The girls continued pre-season preparations with a thumping 5-0 win over Serie A champions Juventus on Sunday. Vivianne Miedema helped herself to four goals, with a peach of a shot from Kim Little completing the rout. You can see the goals here and you can read my exclusive interview with Joe Montemurro from after the match here.
— Arsenal Women (@ArsenalWFC) August 7, 2018
The squad completes their pre-season preparations with a trip to France to compete in the Toulouse International Ladies Cup. They defeated Montpellier Feminines 2-1 on Friday evening. The girls went a goal down and Kim Little uncharacteristically missed a penalty, before Vivianne Miedema equalised on the stroke of half-time.
— Kunjan Malde (@kunjanmalde) August 10, 2018
Miedema went off with a knock in the second half, but it is understood to have been a precautionary move. Danielle van de Donk scored the winner in the second half from Jordan Nobbs’ cross. Nobbs and Jess Samuelsson both came on as substitutes as they step up their rehabilitation. Arsenal finish pre-season with a game against Paris Saint Germain on Sunday afternoon.
Arsenal took England U-18 forward Ella Rutherford on trial for pre-season. Ella left Millwall Lionesses this summer, she is a promising player who can play out wide or behind the centre forward. She could have potentially provide some squad depth at first team level, but would most likely have bolstered Arsenal’s U-21 side, who haemorrhaged players this summer.
Ella Rutherford on the bench for Arsenal. Not sure if she’s on trial or whether she has been signed officially. 18 year old forward who left Millwall Lionesses this summer. pic.twitter.com/1Ux9W36WKC
— Tim Stillman (@Stillberto) August 5, 2018
But Arsenal have decided not to take Ella on. Arsenal were potentially on the market for another centre half, with Viki Schnaderbeck injured in the behind closed doors friendly at Everton last week, but did not manage to find a suitable option before the close of the transfer window on Thursday evening.
Arsenal have added Australian Aaron D’Antino as Senior Assistant coach to Joe Montemurro. D’Antino was previously a video analyst for Joe’s former club Melbourne Victory. D’Antino told the Geelong Advertiser, “I just wanted to test myself at another organisation, learn from different people, experience a different culture and I wanted to move into coaching.
“Naturally, when the offer came, it all happened very quickly. It’s just that period now where we’re jumping into the unknown. It’s a coaching role first and foremost, I’m on the park every day and it’s a massive club. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and there are no guarantees something like this would pop up again, particularly at a club like that.”
Although most people already know and now that I’ve finally had time to lit it sink in, I’m extremely honoured and proud to announce that I’ve been appointed… https://t.co/EJSbxiIgWl
— Aaron D'Antino (@ABDAntino) August 3, 2018
Meanwhile, Jermaine McCaubbine has been promoted to Head of Sports Science and Strength and Conditioning Coach. Jermaine has been with Arsenal Women for two years as a Strength and Conditioning Coach and was once something of a celebrity favourite as a personal trainer- Melanie Sykes numbered among his clients before joining Arsenal.
Joe Montemurro was bullish when I asked him about the prognosis for Jordan Nobbs and Jess Samuelsson, both of whom he expects to be ready for the FAWSL opener at home to Liverpool on September 9th. Nobbs and Samuelsson both have some pre-season minutes under their belts now.
The prognosis is less encouraging on Viki Schnaderbeck whom I understand could be out for a few months with a knee injury. She underwent knee surgery last week. It’s a big blow for Arsenal, who are operating with a small, but adaptable squad. Viki can play in midfield but was most likely to compete with Louise Quinn and Leah Williamson for a centre back berth.
Viki’s injury is rotten luck for Arsenal. Tabea Kemme tore her knee cartilage just weeks after agreeing her transfer to Arsenal back in February too and is aiming for an August come back. Back up goalkeeper Pauline Peyraud-Magnin also has an injury which is thought to be short term.
THE NEW SEASON
The Gunners get their competitive season under way with the first match of their Continental Tyres Cup defence against West Ham United at Meadow Park next Sunday at 2pm. Tickets for Arsenal’s first three home games, against West Ham (Conti Cup), Liverpool (WSL) and West Ham again (WSL) are available here.
COMING UP ON THE SITE
Full match preview for the West Ham game on Friday afternoon and exclusive post match reaction from a player after that game. I will also be interviewing Swedish full-back Jess Samuelsson about her 10 month injury layoff in the coming weeks.
Next week, I will also be putting together a beginner’s guide to the Arsenal Women’s team, including the domestic competition structure, how to get along to the games and what to expect at Meadow Park, as well as the various TV and highlights packages to help you keep abreast of events, so look out for that too.