FA Women’s Premier League season 2017/18

 

 

The 2017/18 season will start on Sunday the 20th of August 2017 and supposed to finish with the play-off game on Sunday the 27th of May 2018. The play-off winner should be replaced the team finishing at the bottom of the FA WSL2.

The following 105 teams will compete in the six  FA Women’s Premier League Divisions

In the Southern Division, there will be  a question mark if Cardiff can get promoted as FA WSL teams but be registered with an English county, but rumors last season going round suggested they would be allowed to go up.

Charlton are favourite while, Cardiff and Coventry have always finished closed to the top in recent seasons. We also know that Crystal Palace and West Ham Utd are ambitious and are planning to try to get to the FA WSL in the future.

In the Northern Division, Blackburn Rovers will be the team to beat as they finished the League season unbeaten and won the League with 11 and 20 points ahead of second and third place.

The full fixtures list will be revealed in July. The FA WPL Cup draw has also been made as well as the Reserves Cup draw with ties to be played on the 3rd of September.

The reserves Leagues are as follows :

and the Reserves cup draw is as follows

I will try to get to FA WPL games when I am not at FA WSL or international games as it is a very entertaining and interesting Leagues and there are some diamonds in those teams that could play at a higher level if given a chance.

 

 

France players for the 2017 Euros and their previous tournament experience

Olivier Echouafni has named his 23+6 reserves squad for the UEFA 2017 Euros to be played next month in the Netherlands.  Here we will look at how much tournament experience the France squad has gathered through the years.

 

The full squad list :

GK (3) : Sarah Bouhaddi (OL), Méline Gérard (OL), Laëtitia Philippe (Montpellier),

DF (7) : Laura Georges (PSG), Jessica Houara d’Hommeaux (OL), Sakina Karchaoui (Montpellier), Griedge Mbock (OL), Ève Perisset (PSG), Wendie Renard (OL), Aissatou Tounkara (Juvisy)

MF (8) : Camille Abily (OL), Élise Bussaglia (Wolfsburg), Grace Geyoro (PSG), Amandine Henry (Portland), Claire Lavogez (OL), Amel Majri (OL), Gaëtane Thiney (Juvisy), Sandie Toletti (Montpellier)

FW (5) : Camille Catala (Juvisy), Marie-Laure Delie (PSG), Kadidiatou Diani (Juvisy), Eugénie Le Sommer (OL), Elodie Thomis (OL)

Reserves : Pauline Peyraud-Magnin (OM), Marion Torrent (MHSC), Aminata Diallo (PSG), Clarisse Le Bihan (MHSC), Valérie Gauvin (MHSC), Mylaine Tarrieu (OL)

 

Here are the players that played in the previous  international  competitions

World Cup 2003 (1): Laura Georges

Euro 2009 (7): Laura Georges, Camille Abily, Elise Bussaglia, Amandine Henry, Gaetane Thiney, Eugenie Le Sommer, Elodie Thomis

World Cup 2011(9) : Wendie Renard, Laura Georges, Eugenie Le Sommer, Camille Abily, Elodie Thomis, Elise Bussaglia, Gaetane Thiney, Marie-Laure Delie, Laetitia Phillipe

Olympic Games 2012 (10+1) : Sarah Bouhaddi, Laura Georges, Wendie Renard, Camille Abily, Elise Bussaglia, Camille Catala, Gaetane Thiney, Marie-Laure Delie, Eugenie Le Sommer, Elodie Thomis, Laetitia Phillipe*

Euro 2013 (12) : Sarah Bouhaddi, Wendie Renard, Laura Georges, Jessica Houara, Elise Bussaglia, Amandine Henry, Camille Catala, Camille Abily, Eugenie Le Sommer, Elodie Thomis, Gaetane Thiney, Marie-Laure Delie

World Cup 2015 (16): Sarah Bouhaddi, Meline Gerard, Laura Georges, Jessica Houara, Amel Majri, Griedge M’Bock Bathy, Wendie Renard, Camille Abily, Elise Bussaglia, Amandine Henry, Claire Lavogez, Elodie Thomis, Marie -Laure Delie,  Kadidiatou Diani, Gaetane Thiney, Eugenie Le Sommer

