In this special, we look back at what has been a historic season for our Lilywhites. We will look back on the season, rate our players and give our player of the season. There are so many positives that can be taken from this season, despite the lows in the second half of the season, this group of players have made us proud to be Tottenham fans.
September – December.
Tottenham announced the signings of Bartrip, Ale, Korpela, Clemaron, Chi and Tang ahead of the new season, which saw Tottenham open up their campaign at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium against Birmingham City. Tottenham ran out 1-0 winners in a tough fought match with the only goal coming from Kit Graham. Tottenham followed the victory by going on a 4 match winning streak, beating Manchester City at the Academy Stadium before their run ended in October against Brighton.
Tottenham bounced back with another 4 match unbeaten run. Tottenham hammered Watford 11-0 in the Conti Cup and picked up points against Manchester United and Arsenal before West Ham handed Tottenham their 2nd defeat in a match that saw Tottenham lose Kit Graham for the remainder of the season.
Tottenham bounced back in the final games of the year by coming from behind to beat Villa 2-1 at the Bescot Stadium before ending their Conti Cup group phase with a hard-fought 3-2 victory over Coventry. The victory ensured Tottenham’s place in the quarter-finals for the first time in their history before beating Everton 1-0 at the final in our Lilywhites final match of 2021.
January – May.
A lot of talk ahead of the second half of the season was about whether Tottenham could maintain their form as Tottenham sat in third place with ten matches played, two points ahead of fourth placed Manchester United.
Tottenham started 2022 with a 1-1 draw against West Ham after Kate Longhurst gabbed an equaliser for the Hammers in the 92nd minute to put a dent in Tottenham’s push for a Champion’s League place. Tottenham bounced back three days later by beating Liverpool 1-0 at the Hive in the Conti Cup quarter-finals as Tottenham booked their place in the semi-finals for the first time in their history. Rachel Williams was the scorer for the Lilywhites against the Championship side.
Tottenham endured a three-game losing streak towards the end of January with a 3-0 defeat to Manchester United at Leigh Sports Village before being dumped out of the FA Cup in Round 4 against Leicester, which saw Tottenham concede 8 minutes from time taking the game to extra time. Leicester went on to win the game 3-1 as our Lilywhites fell at the first hurdle in the 2021-22 FA Cup. Tottenham suffered another blow four days later as Tottenham was beaten 3-0 by Manchester City in the Conti Cup semi-finals with Park, Shaw and Hemp putting the Citizens through to their first final since the 2018-19 season.
Tottenham recovered from their shaky start to 2022 with a 4-0 victory against Brighton at the Hive three days later before beating Birmingham 2-0 at St. Andrew’s before the international break. March saw Tottenham once again dip in form as their Champion’s League hopes began to fade with a goal-less draw to Reading and 1-0 defeat to Manchester City. April did not get any better for Tottenham as their European footballing dream ended with defeats to Villa and back to back defeats to Chelsea, losing 3-1 at the Hive and 2-1 four days later at Kingsmeadow.
Tottenham’s rut continued in May as Tottenham conceded late against Everton to draw 2-2 at Walton Hall Park before losing to Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium three days later 3-0 as the Gunners kept their hopes of securing the WSL title alive. Tottenham hosted Leicester in the final game of the season at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, where Tottenham ended the season with a 1-0 victory thanks to an Ash Neville goal. Tottenham’s victory meant that the Lilywhites maintained a 100% record at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and gave fans something to smile about on a hot Sunday.
Since the season ended, Tottenham announced that Kerys Harrop signed a contract extension with Tottenham which will see here remain at the club until 2023.
2021-22 Players performance.
We never like to be critical of any players that put on a Tottenham Jersey but in this review, we will look at our squad and their contribution to the team in the 2021-22 season.
Becky Spencer: 7/10
Skinner has alternated keepers this season depending on the opposition. While Spencer has been Tottenham’s number 1 for some time, the addition of Korpela has shown that while Spencer has been a good keeper for Tottenham in the first few seasons, now if Tottenham wants to compete with the top 3 and challenge for a Champions League place the player quality needs to improve. We feel that Spencer is a good backup keeper to play against smaller clubs in the Conti Cup but as Tottenham look to challenge Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City the level of players needs to match those of the big three. Spencer has different strengths from Korpela, whilst playing from the back seems to be one of her weaknesses, Spencer has had a back/hip problem for a few seasons which kept her out for a chuck of the 2020-21 season and would be better suited as a backup to Korpela.
