Arsenal started their season and their defence of the Conti Cup with a win on Sunday in their group phase match at home to West Ham United. Two goals from Katie McCabe and one from Beth Mead was enough to see off Matt Beard’s side at Meadow Park. You can see the goals below.
— West Ham United Women (@westhamladies) August 20, 2018
I caught up with Ireland captain Katie McCabe after the match. There is another round of Conti Cup group games this coming weekend, but Arsenal are not involved. Each group has 5 teams, therefore one team sits out one of the fixture rounds.
It’s Arsenal’s turn this weekend, so the team do not play again until their opening WSL fixture on 9th September against Liverpool. Elsewhere in their Conti Cup group, Lewes thrashed Charlton 5-0 to top the group. The Gunners travel to Lewes on Sunday, 16th September.
There is an international break before the Gunners play again, with a round of World Cup qualifiers to be played next week. Kim Little, Lisa Evans and Emma Mitchell are in Shelley Kerr’s Scotland squad for qualifiers against Switzerland and Albania. Lia Wälti will captain Switzerland in the former game.
— Leah Williamson (@leahcwilliamson) August 21, 2018
Meanwhile, Sari van Veenendaal, Danielle van de Donk, Vivianne Miedema and Dominique Bloodworth are called into the Netherlands squad for their final qualifier against Norway in Oslo. Leah Williamson, Jordan Nobbs and Beth Mead are in the England Lionesses squad for qualifiers against Wales and Kazakhstan. Katie McCabe and Louise Quinn will play for Ireland in their World Cup qualifier against Northern Ireland, McCabe will captain the side.
Arsenal have confirmed that Viki Schnaderbeck will be out until approximately Christmas due to a knee injury, confirming our prior information that we could expect to be without the Austrian for around four months. Tabea Kemme began running in the gym this week five months after tearing her knee cartilage, she is on track to return to full training in autumn.
Danielle van de Donk missed the West Ham match with a muscle injury, confirming the information from our West Ham match preview that she had not trained in the build-up to the game. But she ought to be fit enough to play for the Netherlands against Norway next week.
Arsenal’s opening league fixture against Liverpool on Sunday, 9th September will be shown on the BBC Red Button and BBC Online. The kickoff has been moved to 1230pm as a result. Meanwhile, BT Sport will broadcast Arsenal’s trip to defending champions Chelsea on Sunday, 14th October at Kingsmeadow, that one will kickoff at 2pm.
MONTEMURRO AIMING FOR FLUIDITY
Gunners boss Joe Montemurro watched a readily interchanging front 3 of Lisa Evans, Katie McCabe and Beth Mead take West Ham apart on Sunday afternoon and the Australian told Arsenal.com the performance accorded with his vision of a fluid team. “It’s all about finding space.
“The idea is to identify and find space and where they can find space, and if there’s a line to pass then the pass is on and then we have runners off that pass. It’s a little bit of a secret of ours so I won’t go too far into it, but it’s all about the fluidity!”
SPOTLIGHT ON HAO
You can listen to an excellent interview with former Arsenal winger Heather O’Reilly on the new ‘Football Spotlight’ podcast, a podcast about women’s football. HAO talks very warmly about her time at Arsenal, after leaving the club this summer to return to North Carolina. Check it out here.
I interviewed right-back Jessica Samuelsson about her 10 month injury nightmare last weekend. Jess dislocated two bones in her foot, which then crossed over. The ligaments around each bone were all torn too. Nasty! That interview will go up in the next ten days or so. I’ll also have a full match preview for the Liverpool game and the usual player reaction up on the site a few hours after the game.