be organised that 14 week-ends are selected for League games, and you put all the cup games in midweek if needed. Also youhave to question those mid-season break. This year was the first year when there was no senior football competition around ( WC 11, OLY 12, EUR 13), the FA still managed to put a month break and mess up the schedule totally. I mean reaching the half way break with 4 league games out of 14, seriously ?

We know there are 52 weeks in a year. Not being able to find 14 week-ends where all 4 games can be played simultaneously is just unbelievable. Even with international breaks for Euro/WC qualifiers and those 5 champions league dates, I find it astonishing that we end up with such a messed up schedule as it has happened for the last 4 years. It ends up with an not fair and non equal competition with teams being favoured. And if the weather to play havoc with the schedule fair enough, there is nothing the FA can do about it but make the FA WSL a well organised competition would be a start