3 games into the 2015 season and it looks like it will be a tough one for Bristol Academy. It kind of remind of what happened for Arsenal Ladies last year. Lots of players leaving during the winter transfer window, disaster in the Champions League and a bad start of the League season. Hopefully the League won’t start as badly as it did for the Arsenal girls.
So far, the results have been poor as a result of a tough schedule assignment.
21/03 H Frankfurt 0-5 UEFA WCL quarter-finals
24/03 A Everton 1-2 FA Women’s Cup Round 5
29/03 A Frankfurt 0-7 UEFA WCL quarter finals
There is no doubt that having your first competitive game against a top European side was a difficult task as shown by the result. The FA then scheduling an away FA Cup game in the middle of two tough Champions League game is ridiculous but that’s the FA for you.
They are used not to care about English clubs in the UEFA Women’s Champions League, always scheduling game at the same time as the big European ties or between big games. As early as 2011 when the FA WSL started, the FA scheduled the competition opener Chelsea v Arsenal between the UEFA WCL semi-finals ties OL Feminines v Arsenal Ladies. As if it is not hard enough to play against OL let’s give the English team another hurdle to jump.
With the Champions League return game played yesterday and a 7-0 defeat, that’s 3 games played 1 goal scored and 14 conceded. Out of the FA Women’s Cup beaten by the lower division and out of the Champions League beaten by a superior team ( on the pitch and probably with 15 times the Vixens budget available) .
There was a huge gap between a Bundesliga contender and a semi-professional team like Bristol. We saw the same thing with the other British side in the competition with Glasgow City beaten by PSG 2-0 and 5-0 and spending 180 minutes chasing the ball and defending. Players and managers did their best but they were competing about a team operating at a different level.
At least they now have a 4 day break to recover and regroup before the League opener at Stoke Gifford against a very ambitious Chelsea side. Then it is Arsenal away on the 15th of April, Sunderland away on the 18th of April, Notts County at home on the 25th of April and Birmingham away on the 29th to end up April.
As usual when there is a huge personnel turnover, the team needs time to gel on the pitch and learn how to play with each other, especially after implementing a certain style with certain players for many seasons. It is a tough challenge with games coming thick and fast.
The Vixens’ boss knows it will be a tough season and is preparing for it :
“Our main priority is to make sure that we are in the top division again next year,”