Four of the bottom five teams in the FA WSL that are fighting to avoid relegation have changed manager this season. Here I’ll have a look if the changes have benefited the teams of if the situations are the same.

Bristol City v Chelsea - FA Women s Continental Tyres League Cup - Final - Vicarage Road Bristol City manager Matt Beard before the FA Women s Continental Tyres League Cup final match at Vicarage Road, London. Picture date: Sunday March 14, 2021. Copyright: Mike Egerton
Bristol City v Chelsea – FA Women s Continental Tyres League Cup – Final – Vicarage Road Bristol City manager Matt Beard before the FA Women s Continental Tyres League Cup final match at Vicarage Road, London. Picture date: Sunday March 14, 2021. Copyright: Mike Egerton

West Ham (12th place with 8 points)

Matt Beard left the club by mutual consent on 19 November with 0.57 PPG W1 D1 L5. There was an interim period with Billy Stewart 19 November to 23 December with an excellent 1.5 PPG with W1 D0 L1.

Olli Harder has taken over since and has a 0.2 PPG record with W0 D1 L4. Their only draw came against Bristol at home. Their form is not good at the moment and they have a key game against Birmingham on Wednesday.

No managerial bounce at West Ham.

Bristol (11th place with 9 points)

Tanya Oxtoby went on maternity leave on 15 January and was replaced by Matt Beard. Her record at the time was 0.2 PPG with W0 D2 L8. Matt Beard has a 1.4 PPG with W2 D1 L2 and they are one of the form team in the relegation battle having also reached the Conti Cup final mainly under Tanya Oxtoby.

The 6-0 defeat against Chelsea should not impact too much their relegation battle and they are currently on an upward trajectory with a clear impact from the manager change.

Aston Villa (10th place with 10 points)

Marcus Bignot the former Birmingham co-manager in the FA WSL and former Arsenal assistant manager has taken over as interim manager from Gemma Davies who stayed in the coaching staff on 25 January.

Gemma Davies had a 0.70 PPG record with W2 D1 L7 and the Villa board was clear that the change was made to avoid relegation and grow the team next season. Under Marcus Bignot the results are just better with a 0.75 PPG record with W1 D0 L3. it has to be said that the three defeats were against Champions League contenders in Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United.

So, Aston Villa have actually won their one realistically winnable game against Tottenham. Their upcoming games against direct competitors in the relegation battle will tell us if the management change was the right move.

Tottenham (8th place 13 points)

There was a bit of a surprise when Spurs sacked Karen Hills and Juan Carlos Amoros who had been leading them for many years from the lower League. Their replacement was also named on the day, 19 November, which shows the move was planned well in advance.

The numbers were not good though. At the time, Spurs had no win in seven games and a meagre 0.42 PPG. They were deep into the relegation battle. Fast forward to March, Spurs are five points clear of the relegation place and Rehanne Skinner has a much better 1.25 PPG rate. Her record is good enough with W3 D1 L4.

They need probably at least one or two more wins to make sure of staying up, but the managerial change certainly had a positive effect.

Overall out of four changes, two have certainly improved the team, one is still undecided and one has not worked out so far. All those teams have seven or eight games to make sure, they do not finish bottom of the table, it will certainly be interesting to see what happens at the end of the season for the team that will go down.

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Following the Arsenal Ladies since 2004/05. Arsenal LFC season ticket holder since they appeared in 2006/07. Likely to be found watching women's football every week-end all over England... and the world. I am also a silver member