Olympic Games 2016 (15+1): Sarah Bouhaddi, Meline Gerard, Griedge M’Bock Bathy, Wendie Renard, Sakina Karchaoui, Amandine Henry, Amel Majri, Jessica Houara, Eugenie le Sommer, Camille Abily, Claire Lavogez, Elodie Thomis, Kadidiatou Diani, Elise Bussaglia, Marie-Laure Delie, Laetitia Phillipe*, Sandie Toletti **

*alternate at the London and Rio Olympics did not play

** alternate at the Rio Olympics did not play

 

The player with the most experience is Laura Georges with 7 tournaments played so far.

The we have a quartet of Camille Abily, Elise Bussaglia, Eugenie Le Sommer and Elodie Thomis with 6 tournaments played.

Gaetane Thiney , Wendie Renard, Marie-Laure Delie all come next with 5 tournaments

Amandine Henry and Sarah Bouhaddi have been selected in  4 tournaments

Jessica Houara has taken part in 3 tournaments

Camille Catala, Meline Gerard, Amel Majri, Griedge M’Bock-Bathy,  Claire Lavogez, Kadidiatout Diani have played in  2 tournaments

Sakina Karchaoui has played 1 tournament

Laetitia Phillipe has taken part in 1 tournament but was an alternate twice at the London and Rio Olympics.

Eve Perisset, Aissatou Tounkara, Grace Geyoro and Sandie Toletti who was an alternate at the Rio Olympics will take part in their first senior tournament.

 

If we compare the squad to the one from the  last tournament played, the Rio Olympics last year (with 18 players) Sabrina Delannoy and Louisa Cadamuro have retired from football, while Kheira Hamraoui lost her way by moving from PSG to Lyon and ended up with little to nearly no playing time and lost her place to Grace Geyoro.

If we compare the squad to the last tournament with 23 players ie the 2015 World Cup in Canada : Celine Deville, Laure Boulleau, Sabrina Delannoy, Kenza Dali, Louisa Cadamuro, Annaig Butel and Kheira Hamraoui are not there.

 

So the France WNT are clearly one the favourite to win the 2017 Euros, but we know that they need to solve their mental weakness problem and they also need to be able to finish their chances when it matters. And it shows in their final games in the last tournaments.

Euro 2009 :  lost on penalties to Netherland in QF 0-0 at full time

WC 2011 : lost to the USA 4-2 in the SF,  lost 2-1 to Sweden in 3rd place play-off

OG 2012 : lost to Japan 2-1 in SF, lost 1-0 to Canada in 3rd place play-off

Euro 2013 : lost to Denmark on penalties in QF 1-1 at full-time

World Cup 2015 : lost to Germany on penalties in QF 1-1 at full time

OG 2016 : lost to Canada 1-0 in QF

 

2017 games attended

Here are the games I have and plan to attend in 2017.

