by Sylvain Jamet
As mentioned earlier, the FA WSL has started a week after the FIFA WWC 2015 finished and it is obvious that the players who reached the late stage of the tournament did not have enough rest.
Looking at the first two games, there were 31 FA WSL players who were on display at the World cup 21 of them playing for England.
Here are the statistics from matchday seven and eight:
Players in the starting 11: 19 + 26 = 45 (72.58%)
Players who came on a substitute: 6 + 1 = 7 (11.29%)
Unused substitute: 2 + 2 = 4 (6.45%)
Injured or unavailable: 4 + 2 = 6 (9.67%)
Additional information: one player injured during matchday seven and three players injured during matchday eight.
Jordan Nobbs and Carly Telford are currently injured and not available to play following injuries sustained during the tournament. Fran Kirby was injured at the world cup and not named in the squad for matchday seven but was an unused substitute in matchday eight, so might still be short of match fitness. Desiree Scott was unavailable for matchday seven but came on as a substitute for matchday eight
Clearly the FA WSL managers have decided to use their WC players as soon as possible as there is a lot of pressure to get points on board especially with a 14 games long season. Every point lost is costly, as per the usual saying: ‘it’s a marathon, not a sprint‘.
The other reason to use specifically the England players is to make sure the legacy remains and there is a sustained interest in women’s football for years to come. Hence players turning up with their bronze medals for post game pictures and selfies.
Players and managers alike have complained about the lack of recovery time, so we will see if they will rest their world cup stars for the midweek FA WSL continental cup games. With games coming thick and fast now, squad rotation and giving those tired players a breather seems a good idea.