Article by Josh Bunting – @Buntingfootball
With the FA Women’s Super League suspended due to Coronavirus concerns until at least April 4th, we’ve decided to look at the season so far.
Manchester City currently lead the way with 40 points a point ahead of Chelsea who however have a game in hand.
Liverpool prop up the table on 6 points but are also just a point away from Birmingham City in 11th.
Here is a run-down of whats happened at each club so far
The story so far- Vicky Jepson’s side sit bottom of the table with 6 points so far, but there has been plenty of positive displays to give them hope of moving away from that relegation zone.
Positives– Liverpool have been in games all season but just haven’t been able to get the results. The Reds don’t concede many and have given WSL Champions Arsenal a scare in a 3-2 defeat.
Negatives– Football is a results business and Liverpool haven’t been able to get some over the line. Losing to West Ham was a big disappointment especially going 4-0 behind.
Star Player- Rachel Furness, the Northen Ireland International has helped Liverpool’s performances improve and she has scored 4 goals in her 4 matches with the club so far.
One to watch– Niamh Charles, still only 20 but it feels as if Charles has been around for a long time. She always offers energy and plenty of running has scored 5 goals in total this campaign and there’s plenty more to come. \
The story for far- Current Women’s Super League Champions Arsenal currently sit 3rd in the table on 36 points 4 behind leaders Manchester City.
Positives– With a small squad a huge positive for the Gunners is that they have been successful in all competitions. Still in the WSL title race, runners up in the Continental Cup, Champions League Quarter-finalists and still in the FA Cup.
Negatives– Injuries have been a huge problem this season with key players Lia Walti, Beth Mead, Kim Little, Danielle Van De Donk and Danielle Carter all currently out.
Star player- Vivianne Miedema’s goals have been crucial but for consistency Leah Williamson in my opinion has been the star player for Arsenal. Her leadership for being 22 is excellent and her passing range is to be admired.
One to watch– Lisa Evans is a very underatted player and has been key for Joe Montemurro’s side this season. Her delivery is one of the very best in the league and has the ability to set the tone to games.
The story so far – Chelsea currently sit 2nd in the League 1 point off the summit. They also picked up the seasons first silverware as Bethany England scored a double to beat Arsenal 2-1 in the Continental Cup final last month.
Positives – Goals, the Blues have been firing them in from all angles this season so far. Emma Haye’s style of football has been beautiful on the eye this campaign. Their high press has been key to their success and that’s been a main factor in their season. They are also still unbeaten in the League the only team with that record.
Negatives – Chelsea fans will be frustrated with dropping points against Brighton & Hove Albion and Liverpool but other than that there’s not many.
Star player – Beth England, what a season she is having she’s won player of the month on two consecutive occasions. England currently has 14 goals and 4 assists to her name so far.
One to watch – Guro Reiten the Norwegian International has made a huge impact in her first season in the WSL. She has netted 5 times and has claimed 8 assists in the League. Also a pivotal point to the high press.
The story so far – Manchester City sit top of the WSL table with 40 points. Manager Nick Cushing departed onto pastures new as he went to join New York City as assistant manager. Alan Mahon has taken over and he has led the side to a league victory over Bristol City and a thrilling draw with Chelsea.
Positives– Being top of the table speaks for itself, winning 13 drawing 1 and losing 2. Winning 2-1 over Arsenal proved a lot of people wrong and shows they are up for the title fight. Also a season that will be remembered by beating City rivals Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium.
Negatives– Going out of the Champions League was a blow for City losing to Atletico Madrid.
Star player- Kiera Walsh, the England Internationals passing range and vision is outstanding. She has the ability to control the tempo of games. Pauline Bremer also gets a mention she has netted 10 goals in 12 League games this season.
One to watch – Caroline Weir, the Scotland International is in my opinion one of the most underatted stars in the League. Crucial to what City do on the attack, reads the game exceptionally well and full of energy.
The story so far- Manchester United are in their debut season in the Women’s Super League. Casey Stoney’s side currently sit 4th in the table winning 7 of their 14 games so far.
Positives – Manchester United have so many positives this season, Stoney is a fantastic coach and using her footballing experience to the maximum. Sitting 4th in the division in their debut season is a fantastic return and using youth players is always good to see
Negatives – Defeats to Bristol City and West Ham will have frustrated them especially West Ham as they were 2-1 ahead at the 80th minute mark.
Star Player – Leah Galton always full of pace and energy and gets United on the front foot. She has 4 goals and 3 assists for the Reds in the WSL so far.
One to watch – Lauren James, the 18 year old hasn’t had any problems adapting to life in the top division she has found the net 6 times in her 12 games.
The story so far – Reading sit 5th in the table and have impressed once again. Not afraid to get stuck in from the start. Kelly Chambers knows how to get the best out of her players.
Positives – Reading have an array of talent such as Jade Moore, Amalie Eikeland and Brooke Chaplen as well as the experienced Fara Williams. They know one another’s strengths and are a solid unit.
