“I think I’ve grown and matured both as a person and a player,” she added. “My ultimate goal was to go out to France and win the Champions League and the domestic league trophies, basically every trophy that was available, and I did that in the time I was there. I met some unbelievable people, played with some fantastic players and really grew as a player because of that.”
ARSENAL WOMEN MATCHES
The draw for Champions League qualifying took place today (Friday) and was kind to Arsenal who will face the Kazakhstani runners-up before facing the winners of PSV Eindhoven vs Lokomotiv Moskva, if they win.
Jonas Eidevall will have to get the Arsenal squad up and running quickly to prepare for the Champions League qualifying ties which will be played on August 18 and 21.
In the semi-final tie Arsenal will meet Okzhetpes (KAZ). Should they win that tie they will play the winner from PSV Eindhoven (NED) v Lokomotiv Moskva (RUS).
Should they lose that tie, Arsenal will play a third place play-off game against the losers of the PSV Eindhoven (NED) v Lokomotiv Moskva (RUS).
Should Arsenal win those two games, they will not be seeded in Qualifying Round 2 and will therefore be drawn against Lyon, Wolfsburg, Rosengard (the previous club form the new Arsenal manager) or Slavia Praha.
The full Champions League draw for the League path:
- Hoffenheim (GER) v Valur (ISL)
- Zürich (SUI) v AC Milan (ITA)
- Brøndby (DEN) v Kristianstad (SWE)
- Bordeaux (FRA)v Slovácko (CZE)
- Levante (ESP) v Celtic (SCO)
- FC Minsk (BLR) v Rosenborg (NOR)
- Arsenal (ENG) v Okzhetpes (KAZ)
- PSV Eindhoven (NED) v Lokomotiv Moskva (RUS)
Ties to be played on 18 and 21 August.
Arsenal women 2021/22
Arsenal have confirmed that Nikita Parris has joined the club as Lyon confirm the fee of €80,000 with add-ons of a possible €20,000.
Arsenal have signed former Manchester City striker and England international, Nikita Parris from Lyon.
Parris joined Lyon in the summer of 2019, playing 53 matches for them and scoring 33 goals, including a Champions League final goal against Bayern Munich in the 2020 final.
The 27-year-old, who also played for Everton, told Arsenal.com, “I’m very happy to be here, Arsenal has an unbelievable history and I want to be a part of this.
“I want to achieve all domestic titles and compete in the champions league here. I’m happy to be back in the WSL which has grown and improved so much since I left.
Jonas Eidevall, added: “I’m very pleased to have signed Nikita and add to our strong strike force. She is a talented player and has a winners mentality and I’m looking froward to working with her once she returns from the Olympics.”
Arsenal have all but qualified for the 2021/22 tournament thanks to a last minute penalty winner from Kim Little.
While it is not mathematically done, Man United would need to catch up three points on final day and a whopping 26 goals difference.
Arsenal losing at home to relegation threatened Aston Villa is unlikely and, even it happened, you would expect a maximum loss by five goals. United would then need to beat Everton by 22 goals to finish in third place. Let’s be honest, if that kind of miracle happens, the FA will need to form an inquiry because no-one has scored more 15 goals in a FA WSL League game ever.
The Everton game on Sunday, was very interesting because Joe Montemurro shuffled his pack again making full use of his players’ flexibility. Vivianne Miedema played in midfield, Caitlin Foord was up front and Jordan Nobbs was on the left-wing.
The starting 11 was Zinsberger; Maritz, Williamson, Wälti, McCabe; Little, van de Donk, Miedema; Mead, Foord, Nobbs. The available subs were Williams, Patten, Wubben-Moy, Maier, Catley, Goldie, Gut, Roord.
Tactically, it was a game of two halves.
Everton played the first part of the game in 5-3-2 sitting deep and soaking up the pressure from the Gunners. In response, Joe Montemurro set-up the team in an structure that he recently started using with inverted full-backs in Maritz and McCabe. Those two players bombing forward into the half-spaces created some opportunities for other players.
Combined with Miedema playing deeper than van de Donk very often, it opened space for other players to come in to.
Indeed, the first Arsenal goal came from one of those full-back runs through the middle. Wälti send a long through ball to Foord who touched it towards McCabe who evaded the Everton defence before chipping MacIver superbly to make it 1-0 to the Arsenal.
With Arsenal dominating the proceedings for the most of the first half, Willie Kirk made a tactical change at half-time. He replaced one of his midfielders, Graham, and put a forward on switching from 5-3-2 to 4-3-3 in attacking play and 4-4-2 in defensive shape. Sorensen, who came on at half-time, shuffling positions in defensive and attacking situation on the right wing.
