Chelsea Ladies - Mid-season break
It’s the mid-season break in the Women’s Super League So this seems like a good time to begin this blog as we recap over an exciting and transitional few months for the Ladies team. Chelsea sit 4th by virtue of goals scored over 5th placed Arsenal, albeit our London rivals and last season’s champions have two games in hand.
Soccer - Chelsea Ladies Photocall - Cobham Training Ground
Top 4, of 8, was the target for boss Emma Hayes at the summer break, who spoke candidly after defeat to the gunners in game six. Hayes spoke about a long term project, stability and setting the infrastructure and the building blocks for the future, not too dissimilar to a certain special one in the men’s game. This is already evident with access to Cobham and the medical staff and with some of the ladies now able to train on a full time basis.
Despite a promising start to the season drawing with Birmingham and beating Doncaster 4-0, the ladies have succumbed to 6 defeats in the last 7 in all competitions, including early exits from the Women’s FA Cup and Continental (League) Cup.
There has been positives to take from the first half of the season, however, most notably the deserved victory over high flying Liverpool, managed by former Ladies boss Matt Beard. It is Liverpool’s only league defeat to date as they sit at the top of the table.
It is a also a new look Chelsea team with 10 new signings adding experience and international quality to what was a young side left by Beard at the tail end of last season. Hayes has added Icelandic internationals Olina Vidarsdottir, a defender, and Edda Gardsdottir a midfielder.
Hayes also bought in Ester Dos Santos from Brazil, who can be likened to fellow Brazilian Ramires from the men’s team as a galloping box to box midfielder, but without a word of English it will take her time to learn and adjust. Those three players are the only members of the squad aged over 30.
Swedish international Sofia Jakobbson was another addition and at 23, she is young, very quick and she has already scored 5 in all competitions this season, Eniola Aluko has also returned to the club scoring 3 and assisting 3, while the likes of Hannah Blundell who scored on her debut vs Birmingham away, have been promoted from the youth and reserves. The future is bright.
The break will give a good opportunity to work together and improve for those not on international duty in the European Championships, but we should congratulate Helen Ward on her goal for Wales this week in their 2-2 draw with Slovakia and to both Eni Aluko and Dunia Susi who made Hope Powell’s England team announced this week.
Chelsea Ladies return to action on the 4th of August at 2pm with a home match against bottom of the league Doncaster Rovers Belles at Staines Town FC. The ladies have won all 5 of the previous WSL meetings between the sides averaging over 3 goals per game.
Written by @ChelseaStats
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