The English women’s football 2016 calendar

Here are some of the dates that are already known for the 2016 calendar for the FA WSL & the England teams:

 

18/01 -> 26/01 FIFA international period

07/02 FA Cup R3 FA WSL 2 sides enter

28/02 FA Cup R4

29/02 ->09/03 Four nations tournament USA

-/03 La Manga U19 tournament

20/03 FA Cup R5 FA WSL 1 sides enter

23-24/03 UEFA WCL QF

24/03-29/03 Elite Round U17

30-31/03 UEFA WCL QF

23/03 FA WSL season starts

03/04 FA Cup  R6

05/04->10/04 Elite Round U19

08/04 England v Belgium Euro qualifier

12/04 Bosnia v England Euro qualifier

17/04 FA Cup SF

23-24/04 UEFA WCL SF

30/04-01/05 UEFA WCL SF

04/05 -> 16/05 UEFA U17 Euro finals (Belarus)

07-08/05 FA WSL CC preliminary

14/05 FA Cup Final

26/05 UEFA WCL FINAL

04/06 England v Serbia Euro qualifier

07/06 Serbia v England Euro qualifier

02-03/07 FA WSL CC R1

19/07 -> 31/07 UEFA U19 finals (Slovakia)

05/08 -> 21/08 Rio Olympics Games

06-07/08 FA WSL CC QF

03-04/09 FA WSL CC SF

15/09 England v Estonia Euro qualifier

20/09 Belgium v England Euro qualifier

30/09 -> 21/10 FIFA U17 WC (Jordan)

01-02/10 FA WSL CC Final

06/11  FA WSL season end

13/11 -> 03/12 FIFA U20 WC (Papua New Guinea)

 

 

 

Non eligible player conendrum

Well, for the 2nd year in a row  a team has fielded an ineligble player Reading v Bees this season and Arsenal v Liverpool last season. And for the 2nd year running the winning team has got the 3 points from the victory deducted. Obviously Reading have been kicked out because of the nature of the tournament ie cup, while Arsenal were not kicked out of the FA WSL. There is no doubt teams acted on good faith in both case.

2 things come to mind. First the team that played according to the rules is penalised because they lost the game against a team with an “unfair” advantage. They are also penalised in term of goal difference and for example with Bees loosing by 7, had they been in position to qualify for the semi-finals but lost on goal difference that would have been a very unfair treatment by the FA.

The other problem about not giving the 3 points & the result to the team that has been cheated is it can lead to a huge problem like this :

Team A is ahead of team B by 2 points in the League. A and B meet on final day in the League.
A beat B 3-0 and is therefore crowned Champion but later found guilty of fielding an ineligble Brazilian left footed forward who has a hat trick on the day. Team A gets 3 points deducted later  but still finish top of the League and champion 2 points ahead of B. Team A got an unfair advantage by fielding a top quality player but knowing they only risk a point deduction are “guaranteeing ” their title by cheating…

That rule of deducting 3 points instead of giving the win to the beaten team just favors cheaters in the League…. I think it sends a wrong message to teams.

 

Football games attended so far in 2014

So far 61 games attended since January 2014, country visited : England, Cyprus, Sweden, France, USA, Roumania, Norway

 

January

05/01 Southampton Saints v Univeristy of Portsmouth

12/01 Chesham v Larkhall Athletics

18/01 OL v PSG

19/01 Montpellier v Soyaux

 

February

01/02 Arsenal U17 v Liverpool U17

01/02 Arsenal v Oxford

02/02 Enfield v Chichester

02/02 Arsenal dev v London Bees dev

08/02 Arsenal U17 v Villa  U17

09/02 C&K Basildon v West Ham

11/02 Reading v Chelsea

15/02 Arsenal U17 v Norwich U17

23/02 Arsenal dev v Reading dev

 

March

01/03 Arsenal U17 v Birmingham U17

02/03 Arsenal dev v Chelsea dev

10/03 England v Canada

10/03 France v Netherlands

12/03  Scotland v South Korea

12/03 Netherland v Switzerland

12/03 France v England

16/03 Watford dev v Arsenal dev

23/03 Chelsea v ….

