In her exclusive column for GiveMeSport, England and Manchester City superstar Lucy Bronze assesses her club’s start to the Women’s Super League season.
As someone watching from the sidelines, it’s hard not to think I’m letting my team down a little. It’s been a difficult start to the WSL season, and I know I could be making a difference.
No one likes to lose. It’s something we’re not used to at City, especially so many matches in a row. Right now, the team is sticking together and looking forward to the next game.
We need to try and get points on the board, and get back to winning football matches in the league.
When I had my surgery in the summer, I was hoping it would just be myself and Chloe Kelly on the sidelines. It’s not been nice to watch so many others join us.
The injuries are definitely the main reason for our poor start to the WSL season. It’s not just the amount of injuries, but the type of players that are injured too. They’re all key to the team and the way we want to play, whether that’s myself, Keira Walsh, Steph Houghton or Chloe Kelly.
Our head of performance has been working at this level for 10 years, and he said he’s never witnessed so many injuries happen to one team at the same time before.
It’s a peculiar situation – all the injuries are completely unrelated to each other. Esme Morgan broke her leg from a tackle, Steph Houghton hurt her Achilles in training, I’m sidelined because of a knee issue that I’ve had for a while that needed surgery.
They’re all just very different things, and they’ve all just come at the same time. These things happen in football, but it’s very, very unfortunate.
The focus now is to get people fit and back on the pitch. From there, we’ll know what else needs to be worked on, and what needs to be improved.
Still in contention for the WSL title
It’s way too early to rule anyone out of contention for the WSL title. By Christmas, we’ll have a better idea of how things are going, but I don’t think anything is settled right now.
Ultimately, we’ve played Arsenal once. Yes, it was a heavy defeat, but it’s only three points dropped, and we can easily pick those back up when we play Arsenal at home later on in the season. We have both fixtures still to play against Chelsea as well.
In addition, both Chelsea and Arsenal have really tough group games in the Champions League coming up, against the likes of European giants Barcelona.
Although it was gutting to crash out of the Champions League, the scheduling of matches may now play in our favour. We’ll be able to focus more on the WSL, which could give us the upper hand.
We’ll look to the Manchester City men’s team for inspiration. They didn’t have a great start to the season last year, and ended up clear champions in the end!
Manchester City vs West Ham
I’m confident City can get back to winning ways in the WSL against West Ham, especially because we’re playing at home.
Despite our recent results, we still play good football. We’ve had more of the ball than our opponents. We had more possession than Arsenal, for example, but just couldn’t get on the score sheet, and we made a few defensive errors too.
If I’m honest, I think the 5-0 scoreline flattered Arsenal. Every chance they had just seemed to go in the back of the net. We still dominated possession, even with so many players missing, while they had the vast majority of their players fit.
If we just looked at scorelines it would be disheartening, but I don’t think we’re doing terribly on the pitch. We just need to score more goals really, and I think we can do that against West Ham.
Check out Lucy Bronze’s new website at https://lucybronze.co.uk/