After a long wait, the WSL is finally back, Tottenham has seen many players leave in the summer and have recruited seven new signings during the break.
Tottenham’s preseason hasn’t gone to plan after losing every game in the Women’s Cup (1-2 vs Tokyo, 1-2 vs Club America) and ending preseason back in London with a 2-0 defeat to Chelsea 3 weeks ago, but now is where the real work begins. After last week’s postponement, Tottenham’s 2022-23 season kicked off against Leicester City at the King Power Stadium.
The draw for this season’s Conti Cup has been made with Tottenham being drawn into Group E alongside Coventry United, Southampton and Reading. Dates and times will be announced in due course as our Lilywhites wait to find out where they will be playing each opponent.
A lot of familiar faces have left Tottenham such as Angela Addison, Rachel Williams, Josie Green, Viki Schiderbeck, Jiali Tang and one of our favourite players Maeve Cleamaron who will most certainly be missed in the midfield.
Our new faces this season are…
Ellie joins Tottenham from Brighton where she spent 4 seasons. The 23-year-old has represented England at all levels from U17-U23. Ellie also spent a season in Italy with Fiorentina in 2017 where she joined from Birmingham City. Her first interview as a Tottenham player can be viewed below.
The 29-year-old German joins Tottenham from Aston Villa where she spent two seasons. Ramona is an experienced midfielder who has played for Wattenscheid 09, SC 07 Bad Neuenahr, Bayer 04 Leverkusen and SGD Essen. Her first interview as a Tottenham player can be viewed below.
Amy is a defender that has joined from The Orlando Pride in the NWSL. Many Tottenham fans may remember Amy from the Manchester United team that endured many battles with our Lilywhites in the Championship and later in the WSL. Amy started her career at Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday at youth level before starting her senior career at Doncaster Rovers Belles. Amy has played for Leeds United, Lincoln Ladies and Liverpool before moving to Manchester United. The experienced defender had been capped four times by England and will complete a solid back line for Tottenham alongside Bartrip, Zadorsky and Neville. Amy’s first interview as a Tottenham player can be viewed below.
Nikola joins Tottenham from FC Fleury 91 where she scored 10 goals in 21 appearances. The 22-year-old has been capped 13 times by Poland, scoring 7 times and seems like the forward Tottenham has needed for many seasons having already scored on her debut against Club America. Nikola’s first interview as a Tottenham player can be viewed below.
Angharad joins Tottenham from The Orlando Pride. The 28-year-old Welsh international is an experienced player who has been capped 100 times by Wales and is a midfielder that loves to get forward and will be key in Tottenham creating chances for the forwards. James started her career at Manorbier Girls and Arsenal at youth level. James has played for Bristol, Notts County, Yeovil, Everton, Reading and The North Carolina Courage. Angharad’s first interview as a Tottenham player can be viewed below.
Celin Bizet Ildhusøy.
Celin joins Tottenham from PSG where she spent 1 season. At only 20 years of age, the young forward has already been capped 10 times for Norway, scoring 4 goals. Celin started her career at Skedsmo at youth level before going into the senior side. Celin moved to Vålerenga in 2017 where she spent 4 seasons before moving to PSG. Celin is a welcome addition to the team as Tottenham will start the season with three new forwards. Celin’s first interview as a Tottenham player can be viewed below.
Drew has joined Tottenham from Chelsea where she spent 14 years making 223 appearances for the Blues. Drew joins Tottenham as a very experienced midfielder having won 5 WSL titles, 4 FA Cups, 2 Conti Cups and the 2020 Community shield.
As well as adding seven new recruits, Tottenham welcome back Gracie Pearse from her loan spell. Gracie has looked very impressive from her time at Crystal Palace and will no doubt cement a place in the starting XI very soon. I would also like to wish Esther Morgan and Eleanor Heeps the best of luck on their loans to Coventry United.
In other news, we need to say a HUGE welcome back to Kit Graham who is back training and getting stronger each day. I can’t wait to see Kit back on the pitch working her magic.
Leicester 3-5-2: Levell in goal, Tierney, Plumptre and Purified in defence. The Leicester midfield was made of Simon down the right, Pike, Green and Jones in the centre of midfield with Howard down the left. The Leicester frontline was made of Flint and Whelan.
Tottenham 4-4-3: Spencer in goal, Turner, Bartrip and Zadorsky in defence. The midfield was made of Neville in at left wing-back, James and Summanen in the centre of defence with Ale down the right as a wing-back. The Tottenham front line was made of Spence, Naz and Ayane.
The game started quite evenly with most of the battle taking place in the middle of the park. Tottenham was forced into an early substitution when a challenge by former Tottenham player Josie Green forced Ayane off in the 15th minute and saw new signing Ellie Brazil come on for the number 23. Leicester came close to finding a goal in the 23rd minute when Jones won the ball in midfield before finding Purfield down the left who shot from distance but her effort was over Spencer’s goal.
Two minutes later Leicester came close again when Purfield did well down the left and got a cross into the Tottenham box but her cross was just too high for Flint who couldn’t head the ball. Leicester looked the most comfortable in the opening 30 minutes but it was Neville who calmed Tottenham’s nerves in the 34th minute by unleashing a rocket from distance, looping the ball over Lavell to give Tottenham the lead against the run of play.