1 – 08/01  Spurs Ladies 3 Gills Ladies 0 FA Women’s Cup Round

2 – 11/01 Middlesex 3 Kent 4

3 -15/01 Aston Villa 2 Durham Women 0 friendly

4 – 24/01 France U17 2 v England U17 0 international friendly

5 – 26/01 France U17 2 v Germany U17 7 international friendly

6 – 29/01  Reading dev 4 v London Bees dev 1  FA WSL Dev League Southern

7- 01/02 Juvisy 0 Olympique Lyonnais 1 Division 1 Feminine

8 – 05/02 Millwall 1 v London Bees  0 FA Women’s Cup R3

9-11/02 London Bees 1 v Brighton  1 FA WSL 2

10-12/02 Arsenal Development 8 Brighton Development 0 FA WSL Development League

11-19/02 Arsenal Ladies 4 v Kelly Smith All Start XI 2

12-25/02 Montpellier 0  Lyon 3 Division 1 Feminine

13-26/02 Watford 2 London Bees 3 FA WSL 2

14-04/03 London Bees 3 v Oxford 1 FA WSL 2

15-07/03 Scotland U19 0 Germany U19 3 La Manga

16- 07/03 England U19 4 Italy U19 0 La Manga

17- 07/03 France U19 0 USA U19 2 La Manga

18-12/03 Arsenal Res 2  Sunderland Res 0  FA WSL Dev League cup semi-final

19-19/03 Arsenal 10  Tottenham 0 FA Women’s Cup R5

20-25/03 England U17  2 Poland U17 0  UEFA Elite round

21-26/03 Birmingham 1 Arsenal 0 FA Womens’ Cup pR6

22- 27/03 England U17 2v Germany U17 1 UEFA Elite round

23- 01/04 London Bees 2  Sheffield 1

24- 02/04 Millwall 2 Everton 1

25- 06/04 France U19 3  Portugal U19 1 Elite round

26 -07/04 Netherlands 1  France 2 International Friendly

27- 08/04 France U19 4  Slovenia U19 0 Elite Round

28- 09/04 Watford 1 Birmingham 4 Friendly

29- 15/04 London Bees 1 Millwall 2 FA WSL 2

30- 16/04 Arsenal Ladies dev 10 Watford Ladies 0 FA WSL dev League

31- 17/04  Birmingham 1 Chelsea 1 *(4-2 pso)  FA Women’s Cup SF

32- 22/04 Bristol 1 Reading 3  FA WSL 1

33- 30/04 Chelsea 6  Yeovil Town 0 FA WSL 1

34- 03/05 Reading 0 Chelsea 4 FA WSL 1

35- 05/05 Germany 2 France 1 UEFA U17 Euros

36- 08/05 France 1 Spain 1 UEFA U17 Euros

37- 08/05 England 0 Norway 2 UEFA U17 Euros

38 – 10/05 Watford 2 Spurs 0 Friendly bcd

39-13/05 Manchester City 4 Birmingham City 1 FA Women’s Cup final

40- 14/05 Millwall Lionesses Dev 5 Arsenal Ladies Dev 5 FA WSL Development League

41-17/05 Chelsea 2 Arsenal 2 FA WSL 1 Spring Series

42 – 20/05 Arsenal 4 Birmingham 2 FA WSL 1 Spring Series

43- 20/05 London Bees Everton FA WSL 2 Spring Series

44- 21/05 Brighton 3 Sheffield 1 FA WSL 2 Spring Series

Manchester City v Birmingham City

It was an easy 4-1 victory in the end for Manchester City as they dominated for most of the game and took advantage of the chances they got in the first half, then stayed in control in the second half.

On paper it looked like a promising encounter with Birmingham’s defensive strength and City’s attacking football. Unfortunately, a lot of Birmingham players offered underwhelming performances on the day and you cannot win games with an opponent like City under those circumstances.

What was really surprising to me was the manner in which the three first half goals were conceded. Three errors that you do not normally associate with Birmingham City.

1 Poor marking from a free kick at the near post with two players unmarked and it ended up with an own goal.

2 Then a ball lost from building up from the back with a careless giveaway, full credit to City for taking advantage in transition with the Birmingham defense out of position and punishing this error with a killer goal.

3 A misjudged cross by the goalkeeper and a simple finish with a header into the empty net. Again two players were unamrked.  What makes it even stranger is Berger was really superb dealing will all the other crosses and high ball during the whole game, but missed that one.

So with 3-0 at half time, there was no coming back for Birmingham, except if there was a huge effort from their side to create more chances as creativity was the missing element in the final third. They are certainly missing Follis in attack who has yet to kick a ball for them and with two defensive win-backs creativity is limited.

Their 3-4-1-2 system  with White in the number 10 position did not seem to work against City’s 4-3-3, but I don’t think the system was the main  problem. They put Wellings on for Ayisi and kept the 3-4-1-2 and it produced a goal with the young forward bringing a good impetus as soon as she came on.

