Women

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Interview

‘Kim frightens the daylights out of other teams!’

Kim Little

Kim Little made her return from injury on Sunday in a 4-2 win over West Ham in the Women’s Super League.

The Scotland international played 90 minutes as captain - and even came close to scoring with two opportunities in the second half.

“I think having Kim on the teamsheet is always a good thing,” Joe Montemurro told Arsenal.com.

“It probably frightens the daylights out of the other team, which is great. 

“Coming back from a long spell on the sidelines she needs time to find her rhythm, and I think the best way for her to do that is for her to play.”

International

Internationals: Who’s playing and when?

Miedema

Ten of our players have been called up for international duty this month. Scroll down to find out when they are in action.

Dominique Bloodworth, Vivianne Miedema and Sari van Veenendaal have been named in Netherlands’ squad for their friendly against South Africa. The game will take place on Saturday, January 19 with kick-off at 1pm (UK time). 

Dominique Bloodworth

Louise Quinn and Katie McCabe have been called up to the Republic of Ireland squad - and will face Belgium in a friendly on Sunday, January 20. The game will take place at the Pinatar Arena in Spain and will kick-off at 3pm (UK time). 

Our Danish duo Katrine Veje and Janni Arnth will also be in international action when they face Finland in a friendly on Monday, January 21.

Janni Arnth

Elsewhere in Europe, Pauline Peyraud-Magnin has been called up to the France squad. The 26-year-old could feature against the USA on Saturday, January 19 with kick-off at 7.30pm (UK time).

Finally, Leah Williamson and Lia Walti have been called up by England and Switzerland respectively - but only as part of a training camp.

Beth Mead, Danielle van de Donk and Lisa Evans were also called up by their countries, have withdrawn from their respective squads.

Lia Walti in action for Switzerland

Interview

‘This is more than just a club to me’

Williamson

It was an emotional moment for Leah Williamson as she reached a century of appearances for the club on Sunday.

The England international made her senior debut back in 2014 - and less than five years later, finds herself 100 up at at just 21 years of age.

“It was a bit of an emotional one for me this weekend because it’s fallen on quite a big family anniversary, the passing of my grandad, who’s the reason we all support Arsenal,” Williamson told Arsenal.com. 

“I’m very, very proud and if I could have hundreds more then I would. I’m just so happy to tick off 100 for the club that I love.

“It’s more than just a football club to me and it always has been.”

Joe Montemurro hailed the versatile defender on reaching the milestone.

“It’s a great achievement and she’s only 21,” he said. “She’s already made 100 appearances and she’ll be an amazing player for the club.

“I love working with her and I look forward to continuing to work with her.”

News

Mitchell and Williamson join the 100 Club

Williamson and Mitchell

Emma Mitchell and Leah Williamson became the latest members of our prestigious 100 Club, with both players bringing up a century of Arsenal Women appearances this season.

Mitchell joined us from SGS Essen in 2013 and has been a mainstay in our side for the past five-and-a-half years, helping us win three Continental Tyres Cups and two SSE Women’s FA Cups during her time in north London. 

The Scotland left back made her 100th appearance for the club in our 4-3 win over West Ham  United in September.

Williamson became the fifth player in our current women’s squad to reach the milestone, when she started in Sunday’s defeat to Chelsea.

The 21-year-old joined our Centre of Excellence in 2006 and has since gone on to establish herself as a regular within our first-team squad, helping us lift two SSE Women’s FA Cups and two Continental Tyres Cups since making her senior debut in March 2014.

Mitchell and Williamson are the 28th and 29th women’s players to be inducted into the 100 Club, following the likes of Kelly Smith, Alex Scott and Faye White into our hall of fame.

Interview

Williamson Everything is still in our hands

Williamson

Despite slipping to a 2-1 defeat to Chelsea on Sunday, Leah Williamson remains confident that we’re in pole position to win the Women’s Super League.

We currently trail leaders Manchester City by a point, but we have a game in hand going into the international break.

We spoke to Williamson after the final whistle at Meadow Park this weekend - and this is what she said:

on the overall performance…
It wasn’t the best game from us. Chelsea took their chances, and to be fair, they probably took their hardest chances. It’s frustrating for us but everything is still in our hands, which is the way that we want it to be, so credit to us for the way that we’ve played over the first half of the season. Obviously a win here today would have cemented where we are, though. I think we did okay in the second half, but the first half was a bit of a shambles to be honest.

on why things didn’t go to plan…
Tactically we were trying to play the football that we’ve been playing all season, but that can become so much harder when you’re missing certain players and the dynamic of the team is changing at the last minute. I think today’s result came down to the fact that we didn’t play our football, so that allows the other team to pick it up and play theirs. I think we gifted them so much as well, which just isn’t our style.

on playing at right back…
I was really disappointed with the way that I played today, but that’s because of the standards that I’ve set for myself playing for this team, especially with the direction that we’re heading in. I’m disappointed with the goals that we conceded, but I think I’m experienced enough now to play in that position and there’s no excuses really.

on the frustration of seeing us play so well for the last 10 minutes…
Absolutely, it’s frustrating. When you look at the way we played in the first half, that isn’t us. That hasn’t been us all season and it was a bit of a reminder of the City game, which I didn’t enjoy, because we didn’t play the way that we wanted to until the second half.

