Women’s Super League Team of the Week — Matchday 10

C.L.R.
3 min readDec 23, 2023

Here’s a team of the week for Matchday 10, comprising the games played on the 16th and 17th of December 2023. These days come along when none of the big sides compete against one another directly, and it is these days that can be just as telling as when they do.

GK: Barbora Votíková (Tottenham Hotspur)
LB: Taylor Hinds (Liverpool)
CB: Jenna Clark (Liverpool)
RB: Sarah Mayling (Aston Villa)
CDM: Sophie Ingle (Chelsea)
CDM: Yui Hasegawa (Manchester City)
LM: Chloe Kelly (Manchester City)
CM: Jill Roord (Manchester City)
RM: Melissa Lawley (Liverpool)
ST: Khadija Shaw (Manchester City)
ST: Sam Kerr (Chelsea)

Some weeks there are special performances that remind one why we refer to it as the beautiful game. I should probably save this for the Player Of The Week conversation, but two names stand out immediately — one at the front and one at the back. I’m convinced Khadija Shaw missed a penalty just to score a far more aesthetically pleasing hat-trick. As for Votíková, very few players are given the chance to debut for their clubs against their most vicious rival, and even fewer put in a match-sealing shift to make history. Danny Rose comes to mind, and now do does Barbora Votíková. Joining Shaw up front is the ever-impressive Sam Kerr, the spearhead of a Chelsea side at their most imperious as they brushed aside Bristol City. She makes it look easy, and when you’ve got a player like Sophie Ingle pulling the strings behind you, it’s slightly easier to make it look easy. Props to Guro Reiten, Lauren James, and Fran Kirby for their roles in that prominent attack as well. The defence that Ingle sat in front of proved security was found with a wide-winged and compact-centred lot — Hasegawa joining Chelsea’s Welsh wizard with her magical pings forward that allowed Roord to drive and Kelly to chance — Jenna Clark was an easy choice in the middle further back as she kept The Red Devils at bay single-handedly at times. Out wide, Clark’s captain Taylor Hinds continues to be the most consistently impressive in her position (keeping out Man City’s Leila Ouahabi this week), while her opposite played a role going forward and staying back — Sarah Mayling running decoy and running danger for Aston Villa, allowing Adriana Leon and Kenza Dali to play chief tormentors to Brighton. That does leave Leicester’s improving Julie Thibaud out at the back (joined cigarlessly by teammate Sam Tierney), and then there’s just Melissa Lawley to talk about — a force against Manchester United, running them ragged down the wing, and rendering the hard work from the likes of Hayley Ladd and Ella Toone a waste. Ceri Holland was very nearly in this eleven as well, but she’ll just have to settle for first off the bench. I’m sure that’ll keep her up at night.
I do feel the need to shout out the West Ham attack force as well. If there’s a position that’s gonna keep ’em up, it’s that one. Ueki and Asseyi are pulling that team up and proving one of the most threatening in the league week-in, week-out.

Player Of The Week is Barbora Votíková. Shaw was mighty, but the story of the debutant is too much for me to deny. Save Of The Week would definitely go to Mary Earps for her mad reflexes against Liverpool that she made look second nature. Finally, Goal Of The Week is a toss — up… Spurs put together quite a passing move, Leon dipped, ducked, dived, and dodged, Lauren James continues to defy the odds of physics, Erin Cuthbert provided a helluva clean effort, Shaw provided a hellacious dink, and Galli’s thunderous strike couldn’t be muted by consolation. Out of those, I think I’m going with one of Chelsea’s, and as outstanding as Lauren James’ was, I’m a sucker for a sweetly-caught volley — Erin Cuthbert, take a bow.

Keep it streets ahead,

C.L.R.

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