by Andrew Crawshaw
This match is on Saturday lunchtime at the Emirates with a 12:30 kickoff and something like 50,000 spectators are likely to be there. Over 48,000 had been sold as we kicked off against PSV on Wednesday evening and the number has bound to have increased since then. Without doubt, this will be the best-attended match in WSL history. If you not going in person, the match will also be televised by the BBC or if you are watching from abroad the FA Player.
First up I want to look at the history of the fixtures since Spurs were promoted to the WSL at the start of the 2019-20 season. For all that the press are trying to build this up as a long-standing rivalry, the fact is that it is a recent occurrence, unlike in the men’s game.
In the table below Arsenal Scores are in Red
|Season||WSL Home||WSL Away||League Cup||FA Cup|
|2021-22||3 – 0||1 – 1||5 – 1|
|2020-21||6 – 1||0 – 3||2 – 2||4 – 0|
|2019-20||0 – 2|
In the last three years in the League Arsenal have won 4 WSL matches and drawn one. We have scored 15 goals and conceded 2. There has also been one draw in three cup games where we have outscored Spurs by 11 goals to 3. We are also unbeaten at home.
I have just watched Spurs opening WSL match when they beat Leicester City by two goals to one. In truth, it was a pretty poor match only really memorable for the two Spurs goals. The first was a once-in-a-lifetime effort from Left Back Ashleigh Neville who hit a beauty from 45 yards. She would hit the ball from that distance a hundred times and consider herself lucky to beat the goalkeeper twice.
The second was also a long-range shot from 30 yards or so by Drew Spence, perhaps a 3 in 100 chance. Apart from that Spurs really didn’t create very much and with the players on the pitch on that day will struggle to score enough goals to mount a credible challenge for the top three Champions League places. Leicester were pretty poor all game and will struggle to avoid a relegation battle.
Last season Spurs finished in fifth place, with a W9, D5, L8 record. They scored 24 goals and conceded 23. In contrast our record was W17, D4, L1 scoring 65 and only conceding 10 (both the best in the league).
Additions to Spurs team since last season.
- Nikola Karczewska – A 22-year-old Polish international forward 6ft tall who scored 10 goals in 21 appearances last season for FC Fleury 91in France
- Ellie Brazil – A 23 year English old striker who joined from Brighton where she scored 4 goals in 59 appearances between 2018 and the end of last season
- Ramona Petzelberger – is a 29-year-old midfielder who joined from Aston Villa where she scored 3 goals in 16 starts
- Celin Bizet – is a 20-year-old Norwegian international forward who joined from PSG where she made 6 starts without scoring
- Drew Spence – A seasoned 29-year-old competitive midfielder who left Chelsea where she made 223 starts since 2008 scoring 49 goals. She is a Jamaican international. She spent time at Arsenal’s academy.
- Angharad James is a 28-year-old Welsh international midfielder. She has had something of a nomadic career with specs at Notts County, Yeovil Town, Everton, Reading, North Carolina Courage and Orlando Pride
- Amy Turner is a 31-year-old defender with 4 England caps in 2015, her most recent clubs have been Manchester United and Orlando Pride
Nikola looks to have the potential to be a major threat in front of goal, Drew Spence is certain to bring added steel to midfield (I remember her breaking Kim Little’s leg with an awful challenge towards the end of our memorable 5 – 0 thrashing of Chelsea at Kingsmeadow a few years ago) and Angharad is a competent midfielder. The other signings at first glance look to be squad players rather than game changers.
Part 2 will follow after the Manager’s press conference. Below are the highlights from May this year.
- If it’s Arsenal it must be chaos. Lens v Arsenal preview
- The huge danger that lies ahead following the Liverpool VAR cock-up
- After seven games how are Arsenal doing? It’s our best defence in over 10 years
- The Women’s Super League – Opening day Sunday 01 October
- Arsenal Women – the Season Preview – part 2 Our team for the Season