Are Doncaster Belles doomed ? 

Another defeat at home to Birmingham with a single goal from Kirsty Linnett has condemned the Belles to their Seventh defeat in seven games. 

Of course the Belles are not doomed at all. They trail Reading by five points with a game on hand and Sunderland by six points with four games in hand. 

They basically need two wins while one of the other two relegation contender loses two games to get back in. 

They obviously need Reading and Sunderland not to pick any win in the meantime.

The biggest problem is getting that first win that will lift the players spirit and remove a lot of pressure. 

The fixture list days : City H, Liverpool A, Sunderland H, Reading H, Arsenal H, Liverpool H, Notts H, Arsenal A, Reading A

Liverpool, Sunderland and Reading are crucial games and a minimum of 6 points out of those three games will do. 

Any defeat against the other relegation contender would put the team in a very difficult situation. 

Any point against City and Arsenal would be a welcomed bonus as well. 

The League table does not lie. Three goals scored in seven and 23 goals conceded. Team defending need to improve as well as finishing. 

It is a tough job for Emma Coates and her staff to lift a team that keeps on losing. 

Hopefully they can get their first point on board as soon as possible because the table does not look great. No one wants to see a team at the bottom with no points, when they have played 44% of their games already.


Laura Georges out of Olympic squad

The France centre back is the second player who had to withdraw from the squad due to injury.

It is a sad news for the veteran PSG player as it could have been her last tournament with Les Bleues although she might be around for the 2017 Euros.

She has been replaced by another defender Montpellier’s Sakina Karchaoui who is upgraded from alternate.

Sandie Toletti also from Montpellier who was originally cut from the 26 players long list that trained in Brittany is now an alternate.

Sakina Karchaoui being a left back actually improves France attacking options, because it frees Amel Majri from the defensive work. She can now play again as the winger rather than a defender.

Sabrina Delannoy is now covering three defensive positions out of four, with Houara the covering player at left-back.

So Bergeroo favourite 11 might look like this is his currently favoured 4-5-1 :

Bouhaddi, Houara Renard M’Bock Bathy Karchaoui, Diani Abily Cadamuro Henry Majri, Le Sommer

The FA WSL2 promotion race ep 4

Another round of important results at the top of the table with a win for Yeovil, Bristol and Durham while Everton lost to Sheffield.


Bristol 2 Millwall  1

Durham 3 Aston Villa 0

Sheffield 1 Everton 0

Yeovil 5 Watford 0



1 Yeovil 23 pts + 17 (10)

2 Bristol 20 pts + 8 (10)

3 Durham 16 pts +7 (8)

4 Everton 14 pts + 8 (8)


Everton are the big losers in the promotion race and are in a bad three games losing streak, when you include the Cup game against Liverpool and the two League games against Watford and Sheffield. They still have two games in hand, that are must win to keep their promotion challenge on track.

Durham are well placed with two games in hand and could be soon in second place should they win those two games in hand .

Bristol are staying put in second place, while Yeovil are keeping their three points lead over the Vixens and improved their goal difference.

Next week-end will see all the title contenders play each other  with Durham v Bristol and Everton v Yeovil a game the Toffees cannot afford to lose or even draw.

Phillipe Bergeroo names his Olympics squad : an analysis

Last Thursday, just before the men’s semi-final game against Germany, Phillipe Bergeroo named his squad for the Rio Olympics. There are 18+4 names as per the regulations and a couple of surprises.


Here is the squad:


Goalkeepers : Sarah Bouhaddi (Olympique Lyonnais), Méline Gérard (Olympique Lyonnais)

Defenders : Sabrina Delannoy (Paris SG), Jessica Houara d’Hommeaux (Olympique Lyonnais), Laura Georges (Paris SG), Amel Majri (Olympique Lyonnais), Griedge Mbock Bathy (Olympique Lyonnais), Wendie Renard (Olympique Lyonnais)

Midfielders : Camille Abily (Olympique Lyonnais), Élise Bussaglia (VFL Wolfsburg), Kadidiatou Diani (FCF Juvisy), Kheira Hamraoui (Olympique Lyonnais), Amandine Henry (Portland Thorns FC), Claire Lavogez (Olympique Lyonnais), Louisa Necib, Élodie Thomis (Olympique Lyonnais)

Forwards : Marie-Laure Delie (Paris SG), Eugénie Le Sommer (Olympique Lyonnais)

Alternates :

Kenza Dali (Olympique Lyonnais), Sakina Karchaoui (Montpellier HSC), Clarisse  Le Bihan (Monptellier HSC), Laëtitia Philippe (Montpellier HSC)

