Here is a player by player review of this season’s Arsenal Ladies’ performances graded from A to E.
I have not seen every game this season, so it is not 100% representative of the player’s overall performances but it is as close as possible.
1 Emma Byrne (GK) B
The veteran goalkeeper is now second choice behind Van Veenendaal and has not got as many games as expected. She’s put in some steady performances including a bizarre sending-off that was later rescinded by the FA. As she is out of contract, the expectation is to see her released by the club.
2 Alex Scott ( DF) B-
The captain is obviously the number one right-back, but she has been subbed many times during games. The big question is can she sustain physical performances at the highest level next season? The GPS data let’s us know her level is slowly declining, as the full back position needs quick defenders who can repeat those high intensity runs like Hector Bellerin does. Chiara Ritchie-Williams and Anna Patten might compete with her for the shirt come September 2017.
3 Emma Mitchell (DF) C+
The Scottish defender has been in and out of the side due to competition for places and injuries. Her performances have been steady. There is no doubt that Taylor Hinds will be competing for the shirt come September 2017.
4 Fara Williams (MF) D
The big signing from last winter with a lot of experience did not really turn up with the goods. She has had good games, very good games like the FA Cup final, and a lot of indifferent or bad games.
You have to wonder why she was signed and a homegrown player like Jade Bailey sold to Chelsea Ladies. She kept Dominique Janssen out of the side for many games and it did not look like a performance related choice.
5 Casey Stoney (DF) A
The experienced centreback was superb and led the team by example. It is quite a surprise to see the club release her considering how important for the team she was and the high performance level she has sustained during the last two seasons.
6 Vicky Losada (MF) A
A superb and consistent season at number 10, one of the best performers in the team. She has been doing all you ask from a playmaker. Another surprise departure, but with Kim Little coming in, we get an upgrade from a talented top class playmaker to a world class playmaker.
7 Natalia Pablos Sanchon (FW) B
The Spanish forward has become a supersub for the team as the coaching staff rarely gave her a start for some unknown reason. It has been strange not to see her start more games considering there was no one with her profile on the pitch and the forwards looked very similar and were not firing on all cylinders. She did the best she could with the limited opportunities and it was no surprise to see her go back to Spain.
8 Jordan Nobbs (MF) B+
Another good season from the midfield dynamo. She was asked to play in different positions throughout the year but obviously is the strongest in the number 8 box to box role. She has a real influence on the team and leadership on the pitch as she can see things before everyone else.
9 Danielle Carter (FW) A
A very good season with constant improvement, she led the attack well playing either on the wing or sometimes in her favourite number 9 position or behind the main striker. She is also getting regular England call-ups following another hat-trick against Estonia.
10 Kelly Smith (MF) A
A time machine is needed because she turned up with match winning vintage performances when called upon. Unfortunately, she cannot play every game, otherwise the Arsenal would have certainly finished higher on the table. Another player with a question mark over her possible retirement.
11 Rachel Yankey (FW)
Loaned in the first part of the season and then frozen in the second half of the season not even making the bench on matchday. You would have thought her experience would have been useful coming on as a sub. Retirement might be an option as the coaching staff obviously don’t trust her.
12 Vyan Sampson (DF) –
A nightmare season with many injuries and no game time. She needs game time next year so a loan or a transfer might be a good option.
13 Sari Van Veenendaal (GK) B+
The Dutch goalkeeper had a steady season having been installed as the club’s number 1 in the middle of last year. A couple of mistakes to her debit but also so many saves and points won thanks to her. It will be interesting to see who will be competing with her next season, Sian Rogers or a new signing.
14 Leah Williamson (MF) C+
The versatile midfielder was used in multiple positions, before getting injured during the friendly in Seattle. She came back late at the tail end of the season. Another player who needs a regular run of games to carry on her development next year.
15 Katie McCabe (FW) B
The young winger learnt her trade this season. She has a good left foot, something that does not come by very often in the FA WSL. She will be a big asset in the future and should carry on the tradition set by Rachel Yankey.
16 Carla Humphrey (MF)
Sent on loan to relegated Doncaster belles, there are question marks over her return to the club as there is no guarantee she will be given game time next season and she needs regular games to carry on improving.
Hopefully the club will not let her go, as you don’t want your top quality talented homegrown players to reinforce your opponent’s squad.
17 Marta Corredera (MF) C
Another player with a surprising lack of playing time who was used as a utility player throughout the year. Many appearances as a sub. It was no surprise to see her go back to Spain considering the lack of trust from the coaching staff.
18 Jodie Taylor (FW) C+
Consistently injured until the last two games of the season. Scored two goals in her come back game. A quick and strong forward. Will she be around when September 2017 comes? Her club record shows she is not the most stable player around.
19 Jemma Rose (DF) B
She started the season at centreback alongside Casey Stoney, made a couple of mistakes and lost her place to Olympic gold winner Josie Henning. She was then included in the squad rotation. She should be the defence’s anchor next season with Stoney gone and Henning rumoured to be on her way out.
20 Dominique Janssen (MF) A
Probably one of the player who was underused as she did not disappoint when called upon. She deserved much more starts always putting good performances but overlooked with out of form players chosen ahead of her.
21 Danielle Van De Donk (MF) B
One of the most used player by Pedro Losa, she had a good season giving superb performances like her cup hat-trick and some indifferent ones as well. Used mainly as a centre-forward or a winger rather than in midfield as expected, she should be improving next season and becoming more consistent.
22 Josephine Henning (DF) A
A top class centreback, an excellent leader who played many games when available, getting the shirt off Jemma Rose alongside Casey Stoney. Rumours of her possible departure are puzzling as she is a top player with many honours with club and country and it would make no sense to let her go. A strong leader with standard that she wants to maintain for herself and the whole team.
23 Lotte Wubben-Moy (DF)
One for the future, the young centreback captained England’s u17 at the World Cup and had a game on the final day. She could be a starter come September 2017 if Pedro Losa gives her a chance.
24 Asisat Oshoala (FW) D+
Another big money signing with a disappointing season. You have to wonder what her best position is. 7 on the wing, number 9 on her own, behind the main striker or as a number 8?
I don’t think her profile fits the right wing place, where she has been assigned for most of the season but her poor finishing and composure at times does not warrant a central position either. She needs to improve and become consistent next season, because her talent is immense.
25 Chloe Kelly (FW) B-
The young forward was injured earlier in the season, got a few minutes as a sub and was loaned to Everton before coming back at the end of the season and getting a couple of starts. Another one for the future who will need to get regular games next season.
28 Charlotte Devlin (MF)
The young winger was on the bench for many games, but did not see any game time. It will be interesting to see if the gets game in the spring Series or with the Development team as she is still eligible to play for them.