After the goal, it was Tottenham that was in control and kept pushing forward looking for a second. Tottenham came close in the 38th minute when Summanan found Naz with a pass, who shot from an angle but her effort was put out for a corner by Lavell. James floated the Tottenham corner into the Leicester box which wasn’t dealt with by the defence and Zadorsky hit a volley but her effort was deflected out for another corner. New signing Ellie Brazil tried her luck in the 41st minute with a shot from distance but her effort was deflected out for a corner. The fourth official indicated a minimum of 4 minutes of injury time and in the 47th minute, Drew Spence hit a low shot from distance past Levell to give Tottenham a two-goal lead at the break.
The second half started at a slow pace with most of the play taking place in the middle of the park. Tottenham looked the most likely to cause a threat but the Foxes were playing with a midfield of five to prevent Tottenham from breaking through. Leicester came close in the 55th minute when Jones latched onto a Purfield cross, finding herself in space in the Tottenham box but only managed to put her effort over Spencer’s bar.
Two minutes later Leicester was again on the attack but Bartrip blocked well to concede a corner. The corner was whipped in by Purfield into the Tottenham box which Spence turned into her own net to give Leicester some hope. Skinner made a change in the 60th minute, bringing Simon on for Naz who had an immediate impact whipping a ball into the Leicester box which Summanen cleverly flicked on to Brazil but her effort was straight at Lavell who put the ball out for a corner.
Leicester began to grow and gain confidence after the goal as they pushed for an equaliser but it was Tottenham that still looked the more dangerous going forward. Leicester had an opportunity in the 80th minute when a Purfield cross was met by Pumptre but her header was saved well by Spencer to deny the foxes an equaliser.
In the 81st minute, Norwegian international Bizet made her debut for Tottenham coming on for Summanan after a clash of heads. Leicester began to grow in the last five minutes pushing forward looking for their Second of the match. The fourth official indicated a minimum of five minutes of injury time. Tottenham looked the most in control in the final minutes of the game, passing the ball around and keeping control of possession as they looked to let the clock run down. Tottenham almost found a third in the 92nd minute when Simon broke on the counter but had no support up with her before Leicester recovered the ball from the Australian before the referee brought the game to an end as Tottenham took their first 3 points of the new campaign.
Player of the match.
My player of the match was a tough decision as two players stood out, Summanen looked fantastic in midfield as always and was involved in creating chances and involved in one of the goals. The other player that stood out was Drew Spence who was full of energy, bursting forward, making challenges and scored a screamer for Tottenham. After careful consideration, I have decided to give player or the match to Spence.
Tottenham was the favourite to win this game comfortably but Leicester certainly made things challenging for our Lilywhites in the first 30 minutes as they looked the most likely to score. It took something special to finally break a stubborn Leicester defence and it was Neville who scored Tottenham’s final goal of the 2021-22 campaign against Leicester who got Tottenham’s first goal of the 2022-23 season with a rocket from distance.
Tottenham looked shakey at times but given that it’s the first game of the season it’s normal. Tottenham played well in patches but when they dominated possession they looked very dangerous going forward. Losing Clemaron will take some getting used to as now there is no enforcer in the middle of the park alongside Summanen so Percival will need to fill that position.
So what about the new signings, Amy Turner looked comfortable alongside Bartrip and Zadorksy and didn’t seem troubled at any point of the game. Angharad James had a bit of a quiet game but covered a lot of ground and was involved in the attacks as well as helping out with defensive duties. Drew Spence looked very impressive for Tottenham making forward runs and wasn’t afraid to make challenges and will be key for our Lilywhites this season. Ellie Brazilwanted to get stuck in and fought for every ball but will need some time to adapt to the Tottenham way but looked good after coming in for Ayane. Celin Bizet didn’t really get much time but looked to link up well with Simon causing Leicester problems down the left but will need time to settle in.
I would have loved to see Karczewska start upfront rather than a false number 9 but I guess it will take time to adapt many of the new players. With Arsenal less than a week away this would have been a good game to introduce her because against Arsenal we will need a natural forward and can not miss any opportunities the Gunners will give us. Overall Tottenham looked impressive, the most dangerous we have seen a Tottenham in going forward and it seems the missing pieces to make this team a Champions League challenger are finally in place. I believe this Tottenham side will be capable of pushing Arsenal and give them a tough match next Saturday COME ON YOU SPURS!!!
Tottenham’s next match is away to Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium before the international break. Tottenham’s next home match is against Liverpool on October 16th at Brisbane Road. Tickets for the match can be purchased at https://www.tottenhamhotspur.com/tickets/buy-tickets/womens-tickets/ and are priced at £3.50 for Juniors and seniors, £4.50 for young adults and £7.00 for adults.
Before I end this blog I want to talk about something not football related. Last week’s WSL matches were postponed due to the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. I want to pay respects and take a moment to say that I am with the people of Britain and the Royals, losing a mother, Grandmother is never easy. I can’t imagine the hurt and pain that the family is going through during this very tragic time. I send my well wishes to the people of Britain and the Royals during this difficult time, Rest In Peace Queen Elizabeth II.
This match review was by Dan @lilywhiteladies.