There is an element of surprise with Diani and Lavogez’s selection. They both come from the succesful U19/U20 team, with Diani and M’Bock Bathy having also won the U17 World Cup a few seasons ago. They were also present at the World Cup in Canada.
Bergeroo decided to take an extra attacking player either Lavogez or Diani rather than another defender like Karchaoui. That move would have freed Majri from the left back position and play her in her favourite left-wing position  that is generally occupied by Necib.
The alternate players are quite expected although Le Bihan like Lavogez struggled the whole season with injury. As usual Thiney is persona non grata despite a superb club season and her team-mates Diani is therefore the third forward in the team and will need to be a goalscoring super-sub. Marie Charlotte Leger who had an excellent club record with 19 goals this season is not even on the alternate list.
The players positions are the ones given by the FFF and do not always reflect what can happen on the pitch.  Phillipe Begeroo uses three system with France : So let’s have a look at the starting 11 and where the subs would cover if they are called up .
4-4-2 the classic system :
Expected 11  (according to history ):  Bouhaddi, Houara Georges Renard Majri, Thomis Henry Abily Necib, Delie Le Sommer.
In that configuration Delannoy covers at RB and RCB, M’Bock covers at LCB and LB. Bussaglia and Hamraoui cover the two positions in central midfield.  Lavogez covers the two wingers positions and Diani cover both wings and one of the center forward position.
4-2-3-1 with a playmaker :
Expected 11 : Bouhaddi, Houara Georges Renard Majri, Abily Henry, Thomis Necib  Lavogez,   Le Sommer
In that configuration Delannoy covers at RB and RCB, M’Bock covers at LCB and LB. Bussaglia and Hamraoui cover the two positions in central midfield. Diani offers covers for both wings and Delie covers for Le Sommer.
4-1-4-1 the defensive system :
Expected 11 :  Bouhaddi, Houara Georges Renard Majri, Hamraoui, Thomis Abily Henry Necib, Le Sommer.
In that configuration Delannoy covers at RB and RCB, M’Bock covers at LCB and LB. Bussaglia cover the two central midfield positions. Diani covers the right wing, Lavogez the left wing and the Delie covers Le Sommer.
M’Bock Bathy might be a starter if she has done enough at club level woth Lyon to convince that she has now overtaken Georges who was injured quite a bit this season.
Thomis also missed out on a few games and her starting place might be in danger with Diani and Lavogez available to play on the right wing.
Le Sommer can also move to the right in the 4-2-3-1 system but you would really expect her to play centrally and try to finish chances.


A reminder from the 2012 London Olympic squad :  Abily, Bompastor, Bouhaddi, Boulleau, Bussaglia, Catala, Delie, Deville, Franco,  Georges, Le Sommer, Meilleroux, Necib, Renard, Soubeyrand, Thiney, Thomis, Viguier with Phillipe, Soyer, Gadea and Makanza the alternates.

Therefore Abily, Bouhaddi, Bussaglia, Delie, Georges, Le Sommer, Necib, Renard, Thomis will be competing in their second Olympics while Phillipe will be an alternate again as well.

If we compare to the 23 World Cup squad, four players have not gone through : Deville and Thiney sent to international retirement by the coach, Boulleau who is injured and Butel who is not selected as better players have been taken on. There are three newbies and are all alternates :  Phillipe, Karchaoui and Le Bihan



FA WSL relegation battle ep 5

It was a big day yesterday with the bottom three teams playing early and the bottom two playing each others. Sunderland have now taken a small option towards safety by beating the Belles while Reading lost away to Liverpool.



Sunderland 4 Doncaster 0

Little’s straight red card  at 0-0 for a DOGSO foul on Mead might be costly and if the Belles end up relegated at the end of the season, it will certainly be one of the turning point of the season.

Liverpool 2 Reading 0


7. Sunderland 6 pts -12 pl 9

8. Reading 4 pts -5 pl 7

9. Doncaster 0 pt  – 15 pl 5


Sunderland are now a huge six points clear of the Belles and will probably need another win to stay up unless the Belles start racking up wins.

Reading are now the next team in danger as they like the Belles have not registered a win yet. As soon as the Belles register a win they will be breathing down their neck. Saying that Reading have a ten goals lead on goal difference, which is like half an extra point.

Upcoming games for the bottom three teams :

Sun 17 Jul  Birmingham v Sunderland

Sun 24 Jun Sunderland v Arsenal, Chelsea v Doncaster, Reading v Birmingham

Sat 30 Jul Doncaster v Birmingham,

Sun 31 Jul  Man City v Sunderland, Reading v Notts County

Wed 3 Aug Reading v Man City

Thu 11 Aug Doncaster v Man City


We will have a clearer vision of the table once that the Belles v City game is played and hopefully, the table will be as tight as possible for our entertainment.





