A review of the women’s league season, by Andrew Crawshaw
This is part four of our major review of Arsenal Women’s season; the final part of the series. Previously we have published
Here we take a look at the players in 2017/18…
Player ratings A excellent to E (not fit to wear the shirt)
These are my personal ratings and reflect my impressions of watching the team through the season rather than any rigorous analysis of their performances. You are welcome to your own opinions which may well differ from mine.
Sari Van Veenendaal (GK) C+ Good in open play, but her distribution leaves a lot to be desired at times.
Anna Moorhouse (GK) C A reasonable backup keeper but not really threatening Sari’s place as No 1.
Alex Scott Right Back and Club Captain – Didn’t play enough games to warrant a rating and retired at the end of the season.
Emma Mitchell Left Back B Solid all season and missed when not available.
Josephine Henning Centre Back Injured all season so no rating.
Leah Williamson Centre Back B solid all season and maturing well.
Louise Quinn Centre Back B+ again solid all season and chipped in with some important goals.
Jessica Samuelsson Right Back injured on international duty and unable to play all season no rating.
Jordan Nobbs Midfielder A– She covers every blade of grass on the pitch with excellent end product in terms of both assists and goals who could ask for more.
Kim Little Midfielder B+ missed the early part of the season through injury, has been excellent since her return to full fitness.
Heather O’Reilly Midfielder C- has been used more as a sub than a starter, one of the most senior members of the squad, perhaps starting to lose effectiveness.
Dominique Janssen Midfielder C+ solid and dependable has a great foot with free kicks and long range shots.
Danielle Van de Donk Midfielder C+ again solid and reliable.
Danielle Carter Striker B- Reliable goalscorer, sometimes drifts out of games.
Vivianne Miedema striker D+ has had a problem with a foot injury all season and rating reflects this. For the Dutch National team she is a deadly striker but has yet to produce that form for Arsenal. Her first touch is not always as good as it should be and the ball gets stuck between her feet far too often. She should be getting at least a B+ rating but I can’t give it to her this year. For me the most disappointing player in the squad but I’m expecting a massive improvement next year.
Katy McCabe Striker C- Solid squad player not really threatening to be a starter.
Lisa Evans Striker (but has played most of the season at Right Back) B- has learned her new position well and not found out too often.
Beth Mead Striker A player of the season and finished as top scorer. More to come from Beth I’m sure.
What should we look forward to next season?
It is all change again for Women’s football next year. At the moment we know there will be two divisions, the top one being fully professional and formed of somewhere between 10 and 14 clubs, the second with teams probably with some professional players.
We don’t know how many clubs will be in each division or who they will be. It looks likely that Millwall won’t be part of this setup as they haven’t the finances to keep their club going. I believe that this weekend may well see some clarity from the FA, I will do an update when things are clearer.
I would also hope that next season matches will be spread more evenly throughout the season which certainly hasn’t been the case this year. There have been too many long breaks followed by spells where we have had three or four matches in quick succession probably inducing the injuries and fatigue that has beset both ourselves and Manchester City amongst others. Chelsea with their bigger and stronger squad seem to have coped the best but abetter distribution of fixtures would be of benefit to all clubs.
From our perspective, we need to get our long term absentees fully fit and able to play on a weekly basis. We have been hampered by having established international defenders Josephine Henning and Jessica Samuelsson missing for virtually the whole of the season meaning that our fit players have had to play virtually every match. It will also help if Vivianne Miedema gets the extra confidence that should come from being fully fit as we need more goals next season.
There will also be a new Women’s Academy set up to replace our present Development squad and on 15 May the club announced that they were accepting applications to trial from ‘elite female players who have aspirations of playing for our first team’. To find out more information and to register, please click here .
We will need to add some more players to the first team squad either by promoting some of our existing youngsters or by external appointments. I would like to see us having a couple of bigger players, like our men we are basically a team of skillful but of relatively small stature and at times we have been on the wrong end of stronger and larger opponents.
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