It’s happened! We’re 1 week into the new FA WSL season and it’s already miles better than 2013! Why? At least partially because it ACTUALLY STARTED this year. And to think this time a year ago we were suffering through snowed off games. Who ever said global warming was a thing? [Oi - stay on topic! - editor]
Anyway, on a serious note this season may be in its very nascent stages, but it really is shaping up to be something a bit special, because right now it’s proving utterly unpredictable. Event in the depths of its most dramatic moments, last season had the feeling of a fairly predictable turn of affairs, right up to the point where it swept the rug from under everyone’s feet and left Liverpool and Bristol Academy as the top 2. This season…well, we wouldn’t want to be the ones making any predictions.
Notts County Start Strongly
Sure, we may only be days into the new season, but the-team-formerly-known-as-Lincoln-Ladies (or TTFKALL as they like to be known) have made an impressive start to their 2014 campaign. A draw against Arsenal in their opening fixture was probably a fair result, albeit one they were slightly clinging onto come the end of the second half after a tactical rejig by Shelley Kerr at halftime brought Arsenal into the ascendancy, but their two goal victory over Everton, courtesy of Jess Clarke’s brace cemented the new outfit’s impressive early season form. With Ellen White still to come into contention after injury, this may be a team to watch.
Chelsea and Liverpool will duke it out for the title
While the two may have shared a somewhat insipid goalless draw in their respective second outings of the season, these are surely the two sides that will fight it out for the FA WSL crown this season. For Liverpool, this is now well charted territory and they might have made it two victories in two matches but for Gemma Davison’s inability to find the target when well placed early in the second half. For Chelsea, however, the additions of South Korean midfielder Ji So-Yun (perhaps harshly sent off having picked up a second yellow card for diving) and Japanese striker Yuki Ogimi have added a level of nous in attack, while Gilly Flaherty looks an inspired addition in defence. The title winners should emerge from these two teams.
Could Manchester City’s stay in FA WSL 1 be a brief one?
It’s been a tough start to the season for MCWFC. If being drawn away against the league winners in the first match wasn’t hard enough, having to face the runners up in their first home encounter wasn’t exactly a comfortable second step, and a second defeat leaves an awkward record of played 2, lost 2, scored 0, conceded 3. In the strongest mitigating terms, this is a new team still learning to play together and, for the most part, learning what it is to play in the top tier of English football. Unfortunately for City, in an 14 game season there are few chances to claw back lost points. City need a result – any result – on the table and they need it fast.
With a gap of almost a month until their next FA WSL fixtures – the Continental Cup is up next – City have time to gel before their next fixture. That fixture pitches them against an Arsenal side with some work of their own to do this season. It’s never easy in the top flight.
Birmingham 0 – 0 Everton
Notts County 1 – 1 Arsenal
Bristol Academy 0 – 2 Chelsea
Liverpool 1 – 0 Manchester City
Chelsea 0 – 0 Liverpool
Everton 0 – 2 Notts County
Manchester City 0 – 2 Bristol Academy
Image from West London Sport – thanks!