FA WSL 2 Summer transfer window 2016

This week’s transfers

Confirmed transfers

Extended contracts

Bristol City

In  : Claire Emslie ( Florida Atlantic University ), Charlie Estcourt ( Reading – loan), Rhian Cleverly ( Hofstra Uni), Olivia Fergusson, Caitlin Leach

Out : Tatiana Pinto, Rosella Ayane ( Chelsea – end of loan)

Yeovil Town

In  : Kelly Aldridge ( Cardiff City), Beth Howard ( Ryder University), Danielle Carlton ( Millwall), Lucy Quinn ( Portsmouth), Kayleigh Green

Out : Bethany Howard, Atlanta Primus

Everton Ladies

In  : Krystle Johnston ( Sunderland), Rosella Ayane ( Chelsea – loan), Chloe Kelly ( Arsenal – loan)

Out :

Oxford United

In  : Laura Rafferty ( Chelsea – loan), Jenna Legg ( Chelsea – loan)

Out :

Aston Villa

In  : Chloe Jones, Alys Hinchliffe ( Cardiff City), Grace Moloney ( Reading – loan), Ashlee Brown ( Birmingham City)

Out : Destiny Toussaint

Durham Women

In  : Tyler Dodds ( Sunderland), Emily Roberts ( Sheffield )

Out : Lauren Jordinson ( Watford), Courtney Corrie ( Middlesborough)

Millwall Lionesses

In  : Charlotte Gurr ( Brighton), Bonnie Horwood ( Reading), Leigh Burch ( Manager)

Out : Danielle Carlton ( Yeovil), Naomi Cole, Dawn Mallett ( Cambridge United),  Ciara Sherwood,  Rebecca Sawiuk (manager),Felicity Gibbons, Grace Fisk, Charlotte Gurr ( West Ham)

Watford Ladies

In  : Giulia Ferrandi ( Brighton), Anne-Laure Davy ( Cardiff Met), Lauren Jordinson ( Durham)

Out : Chloe Gunn, Kim Farrow, Nathalie Richardson, Renee Hector ( Spurs Ladies)

London Bees

In  :  Deanna Cooper ( Brighton), Holly Grenwood ( Arsenal COE), Evie Clarke ( Arsenal Development )

Out : Jade Dempster,

Sheffield FC Ladies :

In : Sophie Jones ( Blackburn Rovers), Kirsty Hanson ( Liverpool), Olivia Wild ( Liverpool), Emily Roberts (Durham)

Out :

FA WSL 1 Summer transfer window 2016

This week’s transfers

Confirmed transfers

Extended contracts


In : Rosella Ayane ( Bristol -end of loan), Hollie Holding ( Brighton)

Out : Jenna Legg ( Oxford – loan), Laura Rafferty ( Oxford -loan), Rosella Ayane ( Everton Ladies – loan)

Manchester City

In : Tessel Middag ( Ajax Amsterdam), Ella Toone ( Blackburn Rovers), Demi Stokes

Out : Zoe Tynan ( AFC Fylde)


In : Sari Van Veenendaal, Dominique Janssen, Josephine Henning, Rachel Yankey ( Notts -end of loan), Charlotte Devlin

Out : Georgia Allen ( ETSU), Chloe Kelly ( Everton Ladies – loan)


In :

Out : Krystle Johnston ( Everton), Tyler Dodds ( Durham)

Notts County Ladies

In : Taome Oliver ( UCLA), Lizzie Durrack ( Harvard University), Jade Moore ( Birmingham), Jo Potter ( Birmingham)

Out : Ashleigh Plumptre ( University Southern California), Rachel Yankey ( Arsenal – end of loan)


In : Marisa Evers ( Bayer Leverkusen), Isabelle Linden ( 1. FFC Frankfurt), Andrine Hegerberg ( Koppabergs/Goteborg), Ann-Katrin Berger (PSG)

Out : Jo Potter ( Notts County), Jade Moore ( Notts County), Remi Allen ( Reading), Ashlee Brown ( Aston Villa)


In :

Out : Kirsty Hanson ( Sheffield Ladies – loan), Olivia Wild ( Sheffield Ladies), Maz Pacheco ( Doncaster Belles)


In : Remi Allen ( Birmingham), Sophie Perry ( Brighton), Kylie Davies

Out : Charlie Estcourt ( Bristol City-loan), Grace Moloney  ( Aston Villa – loan), Bonnie Horwood ( Millwall)


In : Emma Coates ( Manager), Lauren Cresswell, Maz Pacheco ( Liverpool), Christie Murray ( Celtic)

Out : Glenn Harris ( Manager), Natasha Dowie ( Boston Breakers), Rebecca Easton, Alexandra Gummer