Will Manchester United or Tottenham finish in the top three of the WSL?

Adriana Leon (left) joined Manchester United this summer while Drew Spence (right) moved from Chelsea to Tottenham.

Getting into the top three of the Women’s Super League is not easy.

For eight years, Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City have dominated the top positions of the classification – Birmingham City and Liverpool were the last clubs to break this stranglehold, in 2014.

But could that change this season?

Manchester United have finished fourth in the past three campaigns, while Tottenham could challenge in 2021-22 and look to close the gap further this year.

Manchester City were the team that finished third last season – and the last place in the Champions League – but this summer after several important departures at the club, as well See the 4-3 defeat Aston Villa’s opening weekend has opened the door for their rivals?

Has Manchester United improved?

Maya Le Tissier celebrates scoring on her Man Utd debut
Maya Le Tissier (right) scored twice on her Manchester United debut in a 4-0 win over Reading.

It’s been a big summer for United, bringing in seven new signings, including an attacking four in Adriana Leon, Lucia Garcia, Rachel Williams and Nikita Parris.

They added depth to the squad – exciting youngsters Grace Clinton from Everton and Maya Le Tissier from Brighton also joined.

“We haven’t been lazy in our recruiting, quite the opposite,” manager Marc Skinner said.

“There have been a lot of changes in the other teams as well. What I know is that we have to have a great season.

“The preparation is of course trying to get into those top three. We can’t hide that here. We can’t sit here like Manchester United and say ‘we want to finish fourth again’.

“No, we have to try to get into that group, but we have to be exceptional.”

Manchester United finished five points behind Manchester City last season despite Gareth Taylor’s side suffering major injuries in the first half of the campaign.

Skinner’s team got off to a perfect start last weekend They beat Reading comfortably 4-0 New signing Le Tissier scored two goals on his debut.

“We want to be the best we can be all season. I think it will be a disappointment if we don’t finish in the top three this season,” added midfielder Jade Moore.

Spurs ‘pushing’ for Champions League

Rehanne Skinner and Shelina Zadorsky
Tottenham manager Rehanne Skinner and captain Shelina Zadorsky have signed new deals at the club this summer.

Tottenham were playing in the second division three years ago before gaining promotion to the WSL.

Just a few months after their league debut, they hosted Arsenal at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in front of 38,262 fans – the largest crowd for a WSL match.

Since then the club has established itself as a top-flight club, finishing seventh, eighth and fifth in the last three seasons. Alex Morgan US icon in 2020.

The performances on the field have helped in retrospect. Spurs have new training facilities at the men’s stadium where they were set to re-open the season Before the games were postponed following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, and they have been ambitious in the transfer market.

Spurs believe they have added depth to their squad, particularly in midfield, and have designed a tough pre-season schedule to compete in the Women’s Cup – hosted by American club Racing Louisville – to enhance their competitive experience.

“We have brought in players who will add value to the team,” said winger Jess Naz. “We’ve done little things like making sure standards are set to close the gap between us and the top three.”

Former Manchester United defender Amy Turner was a keen addition for Orlando Pride, along with German midfielder Ramona Petzelberger and former Chelsea striker Drew Spence, who scored on her debut. beat Leicester last weekend

Rehanne Skinner said his side were “definitely pushing” towards Champions League qualification but did not set a deadline.

“If you’re not trying to get to the top of the table, what are you really doing? We definitely want to keep improving on the things we did last season,” he added.

“Let’s not eliminate Manchester City”

Chloe Kelly
England international Chloe Kelly, who scored the winner in the Euro 2022 final, is one of the big-name players still at Manchester City.

Injuries dampened City’s season in 2021-22. They finished the season strongly to finish third and qualify for Europe, but it was still the first time in eight years that they had not finished in the top two of the WSL.

This meant that they had to compete in the qualifying stages of the Champions League and did not progress second season in a row in August with the defeat of Real Madrid.

The away goal was scored by Scotland’s Caroline Weir, one of the high profile players set to leave City in the summer.

England midfielders Georgia Stanway and Keira Walsh also left the club He joined Barcelona for the world recordAfter defender Lucy Bronze to the Spanish side, forward Ellen White announced his retirement.

They brought in some exciting overseas talent, including Australian forward Mary Fowler, but only 22 games into the WSL season means they have little time to settle.

Taylor was asked questions before last weekend’s defeat and City’s performance did little to address those concerns.

“They lost their starting midfielders. When you look at the names that left they had leadership, maturity and experience of winning in the WSL. You can’t replace that,” former England defender Laura Bassett said.

“You can replace them with foreign talent, but do they know the league and the physicality of it? It takes time to evolve and settle.

“But let’s not leave Manchester City out. They had a tough time last season, then went 13 games without a win and finished third. There’s a lot of work to do for City, and they’ll know that.”