Women’s Super League Team Of The Season 2023/24

C.L.R.
11 min readMay 23, 2024

GK: Courtney Brosnan (Everton)
LB: Niamh Charles (Chelsea)
CB: Grace Fisk (Liverpool)
CB: Maya Le Tissier (Manchester United)
RB: Laia Aleixandri (Manchester City)
CDM: Yui Hasegawa (Manchester City)
CM: Victoria Pelova (Arsenal)
LM: Lauren Hemp (Manchester City)
CAM: Lauren James (Chelsea)
RM: Johanna Rytting Kaneryd (Chelsea)
ST: Khadija Shaw (Manchester City)

SUBS: GK: Mary Earps (Manchester United), LB: Taylor Hinds (Liverpool), CB: Lotte Wubben-Moy (Arsenal), RM: Jutta Rantala (Leicester City), CM: Marie Höbinger (Liverpool), CM: Ceri Holland (Liverpool), ST: Elisabeth Terland (Brighton & Hove Albion)

MANAGER: Matt Beard (Liverpool)

With Taylor unable to adapt and Hayes’ attention occasionally elsewhere, duty falls to the man who kept his eyes on the ball; Matt Beard leads out a team of stalwarts who won points and saved ’em. Though this side seemed so sensationally close to call on first inspection, the longer I look, the more right it seems — every single one of these players put in for their sides, even those coming off the bench, as evidenced by a combined 75 Team Of The Week inclusions. There are only 242 spots in a season! Meaning these eighteen make up over 30% of that field. But more on that in a smidge…

The honourable mentions will now be listed from nineteen to seventy-two:-

19. Katie McCabe (Arsenal)
20. Beth Mead (Arsenal)
21. Erin Cuthbert (Chelsea)
22. Megan Finnigan (Everton)
23. Jenna Clark (Liverpool)
24. Alex Greenwood (Manchester City)
25. Lucía García (Manchester United)
26. Sam Tierney (Leicester City)
27. Leila Ouahabi (Manchester City)
28. Khiara Keating (Manchester City)
29. Grace Clinton (Tottenham Hotspur)
30. Millie Turner (Manchester United)
31. Jess Park (Manchester City)
32. Ella Toone (Manchester United)
33. Lisa Naalsund (Manchester United)
34. Riko Ueki (West Ham United)
35. Gemma Bonner (Liverpool)
36. Kenza Dali (Aston Villa)
37. Sjoeke Nüsken (Chelsea)
38. Aggie Beever-Jones (Chelsea)
39. Ashley Lawrence (Chelsea)
40. Nikita Parris (Manchester United)
41. Alessia Russo (Arsenal)
42. Anna Patten (Aston Villa)
43. Emma Koivisto (Liverpool)
44. Kerstin Casparij (Manchester City)
45. Kirsty Hanson (Aston Villa)
46. Molly Bartrip (Tottenham Hotspur)
47. Missy Bo Kearns (Liverpool)
48. Celin Bizet (Tottenham Hotspur)
49. Sarah Mayling (Aston Villa)
50. Jess Carter (Chelsea)
51. Caitlin Foord (Arsenal)
52. Kirsty Smith (West Ham United)
53. Martha Thomas (Tottenham Hotspur)
54. CJ Bott (Leicester City)
55. Kim Little (Arsenal)
56. Alanna Kennedy (Manchester City)
57. Nathalie Björn (Everton/Chelsea)
58. Amalie Thestrup (Bristol City)
59. Risa Shimizu (West Ham United)
60. Chloe Kelly (Manchester City)
61. Viviane Asseyi (West Ham United)
62. Katie Robinson (Brighton & Hove Albion)
63. Adriana Leon (Aston Villa)
64. Jamie-Lee Napier (Bristol City)
65. Sophie Román Haug (Liverpool)
66. Eveliina Summanen (Tottenham Hotspur)
67. Hanna Bennison (Everton)
68. Sophie Baggaley (Brighton & Hove Albion)
69. Justine Vanhaevermaet (Everton)
70. Honoka Hayashi (West Ham United)
71. Becky Spencer (Tottenham Hotspur)
72. Carrie Jones (Bristol City)

So does a Team Of The Week spot mean anything?
Sure, a player can rock up for one week, play well, get into the TOTW and then go back to benchwarming for the rest of the season, see Niamh Fahey or Lina Hurtig.
What I’m asking is, did those who featured most prominently in the Team Of The Week selections make it to a Team Of The Season berth?