Manchester City  were as efficient and classical in their play as they usually do. A ball possession game with sharp passing using all the strength and technical skill from their players. They also had a lot of experience with a starting 11 full of international players. They went about their business professionally and did the job very well and were deserved winners.

Birmingham clearly had a younger side and maybe that explain why some players froze and did not perform especially in the first half. What was strange was their build up play, the ball went up to the midfield players then straight back at the defenders or at Berger. Just putting the defense and the goalie under pressure and inviting City to press them.

The four Birmingham midfielders were disappointing in the first half. The two wing back faced tough customers with Bronze and Stokes, backed up by Parris and Lawley with the centre backs helping the wing-back when they were in 2v1 situation. The usual and normal tactical situation in the 3-4-1-2 v 4-3-3 was not managed very well.

The two central midfielders faced the three City midfielders Scott, Christiansen and Walsh who was sitting deeper with White coming from her number 10 position to help them main it a 3v3 game in midfield.  Why the two central midfielders did not perform well on the day is a puzzling. It meant Man City dominated the wings and the central midfield area overall. When they are  in control they are extremely dangerous and had three goals at half-time to show for it.

Now I was expecting a Birmingham half-time tactical change, maybe go to a back four, or having White moving to a higher position on the pitch where she could do more damage in a 3-4-3 system or making substitutions for the players who performed badly in the first half.

No change happened and City went into control mode managing the game and making sure, it was well under control. Wellings introduction meant more direct runs and pace up front and it brought a goal and a small light of hope, that was extinguished with another superb City goal in transition from Jill Scott, who turned round Harrop and finished well.

Overall Manchester City were deserved winners on the day performing to the expectations while Birmingham could have given them a harder game but they did not manage to reach the performance level they reached against Arsenal and Chelsea unfortunately for them.

The FA giving us fake news again, this time about the FA WSL2 Spring Series title

It is well documented that the FA WSL twitter and website are making gaffe after gaffe and again they have come with a new one about the FA WSL 2 Spring Series winner.

For those who do not know about the previous cock-ups they claimed that Manchester City was the first FA WSL team to reach the Champions League semi-final. Then advertised the FA Women’s Cup final with Chelsea Ladies as one of the team in it. The final will see Man City play Birmingham City tonight at 5.15pm at Wembley Stadium. By the way, if you are reading this blog, you should attend it and make it a record number.

So what are the FA claiming this time ? “The Toffees are targeting sweet title success this weekend”. Surely they made a mistake in the title, but the post itself must be correct ?

Well no, they repeat the same absurdity again :

“Everton will be crowned champions of the FA Women’s Super League 2 Spring Series if they beat Watford this Sunday.”

Let’s have a look at the table, Everton have 16 points and a 17-7 goal difference, Durham have 16 points and a 10-5 goal difference. And the fixture list : Everton v Watford 14/05, London Bees v Everton 20/05, Aston Villa v Durham 21/05 .

 

Let’s make a simple calculation : should Everton beat Watford 1-0, they would reach 19 points and a 18-7 goal difference. The FA would then give them the trophy according to the article.

 

Then the following week with nothing to play for, they could lose 3-0 at Bees. 19 points and a 18-10 goal difference. And on final day, should Durham win 4-0 at Villa, they would also reach 19 points and a 14-5 goal difference. As per the FA WSL Spring Series rules, the first tie-breaker in case of teams finishing level on points is the goal difference.

 

So we could with finish with Durham with +9 and Everton with +8. It is not an unrealistic prospect at all, although the Bees’ form suggest they will have a hard time beating the Toffees.  And as mentioned by my good friend Dion, something that I had not spotted

 

 

 

Aston Villa have 14 points and two games to play away to Doncaster and home to Durham. Should Villa win today, they would reach 17 points and could be crowned champions if Everton final tally is 19 points with a title shootout on final day.

 

 

Basically, the FA WSL putting fake news on their website / social media seems to be the flavor of the season and you wonder why there are no basics checks for accuracy from the governing body.

