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How Arsenal women won the league and re-wrote goalscoring history.

By Tony Attwood and Andrew Crawshaw

You will, I am sure , have heard that Arsenal Women won the League with a game to spare.  It is our first league win in seven years.  My apologies for being remiss not posting about this earlier.  Here’s the table as they won the title.

Pos Team P W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Arsenal Women 19 17 0 2 69 13 56 51
2 Manchester City Women FC 19 14 5 0 53 16 37 47
3 Birmingham City Women FC 19 12 1 6 27 17 10 37
4 Chelsea FC Women 18 10 6 2 35 12 23 36
5 Reading FC Women 19 8 3 8 31 27 4 27
6 Bristol City Women FC 20 7 4 9 17 34 -17 25
7 West Ham United Women FC 19 7 2 10 25 33 -8 23
8 Liverpool FC Women 19 6 1 12 18 37 -19 19
9 Brighton & Hove Albion Women FC 19 3 4 12 12 38 -26 13
10 Everton Ladies FC 19 3 3 13 14 35 -21 12
11 Yeovil Town Ladies FC 18 2 1 15 11 50 -39 -3

At the foot of the table Yeovil went into administration, and were deducted ten points.   Their problem was that they went professional without having enough support to sustain themselves, and are likely to be a part time operation next season.  They did however win two games.

As for the season in a brief summary, we started out at 1000 mph by defeating Liverpool 5-0, and Andrew also managed to get Untold’s own exclusive interview with manager Joe Montemurro who was more than happy to talk to us about the progress of the side.

But then Arsenal had an injury crisis unlike any other.  We sometimes talk of a team being reduced to the bare bones, but Arsenal were beyond that, not always even being able to complete the bench, so few were our non-injured players.

Yet the boss coped.   Joe has been with the club for some 18 months now, with a reputation for being able to sort things out – and how!  Like so many brilliant coaches he was not a top ranking footballing, playing in his native Australia, in Switzerland and in the lower leagues in Italy.

His history of a manager is one of successfully taking unfancied teams and getting them to much higher levels such as taking Coburg United in Australia to the top flight for the first time ever – and then taking over as youth coach with South Melbourne and giving them an undefeated season.

At the same time as a whole series of achievements like this he got his Pro License and a masters degree in Sports Coaching at the University of Queensland.  This guy is a seriously talented coach and he has totally turned Arsenal around with among other things ball playing centre backs making the team quite unlike most of their opposition in the league.

But it wasn’t all simple this season because the club had three major players out for very long periods with injury: Jordan Nobbs ruptured her ACL, Kim Little broke a fibula and Lia Wälti got a knee ligament injury.

Additionally  Tabea Kemme, Victoria Schnaderbeck, Danielle Carter, Veje, and Jess Samuelsson also all missed much of the season.  In the Continental Cup final which we normally win we had three academy players and one senior player who was clearly very unwell making up the bench.  We lost in the final on penalties.

Part of the solution has been the introduction of academy players and the manager’s preference for having them train with the first team – and indeed play in some of the FA Cup games.

And just how successful the whole process became was shown in the 5-0 thrashing of last season’s double winners – Chelsea.   It emphasised just what a recovery of the old times this was, as the history of the league shows.  As you can see we were the dominant side at the start of the decade and then faded as the money clubs threw in everything needed to take on each other at the top.

Year Winner Runners-up Third Top scorers Goals
2011/12 Arsenal Birmingham Everton Rachel Williams (Birmingham) 14
2012/13 Arsenal Birmingham Everton Kim Little (Arsenal) 11
2013/14 Liverpool Bristol Academy Arsenal Natasha Dowie (Liverpool) 13
2014/15 Liverpool Chelsea Birmingham Karen Carney (Birmingham) 8
2015/16 Chelsea Manchester City Arsenal Beth Mead (Sunderland) 12
2016/17 Manchester City Chelsea Arsenal Eniola Aluko (Chelsea) 9
2017/18 Chelsea Manchester City Arsenal Ellen White (Birmingham City) 15
2018/19 Arsenal Manchester City

And like all top teams the side has a brilliant centre forward.  As you can see in the chart above across the years the top scorer has knocked in up to 15 league goals in a season.  This year Vivianne Miedema has scored 22 league goals and 31 in all competitions. If you look again at the league table you’ll see that both in terms of goals scored and goal difference we are on a different planet from the rest of the pack and our top scorer has out-ranked all the top scorers of previous years.

This season’s Arsenal goal scorers.

Rank Name  League FA Cup League Cup Total
1  Vivianne Miedema 22 0 9 31
2  Daniëlle van de Donk 11 0 2 13
3  Kim Little 8 1 3 12
4  Katie McCabe 5 0 5 10

It has been a great season, and as long as we can keep the manager and stop Manchester City buying our players, we should be at the top for some time to come.  Here are some more of the issues of note,particularly in relation to assits.

In addition to Danielle van de Donk’s 11 goals she got 6 assists.
Jordan Nobbs has 9 goals and 3 assists from her injury truncated season. Her playing time is half that of Miedema, Mead or McCabe
Kim Little has 8 goals from her injury interrupted season she has come back following her broken leg in our 5-0 thrashing of Chelsea.
Beth Mead has 7 goals and the highest number of assists in the league with 12.
Katie McCabe on the other wing has 5 goals and 8 assists
Overall in the league our 19 games have seen us score 69 goals whilst we have only conceded 13.
Man City are still unbeaten but their 5 draws have cost them the title, we have no draws and two defeats to Chelsea and City both at times where we were pretty depleted due to our injuries.  But with the return of injured players we have the basis of a team that will continue to set the standard next year and is well capable of going to the final stages of the Champions League next season.
Our final game of the season against Man City is sold out but will be shown on television BT Sport I think at 12:30 on Sat May 11

4 comments to How Arsenal women won the league and re-wrote goalscoring history.

  • Wow congs ladies,lets keep the fire burning and do a double next season.

  • Gord

    Thanks for the writeup Andrew and Tony.

    Congratulations to all the women in the Arsenal system.

    And no thanks to at least some of the officials we had this season.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Well done the ladies , and heartiest congratulations . More of the same please.
    Cheers !

  • Pat

    Thanks Tony. Joe Montemurro sounds like a very interesting manager.

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