Let’s ‘ave a gander.

GOALKEEPER

‘Keeper Of The Season Courtney Brosnan mustered three Team Of The Season appearances, while Mary Earps had two. The Red Devils stopper found herself joint bronze with Villa’s Anna Leat and light blue rival Khiara Keating. That puts Brosnan in second place on the podium on her own, but at the top is a Team Of The Week icon — Leicester City’s Janina Leitzig with five appearances. But come season’s end, Janina had not garnered enough league appearances having dropped out of the squad midway through the season, so sense prevails as Brosnan takes top spot.

LEFT-BACK

With both Taylor Hinds and Leila Ouahabi garnering three TOTW nods (and Poppy Pattinson the only other LB with more than one app) their positions on the TOTS bench and honourable mentions list make sense. As does the team proper standing of Niamh Charles, with her four inclusions topping the lot.

CENTRE-BACKS

Plenty of multiple-timers in the centre-back ranks, and while Maya Le Tissier’s six went unmatched, Grace Fisk’s four was only caught by Liverpool teammate Jenna Clark. And yet, Clark must settle for a place in the top thirty while Lotte Wubben-Moy makes the bench with her two TOTW appearances, equalled by Leah Williamson, Molly Bartrip, Amanda Ilestedt, Nathalie Björn, Millie Turner, Kadeisha Buchanan — and beaten by Alex Greenwood, Alanna Kennedy, and Gemma Bonner (all 3) to go with Clark’s four! Overall form outside of the TOTS paying off there for LWM.

RIGHT-BACK

A controversial position this year, with Laia Aleixandri and Katie McCabe bouncing around the pitch for each of their four respective Team Of The Week call-ups. The former ended up snatching it on big performances in this position specifically as the two of them topped the rankings above the likes of Kerstin Casparij (3), Ashley Lawrence (2), and Emma Koivisto (2).

CENTRAL-MIDFIELD

This is the widest field. But on the pitch, it’s also the most cut and dry.

  • Lauren James — Six TOTW apps.
  • Victoria Pelova — Five TOTW apps.
  • Yui Hasegawa — Six TOTW apps.

Nobody else (who played enough games) touched four (*ahem* Jill Roord *ahem*).
There were a few threes — Jess Park, Erin Cuthbert, Sam Tierney, Grace Clinton, and Fran Kirby — plus the two other central midfielders selected for the bench, Marie Höbinger and Ceri Holland, both edging the rest of their three-mates. Seven others made two appearances (Missy Bo Kearns, Kim Little, Nikita Parris, Adriana Leon, Saori Takarada, Mary Fowler, and Kenza Dali) but logic wins out again here.

LEFT-WING

Lauren Hemp had eight Team Of The Week appearances. The only other player with more than one who played consistently on the left side was Caitlin Foord — and she had two. Impressive, but up against eight it don’t stand a chance.

RIGHT-WING

The right side was a bit more of an issue as Lauren James would often spread her wings to either side… But counting her in the middle for this experiment, six predominantly right-sided midfielders gained more than one Team Of The Week berths. And one of them was not Jutta Rantala — her inspiring form to drag Leicester up and away from danger in front of goal is what gets her on the bench of the side, holding off ‘logical’ competition from Geyse, Beth Mead, Melissa Lawley, and Katie Robinson (all 2). The decided inclusion, Johanna Rytting Kaneryd had three appearances, but was not at the top of the list. No, that honour went to Chloe Kelly with her four caps, but latter half of the season from let The Citizen down and in snuck Rytting Kaneryd (as well as Rantala) to earn some Scandinavian spots.

STRIKER

Bunny had eight, Terland had four. Terland was matched by Kerr but the Australian didn’t play enough games. Easy-peasy.

So there’s your answer. Most of the time, logic wins out. But sometimes you get those performances that just defy logic — and though that might seem like a bit of an insult on the surface, being capable of a performance that defies logic itself is something I believe only the best are capable of — to go above and beyond for your club, so those that have… Git tha feck in, eh?

