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Behind the scenes at Arsenal Women's photocall

Arsenal Women photocall

Last week we held our annual photocall ahead of the new FA Women's Super League season.

After taking part in interviews and a short session with our in-house media team, Joe Montemurro and his players headed outside to have their squad photograph taken in the sun. 

You can check out the full gallery of photos below - and don't forget to buy tickets to our season opener against West Ham United here

Pre-Match Report

Women: Arsenal v West Ham United - The Brief

Miedema celebrates her opener with Little

We kick-off our 2018/19 season at Meadow Park on Sunday, when we face West Ham United in the FA WSL Continental Tyres Cup.

THE OPPOSITION

The 2017/18 campaign proved to be a successful year for the Hammers, who lifted two pieces of silverware and obtained a license to join the Women’s Super League this forthcoming season. 

They were crowned champions of the FA WPL Plate and the Goodmove.co.uk Women’s Cup - and they come into this new season with great momentum, having won 12 of their last 15 competitive fixtures over this calendar year. 

THE MANAGER’S NOTES

“We work hard in pre-season for moments like this, to make a good start to the season and cement ourselves in making sure that we’re up there,” Joe Montemurro told Arsenal.com 

“It’s a cup game and it will be difficult because we don’t know much about West Ham and they’re a new team. They look like they’ve recruited very well, but we need to focus on what we need to do, respect the opposition and make sure that we’ve done all the work to put in a good performance and make a good start to the season.

Arsenal Women celebrate against Montpellier

“We may be the current champions of this competition, but it’s all about preparing well for each game and preparing well for each challenge. You need to make sure you pass one test before you go onto the next one. 

“You can never look too far ahead because if we could all predict the future we’d all be very rich people, so it’s about that we just focus on the task ahead and ensure that we’re prepared.”

ONE TO WATCH

If we dominate possession against the Hammers, then Beth Mead’s pace and movement in the final third will prove vital in gaining qualification to the next round of the tournament. 

Mead recorded eight goals and one assist in the WSL last season - and she’s shown great understanding with her fellow strike partner Vivianne Miedema over pre-season.

Miedema’s sheer presence in the box pulls defenders out of position, and this provides Mead with an abundance of space to attack down the right wing.

Beth Mead

She also scored in our 2-2 draw with Paris Saint-Germain last Sunday, helping us to be crowned champions of the Toulouse International Ladies Cup.

We kick-off our defence of the Continental Tyres Cup at 2pm on Sunday – and you can get all the live updates by following us on Twitter @ArsenalWFC

Interview

‘We’re confident we can have a good year’

Joe Montemurro

Joe Montemurro’s desperate to build on last season's success.

We face West Ham United at Meadow Park on Sunday as we kick-off our defence of the FA WSL Continental Tyres Cup.

“We have the confidence and belief that we can have a very good year and be very competitive,” Montemurro told Arsenal.com.

“We now have a belief taking in the work that we did last year, so we’re just tinkering it and making it just that little bit better. We’re giving it a little more structure and organisation but we’re also trying to find that freedom so that they can express themselves.

“I think there’s now more belief in that and that’s why we wanted to play top quality opposition over pre-season, to gauge where we’re really at.”

Montemurro’s side head into their first game of the 2018/19 season unbeaten after summer outings against Juventus, Montpellier and Paris Saint-Germain.

“It’s what we do pre-season for, to make a good start to the season and cement ourselves in making sure that we’re up there,” he said.

“We may be the current champions of this competition, but it’s all about preparing well for each game and preparing well for each challenge. You need to make sure you pass one test before you go onto the next one.”

Team news

Team news: Schnaderbeck, Carter, Kemme, Samuelsson

Viki Schnaderbeck

Ahead of our season opener against West Ham United on Sunday, here’s the latest team news update from our medical team.

Viki Schnaderbeck
Viki had knee surgery last week and has begun the early stages of rehabilitation. We are aiming for a return around the Christmas period.