 

 

Watford Ladies v Spurs Ladies

I went to Vicarage Road on Wednesday to watch an interesting friendly between Watford currently in FA WSL 2 and Spurs Ladies who have just won the FA WPL Southern Division and will contest the FA WSL promotion play-off against Blackburn Rovers.

Unfortunately for fans, the game was played behind closed door and I guess this is due to cost involved in policing stewarding etc as the matchday revenue would certainly not cover the use of the ground.

I think it was good for both team’s players to play at such a venue rather than their usual ground.  What I noticed is all the players seem to enjoy the venue and not troubled by playing at such a nice ground. Obviously a couple of Watford players had already played there and Spurs recently won the FA WPL title at White Hart Lane.

Watford ended up 2-0 winners in a game where both sides decided to rotate their team. Simona Petkova scored an excellent volley from a corner in the first half and Cherelle Albert added a second goal from the penalty spot.

It was certainly interesting as Spurs are certainly looking to promotion in the FA WSL and from the number of games I saw this year they would not look out of place, the only exception being the FA Women’s Cup North London Derby where they looked like a rabbit caught in the headlight and did not perform at their usual level.

Watford Ladies are obviously in a rebuilding process with Keith Boanas trying new players and he is likely to make even more signings during the Summer break as players become available.

So it was an entertaining game and a real shame, only friends and family were invited to watch it.

FA WSL 1 winter transfer window 2017

Here is the recap for this winter’s transfer window that has closed on the 6th of April :

This week’s transfers

Confirmed transfers

Extended contracts

Expected deals to go through 

Manchester City

In : Keira Walsh (2019/20), Abbie McManus, Megan Campbell, Melissa Lawley ( Birmingham City), Carli Lloyd ( Houston Dash), Georgia Stanway

Out : Daphné Corboz ( Sky Blue FC)

Chelsea

In :  Laura Coombs ( Liverpool –  end of loan),  Maren Mjelde ( Avaldnes IL), Eniola Aluko, Gemma Davison, Anna Borges ( 2018), Ramona Bachmann ( Wolfsburg), Erin Cuthbert (Glasgow City), Crystal Dunn ( Washington Spirit), Millie Bright, Hannah Blundell, Rebecca Spencer, Jodie Brett, Millie Farrow, Fran Kitching, Deanna Cooper ( London Bees), Karen Carney, Hedvig Lindahl, Bethany England, Jade Bailey, Carly Telford ( Notts County)

Out : Laura Rafferty ( Brighton), Jenna Legg ( Brighton), Rosella Ayane, Ana Borges ( Sporting- loan ), Alessia Russo ( Brighton), Anne Meiwald ( London Bees), Jodie Brett ( Bristol -loan), Millie Farrow ( Bristol – loan), Laura Coombs ( Liverpool)

Arsenal

In : Kim Little ( Seattle Reign), Carla Humphrey ( Doncaster Belles – end of loan), Danielle Van De Donk, Heather O’Reilly ( FC Kansas City), Beth Mead ( Sunderland), Anna Moorhouse ( Doncaster Belles), Carla Humphrey, Chloe Kelly, Charlotte Devlin, Molly Peters ( West Ham), Jordan Littleboy ( London Bees), Louise Quinn ( Notts County)

Out : Natalia Pablos Sanchon ( Rayo Vallecano), Marta Corredera ( Atletico Madrid), Vicky Losada ( FC Barcelona) , Casey Stoney ( Liverpool ), Josephine Henning ( Olympique Lyonnais), Emma Byrne ( Brighton), Rachel Yankey, Lucy Parker ( LSU Soccer), Kelly Smith ( retirement), Asisat Osholala ( Dalian Quinjan), Charlotte Devlin ( Millwall – loan)

Liverpool

In : Mayumi Pacheco ( Doncaster – end of loan), Casey Stoney ( Arsenal), Kirtsy Hanson ( end of loan – Sheffield), Danielle Gibbons, Satara Murray, Marta Harris, Laura Coombs ( Chelsea), Jess Clarke ( Notts County), Amy Turner ( Notts County)