Post-Match Report

Arsenal 1-2 Chelsea: How it happened

WHAT HAPPENED

Despite a late goal from Vivianne Miedema, we slipped to our first defeat of 2019 on Sunday as Chelsea ran out 2-1 winners at Meadow Park.

On what was otherwise a disappointing afternoon of Women’s Super League action, Leah Williamson made her 100th appearance for the club, while Beth Mead and Katie McCabe celebrated their 50th.

Chelsea started on the front foot with Karen Carney and Mille Bright coming close from inside the penalty area, but Pauline Peyraud-Magnin was on hand to make a number of fine saves.

However, the Blues maintained their relentless pressure and, following a sublime delivery from Hannah Blundell, Erin Cuthbert opened the scoring with a looping header into the top-left corner.

Miedema went on to trouble the Chelsea defence twice, but Lisa Evans and Leah Williamson were unable to provide the final ball.

Following the break, Montemurro replaced the injured Mead with Emma Mitchell, prompting a positive spell of possession - but shortly after the hour mark we found ourselves trailing by two goals.

Bethany England leapt high inside the box to head down Sophie Ingle’s lofted pass and, once again, Cuthbert was there to apply the finishing touch. This time a volley into the bottom-right corner.

Montemurro’s side continued to battle, though, and with less than 10 minutes remaining Kim Little stormed down the right wing and picked out Miedema, who made no mistake from close range.

The Netherlands international would go on to create one final chance but, despite beating all three of her markers, she was unable to fire past Hedvig Lindahl.

WHAT IT MEANS

We remain at the top of the WSL table.

WSL table

WHAT’S NEXT

Following the international break, Montemurro’s side will face Reading in the WSL on Sunday, January 27.

The game will take place at Adams Park with kick-off at 12:30pm (UK time).

Interview

'We’re building our control of each game'

Montemurro

We ran out 4-2 winners over West Ham United in the Women’s Super League on Sunday - and Joe Montemurro is delighted with the control that his side displayed.

After going a goal behind through Jane Ross, Leah Williamson and Janni Arnth stepped up to place us in front. The hosts then went on to equalise on the stroke of half-time, before a second-half double from Danielle van de Donk ensured that we remain at the top of the WSL table.

We spoke to Montemurro after the final whistle - and this is what he said:

on going a goal behind early on…
It was more about the way that we went behind. We consider goal kicks to be part of our set-pieces because the players have time to set themselves up and react to the situation, but instead we were poor and childish. It was very frustrating. In the end we created many, many chances to win that game three of four times over, but again, I think the positive thing is that we largely dictate whether we’re going to score or they’re going to score. We’re building that control on the game that we keep talking about. 

on conceding before the break…
It was exactly the same situation from another long set-piece. We have a set-piece structure to deal with these situations and it was actually on our board. It’s in our set-piece booklet so it was really frustrating to concede in that manner. 

on his half-time team talk…
I think if you were close enough to the changing rooms then you would have heard me!

on Arnth scoring on her debut…
We brought her in because she’s an experienced defender that adds composure to the side. The pleasing thing for me is that she didn’t put a foot wrong with the ball. She maybe overplayed her first three or four passes, but in the second half she found some good little pockets and took part in some nice phases of play, which is very, very important. I strongly believe that she’ll grow into our style.

on Beth Mead assisting three…
I think she suits exactly the way that we want to play. She can play a little bit more central and she can also play out wide, she can play a little bit deeper and she can play a little bit higher. That puts defenders in trouble because she’s very good at finding a line of pass when we’re attacking and you can’t defend that. Her last pass today was fantastic, so she deserves all the accolades.

on what pleased him most about the performance…
I think control. The beauty of it is that even though they scored with two great finishes from Jane Ross, it was our fault. It was our situation to deal with and it was in our control, so we exactly where we need to improve. The important thing is that we saw evidence off our style and evidence of playing through.

on his options now in comparison to four week ago…
I think we’re growing, but I don’t think we’re there yet. We’ve obviously freshened some players up and we’ve had to hit the ground running unfortunately because we’ve got three big games in a week. The reality is that we’ve got to keep the momentum and keep the tempo up and obviously the longer we keep that going, the more options we’ll have. It’s all part of building the squad and the reality is that we’re on top at the moment and we need to stay there and keep fighting.  

News

Date confirmed for SSE Women's FA Cup tie

Miedema and Little

We will face Crawley Wasps in the fourth round of the SSE Women’s FA Cup, on Sunday, February 3. 

This will be the first time we’ve ever faced the fourth-tier side, as we aim to win the trophy for a record 15th time. 

The fixture will be played as under: 

Crawley Wasps LFC v Arsenal WFC
SSE Women's FA Cup fourth round
Tinsley Lane, Oakwood FC
Sunday, February 3
Kick-off: 3pm (UK time) 

Follow this link to purchase your tickets