Bould and Adams, Campbell and Toure, Mertesacker and Koscielny. Much of Arsenal’s success has been built around solid defensive partnerships, and Pedro Martinez Losa is hoping to lift his first English trophy with one of his own.
Niamh Fahey’s winter move to Chelsea momentarily disrupted the Gunners’ FA Cup-winning back line, but Losa moved quickly to bring in Jemma Rose from Bristol Academy - and the England Under-23 defender has slotted in seamlessly.
Through a combination of Rose’s physicality and Stoney’s experience, Arsenal have only conceded two Women’s Super League goals this season, and Losa believes their is more to come from his new-look partnership.
"Jemma has progressed and is showing us her physicality, technicality and tactical knowledge. We are really pleased to have young players like her developing as well as she is"
“In modern football it is useful that players can come in as quickly as this when other players leave,” the manager told Arsenal.com. “The way that women’s football is going in England, every year we will see more players coming and going.
“Gemma is a very talented young player who is in contention for a World Cup place with England. She has progressed and is showing us her physicality, technicality and tactical knowledge. We are really pleased to have young players like her developing as well as she is.”
Last Sunday’s impressive win at Manchester City means the Gunners have kept back-to-back clean sheets, and Losa believes a strong defence is vital to Arsenal’s WSL title challenge.
“The clean sheets mean that the players are putting in lots of effort and we are being more solid defensively,” he said. “We were a little worried in pre-season about our balance and our competitiveness but I am very happy with how we have played.
“The defence forms a key piece of how you build a winning team. You have to start from the goalkeeper to give the team the security so that we can play with no pressure and play better football up the field. “
Arsenal Ladies host Sunderland at Meadow Park on Sunday. Kick-off is at 2pm (UK time) and you can follow live updates on @ArsenalLadies from 1.55pm.
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