Morning Gooners and happy Monday to you.
I was in the Algarve over the weekend and so didn’t have much chance to pen any thoughts, but as it was an international weekend that kind of worked out well for me, because Eddie Nketiah first England appearance aside in the last 20 minutes of the friendly against Australia, there wasn’t really anything exciting going on that is worth talking about. Well, not in the men’s game, but in the women’s match against Aston Villa at The Emirates it was. I didn’t watch it as I couldn’t get coverage and I was on my way to the airport, but it sounds like they took a leaf from the men’s team and dropped a couple of wonderful last minute goals to turn the game around.
Honestly Arsenal Football Club, can’t you just make it easier for us by just going 3-0 up in the first 30 minutes of games please!?! 😉
Ultimately though I guess they got the win and their season needs to kick off now, because the WSL doesn’t seem like it’s like the men’s game; there seems to be less margin for error and even a couple of defeats scuppers the chances of winning the league it seems. Arsenal dropping points at home to Liverpool and away to United might already see them do that. Last season Chelsea lost twice and drew once to win the league. The season before that it was Chelsea with two defeats and two draws and before that it was three draws and one defeat. So with Arsenal on 1-1-1 already, you kind of feel they probably need to win their next 10 to 12 matches to be sure of having a short of winning the league in the season.
It’s a bit like Rugby in that sense; you don’t tend to get too many upsets and the gulf between the top tier teams and the next ones down is quite large. I watched some bits of the England vs Fiji game yesterday but didn’t see the end. Apparently it was a great game at the end and really tense, but ultimately England went through. I tend to flick on the Six Nations in February each year and it’s the same; Italy always finish last and are the whipping boys.
I guess the counter argument to that, however, is that you can see the same in the Premier League. It is all very well talking about the Leicester’s of the football world, but look at the winners of the last few major competitions in our country. For the Premier League in the last 10 year’s it has been City six times, Chelsea three times, Liverpool once and Leicester City once. In the FA Cup it has been Arsenal four times, City twice, Chelsea once, Liverpool once, then Leicester and Wigan once. Then in the League Cup we have seen City win it six times, United win it twice, Chelsea once and Liverpool once. So for all the talk from me of the WSL being one in which the margins and gulf is too massive, it isn’t like we get different winners of the competitions in the men’s game.
What we’re talking about here, however, is the sheer volume of games and when you add in so much volume of games, you inevitably get a greater probability of upsets. If there were 38 games in the WSL with three other competitions that the players have to play in, would there be more margin for error for those bigger teams? Would there be a higher probability of shock results? Probably. But I doubt there will be that many more games added in for the women’s game. If anything, the talk should be more about reducing the number of games in the men’s game. That won’t happen now. The genie is out of the bottle and the powers that be aren’t going to kill the Golden Goose that is the Premier League. There is money to be made in football matches and when that happens you don’t reduce the opportunity to make more money if you can. It is why we are seeing more and more football matches. It is why they’ve started to make concessions like the five subs rule; they know that players have been dropping like flies when it comes to injuries and as a result they are trying to make concessions without biting the hand that feeds it.
I am just a simple football fan, I have no immediate answers, other than cutting the number of bloody international matches that are played each season. This season alone has barely got started and yet we’ll already be on our third international break come mid November. I’d cut everything and then just have them play no friendlies, just the main fixtures that mean something for the World Cup and Euros. I’d bin the UEFA League thingy they have, as that’s a waste of time, then have smaller groups that need to qualify. But I’m biased because I can’t be arsed with internationals. Give me an uninterrupted English Premier League season all day long, thank you very much.
Sorry, getting a rambly-ranty today, so I’ll probably stop for now and check back in with you guys tomorrow. Maybe there will be some interesting Arsenal-related content coming through. And not the kind of ‘interesting’ where it’s bad, like one of our players’ legs have fallen off. The kind of interesting like how we find out that all of our potentially injured players are actually all now fighting fit ahead of Chelsea on Saturday evening.
Catch you all tomorrow.