The change resulted in a cat and mouse game, that might have looked dull on TV. Everton played higher on the pitch managed to negate most of the Arsenal threats with that switch and the game became rougher. It also got away from the referees control with multiple fouls.
Everton equalised through Finnigan as a short throw in was crossed by an unmarked Christiansen in the mixer and the Everton defender headed it past Zinsberger. The Arsenal defence was caught sleeping as Finnigan managed to head the ball easily and, next to her in acres of space, was an unmarked Emslie who would have been able to volley the ball had Finnigan missed it.
Arsenal put pressure on in the final 15 minutes, looking for a win but there was not enough to destabilise a solid Everton defence until the last minute of added time.
Van de donk and Wälti pressed Christiansen in the middle of the pitch. Little intercepted the loose ball and touched it to Roord who sent it to Miedema, who had her back to the goal and pivoted to pass it on the edge of the penalty area to McCabe. Finnigan, who was coming across to defend, was late and hit McCabe quite hard. The referee pointed to the spot and booked Finnigan.
Kim Little did not disappoint and put the ball top left corner to score the winner with the referee blowing full-time before Everton could even restart the game. Arsenal literally won it with the last kick of the game.
Arsenal winning 2-1 means next season they will play in the revamped Women Champion’s League competition with more money for the clubs and a new group stage with 16 teams. Unless, of course, something bizarre happens on the final day, but it is an unlikely scenario that would raise many suspicions.
So, it’s job done for Joe Montemurro and his squad, who managed to turn things round when they looked really bleak back in January.
Full credit to the manager, his staff and all the players for qualifying the biggest club competition.
Arsenal’s players and coaches responded after some huge questions, following poor results against the top four teams, with a huge win against Manchester United and are now in the right position to be able to qualify for the Champions League.
The 2-0 win with goals from Millie Turner (OG) and Lotte Wubben-Moy means Arsenal now trail United by three points with a game against West Ham in hand.
The Gunners’ goal difference is +36 while United’s is +17 which means, should the teams finish level on points, Arsenal will finish in third place and qualify for the Champions League.
For this crucial game, Joe Montemurro made some bold choices in the starting 11 and was rewarded with a big win.
With Leah Williamson and Jennifer Beattie both injured, he turned to Lotte Wubben-Moy and Lia Wälti as the centre-back pairing, depriving the midfield of its traditional anchor.
He could have played the Patten-Wubben-Moy centre-back duo that kept the team unbeaten during the 2017 Spring Series to keep Wälti alongside Kim Little in the middle of the pitch. The Swiss midfielder was superb in the role and the fact that she can pass with excellent accuracy from both feet meant she could open space and create attacking play on the left side in tight space with ease.
In midfield, the Arsenal manager went with no real defensive midfielder, as Kim Little was deployed as the deep-lying playmaker with the two Dutch attacking midfielders, Danielle van de Donk and Jill Roord, ahead of her.
Jordan Nobbs was relegated to the bench, which, again, was a bold choice unless she had a niggling injury.
Up front, there was no surprise at all with Beth Mead, Vivianne Miedema and Caitlin Foord the main attacking trio used this season.
Lisa Evans was benched again as Noelle Maritz was selected ahead of her at right-back and Beth Mead as the right winger.
The starting 11 therefore was: Zinsbeger; Martiz, Wubben-Moy, Wälti, McCabe; Little, van de Donk, Roord; Mead, Miedema, Foord.
It was quite obvious that United set-up to come for a draw, but that game plan went straight out of the window as early as in the second minute when Arsenal opened the scoring via the United defender, Millie Turner.
Arsenal won the ball on the left in United defensive third. Foord sent a delightful through ball to Roord and her cross was deflected in by Millie Turner, past Earps.
1-0 to the Arsenal.
A smart ball through from @CaitlinFoord puts @JillRoordNL in front of goal to give @ArsenalWFC an early goal!#BarclaysFAWSL pic.twitter.com/gCHF1dDH58
— Barclays FA Women's Super League (@BarclaysFAWSL) March 19, 2021
United had a couple of chances they did not convert and half-time came with the Gunners leading 1-0.
BT Sport showed Casey Stoney complaining to the referee about Lauren James being repeatedly fouled and, strangely enough, Beth Mead was booked early in the second half for an innocuous challenge on the former Arsenal playmaker. It was a yellow that would have consequences later in the game.
In the meantime, Lotte Wubben-Moy scored a towering header from a Katie McCabe corner as she won her duel against Katie Zelem, who is quite small and was marking the tall centre-back.
Arsenal were two nil up and needed good game management to see the match out over the next forty minutes.
