Chelsea wrapped up an astonishing fourth successive Girls’s Tremendous League title and fought off contemporary competitors as Studying’s eight-year keep within the league got here to a disappointing finish.
The 2022-23 season produced drama, broke information and had twists and turns at each ends of the desk all through an exhilarating marketing campaign.
So how did every WSL membership do and the way did I fare with my pre-season predictions?
Chelsea – 1st
It was arguably the hardest season Chelsea have had within the WSL, with their competitors enhancing. They discovered a approach to win even when not at their finest and proved themselves once more as among the best golf equipment in Europe, reaching the Champions League semi-finals. Accidents to key gamers together with Pernille More durable and Millie Vibrant demanded extra from the squad however Emma Hayes’ aspect stepped up and located the solutions whereas below strain from challengers. A fourth successive title is an astonishing achievement and they’re going to go down as one of many best squads in English soccer historical past.
My pre-season prediction: 1st
Manchester United – 2nd
United’s growth this season has been glorious given they’d completed fourth within the three earlier campaigns. They grew to become the primary aspect since 2014 to interrupt into the WSL’s high three, whereas additionally creating historical past for the membership by reaching their first main last, dropping to Chelsea within the FA Cup. In each competitions they have been crushed by a extra skilled and developed squad – however United’s soccer below Marc Skinner has been progressive, thrilling and inventive. They’ve robust foundations on which to enhance and might be examined within the Champions League subsequent season. With a powerful switch window, they’ll positively have subsequent season’s WSL title inside their sights.
My pre-season prediction: third
Arsenal – third
Given Arsenal have been trying to go one step additional and win the WSL title this season, it might be thought-about a disappointment to complete third. However they’ve skilled an unprecedented damage disaster, dropping 4 gamers to anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) accidents, in addition to lacking captain Kim Little and key ahead Caitlin Foord for a number of video games. Due to this fact, qualifying for subsequent season’s Champions League, reaching the semi-finals in Europe this 12 months and successful the League Cup is a really robust finish to the marketing campaign.
My pre-season prediction: 2nd
Manchester Metropolis – 4th
It has been a disappointing season for Manchester Metropolis, who have been in transition this marketing campaign having misplaced a lot of key gamers in the summertime. They wanted time to develop a youthful squad however that has proved expensive as they missed out on Champions League qualification on objective distinction. Which may make it tougher for them to compete within the switch market this summer time. Metropolis’s poor begin to the marketing campaign finally damage them, though they did produce some robust performances within the new 12 months. Nonetheless, ending the season in fourth – their worst place since 2014 – and with none silverware, represents a decline for a membership that must be difficult for the title and have been bypassed by their metropolis neighbours.
My pre-season prediction: 4th
Aston Villa – fifth
Indisputably my group of the season. Aston Villa have been combating off relegation within the final marketing campaign however their development has been massively spectacular up to now 12 months. Carla Ward’s aspect have performed enticing soccer and pushed the most effective groups within the league, comfortably confirming their standing because the ‘better of the remainder’ outdoors the normal large 4. The arrival of attacking trio Kirsty Hanson, Kenza Dali and Rachel Daly in the summertime proved instrumental, whereas centre-back duo Anna Patten and Danielle Turner have been explicit spectacular. Villa’s achievements this season – additionally reaching the FA Cup semi-finals – must be extensively celebrated. Now, they have to proceed to construct.
My pre-season prediction: ninth
Everton – sixth
There have been promising indicators in pre-season for Everton they usually had excessive hopes of ending mid-table – which they’ve managed to realize. Underneath new administration in Dane Brian Sorensen, Everton have developed a transparent id and put in some robust shows all through the season. Their type dipped within the last few months they usually nonetheless lack consistency however given they have been combating relegation final 12 months, this may be considered as a really profitable marketing campaign they usually have strong foundations to construct on.
My pre-season prediction: sixth
Liverpool – seventh
Having gained promotion to the WSL after their Championship title win, the objective was clear for Liverpool – keep away from relegation. They did that comfortably regardless of struggling main accidents to key gamers all through the season. Though they’ve room for enchancment when it comes to performances, Liverpool confirmed glimpses of what they’re able to in robust victories over Chelsea and Manchester Metropolis. Ending seventh on their return to the WSL isn’t any imply feat both and with funding and a totally match squad obtainable, they need to really feel assured of progress subsequent season.
My pre-season prediction: eighth
West Ham – eighth
West Ham began the season effectively, successful three of their opening 5 matches, and regarded like a troublesome group to beat with captain Dagny Brynjarsdottir in terrific type. They made strides in opposition to groups round them within the desk and put themselves in a powerful place. I predicted they’d be in relegation bother come Could, however they have been by no means in peril. Nonetheless, they’ve had a dismal 2023, successful only one WSL match since December and ended the season wanting very disjointed. They’ve some high quality however will want funding and a transparent id in the event that they need to compete comfortably subsequent season.
My pre-season prediction: eleventh
Tottenham – ninth
It has been a really disappointing season for Tottenham after they completed fifth final 12 months and have been hoping to shut the hole on the highest 4. They spent vital cash in each switch home windows too. They’d constructed robust foundations below supervisor Rehanne Skinner however a nine-game dropping streak was arduous to disregard and led to her departure. They remained in a relegation battle till the penultimate weekend and haven’t proven many indicators of enchancment since Skinner’s departure. Given the standard of their squad, they need to be doing higher – although Bethany England’s goalscoring type within the second half of the marketing campaign gives hope for the long run.
My pre-season prediction: fifth
Leicester Metropolis – tenth
It has been a season of two halves for Leicester, who have been favourites to go down after simply surviving final 12 months. They began the season in relegation type with no factors from their opening six matches, resulting in the departure of manager Lydia Bedford. However after Willie Kirk took over, they climbed up the desk and commenced selecting up factors, placing in robust shows in opposition to Everton and Brighton, in addition to incomes successive vital wins over Studying and Liverpool in April. Their survival is a superb achievement given the place they have been in when Kirk took over.
My pre-season prediction: twelfth
Brighton – eleventh
Brighton’s season has been a rollercoaster. They’ve gone by 4 managers, together with two interim spells below Amy Merricks, and that has proven of their inconsistent performances. Confronted with an actual risk of relegation, Melissa Phillips took over in a daring and bold transfer by the membership in April and it paid off massively. Performances improved dramatically they usually acquired the factors they wanted to remain up. After a topsy-turvy 12 months, they should kick on and profit from their glorious assets and infrastructure the membership has invested in closely.
My pre-season prediction: tenth
Studying – twelfth
Studying have defied the percentages for a number of years, all the time overachieving and proving they have been a group to not be written off. However having the bottom funds within the WSL lastly caught up with them they usually simply didn’t have the standard to compete with the groups round them. Whereas Tottenham and Leicester have been capable of strengthen within the switch market to keep away from relegation, Studying couldn’t. They have been the one WSL membership not affiliated with a males’s Premier League aspect so my pre-season prediction was all the time very bold. Finally, they weren’t capable of produce one other miracle.
My pre-season prediction: seventh