England U17 qualifying round situation

The England U17 team are currently in Lithuania, they are led by Lydia Bedford who is an excellent young coach and are trying to qualify for the elite round.

The results so far in Group 8 are

Slovenia 0 Russia 1

England 14 Lithuania 0

Russia 2 Lithuania 0

England 0 Slovenia 1


And the table looks like this :

1 Russia 6 pts + 3

2 Slovenia 3 pts 0

3 England 3 pts +13

4 Lithuania 0 pt -16

For those who wonder why England are not second in the group, this is due to the competition rules.

The top two in each group and the third-placed team with the best record against the leading pair in their section accompany top seeds Spain into the 24-team elite round draw on 11 November.

The remaining games are England v Russia and Slovenia v Lithuania.

England need to better Slovenia’s result on final day ie if Slovenia lose to Lithuania which is unlikely, England need a draw to finish runner-up in the group. Likewise if Slovenia draw with Lithuania England need a win. For those two cases, if England and Slovenia finish level on points Slovenia will finish above England in second.

Note that in the extremely unlikely case where Lithuania would beat Slovenia and England lose to Russia, Russia would win the group with 9 points and the other three teams would finish with 3 points each.

Here are the tournament regulations :

Article 14 Equality of points – qualifying competition
14.01 If two or more teams in the same group are equal on points on completion of a
mini-tournament, the following criteria are applied to the mini-tournament in
question, in the order given, to determine the rankings:
a. higher number of points obtained in the matches played among the teams in
b. superior goal difference from the matches played among the teams in
c. higher number of goals scored in the matches played among the teams in
d. if, after having applied criteria a) to c), teams still have an equal ranking,
criteria a) to c) are reapplied exclusively to the matches between the teams in
question to determine their final rankings. If this procedure does not lead to a
decision, criteria e) to i) apply;
e. superior goal difference in all matches;
f. higher number of goals scored in all matches;
g. lower disciplinary points total based only on yellow and red cards received in
the mini-tournament (red card = 3 points, yellow card = 1 point, expulsion for
two yellow cards in one match = 3 points);
h. higher position in the coefficient ranking list used for the qualifying round
i. drawing of lots.

Criteria a. is the reason why Slovenia are ahead of England and will finish ahead of England, if the teams are equal in points in a two teams race.

Now let’s have a look at the cases where England, Slovenia and Russia end up with 6 points each, or if England, Slovenia and Lithuania end up with 3 points each.


If the top three teams are tied on 6 points, criteria a. shows England, Slovenia and Russia with 3 points each as the Lithuania game does not count in that case.

Criteria b. applies, goal difference in the games among the 3 teams

Slovenia 0 Russia 1

England 0 Slovenia 1

England v Russia

*Should England beat Russia by 2 goals or more, England GD is +1  at least. Russia becomes -1 and Slovenia is 0  England and Slovenia go through.

**Should England beat Russia by 1 goal and score more than 1 goal ie 2-1, 3-2, 4-3 etc

England GD would be 0, Slovenia GD would be 0, Russia GD would be 0 all teams equal on criteria b.  We would then go to criteria c. Slovenia would have scored 1 goal, Russia would have a minimum of two goals (1 against Slovenia and 1 at least against England) , England would have scored at least two goals.  England and Russia go through.

***Should England beat Russia by 1 goal to nil, we have a perfectly equal situation

Slovenia 0 Russia 1

England 0 Slovenia 1

England 1  Russia 0

Criteria a. b. c. shows the three teams equal and we go to criteria e. the superior GD in all matches.

Russia’s GD would be 2,  3 goals for and against 1

England’s GD would be +14, 15 goals for and 1 goal against

Slovenia’s GD would be the result of their game v Lithuania ie a positive GD as they are currently 1-1

England would go through with Slovenia/Russia


If the three runner-up teams end up with 3 points

Criteria a. all teams have beaten each other and get 3 points

Criteria b

England 14 Lithuania 0

England 0 Slovenia 1

Lithuania v Slovenia (with a Lithuania win)

England finish runner-up unless Lithuania wins by 15 goals or more and go through.


Basically a win against Russia would send England through. A defeat to Russia, combined to a Lithuania win with less than 15 goals also sends England through.


FA WSL 1&2 + FA Women’s Cup games attended this season

As I am looking forward to see Doncaster Belles for the first time this season, I had a look at the whole year and noticed that I did not manage to see Liverpool Ladies either and sadly won’t see them in 2016.

Here are the stats up to today : 38 games attended, 17 teams seen out of 19.