But disaster struck in the 62nd minute when Beth Mead received a second yellow card for a reckless tackle.
Arsenal switched to a 4-4-1 system, sitting deep and soaking up United pressure. The Red Devils were not creative enough to break down the Gunners’ defence, except once when Ella Toone scored, but she was offside and the game finished 2-0 to the Arsenal.
This was a big, big win for Joe Montemurro and his squad as there is a lot of pressure to qualify for the Champions League next season.
Players might come and go based on Champions League qualification, especially in terms of player retention with offers coming for Leah Williamson and Vivianne Miedema.
Keeping those players, along with others like Jill Roord, is key to the team’s development and competitiveness next season in the league and, hopefully, the Champions League, too.
Arsenal women get Champions League lifeline as Manchester City thump Manchester United
Arsenal’s faint hopes of Champions League qualification were given a boost on Friday as the Citizens dominated an error prone Manchester United 3-0.
Former Gunner, Caroline Weir got the pick of the goals with this sublime chip over Mary Earps:
The table shows Arsenal trailing Manchester United by nine points with two games in hand and a home game against the Red Devils that could end up being crucial.
That game is scheduled for Thursday 18 March at Borehamwood.
Arsenal also have a better goal difference than Manchester United by 10 goals, so should the teams finish level on points, Joe Montemurro’s side would end up ahead of their rivals.
The Gunners attempt to travel to Aston Villa for the third time, after the original game was postponed due to Covid-19 cases and the re-scheduled game was postponed due to bad weather and a waterlogged pitch.
It is another must win game for Arsenal and it will be their third game in seven days.
Considering we have just played Manchester City and Chelsea, some players will be tired and might need a rest. There are currently five players injured and we do not need to add more to the list by overplaying them. Especially as we did have a long period without games at the start of the year.
My guess is Maier, Gut and Patten, who were unused subs in both games, will start alongside Nobbs, who is back from injury.
Maritz is also now back to fitness and should get another start.
Williams was good in goal against Chelsea and should carry on, unless Joe Montermurro wants to give a game to Stenson.
Aston Villa should not offer the same pressing threat as City or Chelsea and will therefore allow the Gunners a bit more ease in building up play from the back.
It will be a different challenge, trying to go past a low or medium defensive block. That’s why fresh legs will be needed.
So, the possible XI could look like this: Williams; Maier or Patten, Williamson, Wubben-Moy or Patten, Maritz; Wälti, Gut, Roord; van de Donk, Miedema, Mead.
Of course, the weather might again conspire to postpone this game, which will lead to a fixture pile-up later in the season.
As of today (Saturday), there are only two teams who have played the 15 games planned as per the schedule: Manchester United and Brighton.
Chelsea, Manchester City and Reading have a game in hand, with two of those teams also in the Champions League.
Arsenal, West Ham and Bristol have two games in hand, while Everton, Tottenham and Aston Villa have three games in hand.
The Arsenal know that they need to win every remaining game to have a chance of making the top three and qualification for the Champions league, unless United collapse and drop many more points.
FA WSL TABLE TOP 3
Is there a new manager bounce effect in the FA WSL?
Four of the bottom five teams in the FA WSL that are fighting to avoid relegation have changed manager this season. Here I’ll have a look if the changes have benefited the teams of if the situations are the same.
West Ham (12th place with 8 points)
Matt Beard left the club by mutual consent on 19 November with 0.57 PPG W1 D1 L5. There was an interim period with Billy Stewart 19 November to 23 December with an excellent 1.5 PPG with W1 D0 L1.
Olli Harder has taken over since and has a 0.2 PPG record with W0 D1 L4. Their only draw came against Bristol at home. Their form is not good at the moment and they have a key game against Birmingham on Wednesday.
No managerial bounce at West Ham.
Bristol (11th place with 9 points)
Tanya Oxtoby went on maternity leave on 15 January and was replaced by Matt Beard. Her record at the time was 0.2 PPG with W0 D2 L8. Matt Beard has a 1.4 PPG with W2 D1 L2 and they are one of the form team in the relegation battle having also reached the Conti Cup final mainly under Tanya Oxtoby.
The 6-0 defeat against Chelsea should not impact too much their relegation battle and they are currently on an upward trajectory with a clear impact from the manager change.
Aston Villa (10th place with 10 points)
Marcus Bignot the former Birmingham co-manager in the FA WSL and former Arsenal assistant manager has taken over as interim manager from Gemma Davies who stayed in the coaching staff on 25 January.
Gemma Davies had a 0.70 PPG record with W2 D1 L7 and the Villa board was clear that the change was made to avoid relegation and grow the team next season. Under Marcus Bignot the results are just better with a 0.75 PPG record with W1 D0 L3. it has to be said that the three defeats were against Champions League contenders in Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United.
