Since the 2019-20 WSL season was suspended, then ended by the English FA, and the decision was made to place Chelsea top of the table on sporting merit, all that was left were the awards. Frankly, I’m not sure what took so long.
But now it is confirmed and the first award has gone to manager Emma Hayes, who was named Manager of the Season.
There really was no question here. Chelsea didn’t lose a single match, dominated our closest rivals (Arsenal and Manchester City) to the tune of a 4-1-0 record across all competitions, while scoring 47 goals across 15 league matches and conceding just 11.
Speaking of scoring goals...
Chelsea’s superstar striker Bethany England was crowned Player of the Season.
While Arsenal’s Vivianne Miedema’s 16 goals and 8 assists were enough for her to secure the Golden Boot, England’s 16 goals, 4 assists and — most importantly — two trophies gave her top plaudits.
It is a shame the FA weren’t too interested in finding a way for the WSL to complete its season on the pitch, primarily because this Chelsea squad have been so immensely fun to watch. A big part of that was Bethany England finding the form of her life. England scored well-timed headers, scrappy poachers’ goals, one-touch finishes, finishes after dribbles to create space for a shot, and 25+ yard blasts with her stronger right foot and her weaker left.
Most matches you just knew a Bethany England goal would come, but that confidence was built over time, and through England’s hard work. She possesses skills to beat defenses in a variety of ways, which makes her impossible to defend, particularly when her reading of how she’s being defended is so sharp within the middle of a match. It sounds simple, but often times players do what has worked before, or do what defenses allow, whether it works or not. England switches on Terminator-mode from the first minute and is constantly scanning defenders’ movements to find the cracks — it’s a joy to watch, and hell to defend.
The result of this was that England frequently popped up with a goal when Chelsea needed one most. From notching the lone goal in Chelsea’s opener to netting in stoppage time to win Chelsea the Continental Cup over Arsenal, England was there.
Congratulations to your 2019-20 Chelsea FC Women, WSL Champions and Continental Cup Champions, and home to the Manager and Player of the Season. Who’s ready for an encore?