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Winners & Losers

Wiegman remains unbeaten! England winners and losers as Lionesses end 2022 without a single defeat

12:00 EAT 16/11/2022
England Lionesses 2022 GFX
Who took their chance to stake a claim for a starting spot as the European champions rounded off an amazing year with games against Japan and Norway?

England closed out a memorable 2022 by maintaining their unbeaten record under head coach Sarina Wiegman, who still hasn't lost a game in charge of the Lionesses since she took over in September 2021.

The European champions' final camp until February saw them travel to Spain for friendlies against Japan and Norway, resulting in two performances of vastly contrasting quality.

In the first, they were fantastic, winning 4-0 thanks to a clinical and dominant display. However, England disappointed in a 1-1 draw with Norway, with the Lionesses conceding a sloppy second-half equaliser to a team down to 10 players.

With a total of six players having to miss one or both games for various reasons, and three youngsters making their debuts, this was an international break where Wiegman saw a lot of different players in her team.

So, who had a good week? And who failed to impress? GOAL takes a look below...

  • Chloe Kelly England Japan 2022

    WINNER: Chloe Kelly

    October wasn't the best camp that Chloe Kelly has had for England, but her response to that disappointment has been superb.

    Against Japan, she scored an absolute thunderbolt of a goal and was arguably the best player on the pitch.

    Four days later, Kelly was great again, whipping in a sublime cross for Rachel Daly to head home the opening goal.

    It was one of several fantastic deliveries the Manchester City winger provided on the night, despite England being unable to add to their goal tally.

    Kelly might scored the goal that won the Euros for the Lionesses this past summer, but she is still battling for a starting spot in this team.

    A camp like this one will do her chances of breaking into the XI no harm at all.

  • Jordan Nobbs Arsenal Women 2022-23

    LOSER: Jordan Nobbs

    It was a delight to see Jordan Nobbs' name on the England squad list earlier this month, with her excellent form for Arsenal rightly rewarded with a recall.

    The midfielder only made her first start of the season for the Gunners in late October but she quickly made her mark with tremendous strikes against Zurich and West Ham, before putting in a commanding display against Leicester in the final Women's Super League round before this international break.

    Battling for fitness and minutes at club level, Nobbs hasn't featured much under Wiegman and her injury woes hit again when she was forced to withdraw from the squad on the day they all met up.

    Hopefully, it will not be anything serious and she can maintain her good form heading into a World Cup year.

  • Ebony Salmon England Women 2022

    WINNER: Ebony Salmon

    There is a lot of excitement among England fans about Ebony Salmon's talent, despite a relative lack of meaningful in-game opportunities with the Lionesses.

    However, those chances are now starting to come, and she really took advantage in the win over Japan.

    The score was 2-0 when Salmon, who scored nine goals in 13 games for the Houston Dash this year, stepped onto the pitch with less than half an hour to play. When the full time whistle went, it was 4-0, with the substitute having two assists to her name.

    The first was a well-disguised and perfectly-weighted pass to slip Ella Toone through on goal, with the Manchester United star doing the rest. But it was the second that really caught the eye.

    With the game ticking into stoppage time, Salmon chased down a seemingly lost cause of a ball, put the defender under pressure by the corner flag, won the ball back and drove into the box, where she squared it to Jess Park to score on her England debut.

    It showed her great pace, strength, attitude, work-rate and excellent decision-making all in just a few seconds – and it would certainly have impressed Wiegman.

  • Lotte Wubben-Moy England Women 2022

    LOSER: Lotte Wubben-Moy

    Lotte Wubben-Moy was another player who came into this camp in good form and deserving of an opportunity to shine for her country.

    With England captain and Arsenal team-mate Leah Williamson on the sidelines, the 23-year-old has stepped up at club level in her place and played very well to help her team sit at the top of the WSL table.

    Alex Greenwood, the Man City defender, has assumed Williamson's place for the Lionesses in recent games but with her missing the game against Japan, the door seemed to have opened up for Wubben-Moy to impress.

    However, she was an unused substitute for that game and before fans could see if that would mean she'd get minutes against Norway instead, the centre-back withdrew from the squad with a minor injury.

    Just like with Nobbs, it was a shame for such bad luck to hit her at this time as the form she has been in has been superb and this could've been an opportunity for her to stake her claim for a place in Wiegman's XI.

  • Jess Park England Japan 2022

    WINNER: Jess Park

    Just 79 seconds separated Jess Park stepping onto the pitch for her England debut and the celebrations that followed her first England goal in what was a remarkable and heart-warming end to the 4-0 win over Japan.

    After Salmon's hard work to win the ball back late on, Park got herself into a great position in the box to score with what was only her second touch as a Lioness – having used the first to get the ball under control.

    The 21-year-old, on loan at Everton from Man City, has been having a great season on Merseyside as she continues to underline why she is one of England's most exciting young players. Her debut – and goal – were simply well-deserved rewards for her progress.

    "Sarina spoke to me," Park said a couple of days after that historic night. "She said, 'You haven't stopped smiling yet.' She said she's never seen me smile so much. She's right!"

    The international break might be over, but it's likely that smile will remain for some time yet.

  • Ellie Roebuck England Women 2022

    LOSER: Ellie Roebuck

    A year out from the past summer's Euros, Ellie Roebuck was many's pick to be England's No.1 goalkeeper. Sadly, an injury that ruled her out for most of the 2021-22 season essentially ended her chances of competing for the spot, which Man Utd's Mary Earps would claim.

    Earps has a firm grip on that shirt now, particularly after a truly fantastic Euros, and is only occasionally rotated out of the role when the England team meet up.

    Tuesday was one of those occasions. It was an opportunity for Roebuck to show what she could do and she was doing just that, making some fine saves to deny Emilie Haavi and Guro Reiten.

    However, the promising performance would eventually be marred by a big error that gave Norway their equaliser, the City star mis-kicking a clearance after rushing off her line to deal with a ball over the top, with Arsenal's Frida Maanum placing the ball into an empty net as a result.

    It will be a huge disappointment to the City star given how well she played otherwise. She got a sympathetic hug from Wiegman at full-time, the coach also deflecting any blame away from the keeper in her post-match interview.

    But it feels like that No.1 shirt really is Earps' to lose at the moment, with her still yet to put a foot wrong for this team.