Here is my analysis for the 2015 FA WSL 1 review from the bottom of the table to the top of the table :
8. Bristol Academy
Performed as expected really as they were favorite for relegation. The winter transfer window saw five important players leave the club and replacement that came in were not as strong.
Champions League horror defeat combined with a stupid scheduling by the FA meant FA Cup elimination at an early stage. And it just went downhill from there.
A replacement of manager was decided to change the club’s fortune as well as a massive import of players during the Summer window. It lead to a brief revival with a couple of wins but to no avail.
The smallest FA WSL budget went down.
7. Liverpool Ladies
Performed below expectations being the title holders. Injuries hurt them badly throughout the season, while Matt Beard also hinted at a budget gap with the big 3 teams that was ever growing.
4 wins 1 draw and 9 defeats a poor return for what ended up being a transitional season that saw Matt Beard’s depart tomanage the Boston Breakers.
For the full complete Liverpool review see Heather’s blog : http://liverpoolladiesfans.blogspot.co.uk/2015/12/a-year-in-review-2015.html
6. Birmingham City Ladies
After finishing very close to winning the title last season, the Blues ended up in the relegation race alongside Bristol. They started the season badly, struggling to score goals and unfortunately in a short 14 games season, lead them to a relegation battle.
They were probably the second lowest budget in the league and therefore ending up in sixth place is not bad result. Still performing below expectations considering their previous season.
5. Notts County Ladies
Another side performing below expectations considering their squad quality. They should be competing for the Champions League places instead of being a mid table mediocre team.
They reached two cup finals and lost both, so are clearly missing the little something that separate the winners from the losers. It might simply be an attacking football set-up.
Considering the available attacking talent and technical skill, it is bizzare to see them adopt a defensive and physical attitude and play mainly on the break with a lot of direct football ( in the game I have seen live).
The FA Cup final is a typical example with Chelsea trying to win the game by attacking and Notts content with defending and breaking away. Attacking intent got rewarded in the end and rightly so.
The Continental Cup final was marred by Bassett’s red card that totally changed the game and it meant another defeat.
Notts CEO has gone so it will interesting to see if their fortune will improve and if they will start to play a different football next season.
4. Sunderland Ladies
An exceptional season from the promoted team that could have competed for the title had they not been unlucky with injuries towards the end of the season.
They also had the top goalscorer in Beth Mead also named players’ player of the season by her peers.
A positive start of the season with a win away to Liverpool launched their season and they never looked back, surprising everyone with their solid defending and clinical scoring.
They performed way above expectation and had a sensational first season in FA WSL 1.
Following the 2014 season turmoil, it was the first full season for Pedro Losa. Changes in the training conditions helped improve the team’s form to try to match Chelsea and Manchester City.
Arsenal were unbeaten in the League at the halfway point but suffered three home defeats in the second part of the season that condamned them to the third place.
Like Liverpool they suffered from injuries to key players having to start a 16 year old defender and send on as a substitute a 17 year old in the title decider at home to Chelsea.
They ended up the season with a trophy as they won the Continental Cup back to make it a good season overall.
2. Manchester City Women
Reached their main target qualifying for the Champions League but missed on the title due to a poor first half. Their second half of the League season yielded eight wins and a draw as they steamrolled their opponents with quality football.
The club’s investment in term of facilities paid off and they could go on and dominate the League for years if they can sustain that quality attacking and passing football.
Performed as expected overall, once the machine went into full speed after the World Cup break.
Performed above expectations by doing the double. Recruited very well during the winter break with key players coming in.
Played some lovely attacking football throughout the season and were rewarded with that double.
For more in depth Chelsea Ladies reviews :
see Hannah’s blog : http://www.chelseafc.com/news/blogs/boilerplate—guest-fan-blog/guest-fan-blog/doubles-all-round-in-2015–the-ladies.html and https://clfcfans.wordpress.com/
For more season review see Darren’s blog : http://supportingwomensfootball.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/fawsl-1-2015-season-review.html
And also Girls On The Ball review : http://www.girlsontheball.com/fawsl-2015-review/