Tinja Korpela: 8/10
Korpela has been a great addition to the Tottenham team, an international with years of experience not only at club level but at international level too. Korpela has brought some much-needed confidence to the defence as the team now tries to play out from the back similar to the style used by FC Barcelona Femeni. Korpela conceded 13 goals in the WSL to Spencer’s 7 but the level of opposition that Korpela faced was much higher than Spencer. Skinner and our fans know that Tottenham makes too many errors at the back and a few reinforcements are needed to protect whoever Skinner decides to play between the sticks while the defence and midfielders need to work on perfecting their passing game from the back.
Ash Neville: 7:10
Neville has been at Tottenham for five seasons and has been a fan favourite for many years. Neville is a versatile player that can play at right-back, left-back and down the wings. Neville took a dip in form towards the end of last season and at the start of the 2021-22 season but really turned things around in the second half of the season not only defensively but also by grabbing a few important goals for our Lilywhites including the win on the final day of the season at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium against Leicester. At the age of 29, Neville still has a few years left in her but Tottenham needs to think about the future and build a young team that will compete for years to come. Ale came to Tottenham with a big reputation but has failed to give Neville any real competition in defence.
Asmita Ale: 6/10
Ale came to Tottenham with a big reputation and was rated as one of the brightest young talents. Ale took some time to settle in and her inexperience could be seen at the start of the season but soon found her feet and like Neville is a versatile player that can play down the left, right and down the wing. We look forward to seeing Ale next season as she continues to grow and develop as a player but like Morgan may be best to go on loan to gain that experience before returning to Tottenham.
Esther Morgan: 4/10
We have always liked Morgan but unfortunately, she is not getting much playing time under Skinner. Morgan was loaned out to Leicester City in January which we feel was a good move by the club as the 19-year-old continues her development to becoming a better player. With the recruitment of Ale, Morgan has fallen down the pecking order at Tottenham and the club needs to decide whether Ale or Morgan will leave the club on loan next season. Due to Morgan’s lack of playing time, it’s difficult to judge her season with Tottenham as her only appearances came for Tottenham in the Conti Cup. Morgan has players around her to help her develop such as Neville, Batrip, Zadorsky and Harrop but her biggest problem is that she does not seem to fit in Skinner’s plans. We hope to see Morgan at Tottenham next season but she may benefit by leaving the club on loan to further her development.
Molly Bartrip: 9:10
Bartrip has been a fantastic addition to the Tottenham team, Zadorsky looked more comfortable and confident alongside her in defence. Bartrip settled in from day one, never looking out of place in defence, even covering for Clemaron in midfield when Schniderbeck joined in January. Batrip started her footballing journey at Tottenham’s youth team before kick-starting her professional career at Reading where she spent 7 seasons before returning home. Bartrip clocked up the most blocks in the 2021-22 season, played every single WSL match and brought some much-needed confidence and experience to the defence.
Shelina Zadorksy: 7/10
Zadorsky has ended her second season at Tottenham, our captain has gone from strength to strength but looked a little tired at certain moments of the season but our captain has hardly rested after competing in the Tokyo Olympics where she picked up Gold with Canada. Overall Zadorsky has put in another solid season and looks more confident with Bartrip by her side in the centre of defence. The 2021-22 season also saw our captain finally grab a goal in Tottenham’s 4-0 win over Brighton at the Hive and could have had a couple more had luck been on her side.
Viktoria Schnaderbeck: 5/10
Schnaderbeck joined Tottenham on loan from Arsenal in January, the experienced Austrian made just 4 appearances for Tottenham but fitted in quickly and looked solid in defence the times that she was called upon by coach Skinner. Because Viktoria made just 4 appearances it felt unfair to give her a rating but she faired well and did not look out of place. Schniderbeck would be a good permanent signing for Tottenham should she leave Arsenal as Tottenham look to build a strong bench but we assume since Schniderbeck left Arsenal on loan in search of playing time, we can’t see her sitting on the Tottenham bench playing back-up to Bartrip and Zadorsky.
Kerys Harrop: 8/10
Harrop has turned out to be a great addition after a shaky start since joining in 2020, the veteran has certainly found her feet since her arrival and has cemented her place into the starting 11. Harrop has been solid in defence for Tottenham and like Neville loves to go forward and is not afraid to shoot from distance. The number 3 position is probably Tottenham’s biggest weakness aside from the number 9 role. Tottenham does not have any other natural left-back. Neville and Ale have covered in matches but if Skinner wanted to rotate the team or Harrop was to face a lengthy period of time out Tottenham would be in trouble.
Maeve Clemaron: 8/10
Since the departure of Rachel Furness, Tottenham has missed something in midfield. Clemaron has been a much-needed addition to the squad and has been key for Tottenham as an enforcer, unfortunately picking up 7 yellow cards and winning back possession whilst stopping the opposition’s attacks. Clemaron is not known for her goals but she does love to get forward and is not shy of shooting from distance. Losing Graham so early in the season saw Clemaron having to adapt with different partners in midfield until the arrival of Summanan which saw the French international build a partnership alongside the Finn and Percival. We are excited to see the partnership the trio build with Kit Graham once she returns from injury.