The almighty logic did nearly set itself up for the league table too, with Team Of The Week inclusions (counting as points) giving us a table like this:-

1. Manchester City — 52
2. Chelsea — 40
3. Arsenal — 30
4. Liverpool — 30
5. Manchester United — 20
6. Leicester City — 16
7. Tottenham Hotspur — 15
8. Aston Villa — 11
9. Brighton & Hove Albion — 11
10. Everton — 7
11. West Ham United — 7
12. Bristol City — 3

The Foxes only the real cunning outliers. Chelsea doing that defying to take the title though.

Throughout this entire season there is one game that was not counted — the May 15th meeting between Spurs and Chelsea from Matchday 18, taking place one month after any other games from that matchday. Are any of those goals/players in the running for the weekly awards? Who stood out as Chelsea looked to take top spot going into the final day?
Bunny Shaw was always gonna be hard to knock off her Player Of The Week pedestal, and despite a dazzling left-wing display from the likes of Reiten and Charles, plus a dominant outing from Cuthbert, Chelsea couldn’t crack her off the top spot. They could well have made the team though, but that chance is missed. The one goal doesn’t trouble Shaw’s double from that gameday either.
Therefore, we have our final list. So…

Let’s have a tally up of all the Player Of The Week winners as well as Goal Of The Week, eh? (POTW will be given first, then GOTW w/opponents scored against).

Matchday 1 — Katie Robinson, Carrie Jones (vs. Leicester City)
Matchday 2 — Taylor Hinds, Cloé Lacasse (vs. Manchester United)
Matchday 3 — Katie McCabe, Katie McCabe (vs. Aston Villa)
Matchday 4 — Martha Thomas, Martha Thomas (#3 vs. Aston Villa)
Matchday 5 — Jamie-Lee Napier, Ella Toone (vs. Brighton & Hove Albion)
Matchday 6 — Maria Thorisdóttir, Sam Kerr (vs. Everton)
Matchday 7 — Lauren James, Lisa Evans (vs. Aston Villa)
Matchday 8 — Khadija Shaw, Khadija Shaw (#3 vs. Tottenham Hotspur)
Matchday 9 — Lauren Hemp, Beth Mead (vs. Chelsea)
Matchday 10- Barbora Votíková, Erin Cuthbert (vs. Bristol City)
Matchday 11 — Lauren James, Grace Clinton (vs. West Ham United)
Matchday 12 — Emily Fox, Lauren James (#1 vs. Brighton & Hove Albion)
Matchday 13 — Honoka Hayashi, Chloe Kelly (vs. Leicester City)
Matchday 14 — Jutta Rantala, Jutta Rantala (vs. Bristol City)
Matchday 15 — Johanna Rytting Kaneryd, Hanna Bennison (vs. Man City)
Matchday 16 — Ceri Holland, Matilda Vinberg (vs. Leicester City)
Matchday 17 — Yui Hasegawa, Jutta Rantala (vs. Brighton & Hove Albion)
Matchday 18 — Khadija Shaw, Khadija Shaw (#1 vs. Liverpool)
Matchday 19 — Khadija Shaw, Khadija Shaw (#1 vs. West Ham United)
Matchday 20 — Gemma Bonner, Issy Hobson (vs. Arsenal)
Matchday 21 — Ceri Holland, Guro Reiten (#4 vs. Bristol City)
Matchday 22 — Mayra Ramirez, Drew Spence (vs. West Ham United)

Coupla stats!

Manchester City top the Player Of The Week charts with five, followed swiftly by Liverpool and Chelsea on four. The rest look like this:-

  • Arsenal — 2
  • Tottenham Hotspur — 2
  • Brighton & Hove Albion — 2
  • Leicester City — 1
  • West Ham — 1
  • Bristol City — 1

That means it’s only Manchester United, Aston Villa, and Everton without a Player Of The Week on their books this season. As for most numerous individual, I don’t think I need to tell you that Khadija Shaw’s three leads the way, followed on by the only other multiples — Lauren James and Ceri Holland (both 2).
As for Goal Of The Week, Spurs left it ’til the last day to force a three-way tie at the top as they’re joined by Chelsea and Manchester City on four chart-toppers apiece. Arsenal ain’t too far off with their three smash-hits, while the rest of the gang look like this:-

