Here’s a team of the week for Matchday 3, comprising the games played on the 14th and the 15th October 2023.
Why should I watch the game on iPlayer when it’s just gonna buffer at any exciting moments?
How about watching the full game instead of just turning it on when something exciting happens?
I disliked you both in a brief blackened moment for what you did to my weekend. But I suppose a day of momentarily buffering football beats a day of no football at all.
GK: Janina Leitzig (Leicester)
LB: Niamh Charles (Chelsea)
CB: Lotte Wubben-Moy (Arsenal)
CB: Maya Le Tissier (Manchester United)
RB: CJ Bott (Leicester)
LCM: Jill Roord (Manchester City)
CM: Kim Little (Arsenal)
RCM: Sam Tierney (Leicester)
LW: Katie McCabe (Arsenal)
RW: Lauren James (Chelsea)
ST: Sam Kerr (Chelsea)
Not a wide spread this week, with representatives from West Ham, Brighton, and Bristol City conspicuous by their absence from the team and the close cigars. Three sides take up nine spaces in the team, so we’ll start with the two Manchester sides, each putting forward one rep with Maya Le Tissier in red, driving forward from the back and really showing that in a pinch she can pick up some of the slack that Ona Batlle released with her departure. In sky blue is Jill Roord, who has returned to the WSL better than ever before, looking capable of anything that is asked of her at any given moment in these first three games this season.
Le Tissier is joined in the middle of the back by a ferocious Lotte Wubben-Moy, who kickstarted plays and halted Villa’s forays with pleasure. That twosome keep out fierce competition from Everton duo Katrine Veje and Megan Finnigan, as well as an opponent of Wubben-Moy on the day in Anna Patten, plus Chelsea’s Millie Bright, and Manchester City’s Alex Greenwood. To the left of them, Niamh Charles continued her routine as she writes herself into Chelsea folklore, progressing towards being a staple for The Blues this season as she keeps out Arsenal’s Steph Catley and Leicester’s Courtney Nevin. Speaking of The Foxes, they grab the last two spots at the back, with CJ Bott tackling everything that moved to aid her side’s quest for a (comparatively) heroic point, but if something did manage to get beyond her, she knows it’s unlikely to go beyond Janina Leitzig between the sticks. Villa’s Daphne van Domselaar is right on the cusp of an honourable mention as she started and ended shakily, but the filling of the sandwich (which is so often what everyone is there for) was staunch.
Citizen Yui Hasegawa could have been a sandwich between defence and attack, but Le Tiss’ inclusion deems such a filling unnecessary, with the same going for Liverpool’s Fuka Nagano. Instead, one of the most stable midfields ever forged takes their place — footballing intelligence personified in Tierney, Little, and the aforementioned Roord. It was a close-run thing between that trio and the likes of Spurs’ Drew Spence, Liverpool’s dogged Ceri Holland, Leicester’s unsung heroine Aileen Whelan, and Red Devil Nikita Parris. Special shout-out to Simone Magill, back from injury, who put in an absolute shift. With things only going wrong for Villa when she was subbed. Just sayin’, can’t be her fault.
On the wings, the consistently thrilling Katie McCabe keeps out Kirby and Kelly of Chelsea and City, respectively, with her never-ending engine proving it’s worth on one side. On the other, the spellbinding Lauren James easily (as always) holds off the challenge of Nicoline Sørensen from Everton, Laura Blindkilde from Villa, and Manchester City’s wondrous assistant Mary Fowler. Finally, at the head of the pyramid (depending how you look at it), Sam Kerr is back to her best, floating like a butterfly around that attacking third, and stinging like a something-or-other only when completely necessary. Another getting back to their best is Man City’s Khadija Shaw, while Alessia Russo keeps pressing the right buttons to be a Gunner (the trigger I assume?), and Martha Thomas proves that she’s just what Spurs need in England’s absence (the player, not the country).
I’ve mentioned her enough, so it feels only right that Maya Le Tissier should be Player Of The Week, but in a shock turn of events (that sees Niamh Charles take the bronze medal), Katie McCabe triumphs top of the podium this week, the never-say-die Gunner showing what that can salvage when so much seems lost. Goal Of The Week is a wee bit more of a party, ‘cos McCabe’s drive was lovely, Kerr’s header from Charles’ cross was silky and sumptuous, Cuthbert’s goal was worked as well as a Willy Wonka Walnut Whip, the fact that Man City scored five goals that were all headers gets a nod (but no prize, sadly), and so, from those, I might have to give McCabe a two-for-two for the poise, and the drama of it all. Well played, McCabe.
Keep it streets ahead,