Women’s Super League 2023-24 previews No 11: Tottenham

The plan

Things did not go to plan for Tottenham last term. The high of a fifth-placed finish in Rehanne Skinner’s first season was not backed up as Spurs flirted with relegation for two thirds of the 2022-23 campaign. Nine straight defeats eventually did for Skinner as she was relieved of her duties in March.

Her assistant, Vicky Jepson, took the reins in the interim and, buoyed by the signing of Bethany England, they navigated their way to safety.

A permanent manager was needed, and Robert Vilahamn eventually arrived. It was an exciting move, no doubt, but has left the new man in charge little time to rebuild. The squad remains balanced with six out and six in after a relatively quiet transfer window.


Goalkeeping cover was needed after the departure of Tinja-Riikka Korpela, leading to the arrival of the Czech international Barbora Votikova from Paris Saint-Germain. Luana Bühler and Olga Ahtinen are solid prospects and bring Champions League experience with them. Meanwhile, the deadline-day acquisition of Martha Thomas was imperative after England was ruled out of the start of the season and the Polish forward Nikola Karczewska was sent out on loan.

Tottenham fans can also expect big things from Grace Clinton, an England Under-23s star. The 20-year-old shone on loan at Bristol City in the second half of last season and will be looking to continue her development and increase her game time within the Tottenham setup.

Spurs’ injury crisis perhaps flew under the radar last season but it had a significant impact. Many of those returning will almost feel like new signings. Kit Graham and Ria Percival come in fresh with half a campaign under their belts after recovering from ACL injuries. Ellie Brazil, meanwhile, is on her way back from the same injury while Jess Naz should also be back to full fitness.

Pre-season has been a mixed bag with goalless draws against Aston Villa and Brighton. Spurs rounded off with a 1-0 defeat to Manchester United in their last practice match before an opening day derby against Chelsea.


The manager

Robert Vilahamn may be a new face in the WSL but his record at home in Sweden should fill Tottenham fans with optimism. The 40-year-old’s appointment came off the back of an impressive record with Häcken. Moving from assistant manager to head coach, he guided them to the Champions League in 2022 and two Swedish Cup finals. He was also a player himself, enjoying a career as a striker in Sweden, and is known for his front-footed style and ability to develop young players.

Star player

Sometimes it can take high-profile signings time to settle. Not Bethany England. Twelve goals in 12 appearances were exactly what Tottenham were looking for when they paid a record fee for her, and she played an integral part in securing their safety. Managers know exactly what they get with England – a hard-working proven goalscorer. Hip surgery will keep her out of the start of the season, but it surely won’t be long until the new Tottenham captain sparks life into their attack once more.

High-profile summer signing

Luana Bühler

Luana Bühler caught the eye amid a relatively quiet summer for Tottenham. The 27-year-old Swiss international has spent the last five years in the Bundesliga with Hoffenheim. During her time in Germany, she became a centurion for the club and has featured in the Champions League. She brings plenty of international experience to north London, having featured in the Switzerland squad for both Euro 2022 and this summer’s World Cup.

World Cup 2023 delight/heartache

There was history made for Tottenham’s Jamaican duo, Becky Spencer and Drew Spence. They both played a key role in the Reggae Girlz’s impressive progress to the last 16 despite the lack of support from their federation. Rosella Ayane was part of a Morocco team that made an equally historic run to the knockouts that included eye-catching victories over Colombia and South Korea. England, meanwhile, made her major tournament debut as the Lionesses reached the World Cup final.

Social media status

Tottenham have a strong following across social media, with dedicated women’s channels across the main platforms. In particular, their TikTok is amassing engagement with fun, relevant content. The participation of both Vilahamn and England in a recent fans’ forum was well covered and saw a strong response from supporters.