  • Everton — 2
  • Leicester City — 2
  • Bristol City — 1
  • Manchester United — 1
  • West Ham United — 1

So no Brighton, no Liverpool, and once again, no Aston Villa! The Villans missed out in both categories, the only side to do so. They can rest easy that they at least jointly top the league for ‘Who’s Conceded The Most Bangers’ as Villa, Brighton, Leicester, Bristol City, and West Ham were all on the receiving end of a Goal Of The Week three times. Everyone got in on this party though, with the other seven sides in the league all conceding one each. Once again, Bunny Shaw tops the individual charts with another three number ones; Leicester’s Jutta Rantala was the only other player to get more than one (2), further proving why she was selected for the Team Of The Season bench.

Now, one of these twenty-two goals is our Goal Of The Season, so let’s have a top five.

Actually that’s too hard, here’s a top ten.

#10 — Jutta Rantala

This one for her dipping deceiver against Bristol City. That cut inside to that finish — sumptuous.

#9 — Lisa Evans

Edge of the box corner clearance, sees her chance, picks her spot, hooks in a clutch goal in the moment.

#8 — Ella Toone

A sorely needed equaliser against The Seagulls, takes a composed touch before finding top bins as if she was the only one on the pitch.

#7 — Matilda Vinberg

From a Leicester free-kick, Becky Spencer catches, distributes to Bizet, finds Spence, passes to Naz, crosses expertly for Vinberg to prod home. Back to (in) front in fifteen seconds.

#6 — Chloe Kelly

OLIMPICO. And didn’t she take it well? Not floated, but fired into the far stick. She takes a look before she does it, she means it, like.

#5 — Khadija Shaw

For the one against West Ham. Holds off what looks like the entire West Ham defence (while the rest of the team marvel), has time to chest the ball down before firing it into the upper echelons.

#4 — Cloé Lacasse

Love this. Receives the ball, one thing on her mind, lil’ bit o’ trickery, places one top bins in a hotly contested rivalry. Dig it.

#3 — Martha Thomas

Yeah, it completed a hat-trick but I just love the text-bookedness of it all. Makes a run in behind the defence, takes the touch so the defender can’t get to the ball without fouling her, already knows where the ‘keeper hangs out, plays a perfect shot to bang it in. Bronze.

#2 — Khadija Shaw

This time against Liverpool. The epitome of FEED THE BUNNY AND SHE WILL SCORE. Tapped to her, she composes herself more than the defence, lets the sucker bounce and then wallops it right in the kisser. Silver.

#1 — Beth Mead

Whether it was the derby feel, Chelsea’s first loss, the aggression and desire on display. Foord and Little force their way through, bundle it across, Pelova holds it up, looks for and finds Mead, she takes a touch inside and finishes it off like last night’s ‘za. I just love it. GOLD.

GOAL OF THE SEASON: Beth Mead — Arsenal.

As for Player Of The Season, this ain’t my determiner (despite Lauren James and Ceri Holland bagging a brace, and Bunny Shaw netting a hatty (in both categories)). It will simply be the best player from the XI selected in the team.

This article has been pretty heavy on the ‘logic’ front, and I don’t think we’re veering away from that now. The Individual Of The Season is…

INDIVIDUAL OF THE SEASON: Khadija Shaw — Manchester City.

The landscape is changing.
In a season where Chelsea surrendered one cup to each of their bitter rivals, they stopped the rot short of their bluest foe to send Hayes out on a high. Was the poetry there for a new line to be written? Yes, but Chelsea were the ones holding the pen.
Though the coach might be leaving, the goal of the players remains the same — cap this mighty generation with a European crown. But was their hubris their near-complete downfall this season? Was there a loss of focus? A chink in the armour? A vulnerability that while they celebrate, while they sleep, their opponents figure out how to crack ever-wider? New challengers for the crown emerge, and while old defenders move on to pastures new, fresh blood rises to maintain the house. The Citizens grow louder, The Red Devils revolt, The Reds thirst for blood, The Gunners load their cannons, The Villans seek a leader, The Lilywhites seek to strive, The Toffees look to become hard to stomach, The Seagulls want to fly, The Foxes want to hunt, The Hammers want to strike, and The Eagles… Are here to soar.
Can The Queendom stay Blue against all of that?

Keep it streets ahead,

C.L.R.

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