The FA has given the team and the fans a headache with the FA WSL fixture list as it is just plain bizarre.
You certainly wonder if they used a computer to build the list or if someone manually created it.
Let’s start with the number of Arsenal Ladies League game per month:
March: 2, April: 2, May: 2, June: 2,
August: 1, September: 1, October: 1, November:1
By the end of June 50% of the games will have been played.
This is fine considering the Summer break comes there, but by end of July 75% of the games will have been played.
This leaves the team with only one League game per month for the following four months. This is an absurd situation as you cannot get any rhythm with crucial games coming in once in a month.
There is also the ‘hit the ground running’ situation as following the Reading home game, Arsenal will then meet the top two teams from the 2015 season, City away then Chelsea at home.
If we look at the history of the competition with eight teams rather than nine this season, the Champions always won the title with two defeats or less. 2011 (2), 2012 (0), 2013 (2), 2014(2), 2015 (2).
So Arsenal Ladies could be virtually out of the title race as early as Matchday 3 with two defeats.
There is no real margin for error in the competition.
With 16 games per season due to nine teams noww in the League, winning the title might be possible with three defeats, but there is no doubt that it will be a nervous run in.
Waiting two to six weeks between League games for the final four fixtures is just madness and absurd, but the FA has always messed up the FA WSL fixtures since its inception.
Regarding the fans situation and the potential drop in attendance due to the horrible schedule, home games should be fine, away games might be difficult to attend for many fans.
Arsenal have six Sundays, five of them at the usual 2pm kick off time and one at 6pm on the final day. The two midweek games are Reading on the opening day on a Wednesday at 7.45 pm and Chelsea on a Thursday at 7.45 pm as well.
There is one Monday game – City at 3pm – making it ok to get back to London
Two Wednesday games – Reading at 7.45 pm at a difficult ground to access by public transport as it is a 40 minutes walk from the train station. Birmingham at 7.45 pm on a weekday, again no public transport easy access, so fans will need a car or do an overnight around Solihull
Two Saturday games – Doncaster Belles at 6.30 pm with the last train to London at 8.26 pm and the Keepmoat Stadium far from the train station.
So either, fans will have a car or do an overnight in Doncaster.
Sunderland at 6pm, again no public transport back to London on the night so the overnight option or a very long car ride home of around five hours.
Three Sunday games – Chelsea 2pm, a local derby, no problems for the fans to attend.
Notts County 5 pm, there are trains back to London, so not a bad schedule for those who don’t drive.
Liverpool on the final day at 6pm. The last train to London from Widnes leaves at 8.18 pm