24/03 Birmingham v Arsenal

30/03 Arsenal v Birmingham

 

April

02/04 Roumania v France B

03/04 Millwall v Chelsea

13/04 Chelsea v Bristol

16/04 Reading v Yeovil

19/04 Birmingham v Tyreso

20/04 Chelsea v Liverpool

27/07 Tyreso v Birmingham

 

May

01/05 London Bees v Millwall

04/05 Birmingham v Arsenal

07/05 Arsenal dev v London Bees dev

11/05 Chelsea v Arsenal

14/05 Chelsea v Millwall

15/05 Reading v Arsenal

17/05 Yeovil v Aston Villa

18/05 Arsenal v Man City

20/05 London Bees dev v Arsenal dev

21/05 Arsenal v Birmingham

25/05 London Bees v Durham

28/05 London bees dev v Reading dev

31/05 Arsenal dev v Liverpool dev

 

June

01/06 Liverpool U17 v Everton U17

01/06 Arsenal v Everton

07/06 Watford tournament

14/06 USA v France

28/06 Reading v Villa

 

July

02/07 Birmingham v Oxford

05/07 Bristol v Villa

06/07 Arsenal v Chelsea

10/07 Arsenal v London Bees

12/07 Yeovil v Notts County

13/07 Millwall v Arsenal

15/07 England U19 V Sweden U19

16/07 Chelsea v Arsenal

19/07 Bristol v Liverpool

20/07 Chelsea v Man City

26/07 Reading v London Bees

27/07 Chelsea v Bristol

 

August

 

 

Yeovil Town v Aston Villa

So today was my first visit to Yeovil’s ground at Sherbone. I set off from home in Ealing early to go Earl’s Court and pick up, l’Equipe and France Football before getting on the train to Basingstoke where I met Patrick and off we went to Sherbone.

Being French my English geography knowledge is very limited. I actually had no clue how far Sherborne was. So we went on the M3 then the A303 and ended up in a massive traffic jam near Stonehenge. You do wonder why they have a double lane merging in that single lane in a very busy area. We probably got stuck about half an hour on a small section before finally moving forward.

We arrived at the ground which is situated on top of a hill. It is not far from the train station but quite a climb actually, very good for fitness work. What I find nice with Yeovil is they are very good on and off the pitch. A lot of work is done to make it a very pleasant day out for the fans.

We made our way to the club shop at the entrance, had a look at the replica shirts available then went to the bar where we were greated by Yeovil Town’s Chairman David Mills. We went to the main room and met more people from the club and someone from the FA who was scouting a couple of Yeovil players. Quite interesting to hear him and his views on players and what they are looking for. After a few drinks and biscuits we went to the pitch to watch the game.

The first thing you see is that there is a little slope that leads you to believe that there is a certain advantage to be used. Funnily enough, it did not happen and the team playing uphill played better in both halves. What I also noticed is the grass was cut high but it did not seem to impact much on the players.

So it was really a game of two halves, the 1st half was dominated by Yeovil. They were very good in possession, created many chances from open and set pieces but managed to be 1-0 up only at half time which proved to be costly. We went to back to the half time tea, sandwiches etc and arrived late for the 2nd half and Aston Villa had already scored. I shouldn’t have eaten my prawn sandwich lol

The second half was all Aston Villa, I guess fatigue hit the Yeovil girls who played on Thursday night a tough game at Bristol and came back with an excellent 0-0 draw. Villa were well on top and created many chances but could only manage one goal overall.

The game ended with a 1-1 draw which was a fair result for both teams.
We went back for another tea and biscuit sessions before going to the lounge where you can come and discuss the game with all the Yeovil players who are available for a chat after the game as part of the “fans bill of right” implemented by Yeovil.

This is a great initiative and I certainly made the most of it by having a quick chat with the manager Sarah Lawler. I am always interested to hear some managers views on the game in general and what they try to achieve.

I am lucky enough to get press passes at certain games U19& U17 Euros, Champions League etc and being able to ask questions and get interesting answers.

So I have to mention here that I really enjoy watching Yeovil Town LFC play. As far as I am concern they play the most attractive football in England ( women’s football of course) . I am lucky or crazy enough to watch around 70 to 80 games per year and I have to say, I really like the Glovers football philosophy.

They remind me of the men’s team I support in France which is FC Nantes in Brittany ( nicknamed the Canaries like Norwich). We were lucky at Nantes to have great coaches like Jose Arribas, Coco Suaudeau and Reynald Denoueix ( check them on wikipedia) and also check youtube for Nantes 94-95, Loko v PSG or Jose Toure v PSG coupe de France to see some of the football we used to see.