So, Aston Villa have actually won their one realistically winnable game against Tottenham. Their upcoming games against direct competitors in the relegation battle will tell us if the management change was the right move.
Tottenham (8th place 13 points)
There was a bit of a surprise when Spurs sacked Karen Hills and Juan Carlos Amoros who had been leading them for many years from the lower League. Their replacement was also named on the day, 19 November, which shows the move was planned well in advance.
The numbers were not good though. At the time, Spurs had no win in seven games and a meagre 0.42 PPG. They were deep into the relegation battle. Fast forward to March, Spurs are five points clear of the relegation place and Rehanne Skinner has a much better 1.25 PPG rate. Her record is good enough with W3 D1 L4.
They need probably at least one or two more wins to make sure of staying up, but the managerial change certainly had a positive effect.
Overall out of four changes, two have certainly improved the team, one is still undecided and one has not worked out so far. All those teams have seven or eight games to make sure, they do not finish bottom of the table, it will certainly be interesting to see what happens at the end of the season for the team that will go down.
ARSENAL WOMEN PLAYER STATS
ARSENAL WOMEN GOALKEEPER STATS
ARSENAL WOMEN SHOOTING STATS
ARSENAL WOMEN PASSING STATS
ARSENAL WOMEN PLAYING TIME STATS
ARSENAL WOMEN MISC STATS
Arsenal win another important away game as things hot up at the top and bottom of the table
The Gunners needed to win away at Birmingham did the job very well with a 4-0 victory. Chelsea, Manchester City and Man United also won setting up and exciting title and Champions League race.
The title race is really open with Chelsea two points clear of Manchester City and only one ahead in the goal difference. Both teams have six games remaining to play and are also involved in the UEFA Women’s Champions League. It means they will have played four more games than the other FA WSL sides in March and might suffer from fatigue if they don’t rotate their player enough. Points might ended up being dropped in League games as both look to win the tournament and dethrone Lyon.
The race for the third and final Champions League place is tight as the Gunners did win the two away games in the Midlands with the same scoreline to close the gap to the Mancunians to six points with a game against West Ham in hand. That game has not been rescheduled yet, with both teams eager to play and waiting for the FA to decide a date.
The home game against Manchester United is crucial and a must win game as any other result would mean Arsenal relying on United slipping up in one of the five remaining game. United have already played Chelsea and Manchester City home and away so might not drop any more point this season.
The positive news going into that big game is most of the Arsenal players are back to full fitness, while United are a bit more unfortunate in the injury area with many forwards currently out.
At the bottom of the table, Bristol beat Reading 3-2 and are out of the bottom place for the first time in many months. There has been a bounce effect as Matt Beard has replaced Tanya Oxtoby who has gone on maternity leave.
There are five teams in the relegation fight and strangely enough four of them have changed manager during the season with only Birmingham City managing to keep Carla Ward despite approach from other teams.
West Ham are at the bottom of the table and have eight remaining games to play. They are one point behind Bristol but have a much better goal difference. So they only need to finish level on points with Bristol to stay up.
Bristol have seven games remaining and are on the up with the Conti Cup final coming on Sunday against Chelsea. They are the form team but will need to pick up more wins to stay up.
Aston Villa are two points ahead of West Ham and with eight games remaining to play. Their goal difference is worse than West Ham by 18 goals so will need to finish above them. Marcus Bignot is working hard to change the players mentality and making them more resilient.
Birmingham City are three points ahead of West Ham and have nine games to play. One of them is actually a game to be decided by an independent tribunal as they did not have enough players to fulfil the fixture against Spurs. They might be defaulted for that game and get nil points or get punished a get a point deduction, we have no idea what the FA will do, it is not transparent at all.
Spurs are four points ahead of West Ham and need a few wins stay up, they might get an additional three points from the Birmingham game. They have eight games remaining, right now.
All the teams fighting to avoid relegation have a lot of games to play. March and April will be congested with the FA Women’s Cup coming into play as well. The teams with the smallest squads might suffer. There is a lot of excitement and the relegation race might go to the final day.
Next Arsenal women game
- Birmingham City women vs Arsenal women
Barclays FA Women’s Super League
Sunday, March 7
Kick-off: 2pm (UK time)
Arsenal defeated Aston Villa 4-0 away on a difficult pitch against a very defensive side held out for an hour meaning Arsenal are now six points behind Manchester United with a game in hand.
