Arsene Wenger says that women’s football has “become a worldwide phenomenon” ahead of the 2016 FA Women’s Super League season.
Read much more from the boss in April's Arsenal Magazine - he's our main feature interview
Arsenal Ladies kick off their league campaign against Reading on Wednesday, hoping to build on the record attendances they achieved following England’s World Cup success in 2015.
Wenger has long been a keen admirer of the women’s game, and says the sport is in the best shape of its 23-year competitive history.
“I am much more optimistic today than I was 10 or 15 years ago because it looks like it’s become a worldwide phenomenon,” the manager told the Arsenal Magazine. “Women’s football has taken off. It has developed into a good technical level, the popularity is increasing and there are big countries like America, China and Japan playing women’s football now.
"I love to watch it when two teams play against each other who are intelligent and prepare well - it makes it very interesting to watch"
“Organisation and every other aspect of their game has improved since I’ve been involved in football. Their preparation is much better. Now you have professional players so their preparation is much better.
“It always starts with the same thing, though, and that’s the education. That’s improving too because they have academies now. We have one here and that improves physical and technical preparation.
“It improves the detailed preparation as well. You see that the power aspect is less strong than for men, but aesthetically I love to watch it when two teams play against each other who are intelligent and prepare well - it makes it very interesting to watch. That was not the case 15 years ago.
“The next step will be economical for them. We depend on the economics that comes from television, and that becomes much more positive. The Women’s World Cup has become a very big competition, the Champions League will become a very interesting competition, and that’s why I believe that every player becoming professional is the next step. We are not far away from that.”