Arsenal ladies manager, Pedro Losa, spoke to Arsenal.com after his side lost to Chelsea in the FA Cup.
“We were playing good football with no legs against a very good team, so it’s difficult.
“They are organised and professional, they train in the mornings, they have all the facilities available to train and that’s something we have to accept.”
It is an important point, while the Arsenal Ladies now train on a daily basis, they still train in the evening.
Teams like Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City and Notts County have therefore a competitive advantage on teams like Arsenal or Birmingham who have players in training in the evening as some of them have jobs, go to college or university.
Unless the club put an extra amount of money in to have a full-time professional players, it will be difficult to compete with teams who have a huge advantage in what is called the ‘invisible preparation’.
“Maybe for us the game came too early. We have to be ready but it’s difficult to play a game like that when you have 12 players away for 10 days, and the young players for another 12 days with international commitments.
“I felt the players were exhausted but even with that we competed against a great team. It was not the performance we wanted but it’s something I have to accept and something we have to improve.”
The FA scheduling an important FA Women’s Cup game three days after the internationals and also the u19 elite round did not help the team, but it is fair to say that the same thing happened to Chelsea with many players called up for their various national teams and u19 side as well.
Tiredness did certainly play a part for Leah Williamson who played three full games in six days, scored four penalties in those three games including one nerve racking one in the bizarre incident that led to 90 seconds being played in the Norway game. It was certainly a tough ask for the 18 years old to do another 90 minutes game a couple of days later.