by Andrew Crawshaw
The Arsenal Women WSL season starts on Sunday evening with a trip to Manchester City. As I write this many of our team are away on international duty which is far from an ideal way to prepare for the league season.
You will all be aware that earlier in the summer four members of our team returned from international competition with Championship medals around their necks. England captain Leah Williamson along with team mates Lotte Wubben-Moy and Beth Mead from the Euros where Beth also won the Golden Boot and Player of the tournament awards. Our Brazilian defender Rafaelle Souza captained Brazil to win the South American equivalent.
Our squad for the season is
|1||Manuella Zinsberger||Austrian International and one of the best in Europe|
|18||Kaylan Marckese||American, signed from last season’s Champions League opponents HB Koge|
|2||Rafaelle Souza||Brazilian Captain and certain to play as the left-sided Centre Back when available|
|3||Lotte Wubben-Moy||England international, Centre Back first choice back up to Rafaelle and Leah|
|4||Jen Beattie||Scottish, Centre Back – likely to be the fourth choice for the position Signed a new contract in the summer and will also act as mentor to the academy this coming season and will also work with the commercial and partnership teams|
|5||Leah Williamson||England Captain and starter for the right-sided Centre Back role. Can also play as defensive midfield|
|7||Steph Catley||Australian international, Likely to be starter at Left Back, signed a new contract in the summer|
|16||Noelle Maritz||Swiss international, likely to be starter as Right Back|
|26||Laura Wienroither||Austrian international, Joined us in the January window last season, a promising young Full Back rapidly becoming a very very good player. She won’t be a backup for very long|
|29||Teyah Goldie||A graduate of our academy and at just 18 by far the youngest player in the squad. Played in central defence for Watford on loan last season. Likely to be used as a substitute, for the most part, this season. Has been with Arsenal from the age of 6|
|8||Jordan Nobbs||England international, Central midfielder vastly experienced and, on her day a devastating player. Sadly in recent years has suffered badly with injuries. I hope she has an injury-free season|
|10||Kim Little||Scottish, our club captain with over 250 Arsenal appearances. She is one of the most technically secure players in the team. Rarely dispossessed, she has the ability to dribble out of a telephone box surrounded by opposition players. Retired from International games, she kept herself sharp over the summer with a short stint playing in America|
|11||Vivianne Miedema||Netherlands international, one of the greatest strikers of all time with over 100 goals for Arsenal (from 110 games). She has expressed a preference to be played in the No 10 role and for that reason I am listing her as a midfielder rather than a striker. On the pitch though it doesn’t really matter where she is listed, if she gets a sniff of a goal the ball will probably be in the back of the net.|
|12||Frida Maanum||Norway international and can play anywhere in midfield|
|13||Lia Wälti||Swiss international, completely two-footed and an automatic choice at defensive midfield when available. She is always noticed when not playing as she adds a terrific security to the team.|
|23||Mana Iwabuchi||Japanese international, a diminutive player only 5ft 1in. Hasn’t yet shown her best form on a consistent basis but with her excellent ball control could well be a key player against teams who ‘park the bus’|
|9||Beth Mead||English international and player of the tournament at the Euros this summer. Beth came to us from Sunderland where she was a prolific centre-forward. For the most part, her time with us has seen her start on the right-hand side of a front three where she remains prolific both in terms of assists and goals. last season she had 14 goals and 19 assists in 40 games. She also tops the team in terms of pressing and defensive actions. A real all-action live wire who can be completely unplayable on her best days.|
|15||Katie McCabe||Republic of Ireland international and captain, usually seen anywhere on the left flank, Katie is probably the feistiest player we have in the team. Has a rocket-like shot and comes up with the most extraordinary goals.|
|17||Lina Hurtig||Sweden International, Joined us this summer from Juventus for a substantial (by women’s standards) fee in the region of £100,000 (yes I know that is only an average week’s salary for a decent male player but that is the reality of the situation). She is predominately a left-sided forward and already has a good understanding of playing with her international teammate Stina Blackstenius|
|19||Caitlin Foord||Australian international, can play anywhere across the forward line|
|25||Stina Blackstenius||Sweden International, joined us last January from BK Häken she scored 7 goals in her 16 appearances. The developing partnership with Viv will be key to where we end up at the end of the season.|
We’ll look at season tickets, the teams, and expectations for the season, in part 2 shortly.
- Arsenal has let in one more goal than at this stage last season, and that’s a disaster
- Arsenal continue to make more progress than the rest of the big seven
- Arsenal v Tottenham; the team and some rather jolly recent history
- We are running out of referees, and the reason is the PGMO.
- Arsenal v Tottenham: the key fact the media won’t to tell you – and why they won’t