With the Women’s Super League coming to a close this weekend, GiveMeSport Women looks at how the 2019-2020 team of the season has performed.
Goalkeeper: Ellie Roebuck
Ellie Roebuck was voted goalkeeper of the year after a remarkable season at Manchester City.
Along with a solid defence, Roebuck’s 10 clean sheets were the main reason for City’s highest defensive record in the league.
After an incredible season for the Citizens, it was a tough challenge for anyone to hit the same heights, but the 21-year-old has not slowed down. She has the highest number of successful foot passes from open play so far this season, has beaten last season’s clean sheet tally with 11, and has conceded only 13 goals so far with a save percentage of 73 percent.
Roebuck’s world-class season has cemented her place as one of the best goalkeepers in the league. At just 21 years of age, the young shot-stopper’s potential is frightening. Despite all this, the goalkeeper of the season will most likely go to Chelsea’s Ann-Katrin Berger, who has been excellent this year.
Last season, Mjelde scored four goals in the WSL and provided more opportunities than any other defensive player in the league. The defender also completed 62.5 percent of tackles.
Mjelde started this season off well with Chelsea. The Blues went on a 33-game unbeaten run with the help of the defender. However, the Norwegian’s season was cut short when she got injured in the Continental League Cup final against Bristol City.
Having missed just one WSL match this season before her injury, the absence of Mjelde was a massive blow to the Blues.
Due to her injury in March, it is very harsh to say Mjelde hasn’t performed to the same level as last season. Pre-injury, she put in many remarkable defensive performances. All in all, it wasn’t going to be easy for the defender to play as well as she did in the previous campaign and her injury has been a big factor in that.
Leah Williamson has been a vital part of Arsenal’s charge to finish in a Champions League position. Williamson is also an important player for Arsenal in terms of providing opportunities. Her passing range is among the most impressive in the WSL this season.
At the age of 24, she has already made more than 150 appearances in the red and white of Arsenal. The England international played 1,286 minutes and was the most-used player in the league last season, demonstrating her value to the team. This season has been no change – Williamson has racked up 1584 minutes on the pitch.
The star has shown this season why some fans believe she will be the future Arsenal and England captain, taking the Arsenal armband from legend Kim Little. She has improved the Arsenal defence massively. They now have a goal difference of 48 compared to last season’s 27. Williamson is helping Arsenal become a more well-rounded team.
Gemma Bonner played some of her best football last season, but the English defender has not reached the same heights this season. She has played in six matches and has only picked up 496 minutes, compared to last season’s 1440 minutes.
The arrival of American defender Abigail Dahlkemper has played a massive factor in the reduced game time for Bonner. Dahlkemper has played an instrumental part in City’s desire to play out from the back, making her a wonderful signing for the Citizens.
Similar to a lot of players on this list, one of the main reasons for Bonner’s underwhelming performance is injury. She has now joined NWSL team Racing Louisville on a two-year contract.
Magdalena Eriksson has established herself as one of the WSL’s most dominant defenders. One of the most vital players for the Blues this season, Eriksson has appeared 18 times in the WSL. Chelsea don’t just rely on her defensive presence, but also her ball distribution and ball carrying ability to help in build-up play.
Along with England’s Millie Bright and Chelsea shot stopper Ann-Katrin Berger, Sweden’s Eriksson has been a massive reason why the Blues have only conceded 10 goals this season.
The loss of Eriksson due to injury has shown many Chelsea fans the importance of the defender – no replacement could fill the void left on the pitch by the Swede.
Lauren Hemp has played 14 games for City, scoring six times whilst picking up eight assists. The midfielder has contributed both offensively and defensively for the Citizens. She is a pivotal player in City’s attack as she offers width, and her 1v1 ability is a nightmare for defenders.
Hemp has played an integral part in the turnaround of Manchester City’s fortunes this season. The young forward has hit new heights this season. Ever since her return from injury, City have not lost a single game in the league.
Chelsea midfielder Sophie Ingle signed a new two-and-a-half-year deal this season. This will keep her with the reigning Women’s Super League champions until 2023. This is testament to the season she is having for the Blues. Despite a few injury hiccups, the midfielder has been vital for Chelsea. Reliable, solid, and technically gifted are often words used to describe the Welsh international.
Her stamina often leaves football fans speechless – she seems to never get tired. Her vision and passing range are world class and her awareness of the game is second to none. She has become an important player and will no doubt be one of the first names on the team sheet.
Caroline Weir adds a lot to City’s midfield. Her dribbling to beat the incoming press makes her such a reliable option when City are looking to build from the back. On average, the Scottish international secures about 64 touches per 90 minutes.
Weir’s main attribute is creating chances, whether it’s through her passing or set pieces. The 2020 Scotland Women’s Player of the Year is mostly involved in the vital pass before the assist. She has racked up eight goals and three assists this season.
She has reached a new level this season and will no doubt continue to play an instrumental part in City’s charge for the title next season.
Guro Reiten played in Blue for the first-time last season and was one of the WSL’s signings of the season. She has only managed to pick up 793 minutes this season, however, starting eight matches and being called off the bench nine times.
She has picked up one goal and three assists this season, compared to last season’s eight assists and five goals. No player created more chances last season in the WSL than the Norwegian – it is fair to say the midfielder has not performed as well as she did last year.
It is no surprise the goal machine has already managed to beat last season’s tally of 16 goals. She has racked up 18 goals this season in 21 appearances. The devastatingly-clinical forward has been on top form this season. To no-one’s surprise, Miedema is up for the Player of the Season award.
She has managed to score a lot of wonderful goals this season, from the effortless volley against Tottenham to the solo goal against Birmingham City. The striker’s unpredictability on either foot and close control is what torments defenders.
Her strength, power and clever movement has been a huge problem for opposing defences this season. It’s frightening to imagine that the 24-year-old Miedema still might not have reached the peak of her career.
After a remarkable 2019-2020 campaign, England has had a disappointing season. She has six goals and eight assists so far this season. Those numbers alone might seem great, but when compared to the 2019-2020 campaign, they don’t seem as impressive.
She managed 14 goals last season, finishing as Chelsea’s top goal scorer in a league-winning season. England also added four assists in 15 WSL starts. This meant she contributed to more than a third of Chelsea’s 47 goals.
After picking up the FA WSL 2020 Player of the Year and the 2019–2020 PFA Women’s Players’ Player of the Year, it was a tough challenge to replicate last season’s success. It has been a frustrating season for the star, who has not picked up as many minutes as she would have liked.