To mark the 10th anniversary of the Barclays FA Women’s Super League, the GiveMeSport Women team picked their team of the decade. Do you agree?
Goalkeeper and defenders – Nancy
There have been an array of goalkeeping stalwarts in the WSL, including Mary Earps, Karen Bardsley and Carly Telford. Lindahl takes the spot in the team of the decade, however, mainly due to her fundamental role in helping Chelsea establish themselves as one of the best teams around. The Swede signed for the club in 2014, helping the side to WSL titles in 2015 and 2018.
Harrop is not far behind Steph Houghton’s impressive appearance count, featuring in the WSL 146 times. The majority of these have been for Birmingham City, although Harrop departed the club for Tottenham Hotspur last year. Consistency is a key part of the left-back’s game, and for that reason she makes the team of the decade.
A legend of the game. Flaherty has not only been a resolute centre-back for Arsenal, Chelsea, and now West Ham, but she actually scored the first ever WSL goal. During her career, she has picked up an impressive four WSL titles.
Houghton has been one of the most consistent players in WSL history. She was at Arsenal when the league began, before moving to Manchester City in 2014. As a result, she has three WSL winner medals to her name. During her career, Houghton has earned a reputation as an unshakeable and cool-headed centre-back, making 155 WSL appearances in total.
Bronze is likely to be the first name mentioned when discussing a WSL team of the decade. She was a permanent fixture in the WSL until her move to Lyon in 2017, playing for Everton, Liverpool and Manchester City. Now back in the sky blue of City, Bronze has developed her game to become one of the best players in the world.
Midfield – Georgia
The Wizard. One of the players that made the Women’s Super League what it is today. Carney was part of an unbelievable Chelsea side that almost couldn’t be rivalled. As a respected former Lioness and one of the league’s best all-round midfielders, she is someone who springs to many people’s minds when celebrating this anniversary.
The Arsenal icon herself had to be in this ultimate team. Nobbs has dedicated almost 11 years of her career to the Gunners and is still one of their most important players. With her leadership skills, raw talent and unwavering passion, the 28-year-old will go down in history as one of the WSL’s most talented and dedicated players of all time.
From her influential performances for Scotland to her trademark worldies, Caroline Weir is one of the WSL’s most talented individuals right now. After rising into the spotlight at Arsenal, putting herself on a pedestal at Liverpool and now dominating for Man City, the midfielder is an unbelievable asset to the English game and she is a player not many defenders can keep quiet.
Attackers – Olly
You could easily have made the argument to include Kirby in this list before the start of this season, but her performances for Chelsea this campaign have made it impossible not to pick her. With 14 goals and 10 assists so far this year, it’s evident that Kirby is far more than just a goalscorer and offers far more than your average forward.
When you consider the setbacks she’s endured as well, the fact she’s still joint fifth on the all-time goalscoring chart with 46, speaks volumes as to how good she’s been.
The first name on this list, full stop. Miedema is undoubtedly the greatest foreign player to ever join the WSL, as evidenced by the fact she’s the league’s leading goal scorer of all-time with 59 and counting.
There are not enough words to describe quite how influential she’s been for the Gunners, but here are just a few of the records she currently holds: Most goals scored, most goals in a single season (22), most goals in a single game (6) and most goal involvements in a single game (10). I think that says enough…
I’m prepared to get a lot of criticism for this suggestion, not least because I’ve left out the likes of Ellen White, Eni Aluko and Rachel Yankey to make way for Parris’ inclusion. Though she’s left the WSL now, it’s impossible to ignore how impressive she was during her time in the league, especially for City.
Her 19 goals in 19 league games during the 2018/19 season was an extraordinary feat in itself but was overshadowed by Miedema who scored 22 that same year.
Before signing for Lyon, Parris was actually the top scorer of all-time herself, scoring 49 league goals in 109 games. Fingers crossed, we’ll see the English star follow in the footsteps of Lucy Bronze and return to the WSL soon.
Who would be in your WSL team of the decade?