Out : Rosie White ( Boston Breakers), Emma Lundh ( IFK Viksjö), Mandy Van Den Berg ( Reading Women), Laura Coombs ( Chelsea – end of loan), Kirsty Hanson ( Doncaster), Mayumi Pacheco ( Doncaster – transfer), Hannah Dale( Sheffield – loan), Mollie Green ( Everton)

Birmingham

In : Mark Skinner ( manager), Leanne Hall ( assistant manager), Jess Carter, Sarah Mayling ( Aston Villa), Ellen White ( Notts County), Kerys Harrop, Paige Williams (Verona), Emma Follis ( Reading), Rachel Williams ( Notts County)

Out : David Parker ( manager), Marcus Bignot ( head coach), Melissa Lawley ( Manchester City), Corina Schroeder, Alex Windell, Kirsty Linnett ( Notts County)

Notts County Ladies ( folded)

In : Rachel Williams, Jo Potter, Jade Moore, Leanne Crichton, Angharad James, Kirsty Linnett ( Birmingham), Aileen Whelan, Louise Quinn ( Eskiltuna United), Shelly Provan ( Reading), Bianca Bragg (unattached)

Out : Avi Luik, Sophie Walton ( Doncaster Belles), Ellen White ( Birmingham City), Laura Jayne O’Neill (Forest),  Sophie Bradley-Auckland, Alice Hassall ( Aston Villa), Taome Oliver ( Oxford United), Jess Clarke ( Liverpool)

Sunderland

In : Hilde Gunn Olsen, Anke Preuss ( ASGM Verona), Dominique Bruinenberg ( ASGM Verona),  Beverly Leon, Stephanie Bannon, Abby Holmes, Hayley Sharp, Melanie Reay ( Head coach)

Out : Emma Kelly ( Middlesborough Ladies), Rachel Furness ( Reading), Beth Mead ( Arsenal),  Brooke Chaplen ( Reading), Rachel Laws ( Durham), Charlotte Potts ( Middlesborough Ladies)

Reading

In : Mandy Van Den Berg ( Liverpool), Mary Earps, Rachel Furness ( Sunderland), Lauren Bruton, Melissa Fletcher, Charlie Estcourt, Anna Green ( Malbackens IF), Rebecca Jane, Kirsty McGhee, Brooke Chaplen ( Sunderland), Harriet Scott, Emma Follis, Amber Stobbs, Anissa Lahmari ( PSG -loan), Kirsty Linnett ( Notts County), Jo Potter ( Notts County), Jade Moore (Notts County)

Out : Jade Boho-Sayo ( Madrid CFF) , Laura May-Walkley ( London Bees) , Helen Ward ( Yeovil), Lois Roche ( Aland United), Shelley Provan ( Notts County), Amber-Keegan Stobbs ( Everton), Emma Follis (Birmingham), Nia Jones ( Yeovil)

Yeovil Town

In : Helen Ward* ( Reading), Nathalie Haigh, Helen Bleazard, Ellie Curson, Hannah Short, Stephanie Williams, Charlotte Haynes, Jessie Jones, Leah Burridge, Kelly Snook, Lucy Quinn, Steph Williams, Nia Jones ( Reading), Molly Clark ( Chichester), Angharad James ( Notts County)

Out : Kayleigh Green ( Chietti Calcio Feminile), Ellis Hillmann, Emily Donovan ( Oxford), Lauren Townsend ( Cardiff Met), Danielle Carlton ( Spurs Ladies)

Bristol City

In : Millie Turner ( Everton), Georgia Evans, Caitlin Leach, Megan Alexander, Jasmine Matthews, Olivia Fergusson, Eloise Wilson, Lily Agg ( Brighton), Corinne Yorston, Frankie Brown, Chloe Arthur, Claire Emslie, Hayley Ladd, Loren Dykes, Jodie Brett ( Chelsea -loan), Millie Farrow ( Chelsea – loan)

Out : Grace McCatty ( Durham Women), Hannah Reid ( Hibs)