January 27, 2020 by Stephen L Wright
Why did Blues win yesterday? Was it because they were playing a Championship team? No. Was it through better training and conditioning? No. So, what?
In her post-match review, Marta Tejedor said “When we had those injuries to players at the back [Harriet Scott] was forced into a position which was not natural for her. This was the first day we could get her back to full-back and she was willing to do that and wanted to play there so I was so happy to see her give such a good performance.” Now, I am but a lowly amateur pundit. Yet, even I can see huge contradictions in Marta’s words. Contradictions that give substance to comments that have been made in this column and by other fans.
So, why did Blues win? Because the players were in their comfort zone positions (CZP). Of course Harriet was willing to be FB because that’s her CZP. Consequently, she and her teammates played the game for which they are best suited and got the result. There was no reason for not playing Harriet at FB last week against Man City. Neither was there any reason for not putting new signings Emma Kelly and Georgia Brougham in the Starting XI. When they were put on they were in their CZPs and added depth and strength. So why all change yesterday, for the better? I’ll just park that there.
From the whistle Blues played to win. I don’t agree with Marta Tejedor that “…it took some time…to read the game.” As they could have done last week (https://madeinbrumfanzine.com/2020/01/20/getting-stuck-in/), had they been in their CZPs, Blues took the game to Sheffield in what wasn’t going to be a walkover. Sheffield United are second in the Championship League and could still be promoted to the Super League. They’re a tough team and they held Blues to a no score first half, despite the fact that Blues dominated the midfield and, more importantly, the Vital Third (https://madeinbrumfanzine.com/2020/01/05/a-game-of-two-thirds/) and the goal area.
Blues came out fighting again in the second half. The constant pressure resulted in a positive outcome as they chalked up three goals – two by Harriet and one by Lucy Stan. Job done.
So, Change nothing is my advice. Blues’ next four games see them taking on the three teams around them in the table – Liverpool (A), Brighton & Hove (H), Bristol (H) – and current third place Chelsea (A). In theory they should come away from these with nine points at least. Time, and Marta Tejedor, will tell.
I’m continually unconvinced by the management and her / their comments seems a common theme in both the men’s and ladies teams, both mgt encumbents following on from far more experienced and successful leaders.
When it was less fashionable to have a women’s team Blues had been a top 4 challenging and occasionally trophy winning team. Now the big prem guys are seeing the potential in the women’s game and they are throwing money at their sister teams and so prizing away blues and most other teams better players. It’s just a pity the owners can’t see the great value of supporting blues ladies with greater funding and in doing so capitalise on the clubs potential to play and beat the ‘big’ clubs . Sadly I think they have missed the opportunity and the momentum that was previously there and so the club will fight against relegation each season rather then challenge for honours.
Such a pity the owners haven’t recognised the opportunity the Bcfc women’s team represents. We have had what the likes of Man U , Liverpool’s and dare I say it the Villas all aspire to have.. a very successful ladies team in the WSL !
Thanks for your comment and I agree with it all, particularly as far as the owners are concerned. However, all that said, Marta saw the light yesterday. We have a terrific squad whose members have now proved they can do the job and do it very well. With Villa or Sheffield set to join them in the Super League their manager needs to Change Nothing.
Except the management maybe?
There’s certainly been a whisper from the fans about wanting Marta out. I guess we wait and see how the next couple of months pan out.