Five early Women’s Super League conclusions

Five early Women's Super League conclusions

Pauline Bremner can step up in Georgia Stanway’s absence
Reading 0 Manchester City 2
The news that the reigning PFA Young Player of the Year, Georgia Stanway, will miss six weeks with a hamstring injury is a further hammer blow to a Manchester City side already light in the absence of new signing Ellen White and their top scorer from last season, Nikita Parris, who is now at Lyon. Winning their first Champions League game of the season 7-1 is, ironically, not indicative of a team inching towards an injury crisis, but largely they have to thank the Germany international Pauline Bremer.
The 23-year-old’s impact in Manchester has been limited by injury since her arrival two years ago, but a double against Lugano in Europe on Thursday and a second brace against Reading have maintained City’s 100 per cent start. That she could have had a hat-trick had her header not smacked back off the post shows a player returning to fitness, form and confidence. 
Attendances are improving but there is work to do 
Week two brought three four-figure attendances: Brighton v Chelsea (1,352), West Ham v Birmingham (1,297) and Manchester United v Arsenal (2,530). Some of those are hardly surprising: in the summer, Brighton, for instance, celebrated an increase of 98 season ticket holders to over 500. Spurs’ home game against Liverpool was the first test of whether staging games in a club’s main stadium increases regular attendances, and on that level the crowd of 996 – although vocal – was confusing. 
Spurs Women play at the Hive, the home of Barnet – an hour from Spurs’ main stadium or three trains on the tube. The nearest station is visible from the stadium – to the point that you can see the trains disappearing from behind the main stand, only to reemerge, an eyeblink later, as if from a wormhole – all of which makes you wonder why the game was so sparsely-attended compared to others that weekend.
United and Arsenal drew the best attendance of the weekend to a stadium that has no genuine public transport links – a train and two buses from Manchester Victoria. Only Reading, who play 27 miles from the Madjeski, really substantiated the argument that it is poor transport links preventing fans from attending matches. 

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