hey WSL, try your best to finish in these positions so i look a genius in about 8 months
It ain’t been but a hot moment and footy’s back on the box.
And ain’t it back in a big way.
The WSL had to be cut short last time out, so we’ve actually waited donkeys for the lasses to git back out there, but now the time has arrived.
Twelve teams will get to go out there and do their thing at the highest level, hoping to be crowned champions and framed in history.
But who’s it gonna be?
The defending champions? The bitter runners-up?
Will there be a red moon rising?
Maybe seagulls will flock and peck their way to the top?
Will the villains get one over on the good guys?
I don’t know.
BUT I’M STILL GONNA GUESS
The runners-up to the runners-up last time out, The Gunners wanna make sure they ain’t the third (or forgotten) horse in the race this time out. Though not defensively inept last season, it is the position that needed reinforcing the most, and the additions of Steph Catley and Noelle Maritz go a long way to scratching that itch.
As long as Viv keeps firing up top and the staggering midfield continue to rampage, which Montemurro is obviously counting on, and can count on judging by their dominant pre-season friendlies, this considerably trimmed Arsenal side could push a sight harder this season.
Though it’s still difficult to move Everest, even if you are Kilimanjaro.
The new kids on the block! Last season’s championship champions are armed with menace aplenty, a stadium that will be daunting when fans are allowed in, and a board that won’t quit, the club looks set up to survive and then prosper.
They’ve brought in top level experience to compliment their home-grown players, and I reckon they’ll gel well just like that, not so much going all in with one or the other. Chloe Arthur was a smooth signing from over the road, and Diana Silva looks like a firework ready to light up The Midlands playing up front for The Villans.
They’ll enter as a house of bricks. Solid, if unspectacular, and a very capable foundation.
Last season, Birmingham had a bit of a ‘mare. Five goals and a rice grain between themselves and relegation lead to a restructuring of sorts. Marta Tejedor is out and Carla Ward is in, having managed Sheffield United to a close but no cigar Champo campaign last season. Sounds good to me, but where are all your players?
With important players like Adrienne Jordan and Kerys Harrop shipping out, they needed to be replaced, and have failed in that endeavour thus far. Rachel Corsie will provide some defensive cover, but Hannah Hampton’s gonna have her work cut out for her regardless.
They’re playing with the bare bones, so Carla Ward better know where the bodies are buried.
I don’t know what that means, but it sounds like it means something.
Hope Powell assembled a squad of survivors last season. A group that floated above disaster never once glancing in its direction. They’ve hung onto a lot of what did the job for them and they’ve made signings to shore it up that little bit more. The likes of Rebekah Stott and Nora Heroum bring a rigidity to the spine, and the loan-signing of underutilised Manchester City talent Lee Geum-min could be the dash of spice that makes this season extra nice on the South coast.
Call them a rag-tag bunch, but it’s something that unites them.
The Robins are hanging onto what made them successful just a few seasons ago under Tanya Oxtoby, but they know something needed to change after last season’s close shave. They’ve drafted in the likes of Jemma Purfield and Aimee Palmer, who shone in the Champo and never got much of a chance at the top, but are clearly ready for it.
The young side will stutter though. As in any construction that reaches for the stars, heavy winds rock you.
Bristol City will not stand unshaken. Not this time.
What did Chelsea need to change? I suppose they could have upped their mental game, but they kinda did that by winning the league and then the Community Shield, gifting Manchester City, if not Arsenal as well, the obsession to dethrone the ‘undeserving’ queens.
Though just to make it look like they weren’t resting on their laurels, Hayes brought in proven, promising talent in Niamh Charles and Jessie Fleming, and even broke the record for a women’s transfer fee by bringing in goalscorer extraordinaire Pernille Harder from Wolfsburg.
Just because it’s not broken, doesn’t mean it’s the best it can be.
A tricky one here ‘cos The Toffees have lost a lot of their first-teamers from last time out BUT they have replaced them with undoubtedly talented players with cracking records BUT they have no WSL experience BUT they still good.
The power of Willie Kirk’s side should be enough to see ’em safe, but growing pains will see ’em shy away from the top bunch.
Everton are gonna be doing handstands for some of this season, ‘cos they gotta find their feet first.
THEY NEED TO BEAT CHELSEA
THEY NEED TO BEAT CHELSEA
THEY NEED TO BEAT CHELSEA
They just gotta. I fear for what they might do otherwise.
They’ve done some Mark Hughes-era Man City cash splashing and come up with Sam Mewis and Rose Lavelle, two cracker USA internationals, as well as Chloe Kelly, who turned up for Everton last time out. That, along with the fact that only one major player has left a gap (though Pauline Bremer does leave quite a figurative gap), and The Citizens should be unstoppable.
But although they need to beat Chelsea, I don’t reckon they can.
They might squeak past Kilimanjaro, but they’re still only K2.
Casey Stoney already knows her squad has got the goods and is playing a long game with ’em. Having added Lucy Staniforth to their ranks of proven talent, The Red Devils’ youth team is in preparation mode, though they ain’t in the mood for waiting, and with the majority making their breakthrough last season, the others will have a go this time round.
Soon the team’ll be ready to strike, but consolidation is on the cards this time round.
Gotta save your money to get the Porsche, yeah?
Experienced signings and one departure place Reading in pretty much the same position they were last time out, only more solidified, obvs.
They’re still a hard lot to figure out. I said it at the start of last season, and then I watched ’em and they made even less sense. 2–0 down to win 3–2, banging in goals from everywhere on the pitch. They’re a professional anomaly and cannot be predicted.
My best bet here is to take their finish from last season (5th) and build on that ‘cos they’ve strengthened, but not extremely… Surely they can’t crack the top three… 4th? 6th?
You gotta evolve to keep up with where you’re at.
A solid start last time out for Karen Hills and her lasses, but they’ve done little to build on it here.
Kerys Harrop and Rachel Williams bring more experience, while Alanna Kennedy and Shelina Zadorsky bring solidity, but it doesn’t feel like a forward step… Maybe sideways… At least it’s not backwards.
Spurs can count on their well-gelled squad to keep ’em knocking about, even if it’s not near the peak.
Better to have walls and no ceiling than the other way round.
Too many goals given away last season needed changing so they told a load of folk to hop it and they stocked up some more of their trademark secret sauce.
The secret is that they appear so random and erratic, that you can’t possibly predict how they’ll come at ya.
It’s like a grey soup. Could be nothing in there, could be everything in there.
They did manage to retain a lot of their major talent and the addition of Rachel Daly could see a potential Player of the Season enter the chat, but I dunno if it’ll be enough for The Hammers to accelerate up the table.
Not every food should be in soup and not every player should play for West Ham. But here we are. Hair soup.
Now, if y’all could do what you could to make the final table look like this, you’d be doing me a solid.
2. Manchester City
4. Manchester United
7. Aston Villa
9. West Ham
10. Bristol City
12. Birmingham City
Sweet. I’ll get 50 quid on that and I’ll see you in May.
Have a good one everyone and enjoy the WSL, players and fans alike.
Keep it streets ahead,