Am I a genius?
Well now the official test is complete and we can find out.
Nine months ago, I predicted the Women’s Super League table, and it came out like this.
2. Manchester City
4. Manchester United
7. Aston Villa
9. West Ham
10. Bristol City
12. Birmingham City
And here is how it actually finished.
2. Manchester City
4. Manchester United
9. West Ham United
10. Aston Villa
11. Birmingham City
12. Bristol City
Now, with a not-that-complex system of scoring where I start at 0 and move backwards for every position I got wrong, for example, I had Bristol City finishing 10th and they finished 12th, so that’s minus 2 from my score, I can finally calculate my genius.
I think the worst I can do is -72… So let’s see if I’m a smart cookie or a dumb biscuit.
Predicted: 3rd / Actual: 3rd
Just weren’t in the hunt this time out, letting Chelsea and Man City run away while they seemed happy to settle for third, even entertaining Manchester United in the hunt for the same position.
I’d be looking at this season as a disappointment if I were at the club. At times, it looked as if they rolled over for the two sides above them, just not looking up to calibre.
I can’t say what needs to change, but with The Red Devils on the charge, Arsenal can’t keep stagnating.
Predicted: 7th / Actual: 10th
I thought they signed well! But perhaps there wasn’t enough top flight experience… Something that Leicester might have to learn for next season. It wasn’t glorious survival, but it’s a jumping off point, and with sides around them merely consolodating, they need to be doing that too, but better. It’s about outconsolodation in the WSL outside of the top half.
Predicted: 12th / Actual: 11th
Carla Ward worked wonders with what she had, hence why her name’s being thrown around in the manager of the season conversation.
It wasn’t just me who thought this Birmingham side was doomed, picked apart for the past few seasons and left with barely a full squad, Ward has squeezed all the juice out of her players, even making some shrewd additions along the way.
It might not be a long-term solve, but if Ward can continue to work ’em out season on season, it adds time to the clock.
Predicted: 8th/ Actual: 6th
Another manager who has assembled a squad against the backdrop of struggles, Hope Powell and her stingy Seagulls were frustrating in their pursuit of survival. It’s as if they were told to wait for just the golden moments to go for goal, otherwise, don’t shoot at all. The issue is, those golden moments barely came around once a game. Like their namesake, scabbing chips by the beach, picking their moments to swoop…
They’ve got attackers who can get goals, it’s just a case of cutting them loose and strengthening the defence that’s there instead of defending with all eleven lasses behind the ball. Then again, a top half finish seems to signify that these lot know exactly what they’re doing.
Predicted: 10th / Actual: 12th
The Robins have been passed by in the WSL. Former glories hold no weight anymore and a comparitively physically weak side haven’t made enough strides to survive.
These lot might be just the first to fall by the wayside as women’s football changes in England. We say a fond farewell to the likes of Baggaley and Salmon in the WSL, and we’ll see you doon’t road.
Predicted: 1st / Actual: 1st
They made it dramatic by taking it to the final day, but was there really any doubt? They just don’t look fazed by anything. Even in defeat, you just know they’re gonna come back and soundly beat the next eight teams like nothing ever happened.
They’ll credit Manchester City, but when you only drop nine points due to measured and designed flawlessness and jealousy-inducing depth in every position on the pitch — credit is all anyone else can get.
That final assist from Kirby for Kerr against Reading, oh yes.
Predicted: 6th / Actual: 5th
Some really strong signings not only aided Everton to an impressive campaign, but they’ve set them up for the future, providing the big clubs don’t come sniffing… Though with their seemingly sound recruitment policy that might not be a massive issue.
But they don’t wanna keep re-setting, and if they can run a power line from defence to midfield to attack more smoothly, they could be a force to be reckoned with next season.
Transitional play is gonna be key.
Predicted: 2nd / Actual: 2nd
I had three very simple instructions for Gareth Taylor and his side at the start of the season.
1. They need to beat Chelsea.
2. They need to beat Chelsea.
3. They need to beat Chelsea.
And what did they do? Everything but? They drew with them, and the lost to them. Like they’re going out of their way to ignore me…
Because The Blues will punish you like that. They dictated games while City brutalised their way to victory — it’s two different ways to win, and this season was always gonna come down to the head to head between the two, which The Citizens just can’t seem to compute.
It’ll be the same again next season — City will need to get themselves in the driving seat and not fall asleep at the wheel.
Predicted: 4th / Actual: 4th
There’s a patience in the side. Like they know the inevitable is coming. They seem calm while Arsenal squirm. The march to the top three started a long time ago and the reward will soon be here.
A young squad is well-drilled and as they start to add superstars that strike fear, The Red Devils position themselves closer to their city rivals than anyone might think.
The Red Moon is rising. The writing’s on the wall. This season was another patient, measured, calculated step to their ultimate goal.
Predicted: 5th/ Actual: 7th
I just cannae predict this side. No matter how close I get, it’ll always be a random stab, and I can’t take credit for getting close.
They always seem strong, but then drop points unexpectedly. Or pick up points unexpectedly. You never expect the expected with these lot. It’s constant consolidation as well, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of movement one way or the other, and while they’re on the precipice of both, it’s a lot harder to figure out what to do to move up than it is to move down.
The Royals might soon be overthrown if they don’t utilise the power of their throne.
Predicted: 11th/ Actual: 8th
I said they’d done little to add to it, and when Alex Morgan can’t make a go of it in your side, your issues run deep.
A side that can’t get a consistent run of scoring going struggles, a side seemingly scared of scoring goes down. Spurs were hovering just above the latter, and it’s tricky to see what they need to do to recover.
Knocking the ball around is all well and good, but if you don’t end up doing anything with it, you’re gonna suffer. I call it the Graham Potter at Brighton Syndrome.
Predicted: 9th / Actual: 9th
They were a bit like Spurs but had a few players who were willing and able to take chances. van Egmond shone for The Hammers but it seems like the sides that aren’t pushing up are just consolidating season on season, not going the extra mile and planning in concrete.
Something’s gotta give for these sides, and with confident teams like Leicester coming up season after season, it’ll get harder and harder to stay one step ahead.
To the last day at both ends of the table. You love to see it.
We bid farewell to Bristol City and congratulate Chelsea before we shake it off in a week or so and get ready for when twelve sides meet again, this time with a rambunctious Leicester side in the mix.
And big up to Chelsea for reaching the Champo League final in dramatic-ass fashion as well. Good luck, lasses.
So how did I do? This is my first time doing this, so no comparisons to go on, but with the worst I can do like -72, I’ll say something under -30 is pretty good.
Okay. Could’ve been worse. Could’ve been better. Even though I did okay with Reading, I feel as if it’s their fault. A tight start nonetheless, but I strive for perfection!
MY BIGGEST WINNERS: West Ham, Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal — 0
MY BIGGEST LOSERS: Tottenham, Aston Villa — -3
Maybe next season, eh? I’ll see you there. I’ll be the one getting too excited by Leicester and overestimating them again. Or maybe I’ll estimate them correctly… Hmm…
Keep it streets ahead,