By Andrew Crawshaw
The start of the WSL season, like all other sports events, was disrupted last weekend by the death of our late Queen. As far as I am aware, Arsenal was the only team invited to Buckingham Palace for tea by the Queen and it was rumoured that she always took a close interest in our results.
We were due to play Manchester City last weekend, we now start with what, on paper, should be a much easier tie against Brighton and Hove Albion. The game is at Borehamwood on Friday 16th with a 19:30 kickoff and is sold out. If you haven’t already got a ticket then I’m sorry you won’t be able to get one on the gate.
The match will be covered on the FA Player and I would suggest that you set up a free account. The site isn’t geo-blocked so should work wherever in the world you are. There were reports earlier in the week that arsenal.com were looking to carry the live stream so you might want to check out their coverage as well.
Here is a quick reminder of last season’s table
Liverpool won the Championship last season and will replace Birmingham in the WSL for this season.
This last week Barcelona set a world transfer record when they signed England defensive midfielder Kiera Walsh from Manchester City with the fee paid in the £350,000 range easily eclipsing the previous record of £250,000 paid by Chelsea for Pernille Harder in the summer of 2020. The move happened after City were eliminated in the preliminary rounds of the Women’s Champions League for the second year running. The loss will create a big gap at the base of City’s midfield and may well affect their performances in the first part of the season.
Brighton are a solid mid-table team under Hope Powell their manager, they have a good mix of experienced players and youngsters plus a sprinkling of internationals mostly from the middle ranked nations. On a positional comparison I have to say that we are by far the stronger team and, on paper, this match should prove to be a comfortable win for us.
However, we all know that football matches aren’t won on paper but by a team working hard for 90 minutes. This was brought home by our only loss last season when we failed to turn up against bottom of the table Birmingham and were deservedly beaten, a result that ultimately cost us the championship as we lost to Chelsea by a single point on the last day of the season.
Since my season preview piece last week Arsenal have signed Gio Queiroz, a 19 year old Brazilian from Barcelona. We have immediately loaned her out to Everton for the season to help in her acclimatisation to England and the WSL. She is a winger and spent last season on loan at Levante where she scored 11 goals in 31 appearances. She was part of the Brazilian squad, captained by our defender Rafaelle Souza, that won this summer’s Copa America title. On behalf of all ‘Untolders’ welcome to Arsenal and we will watch your progress with Everton with keen interest.
Part 2 of the preview will appear shortly.
- Arsenal Women 2021-22 Season review – Part 1
- Arsenal Women 2021-22 Season Review: Part 2 WSL Match by Match highs and lows
- Arsenal Women 2021/2 Review, Part 3 – 21 Players to keep; 9 players to let go
- Arsenal Women 2021/22 Review Part 4: Player of the Season and where do we go from here
- Arsenal v Wolverhampton: the club that gets cards at over twice the rate of Arsenal
- Arsenal v Wolverhampton Wanderers: where will each team finish?
- Arsenal v Lens: what we found, what we felt, what they did
- Arsenal v Lens: the team, the home/away form and the strange coincidences
- Arsenal v Lens: they had a poor start but are now flying