Arsenal v Reading Sunday 21 October 2018 – The Preview

by Andrew Crawshaw

This is a WSL match being held at Borehamwood with a 14:00 kickoff.  Tickets will be available on the gate at £10 adults and £5 concessions (U16 and O65s).

We, as you should all be aware, are sitting proudly on the top of the table with four wins out of four.  Reading are in fourth place, more or less where you would expect them to be.

Our men aren’t in action until Monday evening so there isn’t any good reason for any of you within striking distance of Borehamwood not to go along and support the Women.  After all they are averaging more than five goals a game in the League and nearly six in all matches.

If you can’t get to Borehamwood then our game is being shown live on the BBC Red Button service and online – at least it is in the UK.

League Table

Club P W D L +/- Pts
1 Arsenal 4 4 0 0 18 12
2 Birmingham 5 4 0 1 3 12
3 Man City 5 3 2 0 11 11
4 Reading 4 2 1 1 4 7
5 Chelsea 5 1 3 1 -3 6
6 Liverpool 4 2 0 2 -4 6
7 Bristol City 4 1 2 1 3 5
8 West Ham 4 1 1 2 -6 4
9 Everton 4 0 2 2 -5 2
10 Brighton 5 0 1 4 -5 1
11 Yeovil 4 0 0 4 -13 0

Please note that with 11 clubs in the League every team sits out one matchweek in each half of the season.  In addition the match between Bristol City and Everton was postponed.

This Sunday’s other games are:-

12:30 kickoff – Birmingham v Chelsea (live on BT Sport 3 from 12:15

14:00 kickoff – Brighton v Man City; West Ham v Liverpool and Yeovil v Bristol

Meaning that Everton have the weekend off.

The good news for the Club this week was Joe Montemurro signing a new long term deal to remain as our manager.  There are a few articles on this week giving fuller details

News Joe Montemurro commits his future to Arsenal,

Feature Joe Montemurro | In my own words,

Interview Montemurro – What we need to reach the next level,

Interview ‘We’re ahead of the curve… but I’m not surprised’

His record since taking charge in November last year is exceptional – P27, W21, D3, L3, Goals for 80, Goals against 21, win ratio 78%, longest unbeaten run 14 games, longest winning run 7, longest run without conceding a goal 8.

I had the pleasure of chatting with him for a few minutes before our game at Lewes earlier this year and I am absolutely delighted that he will be staying for a long term. I really believe that with him at the helm we will regain our pre-eminent place in both English and European football.  He is also a thoroughly nice person!

The main worry for me is that our already small squad has been further reduced by the broken fibula inflicted on midfielder Kim Little by Drew Spence in our 5 – 0 thumping of Chelsea last weekend.  She will be out for something like 10 weeks.  Our main squad comprises 19 players including Ava Kuyken who is only 17 years old.

On the injured list we have:-

  • Danielle Carter (Forward) – Cruciate ligaments damaged in the last match of last season and unlikely to feature much if at all this season
  • Victoria Schnaderback (Swiss Captaim and Centre Back) – Recovering from knee surgery following a pre-season injury.  No indication of her likely return date as far as I know.
  • Kim Little (Midfield) – Broken Fibula out till Christmas
  • Tabea Kemme (Defender) – Now back in outdoor training for the first time this week after knee surgery in April, hopefully back on the bench in the next four weeks or so

My understanding is that the remaining 15 players are fit and available for selection but it is really getting tight in some areas of the pitch even with many of our players being able to play in multiple positions – hence our fluidity with our positioning at times.  We actually still have a sub available for every part of the pitch but will be in trouble if we get any other injuries.

I would expect Joe Montemurro to start with the following 4 1 2 3 lineup (but he might spring a change)

Pauline Peyraud-Magnin (GK)

Jessica Samuelsson, Leah Williamson, Dominique Bloodworth, Emma Mitchell

Lia Walti

Jordan Nobbs, Lisa Evans,

Katie McCabe, Vivianne Miedema, Danielle Van de Donk

Subs – (this bit is easy cause it is everyone else!)

Sari Van Veenendaal (GK), Louise Quinn (defender), Ava Kuyken (midfield), Beth Mead (attack)

I have put Beth Mead on the bench as she had a really tough time at Chelsea who battered her all game, she got no protection from the referee at all and I think it is about the one bit of rotation that Joe can afford to make.

We played Reading a lot last year getting them in both the Group and Knockout phases of the Continental Cup as well as the two league matches and it is fair to say that they gave us quite a few problems along the way.  They are a well drilled team.

Our results last year were:-

  1. Continental Tyres Cup group stage Nov 5 : Arsenal 1 – Reading 2
  2. Continental Tyres Cup knockout stage Jan 14 : Reading 2 – Arsenal 3
  3. WSL Jan 28 : Reading 0 – Arsenal 0
  4. WSL Apr 18 : Arsenal 3 – Reading 1

Four matches played W2, D1, L1 and in only one match was there more than a single goal  between the two teams.

The match at Borehamwood where we were beaten was remarkable in that we had just scored an equalising goal when Farah Williams put the ball back on the centre spot and stood well back.  The whistle went and she kicked it straight into our goal over the head of Amy Moorhouse who was off her line and absolutely stranded.  Not often you see that!

Farah Williams remains the main person to watch out for in the Reading team, if we can contain her we should do well.

It will be something of a family outing for us this weekend, my daughter and granddaughter are down from Bolton for a few days so will be coming, trains should also be running normally so my wife will be able to join us after playing the organ in church in the morning.


8 Replies to “Arsenal v Reading Sunday 21 October 2018 – The Preview”

  1. If the women were to pick up more injuries, what could be done? Loans? Is there a transfer window at some point?

  2. @Gord,

    In the immediate term we would probably have to draft in some of the youngsters from our ,nominally U21 squad. The players we have there are virtually all in the 16/17 year old age as the 18 year old players all migrated to other clubs or to pursue academic studies. Ava Kuyken is by far the most ready player in that group which is why she has been with our first team all season and getting odd minutes as a sub in some games.

    Joe Montemurro to.d me that he didn’t want a large squad at the moment as he can only use three subs in a game. We are now at that point in having one goalkeeper and three outfielders on the bench.

    Hopefully we won’t get any more injuries until Tabea then Kim return.

  3. Coming up to half time, Arsenal leading on shots, shots on target, goals and possession. Reading leading on fouls and yellows.

  4. Arsenal finished the first half with another goal, and started the second half the same way. The various statistics still trending in the same manner as earlier.


  5. Dominique Bloodworth replaced due to injury in 63rd minute. We don’t need injuries, the bench is too short. The twitter feed doesn’t mention injury, so maybe not serious?


  6. Didn’t they used to sing something about one-nil to the Arsenal?

    Not in Joe Montemurro’s reign! Five-nil, five-nil.


  7. I guess the women didn’t like my singing. 🙂 Miedema gets her hat-trick to stop my singing.


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