Monday 10 May 2021 7:00 am

Women's Super League Team of the Season 2020-21: The best performing players in the WSL, as identified by Carteret Analytics

The FA Women’s Super League champions have been crowned, but which players deserve to be in the WSL Team of the Season?

We asked Carteret Analytics to answer that question using the sort of quantitative analysis used in investment banking.

They have crunched the numbers on all WSL players to determine their Carteret Rating, which measures their contribution to winning matches.

The following analysis has been compiled and written by Molly Crawford, Jack Morris, Matthew Belford and James Powell of Carteret Analytics and edited by City A.M.

Chelsea forward Fran Kirby holds the highest Carteret Rating (380.8) of any player competing in the WSL this season, making her the 2020-21 Carteret WSL Player of the Season.

Arsenal star and Carteret’s 2020 Player of the Year Vivianne Miedema ranks a close second this season, with a Carteret Rating of 357.4, down from 389.3 last year.

Chloe Kelly (289.6) is currently the third strongest player in the WSL and one of four Manchester City players in the Carteret WSL Team of the Season.

Arsenal’s Katie McCabe has been the best defender in the WSL this season with a Carteret Rating of 261.5, slightly higher than Lucy Bronze (252.0).

The best performing goalkeeper in the WSL is West Ham United’s Mackenzie Arnold. Her Carteret Rating of 228.9 was just fractionally better than her closest competitor, Arsenal’s Manuela Zinsberger (227.6). 

WSL Team of the Season: Goalkeepers

The stacked ratio chart below compares the performance attributes of Mackenzie Arnold with Manuela Zinsberger, the two best goalkeepers in the WSL this season.

Although both players’ performance attributes are closely matched, ultimately it is Arnold’s superior Distribution and Shot-stopping capability that positions her ahead of Zinsberger.

Both goalkeepers demonstrate an almost identical level of Discipline, with Zinsberger preceding Arnold solely in regard to her Game Changer and Game Control attributes.

WSL Team of the Season: Defenders

The bar chart below compares the performance attributes of the four highest rated WSL defenders with all other defenders in the WSL this season. 

Right-back: Lucy Bronze – Carteret Rating 252.0 (Manchester City)
Lucy Bronze demonstrates an exceptionally high level of Game Control, emphasised by her short-pass success on the pitch.

Centre-back: Steph Houghton – Carteret Rating 235.5 (Manchester City) 
Steph Houghton is objectively the most consistent player in regard to her performance attribute levels, with each attribute reaching above the 65th league percentile. Despite not offering the same level of Game Control as the other defenders in our Team of the Season, Houghton displays more Discipline on the pitch. 

Centre-back: Millie Turner – Carteret Rating 215.5 (Manchester United) 
Millie Turner has the strongest Defensive attribute in comparison to the other defenders in our Team of the Season. Despite this, Turner’s performance attributes require improvement if she hopes to achieve the same level of consistency displayed by England captain Houghton

Left-back: Katie McCabe – Carteret Rating 261.5 (Arsenal)
Katie McCabe has the highest Carteret Rating of all defenders in the WSL this season. She also possesses high shot accuracy, which sets McCabe apart from her competitors. 

WSL Team of the Season: Midfielders

Ella Toone, Jill Roord and Caroline Weir have been the best performing midfielders in the WSL this season, according to objective analysis. The horizontal stacked bar chart below provides an insight into each player’s performance attributes. 

Central Midfield: Ella Toone – Carteret Rating 268.8 (Manchester United) 
Ella Toone has the highest Carteret Rating of all midfielders in the WSL this season, despite lagging behind her rivals in the Discipline element of her play. 

Central Midfield: Jill Roord – Carteret Rating 268.1 (Arsenal)
The data shows that Jill Roord is this season’s best all-round WSL midfielder. She is strong in all areas but possesses the greatest Game Changer ability compared to other midfielders in our WSL Team of the Season. 

Central Midfield: Caroline Weir – Carteret Rating 263.0 (Manchester City) 
Caroline Weir has also remained consistent across all her performance attributes this season, showing the most Discipline on the pitch. However, Weir’s Defensive contribution requires improvement if she hopes to challenge Roord and Toone for the top spot next season.

WSL Team of the Season: Forwards

Fran Kirby, Vivianne Miedema and Chloe Kelly have been the best forwards in the WSL this season. The horizontal bar chart and a radar chart below compare their performance attributes. 

Forward: Fran Kirby – Carteret Rating 380.8 (Chelsea) 
According to the data, Fran Kirby is this season’s strongest performing WSL player, largely due to her goals and assists. Kirby’s impressive ability to change a game and the strict Discipline that she applies on the pitch also justify her billing as the top player this season. 

Centre Forward: Vivianne Miedema – Carteret Rating 357.4 (Arsenal) 
Carteret’s 2020 Player of the Year Vivianne Miedema has retained her position as the strongest finisher in the WSL. Miedema’s ability to score goals has contributed to her Game Changer attribute scoring above the 75th League Percentile and exceeding that of her rivals. 

Forward: Chloe Kelly – Carteret Rating 289.6 (Manchester City) 
Chloe Kelly proves to be the strongest in four out of five Performance Attributes. She could challenge Kirby as the best player next season if she builds on her current Discipline level, which has reflects her foul and offside count.

Carteret Analytics is part of the Carteret Group of companies, based in the City of London, New York and Geneva, and provides leading-edge quantitative analysis and commercial analytics to clients worldwide, with particular expertise in the sports sector. Note: This analysis was undertaken before the final round of WSL fixtures.

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