Women’s Super League Team of the Week — Matchday 9

C.L.R.
4 min readDec 12, 2023

Here’s a team of the week for Matchday 9, comprising the games played on the 9th and 10th of December 2023. Inconsistencies, if not displayed yet, threaten to rear their ugly heads more than ever before, and it could be ever so telling as we really get into it now.

GK: Courtney Brosnan (Everton)
LB: Janice Cayman (Leicester)
CB: Maya Le Tissier (Manchester United)
CB: Amanda Ilestedt (Arsenal)
RB: Katie McCabe (Arsenal)
CDM: Hayley Ladd (Manchester United)
LM: Chloe Kelly (Manchester City)
RM: Lauren Hemp (Manchester City)
CAM: Kim Little (Arsenal)
ST: Alessia Russo (Arsenal)
ST: Elisabeth Terland (Brighton & Hove Albion)

It’ll be the first time in a while we’ve had no Chelsea reps anywhere in this article I reckon. They found themselves outplayed on pretty much every front at one point or another by city-and-title-rivals Arsenal, who manage seven names across the team and the honourable mentions. They didn’t let Chelsea in the game for any extended time and it was tricky to leave any one of the sixteen who graced the Emirates pitch out. Lotte Wubben-Moy, Victoria Pelova, and Lia Wälti will have to settle for cigarettes over cigars, but the four Gunners in the team put in a mighty shift. Alessia Russo might be the hardest working striker in English football at the moment, Katie McCabe seemingly can’t be confined to a position but still manages to boss one, Amanda Ilestedt is the biggest threat to corners since circles, and Kim Little showed off her wisdom with a slight alteration to her position and play that made her the most potent threat of the game.
Spurs are another defeated side with no names popping up this week, and West Ham are the last with a driven, yet listless performance against Everton, doing just enough to allow Courtney Brosnan to show off her reliability between the sticks. She kept out Aston Villa’s Daphne van Domselaar, another defeated team, but with DvD and fellow goal-stopper (and goalscorer) Danielle Turner repped, they displayed how they’re clawing their way back into contention. Despite their improved form, Manchester City were always going to be a tough nut to crack, and as it so often is, the two wingers of The Citizens played most others off the park. Chloe Kelly rarely looks unmotivated, but Lauren Hemp was in some kind of mood on Saturday. She was breaking out thrills and appeared ready and willing and fully capable of anything she tried. Two goals leading to a victory were her reward, as she showed what’s conjured when she gets in that zone.
Elsewhere, Liverpool and Bristol City drew, the former bringing Taylor Hinds for a mention while the latter promoted Amy Rodgers. Leicester and Brighton also played out a stalemate, a cracking one at that, and so they get a player each in the team, The Foxes’ Janice Cayman is really starting to show some consistency on the wing, while Seagull Elisabeth Terland seems a safer bet to score week on week — terrifying form. They also get two each in the honourable mentions with Poppy Pattinson and Maisie Symonds for Brighton, and Lena Petermann and Jutta Rantala for Leicester. Pattinson is mentioned for much the same reason as Cayman, and the same goes for Petermann compared to Terland, while Rantala and Symonds bossed their respective midfields, not so much clashing heads as playing a game of ‘anything you can do, I can do better’. Finally, there’s the rampant Manchester United side, who can count good days for Hannah Blundell, Jayde Riviere, and Melvine Malard, but can wholly thank Maya Le Tissier for being amazingly astute, and Hayley Ladd for being the best in her position this week.

It was very nearly Kim Little, but when I see Lauren Hemp in that kind of headspace, where it seems that nothing’s gonna go wrong, as if I could hand her my priceless pottery and she could still play a pearler while carrying it around, she’s gotta be Player Of The Week. Looking at Goal Of The Week, Turner’s hook was sweet for Villa, I did love Terland’s take for her first, Mead’s composure after pressured teamwork was tight, Petermann’s ferocity was delightfully on show, and Rantala polishing off a tactic was pleasant…
I think I’ll go for Beth Mead opening the scoring against Chelsea. High-pressure environment, driven Arsenal play all up the pitch, and then an ultra-cool finish from a player who doesn’t seem to have missed a step since coming back.

Had to get the rest of The Mousquetaires in there.

Keep it streets ahead,

C.L.R.

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