As we are in the Christmas break, it is time to have a look at the mid-season statistics for the players and team which show some good numbers and some surprising numbers.
No player has played all fourteen games in full this season.
The player closest to the maximum playing time is Lia Wälti, who has accumulated 1238 minutes out of a maximum of 1260.
It is quite interesting that the core of the team, i.e. players who have a minimum of 80% of available playing time, is composed of just six players.
- Lia Wälti 1,238
- Anna Miedema 1168
- Katie McCabe 1121
- Danielle van de Donk 1096
- Lisa Evans 1,011
- Leah Williamson 1,008 minutes, which is exactly 80% of the maximum playing time available.
The goalkeeping situation is a peculiar one as Joe Montemurro has kind of chosen a number one with Pauline Peyraud-Magnin with 810 minutes, while Sari van Veenendaal has 450 minutes overall, but they seem to alternate in some big games. Injuries play their part as well.
The squad rotation pool (players with between 50% and 80% of the available game time) also has six players.
- Dominique Bloodworth 934 minutes
- Louise Quinn 912
- Jordan Nobbs 887
- Bethany Mead 880
- Emma Mitchell 845
- Pauline Peyraud-Magnin 810
There is absolutely no doubt that the ACL injury prevented Jordan Nobbs being a core part of the team as she has missed the last four games and will not be back before next season.
Then you have the best of the rest:
Kim Little with 514 minutes
Obviously, the injury received against Chelsea has kept her out of the side for the last eight games meaning her playing time is nowhere near what it should be as she is a core team player.
Sari Van Veenendaal with 450 and Jessica Samuelsson with 233 minutes complete that group.
Among the other professional players, Tabea Kemme has around one minute overall coming on as an injury-time sub.
Danielle Carter and Victoria Schnaderbeck have zero minutes due to their injuries, while new signing, Jenni Arnth was obviously not available as the transfer window opens next week.
Then we have all the Academy players, who were probably not in Joe Montemurro’s original plans except for Ava Kuyken, who has been training with the first team since last season.
Let’s be honest, if someone had predicted at the start of the season that eight Academy players would have ended with more game time than three professional players, that person needs to give me their lottery numbers.
So here the numbers for our Academy players:
- Ava Kuyken 215 minutes, nearly as many as Jessica Samuelsson
- Paige Bailey-Gayle 174
- Ruby Grant 108
- Hannah Dawbarn 104
- Amelia Hazard 102
- Melisa Filis 28
- Lashante Paul 17
- Ana “Cat” Albuquerque 6 minutes overall.
At the beginning of the season, the squad was quite small with only 18 players.
It was obvious that the aim was to build up a footballing relationship between the players in order to create excellence in attacking football.
With the addition of Janni Arnth, the squad number goes up to 19 from a maximum of 23.
With the FA WSL rule number 8.11.4 as follows: Where registered, an Academy/Reserve Player may participate in up to 3 Competition Matches without being included in a Club’s Squad Cap. Any Academy/Reserve Player who participates in more than 3 Competition Matches shall be included in a Club’s Squad Cap.
The squad cap has gone up to 22 as Kuyken, Grant and Bailey-Gayle have played in four games already.
This means Arsenal can only sign one extra player in that transfer window. Unless the club asks for a squad cap increase as they did in the past under Pedro Losa.
8.10.5 The Management Committee may on a case by case basis and in its sole discretion, upon application by a Club:
(a) approve an increase in the Squad Cap for a Club for the remainder of the Playing Season (such approval will be valid for that Playing Season only); and/or
(b) approve the removal of a Player from a Club’s Squad Cap for the remainder of the Playing Season with that Player no longer counting towards the Club’s Squad Cap (outside of the three Players referred to in Rule 8.10.4).
With the transfer window opening next week for a month, we should know soon how many players will come in to bolster the squad.