For this key game, Joe Montemurro played the expected starting 11 with van de Donk in the number 10 spot and Nobbs on the right wing. The team was Williams; Maritz, Williamson, Beattie, McCabe; Walti, Roord, van de Donk; Nobbs, Miedema, Mead.
The game was basically a cat and mouse affair between attack and defence.
BBC stats have Arsenal with 78% ball possession, 30 shots to five and 14 to nil on target.
Aston Villa lined up on the teamsheet as a 5-3-2 but actually defended in variation of a 9-1 system alternating a back five or a back four depending on the position of the ball on the pitch.
That’s why it took sixty minutes for the Gunners to find an opening. Aston Villa were very resilient at the back, trying to close down space in the central area for the Arsenal midfielders and forwards.
With space congested in the middle, Arsenal had to turn to the wings to find room. Katie McCabe from left-back was instrumental in bringing attack with her pace, clever movement and crossing.
On the other wing, Noelle Maritz did not bring as much attacking play as the Irish defender/forward. She is obviously an excellent defender and has put in superb performances this season and deservedly starts games. Nevertheless, in those one sided games, I think having Lisa Evans at right-back would be a plus in terms of attacking ability.
In the middle, the central area was so congested that Jill Roord and Danielle van de Donk struggled to find space between the lines. These are games where Kim Little’s composure in small paces is greatly missed as her ability to hold the ball and link play is really special.
The front three tried to link up with the other players, and they did provide the opening with an excellent cross from Beth Mead and a finish from close range from Vivianne Miedema.
Once the deadlock was broken, Villa’s heads went down and Arsenal free flowing play brought more goals.
The second Arsenal goal came from a transition after Beth Mead stealing the ball on the half-way line from the young Villa defender Freya Gregory.
The ball was transferred to the left-wing for a Miedema shot that was well saved and pushed in by captain Jordan Nobbs.
The third goal was a rocket from McCabe after one touch play. It was a goal her performance deserved.
And the last goal was a superb team goal from a long passing sequence to keep the ball and a cross from Katie McCabe to Lisa Evans with a delightful header.
Overall, a satisfactory performance with three points, four goals and a clean sheet.
Joe Montemurro also made five subs allowing players, who had not got much playing time to get a few minutes on the pitch.
Up next is Birmingham City away to be played either at Solihull Moors or somewhere depending on what the FA will decide.
Arsenal will need to get the three points prior to the Champions League decider against Manchester United on March the 18.
Latest Arsenal women news
Arsenal women injury update ahead of Aston Villa
Jordan is back in full squad training and is available for selection.
Jen is back in full squad training and is available for selection.
Caitlin has returned to elements of squad training and will be monitored in the run-up to this weekend’s fixture.
Kim has started her pitch-based rehab as part of her rehabilitation from her calf injury.
Steph has started her pitch-based rehab as part of her rehabilitation from her hamstring injury.
Viki is continuing her rehabilitation from a knee injury.
More details here
Arsenal and Manchester United are fighting for the third and final Champions League place with United currently nine points ahead of the Gunners, who have two games in hand a better goal difference.
by Sylvain Jamet
United have 32 points from 15 games and 32-16 on goal difference, while Arsenal have 23 points from 13 games and 40-14.
In simple terms, Arsenal “only” need to win their two games in hand and beat United at home to overtake the Red Devils. Then they need to win every remaining game to guarantee Champions League qualification.
Let’s have a look at the upcoming March fixtures for the two teams:
Sun 28 February 2020
Aston Villa women vs Arsenal women is a must win for the Gunners to close the gap to six points.
Any other result would completely compromise their Champions League chances. Villa are involved in the relegation battle and recently changed manager with the former Arsenal assistant, and Birmingham co-manager, Marcus Bignot taking over.
Sun 07 March
Manchester United women vs Aston Villa women, Birmingham City WFC vs Arsenal women
Both teams need to get three points and they are the favourites to do so. We have seen teams slip up this season, so anyone dropping points this weekend will give their opponents a big boost.
Birmingham, with their limited budget and small squad, are having a very good season and will be tough to beat as they are extremely resilient.
Thu 18 Mar Arsenal v Man Utd is the BIG one and a must win for the Gunners, even a draw won’t be enough. We will have pretty much a good idea if there is Champions League qualification after that game. If not there might be a lot of changes in term of staff and personnel during the Summer.
Sun 28 March
Manchester United women vs West Ham women, Tottenham women vs Arsenal women
There are no guaranteed win in the FA WSL, so both sides will need to be at their best to get three points.
Tottenham have not beaten Arsenal ever in a women’s first team game, so far, and hopefully that record will still stand.
Both teams have been hit by injuries with United attacking players particularly singled out. Russo, James, Galton and Heath currently sit on their list.