Negatives – A good cup run is what Reading would have wanted this year but they lost out to FA Women’s Championship side Leicester City in the last 16.
Star player – Fara Williams is the heart and soul of the team. The leader and she controls matches from the middle. Can score from anywhere with her range of shooting.
One to watch – 24 year old Norwegian striker Amalie Eikeland has impressed this season she has 2 goals and 2 assists but her hold up play is fantastic and brings others into games.
The story so far – Tottenham are also making their debut season in the WSL led by Karen Hills and Juan Amoros they currently sit 6th and have registered 6 wins so far.
Positives – Spurs started the season very well winning 3 of their opening 5 games over Liverpool, West Ham and Bristol City. They are very quick on the counter attack and this has been a feature of their play all season.
Negatives – Losing Rachel Furness in January to Liverpool was a huge blow for the North London side. She was pivotal to their style of play and could play as a number 10 or as a false 9.
Star player – Only 21 but Rianna Dean has been terrific for Spurs all season, her pace has caused many teams problems and she has also scored 4 goals so far including the winner last time out at Brighton.
One to watch – Rosella Ayane the 24 year old has really settled at Tottenham, she has impressed in many games and is versatile.
The story so far – Everton are currently 7th in the league after an excellent season. Willie Kirk has got them playing a good brand of attacking football. Everton fans would say this has been their best season in several years.
Positives – There has been a few for the Blues moving into their new ground is right up there and performances on the pitch have certainly improved. They play with no fear for such a young squad and its gained a lot of plaudits. Winning a Merseyside Derby at Anfield is also right up there.
Negatives – They went on a three game run without a win from the 8th December to the 11th January against Manchester United, Arsenal and Manchester City.
Star Player – Chloe Kelly has been on fire for the Toffees this season and earned a senior call up to the England squad for the recent SheBelieves Cup.
One to watch – Esme Morgan has been terrific since her loan move from Manchester City. She uses the ball well and is getting better with every game she plays.
West Ham United
The story so far – Last seasons FA Cup runners up sit in 8th after a mixed bag of a season winning 5 games, drawing 1 and losing 8.
Positives– They beat the teams around them and pick up points when it matters. They’ve beaten Brighton twice, Liverpool, Birmingham City and also completed a thrilling comeback over Manchester United.
Negatives– Defensively they’ve leaked far too many goals, they’ve only managed the one clean-sheet all season that was in the 1-0 victory over Birmingham back in August.
Star player- Martha Thomas, the 23 year old Scotland forward has netted 4 goals this season for the Hammers and also claimed 1 assist. She also scored twice on her Scotland debut in the Pinatar Cup victory over Ukraine.
One to watch– Grace Fisk, Fisk arrived in January from the University of South Carolina. The 22 year old defender has played 5 times since her move and was part of the England squad at the SheBelieves Cup.
Brighton & Hove Albion
The Story so far – Like West Ham Brighton have been inconsistent. They are 9th in the table but unlike the Hammers find goals more of a problem than keeping them out.
Positives – The draw with Chelsea in September showed they have the ability to compete. They are very well organised and always dig in.
Negatives– Scoring goals has been hard for Albion this season failing to score in 8 of their games so far.
Star player– Aileen Whelan, When Albion have found the net this campaign it has mostly been from the boots of Whelan. She has registered 5 goals in 16 appearances to date.
One to watch– Rianna Jarrett, unknown to many but Jarrett is a quality player. Signed in January from Republic of Ireland side Wexford Youths she links play very well.
The Story so far – Again I use that word inconsistent, you just never know what to expect from Tanya Oxtoby’s side. They are 10th with 9 points.
Positives – They have picked up points against teams around them, the Robins are also fearless they will give everything they can in a game even if that means coming off the back of some heavy defeats.
Negatives – They didn’t win a game until the 5 January, that included an 11-1 demolition at Arsenal.
Star player – Carla Humphrey although she’s now injured but for someone at just 23 she’s extremely intelligent on and off the ball. Her vision is excellent and a player I rate very highly indeed.
One to watch – Ebony Salmon, Salmon is only 19 but has stepped up when needed this season the England Under 21 international has scored 5 times in her 14 matches and also has an assist.
The Story so far- Birmingham City sit 11th and have parted company with manager Marta Tejedor. It simply didn’t work out for the Spanish coach in the Midlands.
Positives – There has been plenty of good performances from Birmingham but they just can’t finish their chances. They have never been outclassed in a game apart from Chelsea in a 6-0 defeat in November.
Negatives – Being clinical, City have been in plenty of games this season but just miss that final touch and that is one thing Charlie Baxter will be hoping improves in his tenure.
Star player – Lucy Staniforth, the England International is a leader and uses her experience well. Can control games and her vision is right up there with the best in the business. She has 3 assists and 1 goal this season so far.
One to watch – Brianna Visalli, Visalli shows no fear everytime she crosses the white line. She has plenty of energy and gets stuck in. Never gives up or shys away in defeat.
Article by Josh Bunting – @Buntingfootball