The FA WSL is back and the main target is obviously to qualify for the UEFA Women’s Champions League 2017/18 edition. Is it a realistic target?
Arsenal Ladies sit in fifth place in the table with seven points in five games. Chelsea Ladies are in second place with 15 points in six games and Manchester City have 19 points from seven games.
So we are looking at an eight-point gap with a game in hand. Basically Chelsea need to lose three games for Arsenal to get a chance to overtake them. Considering Chelsea have lost one in six, what are the odds of them losing four out of 16 overall? Quite slim.
There is no doubt that the biggest problem in the first half of the season has been consistency. The team has been unable to produce top quality performances on regular basis.
There is a no doubt that third place would be a big disappointment after all the investment made at London Colney and the player signings to strengthen the squad.
We know that some squad rotation will happen in August. Josephine Henning is very likely to be called up for the Olympics in Rio and therefore should be leaving the team around the 18th of July, when the German team is selected.
I think it is time to get a settled starting XI and play it in all games, unless players are really tired and need a rest. Obviously it would mean a lot of unhappy players, who would only get a game on rotation day and a few minutes as a sub.
With Rachel Yankey back on the team picture it looks like Pedro Losa has 22 players available as Leah Williamson is out for a long time now.
This would be my current best XI based on what we saw during the first half of the season:
Van Veenendaal, Scott Stoney Henning Mitchell, Janssen Nobbs Smith (Losada), Carter Natalia.
Kelly Smith is still a sensational player, but cannot play 90 minutes every game so Losada is her natural replacement.
As nobody made a huge claim for the final attacking place in my opinion, Taylor, Oshoala, Van De Donk, McCabe, Yankey and Corredera should be the final pieces of the jigsaw.
Saturday’s game against Sunderland is a must win like all the remaining League games, so the team needs to get the momentum right straight from the off.