Arsenal Ladies 14

London Bees 9

Millwall Lionesses 9

Watford Ladies 7

Chelsea Ladies 5 ( down a lot from previous season, due to the incident with the Chelsea video staff member during the pre-season game in Paris)

Reading Women 5 ( a lot less than last season because they wer eplaying on Saturdays at Farnborough, which was easy to access unlike Wycombe)

Sunderland Ladies 4

Bristol City 4

Notts County Ladies 3

Sheffield FC 3

Everton Ladies 2

Birmingham City 2

Durham Women 2

Manchester City 2

Aston Villa 2

Oxford United 1

Yeovil Town 1

Liverpool Ladies 0

Doncaster Belles 0

I have obviously attended FA WPL, CoE, International and youth international games in 2016, so will try to see if I can list them all.

FA WSL 2 team of the year : your vote

It is that time of the year, the end of season awards.  So I thought I would make a survey to have the FA WSL 2 fans to vote for their best 11 of the year.

For some reasons, the positions are not in order with goalkeeper being the last one. You can have a 3-5-2, 3-4-3, 4-3-3 or 4-4-2 system, it is very flexible.

I hope you have fun voting for your best 11 and I will publish the final  results  the day after the season ends on the 7th of November

So here it is : https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdAPmNo2SyGpEB0NISTe118lHVDzkWU0UgXqOWfZwn3w9SXOA/viewform

So far, we have had 32 votes, most people were puzzled by the survey format so many did not vote for 11 players but sometimes from 8 to 10 players.

In goal, there is a leading players with 5 votes and two tohers with 4 votes

In defense, the current leader has 13 votes, the runner-up has 10 votes and then you have players on 9 and  7votes.

In midfield two players on 7 votes and two players on 5

in attack one player with 9 votes, one with 7, one with 6 and one with 5.

Two weeks to go before the votes are revealed on Monday the 7th of November

Examining this week-end’s FA WSL 2 promotion race permutations

This week-end will see Matchday 17 out of 18 in the FA WSL 2 and we could see one, two or no  teams being promoted ( on the pitch). Let’s have a look at the multiple permutations.


First let’s look at the table and the games played this week-end



1 Yeovil 33 pts + 20 pl 16

2 Bristol 33 pts + 15 pl 16

3 Everton 31 pts +17 pl 16


Everton v Bristol 29/10

London Bees v Yeovil 30/10


Permutation A) Everton lose, Bristol win, Yeovil win 

Yeovil and Bristol 36 pts, Everton 31 pts  Yeovil and Bristol promoted 


Permutation B) Everton lose, Bristol win, Yeovil draw

Bristol 36 pts, Yeovil 34 pts, Everton 31 pts Bristol promoted


Permutation C) Everton lose, Bristol win, Yeovil lose

Bristol 36 pts, Yeovil 33 pts, Everton 31 pts Bristol promoted


Permutation D ) Everton draw, Bristol draw, Yeovil win

Yeovil 36 pts, Bristol 34 pts, Everton 32 pts Yeovil promoted 


Permutation E) Everton draw, Bristol draw, Yeovil draw

Yeovil 34 pts, Bristol 34 pts, Everton 32 pts status quo / no promotion


Permutation F) Everton draw, Bristol draw, Yeovil lose

Bristol 34 pts, Yeovil 33 pts, Everton 32 pts no promotion


Permutation G) Everton win, Bristol lose, Yeovil win 

Yeovil 36 pts, Everton 34 pts, Bristol 33 pts no promotion


Permutation H)  Everton win, Bristol lose, Yeovil draw

Yeovil 34 pts, Everton 34 pts, Bristol 33 pts no promotion

Permutation I) Everton win, Bristol lose, Yeovil lose

Everton 34 pts, Yeovil and Bristol 33 pts no promotion


So out of the nine possible permutations : Double promotion one case, Bristol promotion two cases, Yeovil promotion one case, no promotion five cases. I guess it is likely that it will go to the final day with the three teams still in it.

Basically Bristol just need to win at Everton to be promoted. Yeovil need a win and Everton not to win to be promoted. Everton cannot be promoted this week-end.

FA WSL 1 best 11 vote

So I thought because I have done a fan best FA WSL 2 vote, it was logical to an FA WSL 1 team of the year vote.

I have split the vote in different positions on the pitch for practical and statistical reasons.

I will start with goalkeepers and full-backs position 1,2 and 3, then the two center backs and defensive midfielder positions 4,5 and 6. Then central attacking midfielders position 7,8,10 and 11 and finally center forward number 9 .

