Arsenal Ladies 0-0 draw with Birmingham City Ladies confirmed the end of their title challenge for the 2016 season.
Only a miracle now could see the girls win the League.
With a third of the League played (five out of 16 games), Man City and Chelsea have already taken such a big League that it is unlikely to be bridged. Chelsea may only be two points ahead but they have two games in hand while Man City, who top the table after significant investment, are five points ahead of Arsenal.
There must be questions asked considering the quality and quantity of players signed during the transfer window, six of whom were full internationals.
It is quite obvious that the team did not gel quickly enough and it has been extremely costly in term of points lost. The fact that the squad is also huge, with 22 players, means there has been a lot of squad rotation in every game except for Sunday’s match, funnily enough, where Pedro Losa only made one change.
If we look at the results competition by competition, it certainly does not look great.
Reading H W 3-1 – an expected result against a promoted team.
Man City A L 2-0 – the first big blow to the title challenge, an early red card turned the game.
Chelsea H L 2-0 – second huge blow in the title race.
Reading A W 2-1 – a second win against the promoted team, another expected result for an alleged title challenger.
Birmingham H 0-0 – two points lost again, not enough on the attacking side, game over in the league.
Birmingham A D 1-1 – penalty shootout win.
Notts County H D 2-2 – penalty shootout win.
Sunderland H 7-0 – big win, despite an early red card.
Pedro Losa and the squad have the FA Women’s Cup and the Conti Cup to salvage the season and then there will be time for a post-mortem to see what needs to be improved for the 2017 campaign.
The club has a lot of talent in the development team and also in the u17 side and it would be a great loss to see all those youngsters with big potential leave the club because the first team is carrying too many players.
The FA WSL rules allow 40 players per squad for the first and development teams and with the first team currently containing 22 players, it leaves the development team only 18 places. With many u17 players needing to move to the development team, there will be some tough choices in the Summer 16 to be made as youth football is played in the winter season from September to May.
With many u17 players needing to move to the development team, there will be some tough choices in the summer to be made, as youth football is played in the winter season from September to May.
Underperforming players certainly need to raise their level for the remainder of the season otherwise come the winter transfer window, you would expect them to be offered to other clubs.