Interview

‘I just wanted to get us going... and I did!’

Danielle van de Donk

Danielle van de Donk was eager to make an impact off the bench against Manchester United - and she did just that.

Our Dutch playmaker replaced Jordan Nobbs with just 20 minutes to go and the scores locked at 0-0.
 
It looked as though we would be held to a point by Casey Stoney's resolute side, but then with one minute to play Van de Donk popped up in the box to net her first goal of the season and secure a dramatic win. We spoke to our No 7 after the game. This is what she said:
 
on how she felt after scoring the winner…
Honestly, I didn’t know what to do! I was just so happy and excited! I don’t know quite know how to put it into words.
 
on what Joe said to her before she came off the bench…

He basically just told me to have fun, enjoy yourself and score the winner!
 
on what she was thinking from the bench…
Coming on I knew that we didn’t have long so I just wanted to bring energy to the side. I wanted to bring something different so when I got on the pitch I tried to scream and coach all the time in a positive way. I just wanted to get us going and that’s what I did.
 
on her habit of scoring inside the six-yard area…
I guess I just know where to be at the right place at the right time. I’m always there for the tap ins!
 
on Joe’s half-time team talk…
He was actually very calm. I was only in there for five minutes because I was warming up, but Joe came in straight away and said what we had to change. The team obviously listened very well because in the second half we were in complete control.
 
on herself, Emma and Louise hyping the players up ahead of the second half…
I think it’s so important that you stick together as a team. We have a great team and we all fight for each other. We spoke about it recently with Joe that you’ve got to accept your role on the day and remain professional because we play for Arsenal. Whatever role Joe picks for you, you’ve got to carry it out to the best of your ability. Even if you’re on the bench you’ve got to give the team energy and then do your thing when you come on.
 
on how beneficial these typical ‘big games’ are for the growth of the WSL…
These are the best games that you can play. Good clubs are coming up and there’s clearly greater development in women’s football taking place right now. I really support those clubs who are coming up. We all know it’s going to take a couple of years for them to really build something as big as clubs who have been there for years, but the atmosphere was amazing and they’re the best games you can play. Today all of the fans were against us because they were all from United, but I love that, that makes me really feisty in the game.