Every home game, one of our women's first-team shares their insight into life at Arsenal in our matchday programme.
Fresh from scoring her debut goal last weekend, Cloe Lacasse talks us through her career to date and her first impressions of her new home.
The energy is definitely high at London Colney and everyone's buzzing around. We're extremely focused on the objective of beating Aston Villa. All of us have reflected on the Man United match and believe we could have come back with three points. But ending the game the way we did, with a goal in the last couple of minutes, will help propel us and motivate us going forward.
The first couple of days after scoring my first goal for the club, I was flying a little bit high! Your adrenaline really gets going after a moment like that.
Just before I ran on, I remember being told “4-3-3”, which threw me because I was originally coming on as a wing-back! So we changed the formation at the last minute and I was like, “Okay, 4-3-3 - let’s go. We need a goal.” As an attacker, you have tunnel vision in those moments and all you see is that net. I spotted a little window of opportunity, struck the ball and it felt good coming off my foot, for sure.
Now I'm back down to earth, I'm staying off social media because I want my focus to only be on this game. It was a great way to get the first goal, but now it's time to focus on the second one.
I’m all settled into life in England now, living in a nice neighbourhood not far from London Colney. On the training ground, it was easy to settle in because everyone came back from the World Cup in stages, so it gave me the opportunity to get to know my teammates on an individual level. Then it was so nice to have the whole team together for the first time at adidas HQ to fully get going.
I think everyone here is a leader in their own right, but there are obviously a few big characters. Beth definitely likes to crack a few jokes - some might say too many! As you guys say, she brings the banter. Katie's always loud which comes as no surprise but everyone's been really sweet. It's so nice to get to know their individual personalities on the pitch as well.
Heading into this season at a new club off the back of a World Cup has been huge. In terms of how Australia and New Zealand hosted the tournament, it was incredible. I'm still quite new to my national team - I think it's only been a year and a half since I earned my first cap - so having the opportunity to go to my first World Cup and represent Canada was very special. Of course, we were disappointed with the result but now we're just trying to turn the page and focus on the Olympics next year.
Once I got that first call-up, I knew it would take a bit of time to get a true opportunity with Canada. Now being here at Arsenal, I'm getting more confident and when I join up with my national team, that confidence is conveyed on the pitch. The last window went really well and we qualified for the Olympics, and on an individual level, the coaching staff has put a lot more faith in me and my game, knowing that I can start and make a difference.
Our first league match against Liverpool was absolutely not how we wanted to kick off the season, especially with such a massive crowd at Emirates Stadium. We wanted to be able to celebrate with our supporters at the end of that game and we weren't able to.
On Sunday, there will be another big home crowd at the Emirates and we hope it’s a very different story. That atmosphere is going to give us extra motivation to take away those three points and be able to celebrate with the Gooners at full-time. This training week has been so important in terms of preparation and we’re extremely focused. We have that energy bottled up for the match.
The supporters here have been fantastic. As soon as you come out on the pitch, you hear these chants and some of them are quite catchy and fun. You almost want to dance and sing along with them but then you have to remember there’s a game to play. I’ve already seen how incredible our fans are home or away - they come out and support us no matter what. We can’t wait to see them again on Sunday.
Read the rest of Cloe's blog, as well as a host of other fantastic content, by buying a copy of the Arsenal v Aston Villa programme either around the stadium or online.
You can also subscribe to Arsenal Women's matchday programme to get every issue this season delivered straight to your door each matchday.
Copyright 2023 The Arsenal Football Club Limited. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source.