With Chelsea successfully defending their title, and with many players putting on memorable displays across the season, I have taken on the mammoth task of constructing a definitive FA Women’s Super League Team of the Season.
This season’s Golden Glove winner, Manuela Zinsberger, with 13 clean sheets from a possible 20, has been surprisingly overlooked by many pundits in their picks for the WSL team of the season. Her performances, however, deserve more consideration. The Austrian keeper showed demonstrable improvement this season and contributed to the best defensive record in the league.
I’ve gone with a back three for my defence, all of whom are expected to feature at this summer’s home Euros. First, Alex Greenwood, who has been central to City’s resurgence not only as a reliable figure at the back but also in contributing five goals and four assists, astounding for a defensive player.
Prior to an unfortunate hamstring injury suffered in November, Leah Williamson was pivotal to Arsenal’s success. Playing in central defence for the Gunners, she contributed to Arsenal’s exceptional defensive record, conceding just three goals until she was ruled out with injury. Williamson’s strengths also lie in her progressive carries and pinging diagonal balls. The upturn in Arsenal’s form following her return is not coincidental.
A crucial figure for this year’s champions, Millie Bright has provided reassurance to a Chelsea team that have adopted a different defensive set-up to last year’s title winning side. Moving from a four to a three at the back and without Magdalena Eriksson for two months, there was every chance Chelsea’s defensive stability could be compromised. Bright has been a rock and is duly rewarded with another title.
Manchester United pushed all the way to the final day for a Champions League qualification spot and Ella Toone was central to those efforts. Her reinvention to more central and attacking positions has allowed her to flourish this season. Joint-top assist contributor and also not shy to score herself, she seems set to make the squad for this summer’s Euros.
Truly mesmerising to watch on the ball, she makes me scared my girlfriend might leave me
Perhaps a less popular shout for team of the season in her understated brilliance, Lia Walti’s two-footed creation has been nothing short of majestic and cannot go unrecognised. Having made more passes with her weaker foot shows her undisputed technical ability. Her absence through injury hit Arsenal hard.
Up next, The GOAT, Vivianne Miedema. Play her upfront, play her at number 10, she will score and assist from anywhere on the pitch. Transfer links with Barcelona don’t appear from nowhere, and her contributions remain exceptional despite having to adapt to a new position midway through the season. 14 goals and eight assists prove as much and Arsenal will be delighted to secure her services for another season.
Having played more as a right-wing back this season, Guro Reiten’s contributions to the WSL winners have grown yet again this season. Her ability to pick a pass, take on an opposition defender, or fizz in a cross has aided Chelsea’s creativity this term. She has emerged from the shadows of the pre-eminence of Kerr, Kirby and Harder to establish herself as a key figure for the champions.
With something to prove following exclusion from the GB team who travelled to Tokyo in the summer, Beth Mead has been electric for Arsenal, playing off both the left and right wings. Her attacking threat produced 11 goals and eight assists. Even on the days where Arsenal didn’t look themselves, Mead’s tenacity was consistent. She can consider herself unlucky to have ended the season without a WSL winners medal.
Up top – Sam Kerr. Was there any doubt? The league’s top scorer, winner of goal of the season, player of the season and a WSL Champion again. That last game against Manchester United epitomised her brilliance. Chelsea were up against it going a goal down twice, but Kerr was unphased, producing two astounding volleys for the second equaliser and the eventual winner – an audacious lob from outside the edge of the area.
Despite being in a team plagued with injuries, Lauren Hemp has shone throughout the season. Her driving runs and control on the ball has helped her contribute 10 goals and six assists throughout the season. Truly mesmerising to watch on the ball, she makes me scared my girlfriend might leave me. She’s sure to light up the Euros this summer.[related_posts_by_tax columns="4" posts_per_page="4" format="thumbnails" image_size="medium" exclude_terms="34573"]