A few of them might be back for the key games on March 18.
Arsenal’s injury list is fluctuating quite a lot and will probably be without two players Schnaderbeck and Catley for the big game.
For the Villa game, Foord, Little, Catley and Schnaderbeck will miss out due to injuries (see below) and Joe Montemurro will have a squad of 18 players to choose from.
The goalkeeper shirt could be given to Zinsberger or Williams, it is difficult to know because they are really close in term of performance.
I expect a back four of Maritz, Williamson, Beattie and McCabe.
In midfield Wälti, Nobbs and Roord to make it a very attacking side and up front Mead, Miedema and Evans or van de Donk.
On the bench, we should have many defenders and defensive midfielders: Stenson, Patten, Wubben-Moy, Maier, Gut and either van de Donk or Evans.
The team will have to win the game and I fully expect a very attacking game with Villa mixing it up between the ball playing style they have used so far this season and a new defensive approach brought in by Marcus Bignot.
Arsenal Women international call-ups
It is that time again when Arsenal Women international call-ups see players join up with their National Team and at least one of them comes back with an injury so they can miss a number of club games.
Luckily (?) enough this time, some players have not been called up due to a number reasons and, therefore, the training ground at Walthamstow should be busier than usual during an international break.
Arsenal Women international call-ups – Australia
Eligible: Lydia Williams, Steph Catley, Caitlin Foord
No training camp, Steph Catley is currently injured.
Arsenal Women international call-ups – Austria
Eligible: Manuela Zinsberger, Viktoria Schnaderbeck
Austria will play a friendly tournament in Malta, the Visit Malta Women’s Trophy. Viki Schnaderbeck is currently injured, Manuela Zinsberger was called up but cannot attend due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Arsenal Women international call-ups – England
Eligible: Leah Williamson, Beth Mead, Anna Patten, Lotte Wubben-Moy, Jordan Nobbs, Fran Stenson
The Lionesses will play their first game in nearly a year with a behind closed door friendly at St George’s Park against Northern Ireland on February 23rd at 12.30pm.
The new manager, Hege Riise, has called up Leah Williamson, Lotte Wubben-Moy and Jordan Nobbs. Beth Mead has been left out due to lack of form. Anna Patten and Fran Stenson do not seem to be in the manager’s thoughts.
Arsenal Women international call-ups – Netherlands
Eligible: Danielle van de Donk, Jill Roord, Vivianne Miedema
All three have been called up for the three nations, one goal tournament.
Arsenal Women international call-ups – Scotland
Eligible: Lisa Evans, Jennifer Beattie, Kim Little
Scotland are out of the Euros and have two remaining qualifier games to play. Both will take place in Larnaca, Cyprus due to the Covid regulations.
Arsenal Women international call-ups – Switzerland
Eligible: Malin Gut, Lia Walti and Noelle Maritz
All three have all been called up for the double-header against France in Metz, following the cancellation of the Tournoi de France with Norway and Iceland pulling out late.
Arsenal Women international call-ups – Germany
Eligible: Leonie Maier
Germany will play a tri-nations tournament as part of their World Cup 2027 bid alongside the Netherlands and Belgium. Like all FA WSL German players, the Arsenal full-back has not been called up due to Covid-19 restrictions which would see the players have to quarantine on their return.
Aufgrund der Verordnung der Bundesregierung für Länder mit mutierten Coronavirus-Varianten, stehen Melanie Leupolz, Ann-Katrin Berger und Leonie Maier nicht im Aufgebot. Martina Voss-Tecklenburg verzichtet außerdem auf Turid Knaak und Lena Petermann. ➡️ https://t.co/1AlwIc6zcJ
— DFB-Frauenfußball (@DFB_Frauen) February 8, 2021
Arsenal Women international call-ups – Republic of Ireland
Eligible: Katie McCabe
No training camp for ROI who are out of the Euros 2022.
23 July 2020
Is Arsenal’s 20-player-squad good enough to win the Champions League?
In a month’s time Arsenal’s women’s team will be in Spain trying to conquer Europe for a second time following their 2006/07 triumph and ahead of that the club have released both the new kit and squad numbers, but is the squad big enough?
The Champions League final eight play in the Basque Country where Arsenal will face France’s perennial runners-up, PSG, in the quarter-finals.
Thursday’s kit launch gave us the first pictures of the new recruits and their squad numbers.
Unless there is a new signing before the UEFA deadline on 18 August, we will have 20 professional players as follows:
Goalkeepers (3): 1. Manuela Zinsberger, 18. Lydia Williams, 24. Frances Stenson.