Josie Green: 6/10
Green is another player who has been with Tottenham before promotion but like others in this squad, maybe is not cut out for the WSL. We have seen a vast improvement this season and she did look more solid in midfield. It seems that Percival and Clemaron have helped Green develop as a player but Green is a player we believe should be let go. Tottenham has spent the first three seasons growing and now it’s time to build a squad of top players. Green is not a playmaker to drive Tottenham forward and spends most of the game on the ground. There is no denying that she has a lot of heart but this can only get you so far and for Tottenham to continue growing they must part way with Green.
Evaliina Summanen: 8/10
Summanen only joined Tottenham in January but looked a brilliant signing from her first outing. Summanen has formed a brilliant partnership in midfield alongside Percival and Clemaron and creates many chances for the forwards. We are looking forward to Sammanen and Graham linking up next season and hope the return of our number 16 can help the team from missing so many chances in front of the goal. Like Clemaron and Percival, the Finn likes to get stuck in and enjoys getting forward. Summanan is still awaiting her first Tottenham goal but with what we have seen so far, it won’t be long until she gets on the scoresheet.
Cho So-Hyun: 6/10
Cho has not had much playing time at Tottenham since the arrival of Summanen. Cho has not lived up to the hype we saw at West Ham and with Clemaron and Summanen’s arrival, Cho fell down the pecking order. Cho’s style might be best suited to another club and therefore we believe should be let go during the summer. Cho has gone missing in many games and there have been times that we have forgotten she was on the pitch. Cho is a player that seems to hold up play too much denying Tottenham of attacking opportunities.
Jessica Naz: 6/10
Naz is a player that we just do not feel is made for the WSL, ever since her long injury, she gets scared and pulls out of challenges too regularly. Naz is a quick player but most of the time does not know what to do with the ball, she loses possession too quickly or lets the ball run out of play. We don’t believe that Naz is WSL quality and would suit a Championship side where the expectation is less than at Tottenham. Naz scored a wonderful goal against Everton but the negatives outweigh the positives and playing with Naz is like playing with a headless chicken and feels like the team is playing with 10 and is in Tottenham’s best interest to let her go.
Rosella Ayane: 4/10
Ayane is a player that came to Tottenham with a lot of hype after her time in Cyprus where she bagged 14 goals in 15 appearances for Apollon Limassol. On her return to England, Ayane joined Bristol City where she scored 1 goal in 15 appearances before moving to Tottenham where she has scored 2 league goals in 43 appearances for our Lilywhites. At the age of 26, we feel that Ayane has not been able to up her game in the WSL and would be better suited for the Championship or a minnow league. Like Naz Ayane is a player that runs the ball out of play too often, does not know what to do when in possession of the ball and spends most of her time arguing with the referees. Ayane is a player that must be let go by Tottenham if this team is to develop and build a competitive bench.
Angela Addison: 6/10
Addison is a player that we have always liked and feel should get more playing time but feel it would be good for Addison to go out on loan for the 2022-23 season. At the age of 23, a player with her talent should not be sitting on the bench, for her growth as a player Addison needs to develop at another club if she does not fit in Skinner’s plans. Addison could easily give City’s Hemp a run for her money in the England squad but needs regular minutes to break into the squad. We hope that Addison will be given the opportunity to show her capability but for now, her best bet would be to go on loan.
Kyah Simon: 4/10
Australia has a superb squad but has underachieved at the top level but it will be just a matter of time before they finally win a World Cup or Olympic games. When Simon was signed many thought that we were getting our very own Sam Kerr but instead we got a player that has not shown any qualities that our former players did not have. In our opinion, Quinn was more effective in games than Simon has been all season. Had Quinn been given more playing time under Skinner she would have no doubt returned to the form that made her a hit with the Tottenham faithful under Karen and Juan. We have to give Simon the benefit of the doubt as she has had a few injuries this season and needs to adapt to a new league but we feel that Simon should be let go.
Chi is a player that first came to our attention in 2017 after signing with the Orlando Pride from Huston Dash. We were excited when Chi signed for Tottenham and believed with Chi down one wing and Addison on the other, Tottenham would be tearing up defences in 2021-22. Unfortunately, in the few games that Chi partook in for Tottenham, her performances were below average. After the issues that Chi has endured in her first season back in England we will have to see if there are any improvements next season but if our Lilywhites are to be a force next season Chi will have to be a bench warmer until she proves herself otherwise.
