Despite a previous claim from a player that the difference between Arsenal and opponents Chelsea/Manchester City, a marginal gap has already opened at the top of the table.
Although, we are only on matchday three out of 16, Arsenal Ladies are already trailing Manchester City women by six points and Chelsea Ladies by three points with the Blues having a game in hand and therefore potentially six points ahead of the Gunners as well.
If we look at the history of the top two places through the five years since the FA WSL was created the record is as follows:
- 2015 1. Chelsea 10-2-2, 2. Man City 9-3-2
- 2014 1. Liverpool 7-5-2, 2. Chelsea 8-2-4
- 2013 1. Liverpool 12-0-2, 2. Bristol 10-1-3
- 2012 1.Arsenal 10-4-0 2. Birmingham 7-5-2
- 2011 1. Arsenal 10-2-2 2. Birmingham 8-5-1
So with one win and two defeats out of three games, the Arsenal Ladies have more or less used all their jokers already if we look at the Leagues’ history.
Considering there are now 16 games being played rather than 14, there might be a little leeway with maybe an extra defeat allowed to win the title, but there is no more time to mess around.
We know that the squad is huge this season and considering there are many players already injured, it is not a bad thing at all, but consistency in the starting 11 and tactics might help.
Some individual performances have been highlighted as poor, but some other players have been consistently below average and are still getting starts, while others have been superb but get sent to the bench the following game.
I remember a few seasons ago a player from another FA WSL side using the classic “it is not a sprint, it is a marathon,” saying following a slow start to her side. Guess what? They never recovered and caught up with the top two teams.
One of the biggest worries seen throughout the beginning of the season is the team is moving towards a side getting better on the break with pacy forwards, rather than capable of developing a possession based attacking football.
It is as if the players are struggling to break down compact defences through lack of ideas but are getting better at going behind the opposition lines by playing deeper with direct passing.
Next League game is on Wednesday at Reading and already a must win one to keep up with the runaway leaders. Hopefully, the Arsenal can put in an improved performance while Chelsea and City could drop points at Liverpool and Sunderland.