Danielle Carter
Dan is undergoing rehab for a significant knee injury sustained at the end of the last season. We are hoping to have Dan available before the end of the season.
 
Tabea Kemme
Tabea is continuing her knee rehab from an injury sustained in March, she is aiming for a return to training in the Autumn.
 
Jessica Samuelsson
Jess sustained a significant foot injury in October last season. After a successful pre-season training, she will now be looking to advance her match fitness.
 
Jordan Nobbs
Jordan is back in full training.

Interview

Nobbs - I’m putting in extra work to be the best

Jordan Nobbs

Jordan Nobbs cannot hide how delighted she is to be back on the pitch.

The England international had been sidelined since the start of June but made her return in last week’s Toulouse International Ladies Cup win over Montpellier.
 
And ahead of Sunday’s season opener against West Ham United, Nobbs has even been staying behind after training to ensure she’s at her best for the Continental Tyres Cup clash with the Hammers.
 
“This is extra work off my own back and thanks to Aaron [D’Antino], who’s come in as Joe’s assistant and been amazing, I’ve been able to do it,” she told Arsenal.com.
 
“I just want to keep improving as a player and I think sometimes when you’re injured you forget how easy it is to do that little bit extra work to get yourself better and be in the best shape possible. I want to keep improving as much as I can and with the strength in our squad this year, I want to be one of our top players and hopefully shining for England as well.
 
“It feels great to be back,” Nobbs added. “It’s always hard to watch but I think I’ve been a bit lucky because I’ve not missed any crucial games. I’ve always wanted to be back with the team and to get minutes in France, it just felt so good to be back.
 
“It always makes you stronger and makes you learn about your body a little bit. Injury is one of those things that comes with being a professional and you have to accept that as a player. The only way you can get back on that pitch is if you turn it into a positive and if you want to work hard. You just want to be back on that pitch and do everything right to make sure you’re in that squad.”
 
Nobbs is expected to be in action when we host West Ham United this Sunday - buy your match tickets here

Interview

‘Midfield awareness has helped me at the back’

Dominique Bloodworth

Our eagle-eyed supporters would have spotted Dominique Bloodworth lining up in an unfamiliar position during our pre-season fixtures.

The Netherlands international was indispensable in Joe Montemurro’s midfield last term but played at right back during our Toulouse International Ladies Cup triumph last weekend.
 
“I feel like now I’m just helping out the team wherever they need me, so I’m just happy for the responsibility,” Bloodworth told Arsenal.com.
 
“The awareness of playing in midfield has definitely helped me settle in at the back, because in midfield you need to know what’s going on all around you, whereas at right back you have less space to be aware of. That will definitely help me. I just have to handle things quickly in midfield, so I think that helps as a right back too.”

Bloodworth is expected to start on the right side of defence when we begin our defence of the Continental Tyres Cup this weekend, but what does the 23-year-old know about West Ham United?
 
“I know they’ve got a couple of Dutch players and of course we know Anna Moorhouse and Vyan too,” she said. “I haven’t been able to see Vyan play a lot because she had a few injuries when she was with us, but I’m just excited to start the season to be honest.
 
“They have a good squad but we’re ready for them, we’re just going to go for it 100 per cent. People say there’s pressure when you’re the holders, but we’re just happy that the season’s finally starting so the pressure won’t come into it too much.”
 
Get your tickets to Sunday’s game here

Gallery

Pictures: Arsenal Women lift trophy in Toulouse

Arsenal Women celebrate against Montpellier

We were crowned champions of the Toulouse International Ladies Cup on Sunday, following a 2-2 draw with Paris Saint-Germain and a 2-1 win over Montpellier.

Vivianne Miedema, Danielle Van de Donk, Beth Mead and Kim Little all scored in the competition, ensuring that we prepared for the new season without tasting defeat all summer.

You can check out the full gallery of photos from the tournament below - and don't forget to buy tickets to our season opener against West Ham United here

(Images sourced from Joerdeli Photography