Jess Carter has admitted she would be ‘tighter and more aggressive’ if she were to come up against Caroline Graham Hansen once more following her encounter with the Norwegian winger for Chelsea in the 2021 Champions League final.
Graham Hansen starred during Barcelona’s emphatic 4-0 victory over the Blues in the final of European football’s most prestigious club football competition 14 months ago, with Carter on the wrong end of the result that evening in Gothenburg.
The pair could line up on opposite sides once more on Monday evening, when Carter’s England taken on Graham Hansen’s Norway in their second Euro 2022 group fixture.
“Everyone knows she’s a top player and incredible at dribbling,” Carter said of Graham Hansen. “She’s obviously one of the best players I’ve come up against personally.
“If I was to come up against her again I would be more tight, more aggressive, and doing my best to keep her as far wide as possible.
“We’ve got a lot of experience in the squad as well and we’re good enough defensively to deal with her. We’re well aware of what her strengths are but what our strengths are too.”
There could be a couple more familiar faces lining up for Norway on Monday in the shape of Carter’s Chelsea teammates Guro Reiten and Maren Mjelde.
Reiten enjoyed a fabulous season during the 2021/22 campaign and was an integral part of Chelsea’s WSL title winning side, registering seven goals and five assists.
Mjelde has fought back from a serious knee injury to secure her spot in Norway’s Euro 2022 squad – and like Carter is a player who can operate at fullback and centre back.
“I think they’re both incredible players,” Carter added. “Guro is tremendous on the ball, she’s got a wonderful left foot and I think that she’ll be a threat going forward, but in my opinion she’s nothing that our England team can’t handle as well. We’ve shared our top tips on her and hopefully the girls will take that into the game and defend as best they can.
“Same with Maren, she’s a phenomenal player, she’s obviously not long come back from injury and not played that many games so for us. Maybe that’s a slight advantage, that she’s maybe not as up to scratch as others from an agility perspective maybe, but she’s a top top person and player.
“She’s a top pro, so composed and relaxed and she reads the game so well. Obviously, the older she’s got, the better she reads the game. She’s still as quick as before.
“She’s phenomenal on the ball, she’s so composed. You don’t find that as much in the women’s game, the ability to play out the way that she can, but because she played midfield for so many years she’s taken attributes from that.”