Arsenal Women maintained their 100% percent record this season with a 4-0 victory away to bottom-of-the-table Everton but paid a high price with Jordan Nobbs’ injury adding to the club’s growing list.
Jordan Nobbs‘ form has been simply phenomenal this season and credit has to go to Joe Montemurro for creating such a brilliant team and to the players who are performing consistently at the highest level.
We are talking about Played 10, Won 10, Goals For 50, Goals Against 5, Clean sheets 7. These are simply unbelievable stats.
Anna Miedema and Danielle van de Donk are firing on all cylinders this season combining for 20 goals and eight assists.
Before the Christmas break, the team will play two League games against Brighton and Manchester City as well as two FA WSL Continental Cup ties against Championship sides, Charlton and Millwall.
The next two League games are crucial for the title hopes.
Win both and there will be at least a nine-point gap over City.
Round 9 ✅#FAWSL pic.twitter.com/9opRr1kmLq
— The FA Women's Super League (@FAWSL) November 18, 2018
The only worry is the number of injured players at the moment.
The club had three youngsters on the bench, who all got game time against Everton, but you cannot expect them to perform at the highest level against Manchester City.
It would be an unreasonable expectation for the 17,18 and 19-year-olds to perform as if they were seasoned internationals.
So, where are we at the moment with regards to injuries?
Arsenal.com list 19 players in the squad.
Janni Arnth, the Danish new signing will be registered once the transfer window opens in January.
Danielle Carter and Viktoria Schnaderbeck are out with long-term injuries.
Kim Little is expected to come back around Christmas time, Tabea Kemme is back on the treatment table following her debut against Birmingham.
Jessica Samuelsson was not available after coming back from international duty with Sweden. Jordan Nobbs was injured against Everton and it was the worst possible news with an ACL rupture confirmed by the club.
Therefore we could have up to seven senior players not available next Sunday against Brighton and more, importantly, against City in two weeks’ time.
Ava Kuyken, who is in the squad for the first team regularly, is ready to play more than a few minutes, but Ruby Grant and Paige Gailey-Bayle might find it hard to make an impact against City if called up.
There is no doubt that having a small squad has helped the team’s performances because there is rotation that allows every player to get game time.
But bad luck is hitting the team right now with all the injuries and it might end up being costly. Thankfully, the current six-point cushion over City allows for a defeat to happen in those unusual circumstances.
Let’s hope a couple of players can come back to full fitness before the title decider on 2 December and the current winning streak can continue into the new year.