Arsenal Women meet Chelsea Ladies on Sunday, and we spoke to striker Beth Mead who revealed her England hopes, working under a new boss and previewed the weekend clash – in an exclusive interview with Daily Cannon.
The 22-year-old has enjoyed a fantastic debut season with the Gunners after her January move from Sunderland, boasting seven goals in 10 games, but Mead isn’t taking anything for granted.
More focused on helping the team than attaining personal honours, the centre-forward is happy with the way things are going and still believes she can improve.
“I am delighted to be playing for Arsenal, and I’m always trying to score goals,” Mead said. “But it’s about the team and how we all perform. I’m pleased with everything so far, but I am competitive and constantly challenge myself to improve.”
Her Arsenal side will be in for a big test on Sunday, with Emma Hayes’ unbeaten Chelsea standing in their way. The young Gunner is confident of getting a result, however, saying: “We know how good they are, but we go into every game prepared and positive. Hopefully we come out on top.”
It will be a big test for new manager Joe Montemurro, who recently replaced Pedro Losa after three years in charge. Arsenal started poorly under the Spaniard this season, but have picked up consecutive wins and a draw in the league since his exit.
While paying tribute to the ex-head coach, Mead was full of praise for his successor, adding: “Pedro obviously signed me, and I will always be grateful for that, but Joe has been great. I am enjoying his coaching, and he wants to also continue developing us all to be the best we can.”
The ex-Sunderland striker has certainly developed. Coming off the back of winning the WSL 1 Players’ Player of the Year in 2015 and PFA Young Player of the Year in 2016, Mead is Arsenal’s top scorer this campaign.
An England call-up could beckon, something she says would be a great honour. “Any time I have put on an England shirt I have been so honoured. It is a huge privilege to play for your country. I hope my performances will merit a senior call up soon. That is my aim.”
Mo Marley replaced Mark Sampson as interim manager for the Lionesses, but Mead denied any suggestion that playing under the 50-year-old as a youngster will better her chances on the international stage.
“I loved playing under Mo, but it will only be my performances that will get me a call up,” she admitted. Nevertheless, Mead’s form this season can’t be ignored, and Arsenal are reaping the benefits from making a shrewd acquisition.
The Gunners have fallen away in recent years, missing out on Champions League football and having gone six years without a league title, but their in-firm striker remains confident Arsenal can pick up major honours this time round.
“I think that’s one for Joe! We know we have the players to be competitive for the title, and in my opinion Arsenal deserve to be back in the Champions League also. That would be amazing.”
Thanks to Beth Mead for speaking with Daily Cannon. We wish her and Arsenal all the best against Chelsea on Sunday and for the remainder of the season.