How Bristol City’s Women’s Super League Campaign Has Been Disrupted

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Bristol City Women saw their dismal league start continue on Saturday as the Robins lost 8-1 at Manchester City Women.

It leaves Tanya Oxtoby’s side bottom of the Women’s Super League with five defeats from five games, scoring just twice and conceding 28 along the way.

Bristol City Women Starting Slow in the WSL

Bottom of the Table and Winless

In the FA Women’s League Cup, the Robins have made a contrasting start to their league form with two wins from two games. However, they must now focus their attention back on the league and try to put some points on the board.

An opening day 4-0 defeat at home to Everton was followed by a 9-0 loss at Chelsea. A 4-0 win over the London Bees in the cup came in between a 3-1 defeat to Arsenal and 4-0 loss at home to Birmingham City.

The loss in Manchester made it five defeats from five, leaving Oxtoby’s side at the bottom of the WSL. The Robins take on winless Tottenham Hotspur in their next fixture in what could be a huge six-pointer between the two sides.

Room For Improvement for Bristol City Women

Does the slow start come down to Oxtoby, or are the players simply not performing? The manager has changed formation in almost every game. She started with a 4-5-1 against Everton before reverting to a 4-4-2 against Chelsea and Arsenal respectively. Against Birmingham, Rovers set out a 4-2-3-1 before going defensive with a 5-4-1 at Manchester City.

The players, too, are moving positions far too frequently. Take January signing Chloe Logarzo, for example. The Australian international has played in four different positions across the midfield. However, this can come down to the lack of depth in the playing squad, something that was exacerbated against the Citizens.

Although the City game was always going to be a tough fixture, it came at an awful time for the club. Not only did it come just 48 hours after their win over Crystal Palace in the cup, but Oxtoby was without five first-team players after going into self-isolation as part of COVID-19 protocols.

The two-time FA Cup finalists are in need of some points. The cup results have been important to keep some momentum going but the league results need improvements. After the Spurs fixture, the Robins face winless Lewes in the cup before fixtures against mid-table Reading and struggling Aston Villa. If Oxtoby’s side can pick up some points from their next three fixtures then things won’t look so bad, but failure to secure points could result in a change at the club.

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