Midfielders (5): 8. Jordan Nobbs, 10. Kim Little, 13. Lia Wälti, 14. Jill Roord, 21. Malin Gut.
Forwards (5): 7. Danielle van de Donk, 9. Beth Mead, 11. Vivianne Miedema, 15. Katie McCabe, 19. Caitlin Foord.
It’s worth noting that most players can actually play in at least three positions on the pitch as Joe Montemurro like players who are intelligent and flexible enough to play all over the pitch.
The five players in bold are those who will be added to the current Champions League squad as per the new regulations that allow six new signings, including a maximum of three from any other team still in the competition.
As UEFA allows a maximum of 25 players overall to be registered, it means another player can be added to Arsenal’s squad. It could be an Academy youngster, like Ruby Mace who is regularly training with the first team.
The other Academy player regularly training with them, Melisa Filis, is already registered in the Champions League squad.
So can this squad win the tournament?
The answer is yes, but it will not be easy.
The two favourites, Lyon and Wolfsburg, have really strong squads and all the teams still in the competition have signed a good numbers of players prior to the final eight mini-tournament.
Should Arsenal beat PSG, they would likely meet Lyon and that is a really tough game, unless FC Bayern managed to upset the holders.
Then in the final it is likely to be Wolfsburg, Barcelona or Atletico Madrid, and our former keeper Pauline Peyraud-Magnin. Glasgow City are also still in the running but will play Wolfsburg in the quarter-final and it would be a giant upset if they beat the German champions.
There is a lot of strength in depth in Arsenal’s team. A lot more than last season and it is definitely needed as they could play three games to be played in nine days. With five subs allowed per game, the whole squad is likely to be involved should we go through to the final.
As there is not much time to integrate the new players, and we do not know yet how many friendlies will be played before the tournament next month, it is likely that the starting 11 against PSG will be very close to the one from last season.
I would expect this one: Zinsberger; Maier or Evans, Williamson, Beattie, Catley or McCabe; Wälti, Little, Nobbs; Van de Donk, Miedema, Mead or McCabe.
Hopefully, we can add another signing, though, as 18 outfield players would be a decent number that would provide proper cover when injuries inevitably occur during the season.
5 September 2020
Winners, losers, Champions League places: FA WSL 2020/21 predictions
With the FA WSL new season starting on Sunday, it is prediction time! Who will win the 20/21 FA WSL, who will be relegated, and who will fight it out for the three Champions League places?
I believe we will see a three-tier league with teams fighting for Champions League places, the top half of the table and, finally, the relegation battle.
Teams likely to be involved in the FA WSL relegation battle
A summer player exodus has happened for the second season in a row with 10 players leaving the season before and 7 this summer. That exodus has not been fully covered with six new signings made last year and five so far in this transfer window.
Birmingham have been very good in bringing Academy players through the ranks into the first team to cover for the small number of signings. They have a clear pathway for youth players and should be applauded for it when other teams just go abroad to buy ready-made players.
The fact that they also named Carla Ward as their manager recently did not help. It looks like someone else got offered the job and then decided not to take it, making it a late appointment for the club. The Blues have a small squad but have been boosted by the arrival of Rachel Corsie, the experienced Scotland captain. As long as they don’t get hit by injuries, they should be able to compete without problem against most teams.
Another team with a limited budget and smaller squad. Bristol lost two experienced players and two promising youngsters during the transfer window. They signed two Australian players, Chloe Logarzo who arrived just before the pandemic started, and Ella Mastrantonio. Aimee Palmer returned after a two years spell at Man United and they got the excellent left-back from Liverpool Jemma Purfield. Megan Wynne, the Welsh wing-back was signed permanently but unfortunately did her ACL in pre-season.
So, they are likely to be drawn into the relegation battle. But, back in 2018/19, they were also expected to be involved in it and ended up in the top half of the table, so should not be underestimated.
This prediction can be construed as a lazy assumption. Aston Villa are of course a bit of an unknown quantity. Last season the promoted teams Manchester United finished in fourth place and Tottenham in 7th place, so Aston Villa could finish in the top half of the table rather than fight to avoid relegation.
Like any team turning professional, Aston Villa made big changes in their squad with seven players coming in and eight leaving the club. They signed Chloe Arthur from Birmingham and Anita Asante from Chelsea alongside five players from abroad, including one of the back-up goalkeeper from Champions League winners Lyon Lisa Weiss.
The big question is how quickly can they gel to become a team on the pitch. For the players who were semi-professional last year and turned professional, how quickly will they adapt from evening training three times a week to daily training. There is certainly a lot of well-known attacking quality in the Villa team so you would expect them to score the goals to keep them up.
