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June 2021

Arsenal finally get tough and sack their manager

by Andrew Crawshaw

This is a headline I didn’t think I would be able to use and mean it seriously but this week it came true for the Manager of the Women’s team who has left the club with immediate effect.

Pedro Martinez Losa joined the club in September 2014 and was released from his contract on Tuesday this week after a poor start to the season which sees us six points behind leaders Chelsea after three games in the WSL1.

In the opening game we needed an improbable late comeback against Birmingham City to win 3 – 2 – a match where we were second best for most of the game.

Our second game saw us capitulate away at Manchester City who eventually ran out easy 5 – 2 winners.  Yes they should have been down to ten players before the first goal had been scored but the way they destroyed us in the second half was poor indeed.

Our third league game was at home to Bristol City and, on  paper, a game we should have won comfortably.  We ended up scraping a 1 – 1 draw against a side who looked hungrier than us and who harried us throughout the game.  It was another game when we didn’t look like a side that should be chasing to win the league but like a mid-table team which is where we currently are.

Our current squad looks to be the equal of both Chelsea and Manchester City, but our performances to date haven’t reflected that in any way.  We have four members of the Netherlands squad which won the European Championship this summer, including Vivianne Miedema (who is widely thought to be the best centre forward in Europe at the moment).  We have Jodie Taylor who won the Golden Boot in that competition and Danni Carter another England Striker and Beth Mead who is Scotland’s main striker.

I have had the feeling for a while now that Pedro Losa hasn’t been getting the most out of the squad.  In his three years in charge we have won the Continental Tyres Cup once and the FA Cup once, in all years we have come third behind Chelsea and Manchester City in the League competitions, albeit that we were unbeaten in the half year Spring Series as the League reverted back to a Winter competition from a Summer Competition for this year.

Chief executive Ivan Gazidis said:

“We are grateful for all Pedro’s hard work over the past three seasons. He has taken us through a significant period of change and has helped put in the foundations for further success in the future.

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“These are exciting times for the women’s game and our team is a big part of what we stand for here at Arsenal. We are grateful for all Pedro’s hard work. He always represented the club in a way which strongly reflected our values and we wish him every success in the future.”

Pedro added:

“It has been an unforgettable three-year journey for me at Arsenal FC.

“I wish to express my gratitude, respect and admiration towards all of the first team and youth players that I was lucky enough to work with during my time at the club.

“I also had the privilege of working with a fantastic group of people within my coaching staff and the rest of the club’s employees.

“A special thanks goes to the Arsenal fans who made me feel at home right from day one and have offered the team their unwavering support. We made some great memories together.

“We played our part in taking the club on to a new level in terms of professionalism. The FA Cup triumph at Wembley and our Continental Cup success are occasions that will forever remain with me.”


Assistant Coach Ismael Garcia will take temporary charge of the team and the club expect to make a full-time appointment in the near future.

I have no idea who that will be but I would expect some of the following to be considered, all are currently working in the UK within Women’s football:-

Scott Rodgers currently manager of Liverpool Ladies

Kelly Smith – currently in charge of Arsenal Development Squad, probably insufficiently qualified in terms of coaching and management experience

Hope Powell – former England Women’s Manager

Mo Marley – currently replacing Mark Sampson  as interim England Manager

Rachel Yankey – long time Arsenal and England player (one of my all time favourite players – if only Theo could cross the ball the way Rachel did!).  Rachel has her Uefa B licence and is working towards the A licence and has always coached as well as being a player.  Perhaps not enough top level experience yet.

Gemma Grainger – ex boss at Leeds and part of the England setup

Rick Passmore – manager at Lincoln Ladies when they went into administration.

The biggest marketplace for Women’s Football week in week out is the USA and it is quite possible that coaches there will be interested in the Arsenal role.  This is particularly apposite as the season there finishes this month so managers/coaches may well be persuaded to move more readily than those in Europe who are all in mid season.  Ex Arsenal Manager Laura Harvey who is currently at Seattle Reign is one who may well be considered.

On the Continent the top teams currently include Lyon (CL holders), Barcelona, Montpellier, Brescica Fiorentina and Wolfsburg as well as Chelsea and Man City.  It is doubtful that many of the managers of those teams would be persuaded to move mid-season.  Lyon are the most successful club in France and have won the French League for the past 11 seasons as well as the Champions League on four occasions.  Their current manager is Reyald Pedros a 46 year old former attacking midfielder who only joined them this year so virtually zero chance of him leaving.

For the players the season continues and our next game is today away at Everton kick-off 14:00.  For those of you who wish to follow it the game is being streamed live on Facebook – lets just hope they make a better job of it than their coverage of the Carabao Cup draw.



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