Arsenal Ladies: a year of total triumph; FA Youth Cup news


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By Tony Attwood

My coverage of the Arsenal Ladies team is erratic I know, but I do try to cover their games – even if I am a couple of days late.

To go through the background quickly – the Super League in which they played in 2011 is a summer league – our ladies team won it.  They also won the FA Cup which was played over the early part of the season, and the League Cup, which came at the end of the Super League season.

The European Champions League however started last year (while the team was in hiatus, waiting for the change over to happen between the old winter league and the new summer league.

Arsenal had easily made it through to the round of sixteen, where in the first leg away in Spain they had a 1-1 draw.   In the second leg they beat Rayo Vallecano at Meadow Park 5-1, with goals from Jayne Ludlow, Kim Little, Rachel Yankey, Jordan Nobbs and Danielle Carter.

So we end ladies football in 2011 by being triple champions, and waiting for the Quarter-Final and Semi-Final draw for games next year.  The draw takes place on Thursday, December 17.

In total Arsenal have won the domestic league 13 times and won the FA Cup 11  times.

Oh and while we are away from first team affairs, Arsenal Under-18s (men that is) are drawn against Derby County in the Third Round of the FA Youth Cup.

The tie will be played on Saturday, December 17.  This is the competition where a few years ago we got to the two legged final, and the home leg was played at the Ems.  The police and club estimated a crowd of maybe 7000 would turn up.  Over 30,000 did.



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8 Replies to “Arsenal Ladies: a year of total triumph; FA Youth Cup news”

  1. If ladies football didn’t exist, Canada would be hopeless as a soccer nation.

    I am happy to see Arsenal ladies doing so well. I think it might be nice to see some Canadian ladies at Arsenal.

  2. Gord…..Canada is hopeless as a soccer nation because we have a horrible thing called winter here and a population of only 34 million. We also have 5 other major professional sports which compete for the money and sponsorship funds available in our tiny nation. We also are the 2nd largest country in the world and have travel issues for any leagues.
    Before you say that Russia has the same conditions, you are comparing apples and oranges. We still have the 3rd highest youth player registration in FIFA but unlike European and Latin American countries, we have shit organization, poor facilities that we share with 3 other summer sports, few trained coaches and fewer referees, no real history of the game before 1966 and to top it all off, only 2 professional teams, neither of which actually contributes all that much to Canada’s soccer development. we do relatively well in ConCaCaf considering the above challenges but it will be a long time if ever before we can compete with our neighbour to the South and longer still before we reach world status.

  3. Dom. Yes, I know winter. I went to high school where the Alaska Highway begins, and live 120 km away from there now.

    Russia also has Moscow, which is a far bigger city than any in Canada.

    Canada does well with women’s soccer (football). The lower mainland of BC has strong amateur soccer (either gender), which sort of extends to the island and the Okanogan. Whether the pro team will last I don’t know, but semi-pro and amateur seems okay. Edmonton-Calgary is sort of okay (semi-pro and amateur), but it would be better if high speed rail ever came along (that transportation issue). The rest of the prairies doesn’t have enough population. I can’t speak for anything out east.

    We shoot ourselves in the foot with our national teams, regardless of gender. We should play our home games where we get the most home support.

  4. A diversion. It’s not about the women’s program at Arsenal or the national level. It is about stupid decisions about where to hold _HOME_ games on a national level.

    Canada tries to shoot itself in the foot in order to be fair. A prevailing opinion in the Canadian Soccer Association, is that home games _HAVE_ to be played in Toronto (which is Canada’s largest city). Quite a while ago, Canada played a friendly against Turkey in Toronto. There were more people cheering for Turkey in the crowd than Canada. This is not a HOME game, regardless of where it was played.

    I don’t know the history of Wembley. Wembley seems to be reasonably close to London. If the “home fraction” of the crowd at Wembley seems to be too low for the games of importance played there, I would really suggest the English FA look at moving the home field elsewhere. London, England (like Toronto, Ontario, Canada) has people from all over the world living in the city or close by. The point of a _HOME_ game is that the overwhelming number of supporters, are supporting the home team. If this doesn’t happen, you might as well play the game in a neutral ground which has good weather and nice places for people to visit.

    As long as the Canadian Soccer Association feels games need to be played in Toronto, Montreal and in some circumstances Vancouver, we won’t have _HOME_ games. You play those games in Edmonton (with a 60k+ stadium) or Calgary, you get a home crowd.

    The crowd is important, and often called a 12th player. London is very Cosmopolitan. London also has an ability to support football which is outside its apparent ability by a long shot. Rules derived elsewhere may not work for London, it is an outlier. But, I would suggest that the English FA setup a secondary _HOME_ in the north, probably in the Manchester – Liverpool area. If England has to play a game against a team which has “too much” support out of London, play the game in the northern home.

    I suspect the need for more than 1 home field for a national team isn’t universal. It is needed in Canada. It maybe needed in England.

  5. @Gord

    The thing is that I rather suspect that the FA’s prime motivation in all things football is to fill that majassive white elephant of a stadia and flog whatever punters they can attract £20 fish ‘n’ chips + watery lager meal-deals… just look at the way it was built:

    Priority 1: as many seats as possible.
    Priority 2: as many fast food stalls as possible.
    Priority n: a half decent playing surface.

  6. Great that Ladies get some mentions. Oh I was once again let down by Finnish club… Last year HJK lost in CL qualification to Partizan and this year some women’s club lost to another (I just can’t remember the names), important thing is if Finnish clubs had won I would have Arsenal play in my home town or near it (capital area). So they seem to go same way as our NT. Improving but not good enough.

    BTW Finland has winter too (not as bad as Canada), only 5 million people. Oh and competition between Ice hockey and motorsport (race drivers F1)… Our football season starts in April but even then some matches has to be postponed due snow or mud… Most of our NT home matches are played in olympic Stadium in Helsinki (yes the one build for 1940’s but finally had olympics in 1952). It’s great location but with FIFA making new rules who knows how long we can use it. We might need to get new stadium but with our “success” in Football it won’t look like anyone would give funds for it. Oh in World cup qualification we are in same group as France and Spain. Does anyone think we have any chance?

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