Teams likely to reach mid-table position in the FA WSL
Last season, Hope Powell’s team were safe early enough with a couple of wins pulling them away from Liverpool and Birmingham to relative safety. Their PPG result was indeed nearly double of relegated Liverpool and they stayed up very comfortably.
They have had quite a turnover with nine players leaving and seven new signings including the Irish playmaker Denise O’Sullivan (on loan), who has been very successful in the NWSL with the North Carolina Courage.
You can see that Hope Powell has been trying to build a team with a solid base in her first season. She then improved the overall attacking creativity last season and is carrying on in the same pathway this year. Building up the team from solid foundations.
A busy Summer for Matt Beard with nine departures and eight arrivals. Quite an international recruitment drive with Cezch, French, Australian, Swedish and also some promising English talent also signed. Adding Rachel Daly until the winter break means they have a very solid starting 11 and quite a large squad. They should really aim for 6th place at least.
Tottenham Hotspur women (7th)
Spurs are building on last season’s success. They have made an adjustment transfer window by letting go a few players that were not at the required level for them. Four experienced players have come in Williams, Harrop, Zadorsky and Kennedy.
Like West Ham, they should aim for at least 6th place or higher.
Nine players have left and six have come in, so Reading will have a slightly smaller squad this season. Experience and quality have been signed with Mitchell, Carter, Fishlock and Nayler. Another solid starting 11, but the lack of depth might expose them should they become hit by injuries and suspensions.
It is interesting to note that they have been making noises about trying to get to third place and are very ambitious this season. Their strategy of adding quality but eeping fewer players in the squad is similar to Arsenal’s.
Teams fighting for the 3 Champions League places in the FA WSL
Manchester United women (4th)
Casey Stoney built a solid and resilient team last season and finished a creditable fourth place for their first FA WSL term. She has improved some positions in her starting 11 with three good signings and the main problem of scoring goals should now be solved with the arrival on loan from Tobin Heath and Christen Press.
They will be definitely fighting for the top places with the two World Cup winners signing up.
Willie Kirk is ambitious and has signed seven players with six leaving the club. Seasoned internationals like Ingrid Moe Wold, Rikke Sevecke, Valerie Gauvain and Nicoline Sorensen. Hayley Raso and Isobel Christiansen will be like new signings even if they signed in the previous window. A highly rated left-back has arrived in Poppy Pattinson and she could be lining up for the Lionesses by the end of the season.
Kirk has certainly improved the skill level in the team and also added strength in depth. If all those new signings can gel quickly, they have more than enough quality to fight for third place.
New manager, new ideas for a squad that was maybe underperforming a little under Nick Cushing as seen in the Champions League. They were eliminated by Atletico Madrid two seasons in a row. This has actually contributed greatly to England losing the third place in the UEFA WCL association rankings to Spain and means the 2020/21 FA WSL champions will have to play a qualifying round instead of entering the Champions League at the group stage level.
City have been a big signing spree with two World Cup winners, two Lionesses and two young English promising players all arriving. Samantha Mewis, Rose Lavelle, Lucy Bronze, Alex Greenwood, Chloe Kelly and Esme Morgan back from loan is a top quality transfer window.
They have a big squad which means the same problem as Chelsea ie how to keep everybody happy. They are certainly joint-favourites to win the title after missing out last year.
Joint-favourites to win the title alongside Manchester City. Four players have left the club and four quality signings have come in. A world class forward in Pernille Harder, a top midfielder in Melanie Leupolz and two young forwards Niamh Charles and the young, but already experienced, Jessie Fleming.
Top class attacking football is guaranteed at Kingsmeadow this season. The only question mark is how will Emma Hayes keep all her players happy and share the playing time. They have strength in depth and so much quality, which is needed as they are trying to win six trophies this season, one of which is already in the bag.
A good transfer window for Joe Montemurro with five senior players departing and four players signed. All incomings have been defensive signings with two defenders Steph Catley and Noelle Maritz, one goalkeeper Lydia Williams and one defensive midfielder Malin Gut.
The team has now a bit more strength in depth than in the previous two seasons. We have 17 outfield players and three goalkeepers, one of them who is currently injured. There is also one Academy player, Ruby Mace who turns 17 on 5 September, that boosts the team to a squad of 21.
Is Arsenal’s squad good enough to compete in the FA WSL and three cups?
Squad rotation is not a problem as the manager does it on regular basis and players are extremely versatile. Arsenal have to do better in head-to-head games against Chelsea and Man City, while carrying on getting all the points against the ”weaker” teams.
Arsenal will be in the Champions League places race for sure and should the injury curse give them a break this year, they will be title candidates, although it will not be easy to compete with the two joint-favourites.