Goalkeeper Karen Bardsley alongside defenders Stephanie Houghton and Lucy Bronze were selected among the 23 strong FIFA all star squad.

It does not come as a real surprise considering the Lionesses came home with a Bronze medal from the World Cup this summer.

As per FIFA: this All-Star Squad is made up of 23 players who succeeded in getting fans out of their seats and truly impressing the Technical Study Group experts. The 23 players selected are:

Nadine Angerer, Karen Bardsley, Hope Solo

Saori Ariyoshi, Lucy Bronze, Kadeisha Buchanan, Steph Houghton, Julie Johnston, Meghan Klingenberg, Wendie Renard

Midfielders and forwards:
Ramona Bachmann, Lisa De Vanna, Amandine Henry, Elise Kellond-Knight, Eugenie Le Sommer, Carli Lloyd, Anja Mittag, Aya Miyama, Megan Rapinoe, Mizuho Sakaguchi, Celia Sasic, Elodie Thomis, Rumi Utsugi

The three selected England players are all defensive players and it is quite logical considering England’s game was built around a strong defensive base and adaptability to the opposition strength and weaknesses.

Lucy Bronze had a fantastic World Cup, she managed to displace Alex Scott at right back which was not an easy feat as Scott has been the starter in that position for many tournaments. She excelled on the defensive side of the job and also added an attacking dimension like all the modern full backs scoring two vital goals in the process. Her performance in the tournament was as good as a world class player like world champion Ali Krieger.

Stephanie Houghton also was superb, she captained the England side marshalled the defence from her centre back position. She made some very important last ditch tackles like in the third place play off against Germany and was unlucky that her clearance against Japan did not prevent the own goal from Laura Bassett.

Karen Bardsley is a curious selection IMO. She did keep a clean sheet in the game that mattered i.e. the third place play off against Germany, but conceded in every other game in the tournament. She also make some good one on one important saves but her kicking was erratic and ball handling subject to many questions. There were calls for her to be replaced by Chamberlain and or Telford during the tournament, but the coaching staff kept her in the team.

Here is a recap of the goals conceded by England, some of them are due to the defence and midfield not being in the right position at the right time or the ball lost in transition.

Against France, there is was not much she can do on Le Sommer’s goals as it was a rocket sent from long range. Maybe she could have pushed a bit more to get quicker across to divert the ball but it was a tough shot.

Against Mexico, she did not manage to catch a simple shot and it bounced straight to the feet of the Mexican centre forward for a tap in.

Against Colombia, she made a great one-on-one save and could not do much when lobbed by the Colombian forward.

Against Norway the corner was not dealt properly by the defence with Norway crowding the penalty area and she did not come out to claim the ball.

Against Canada, she was subbed and Chamberlain kept a clean sheet under pressure to lead the team to the semi-finals. She conceded from a simple cross, again dropping the ball at the Canadian forward’s feet for a tap-in.

Against Japan, there is nothing she could really do on the penalty and the Basset own goal.

She kept a clean sheet against Germany.

Overall it seems strange by FIFA to see her selected in the top three goalkeepers of the tournament.

Previous articleLiverpool vice-captain expecting tough match against Arsenal
Next articleZlatan to Arsenal? Thanks but no thanks…
Following the Arsenal Ladies since 2004/05. Arsenal LFC season ticket holder since they appeared in 2006/07. Likely to be found watching women's football every week-end all over England... and the world. I am also a silver member