We all have an idea on how football should be played, some like teams to get stuck in, some like them to park the bus, some like direct football etc.
Being French I have been raised with the idea of romantic attacking football by the team that reached the 1982 and 1986 world cup semi-final.

The same attacking philosophy and intentions have always been part of the game at Nantes ” jeu a la nantaise” and I certainly believe that it is the right way to play football.

It means having a pass and move game, having quick ball circulation, offering solutions to the ball holders, always being on the move.

Being creative and have a team that works as a unit to make efficient and beautiful football. Playing that way is quite tiring actually and it certainly brought reward in the 1st half and when the energy level went down to tiredness, the whole machine seem to slow down. To me it explains the difficult second half where passing went a bit ashtray and there were no solutions for the ball holder.

At the recent Reading v Yeovil game played at the Madjeski, I had a great view at the top of the stand on the halfway line. Alhtough the game ended with a Reading win and it confirmed what I had seen in previous Yeovil games about the great passing philosophy in the team.

So full credit to the girls and the coaching staff, it makes very enjoyable viewing for me and I will certainly come back to Sherborne.

Nani’s red card v Madrid

For once this will be a post about men’s football. This was the defining moment of the game and it clearly contributed to United’s elimination from the champions league.

Was it really the wrong decision ? I believe so IF you are refereeing the game in the Premier League. We all know that the referee are very tolerant with regards to physical and sometimes dangerous play because it is part on the culture. The “get stuck in” or “go hard or go home” are part of the culture and British football. Foreign players have to adapt to this, How many tackles that are allowed in England end up with bookings or red card in UEFA competitions ? I am sure you can find examples without problems.

In UEFA competitions, refereeing is strict in general. Referees are applying the law of the game with regards to booking and sending off in a very different way that in England. It is up to the players to adapt their game. The notion of a player “in danger of injuring his opponent” is very much an alien concept in England to be honest, otherwise we would see many more red card. While this is applied in UEFA competitions and many other countries actually.

For me, this is typical example of a cultural difference between Europe and Britain, no wonder English people want to leave the EU :p

Refereeing and protecting the players physical integrity.

I went to a game yesterday, I tend to watch football at every level and I did not even last the full game !
Because : 1 it was cold 2 the game was over with a 4-0 lead 3 there was only a train every 30 min towards London.

Also the main reason I went early was I saw the typical things that I dislike in football all mixed together : dangerous physical play and bad refereeing team performance. No wonder players can get injured in those conditions. I get really angry when a player gets injured because a game has been badly managed.

First the assistant in front of me gets a good start with 3 offside calls out of 4 where I don’t agree and the people sitting next to me did not either. She improved progressively and the fact that the forwards on that side of pitch were running like headless chicken helped her.

Then the referee that let go a multitude of dangerous physical tackle to the knee, to the ankle, from behind. I must have counted 3 or 4 in the first half when you think. How come there had been no booking in that game ?

As a result, you get players giving each other the verbals in front of the same assistant referee who does nothing, does not signal to the referee. And then comes the tackle, where the players is slightly late on the opposition ankle. Thank god, she missed it because it was a typical one.
If you have played football, you know what goes in the players mind when the referee gives nothing and does not control the game enough. They will see how far they can get away with, it is a very human reaction.

I have to be clear here, with no referees there are no game and they deserve respect. I have done a few Sunday League games when there was no referee and you get dissent from the players and threat from the touchline from their mate sometimes which is more of a problem actually.

I am always surprised by the level of verbal dissent that goes unpunished in the game at every level : in Sunday League, in women’s football or in the Premier League. And what comes from the stand from fans who don’t know the law of the games actually is just stupid.

Speaking of the LOTG, there is the law 12, and it shoukd be applied properly and you do wonder if referees are reluctant to give yellow and red cards in general and apply it.

I am actually amazed that referees do not seem to be interested in protecting the physical intergrity of the players in the PL for example. That is one of the important point passed on to referees in France. Dangerous play not allowed and severely punished.

Extended punishment for players who injure other players happen around in Europe. Why does the FA do nothing on those cases ?

How many cases if the last 10 years with knee / ankle / fibula broken or even a goalkeepers head severely hit and how many punishment extended. One in the lower division if I remember well.

So referees will always make mistakes because they are human, it would be better if they made those when they don’t influence the game’s result but they really need to distribute the yellow and red card according to the LOTG and the game would be a lot cleaner.