I have named one player per position per team and if you disagree and think another player deserve to be there, as it rightly happens all the time for those surveys, you can pick the option others and type the players name.

Here is the document, for the positions 1, 2 and 3


Same as previous survey results to be revealed on the 6th of November once the final games have been played.

England U17 players go home with pride and having learnt a lot during the tournament

Prior to the tournament, I was hoping for the team to get to the semi-finals. Unfortunately a quarter-final defeat to a superb Japan team, means they will go home a round earlier.

There is no doubt, it was an excellent tournament for the young Lionesses, a learning curve discovering different continental football in a competition.

If we go by what happened for the previous England team that went to the U17 finals around a dozen players made it to the seniors or the Next Gen squad.

If things go well, maybe one or two players might get in the squad for the 2019 World Cup. But we are more likely to see them at the 2021 Euros and 2023 World Cup.

The next step for that generation of girls born in 99 is to link up with the girls born in 98 for the 2016/17 U19 Elite Round in Spring 2017. The finals will be played in Northern Ireland and will act as a qualifier for the 2018 U20 World Cup that will take place in Brittany, France.

I think what we saw throughout the tournament that some players managed to raise their level to challenge world class opponents. Stanway, Wubben-Moy, Russo, Charles, Hinds come to mind straightaway.

Others had some up and down performances and hopefully will get more tournament football at U19 and U20 level to prepare for the seniors.

Because as it was mentioned several times the FA is targeting the World Cup 2023 as a winnable competition.

In term of results, a 3-3 draw against North Korea, a 0-0 draw against Nigeria, a 2-1 win against Brazil and a 3-0 defeat against Japan show five goals scored and seven conceded.

I am sure the staff and players will review the defensive phases that led to the goals to learn from the errors and make sure they do not happen again.

Team defending takes a lot of work to be perfected, because it starts from the forwards and all 11 players must be in tune.

On the attacking side, we saw a lot of creativity and work rate from all the forwards.

Obviously, the playmaking role was given to Stanway who was cruelly missed in the Japan game due to suspension. The City midfielder has been superb orchestrating England’s play.

It is just regrettable that suspension deprived the team from one of the biggest asset. I note that she was also suspended in the first group game at the previous U17 Euros, something that needs to be avoided in future atournaments.

On the day against Japan, England struggled in the 4-1-4-1 organisation without Stanway and once chasing a two goal deficit went to a 4-4-2 that brought more stability and attacking power.

You never know what could have happened has England not conceded two goals at crucial times, beginning and end of the first half, but Japan were certainly superb and showed the value of ball possession.

England fought very well with their traditional weapons but lacked a lit bit of composure under a tough Japanese pressing. In the meantime, we saw a referee who did a FIFA style job whistling for every fouls, something that you don’t see in England and it prevented the English players from physically pressurising the Japanese.

There is no doubt that all the girls have grown and learnt during that tournament and hopefully will get a lot of playing with the development teams for the majority of the girls, while those at certain clubs will go back to first team football.

When the FA WSL 2016/17 first winter seasons starts all those young players with the highest potebtiak need to be around the first team squads in order to develop. Because as mentioned by Emma Hayes, the development league is not strong enough.

And another point she mentioned is losing players to scholarship in US universities. We know that many got offers and the FA rarely selects players who are over there in the NCAA for youth teams. A rare exception being the Harvard GK in the last few seasons.

So well done to John Griffiths his staff and all the girls for a fantastic tournament. Let’s hope for more success in the near future.

France 23 players squad for the England friendly in Doncaster

Olivier Echouafni has named his squad for the friendly against England in Doncaster.

He has called up two newbies who have been previously part of squad without getting a game : Laura Agard and Delphine Cascarino. There is also a return of a player who has missed out for a long period and who is in great form in Camille Catala.

Senior Players who missed out recently are also coming back : Wendie Renard, Jessica Houara-D’Hommeaux and Amel Majri.

The following players have not been called  up due to injury : Laure Boulleau, Marie-Laure Delie, Elodie Thomis, Gridege M’Bock-Bathy and Amandine Henry.

The full squad is

GK (3) : Bouhaddi, Gerard, Phillipe

DF (8): Agard, Butel, Georges, Houara, Karchaoui, Perisset, Renard, Tounkara

MF (8) : Abily, Bussaglia, Cascarino, Diani, Hamraoui, Lavogez, Majri, Toletti

FW (4) : Catala, Le Bihan, Le Sommer, Thiney