How WSL Equivalents of Premier League Teams Have Started the Season
In some respects, elite women’s football in England is very different to that of their male counterparts in the much more widely exposed Premier League, and in others, the Women’s Super League draws parallels.
Nowhere is this sense of continuity and change across the sexes better reflected than in how certain teams have started the 2018-19 season. Here’s a more detailed look at a few examples that illustrate this.
Both the Gunners’ men and women have had to get used to being under new management in the last 12 months. While Arsene Wenger’s departure from the Emirates after more than 20 years at the helm dominated newspaper column inches, there was precious little said about Australian coach Joe Montemurro replacing Pedro Martinez Losa in November.
Montemurro already has one up on Unai Emery after guiding Arsenal women to the FAW League Cup last season. The Gunners’ ladies also top the Women’s Super League having thrashed Liverpool 5-0 on the opening day, something that’s very hard to imagine being replicated by their male counterparts.
Both Hammers men’s and women’s teams have new bosses for this term. Manuel Pellegrini has been backed to the hilt by the board of the East London club over the summer but a pointless start to the Premier League season has not helped. Next year Premier League predictions from Betfair have West Ham’s odds slashed into 11/4 already.
The women haven’t played a Super League game as yet, but like Pellegrini with the men, should be in safe hands as their new manager Matt Beard has experience of coaching both Liverpool and Chelsea ladies. Chilean coach Pellegrini is under pressure to perform after spending big, yet Beard has just taken up the reins at a newly promoted Hammers women’s side and so the heat may not be turned up on him just yet.
Both Man City’s women and men are unbeaten in league action so far this term with the reigning Premier League champions still red-hot favourites to defend their crown for Pep Guardiola. The Etihad outfit are in the somewhat unique position where the manager of both the guys and ladies have won titles.
Guardiola’s counterpart in charge of Man City women is Nick Cushing. In charge since 2013, he landed the Super League crown with them in 2016 and has also steered the Sky Blues to both domestic cups.
Discussing men’s and women’s football on Merseyside currently comes with a caveat. The Women’s Super League is just one game old and it was a very bad day at the office for Liverpool ladies in their season opener where they were trounced 5-0 by Arsenal.
While they prop up the women’s top-flight, the men at Anfield are sitting pretty atop the Premier League under Jurgen Klopp. It’s a contrast that may be transient but is still hugely notable. If you’re wondering who Klopp’s counterpart with the ladies is, then it’s former Leeds United boss Neil Redfearn, who joined the Reds from Doncaster Rovers Belles.
The WSU Team bringing you news and updates from the world of women’s football.