Kit Graham: 7/10
Graham had an explosive start to the season but unfortunately, her season was cut short after a Kate Longsworth challenge put Graham out for the season. Tottenham has certainly missed Graham and despite her absence did extremely well to be fighting for a Champions League place until late March. Hopefully, Graham can remain injury-free next season as our Lilywhites look to write another chapter in Tottenham’s history books. We are excited to see how Graham will link up with Summanan next season and hopefully a new number 9 as no doubt Graham will be eager to get back causing defences problems and scoring goals.
Tang Jiali: 5/10
Tang arrived at Tottenham as a goal machine after she arrived from Shanghai Shengli and her performances with the Chinese national team. Tang was never given a real opportunity to show what she could do as Williams was usually favoured ahead of Tang. Despite Tang only making 9 appearances for Tottenham in the WSL and failing to score, she always gave everything on the pitch, challenging for balls and looking to pick out Naz and Williams with passes to create chances for Tottenham. We believe that Tang will return to Shanghai now that the season has ended and look for regular football elsewhere.
Rachel Williams: 7/10
William is another player that we feel needs to be let go, at the age of 34, Williams managed just 4 goals. Tottenham needs to look at recruiting a young forward that can lead the line for many years to come. If Tottenham was to keep Williams, it would have to be as a benchwarmer to come on in the final 10 minutes or against minnow clubs in the Conti Cup. Williams is a strong forward and no one can deny that she has a lot of heart but that is where the positives end. Williams is not a lethal goal scorer, misses too many opportunities, had Tottenham had someone else upfront the season could have been very different. We thank Williams for her service to Tottenham but it’s time for her to move on.
Player of the season.
So many players gave so much for the club this season and this decision was very difficult for us. We short listed our top 3 players and they came in at
3: Evaliina Summanen
2: Maeve Clemaron
1: Molly Bartrip:
We decided that our stand out player of the season has to go to our number 5, Molly Bartrip. Not only has Molly been an inspiration on the pitch, played every minute in the WSL, blocking the most shots in the league (27) and with 8 clean sheets to her name at Tottenham but also for her work off the pitch raising Mental Health Awareness. Molly has come a long way after battling off the pitch with anorexia and mental health issues to become one of the best defenders in England. We hope Molly continues to inspire those that are going through similar battles and allow those that are struggling to seek help.
In other news, Tottenham announced that Chi (Chioma Ubogagu) has been suspended for nine months following an anti-doping violation. Chi will not be available for selection until she has served her ban which will run until October 2022. We know the club and players will support Chi during this difficult time and hope to see her back on the pitch finding the form that made her a favourite at the Orlando Pride. An article by Chi explaining what happened can be viewed over at https://www.theplayerstribune.com/posts/chioma-ubogagu-tottenham-hotspur-soccer
It has been announced that Rachel Williams, Angela Addison and Josie green have left the club following the conclusion of their contracts. It has also been announced that Jiali Tang and Viki Schnaderbeck will both return to their parent clubs after their loan deals came to an end. A club statement can be read on the following link https://www.tottenhamhotspur.com/news/2022/may/spurs-women-player-update/
Let’s look at the highlights of the 2021-22 season, this Tottenham side has achieved
- The highest WSL finish by any Tottenham team ever.
- Most WSL wins, points and goals in a season.
- First win and a perfect record at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
- Recorded their biggest WSL Victory (4-0 vs Brighton).
- First Conti Cup Semi-finals appearance.
- First WSL wins against a top 4 team and registered their first points against two.
Following the departure of William, Green and Addison it seems like Tottenham is moving in the right direction to improve the squad for the 2022-23 season. Addison will be a huge loss for the club but for her growth as a player, it’s better that she finds playing time at a club that will appreciate her talent.
If Tottenham is to come out of the shadows of Chelsea, Arsenal, and Manchester City they need to look at what Manchester United have achieved considering they both came up in the same season. Tottenham has a lot of work ahead of them this summer and what better place to look at recruitment than the Euros which begins in a little over a month. Hopefully, Tottenham can add some signings that will push us into the Top 3 and dethrone one of the big three.
It may be too early to talk about transfers but with Lisa Evans leaving Arsenal and Caroline Weir leaving Manchester City, these are two very experienced players that can strengthen the Tottenham squad. Other players that could be on the move in search of regular playing time are Beth England, Jill Scott, Nikita Parris and Barcelona’s Leila Ouahabi while Birmingham’s relegation could mean potential moves for Louise Quinn, Veatriki Sarri and former Lilywhite Lucy Quinn. We will have to wait a little longer to see who dresses in the famous white for our Lilywhites. The WSL will be back before too soon but until then we have the delayed Euros to look forward to. We would like to wish all the teams involved the best of luck and we will be back in September.