Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Arsenal Women Weekly Round-Up: The Season is Nearly Upon Us

2018-19 FIXTURES
The fixtures for the 2018-19 season were announced on Wednesday. Arsenal’s league campaign starts with a home match against Liverpool on Sunday, 9th September. The WSL campaign closes with a home game against Manchester City which could have huge implications on the title race one way or another.

Arsenal also discovered their group stage opponents for the Continental Cup as they plot their defence of the trophy. They will play away ties against Lewes in September and Millwall in December (in Dartford), as well as home matches against Charlton and West Ham. The home match against the Irons kicks off the season in earnest on Sunday, 19th August at Boreham Wood.

PRE-SEASON
Arsenal have played a pair of behind closed doors friendlies ahead of Sunday’s prestige tie against Juventus Women at Meadow Park. The girls played Tottenham in Ware last Wednesday and ran out 6-4 winners. Vivianne Miedema scored the first two goals. The only other detail I have been able to find out is that the score was locked at 4-4 until the Gunners scored a pair of late counter attacking efforts.

Sunday’s match away at Everton Ladies has been even more shrouded in secrecy, I haven’t been able to glean any information at all other than the fact that it definitely took place! The Juventus match on Sunday will be a little more accessible. Tickets are available for £6 adults and £3 concessions and will be available on the turnstile.

Arsenal also be live streaming the match free of charge for digital members. If you are not already a digital member, it is free to sign up. A full match preview for the Juventus match will be on Arseblog News on Friday.

Leah Williamson spoke to Arsenal.com about the Juventus match, “We maybe lack that European experience and exposure because we’re not in the Champions League. It’s a different way to test ourselves and obviously it will be fitness focused because it’s pre-season, but we really want to start showcasing the football that we’re going to be playing this year.

DEPARTURES
Last week I wrote about the challenges of holding onto Academy graduates for a club like Arsenal. This week, Anna Filbey announced her departure for North London rivals Spurs, who play in the Women’s Championship (one division below Arsenal).

My understanding is that she will likely be joined by Jess Ngunga. Jess and Anna were regulars in the match day squad last season as substitutes. Arsenal’s first team squad only has 18 players in it (and Dan Carter and Tabea Kemme are injured with Carter likely to miss most of next season).

Lots of academy players have joined Millwall and Spurs in search of regular first team football, while Lauren James left for Manchester United earlier this summer. Ngunga and Filbey were regulars in the match day 18 last season, but both have a better chance of starting games at Spurs.

NEW ARRIVALS
Arsenal have added some genuinely top class talent over the summer in Lia Walti, Viki Schnaderbeck and Tabea Kemme. The former pair are likely to play against Serie A champions Juve on Sunday and manager Joe Montemurro talked up the value they will add on the club website.

“They’re amazing characters, amazing professionals and players that really want to play for the club. They believe in the club and the direction that it’s heading and they’re world class players that we believe can bring us to the next level. We want to make this squad as competitive as possible for spots and we’ve obviously built a team that we believe is going to be very competitive.”

This interview in Bild, via German women’s football expert Jasmina Schweimler, lifts the lid on Tabea Kemme’s move from Turbine Postdam a little. (It’s in German). Kemme is a qualified policewoman and has been granted two years special leave from her role in Potsdam to play for Arsenal, so she will almost certainly leave at the end of her contract in 2020.

WHAT’S IN A NAME?
Dutch midfielder Dominique Janssen has revealed that she will be known as Dominique Bloodworth this season, following her marriage this summer. Congratulations to Dom!

COMING UP ON THE SITE
There will be a full preview of the Juventus match on Friday, as well as reaction to the game from a player on Sunday evening. I will also be previewing the new season with manager Joe Montemurro after the Juventus match, that interview will go up on Monday on Arseblog News.

Also, check out my piece on Vic Akers from earlier this week. I speak to his long-time colleague Alan Sefton from Arsenal in the Community on the origins of the women’s team- I am pretty certain this detail doesn’t exist anywhere else. I also speak with Faye White, Vic’s captain for some 14 years about Vic the man and Vic the manager and how their professional relationship started with a Big Mac at Gatwick Airport!

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Per

Thank you very much for these weekly round-ups, Tim! Greatly appreciated.

thebigraygun

Thank’s as always Tim, looking forward to watching the match vs Juve!

Fun Gunner

Thanks, Tim.

I am so annoyed about basically all our top kids leaving. I think it also leaves our squad a bit short – 16 players struggled to cope with the fixture pile-up at the end of last season, and that is pretty much what we have now, and some of those are coming back from bad injuries. I am sure those girls would have played. Please tell me Kuyken is still with us, at least.

Tim Stillman

I agree, I think we look a bit short, but I thought that was fairly obvious in January when Jemma and Vyan left (in fairness, the deals for the three girls from Germany were all done in Jan). Maybe he likes working with a small squad, but I do think we’re short handed. Yes, Ava is still with Arsenal, it’s pretty much only her and Miri Taylor from last year’s Development team.

Clock-End Mike

In fairness, Anna Filbey only made 2 appearances on the pitch last season, I believe (including one start in November), and hasn’t even made the bench since February. Jessica Ngunga only made 2 appearances from the bench, though she seems have been a regular squad member in the latter part of the season. Lauren James will be more of a miss, I admit. I wish them success, though I’m never happy to see Gunners going to our Home Counties rivals. Still I think things are looking very promising for next season, and the WSL will be very competitive with everyons… Read more »

Stillberto

Anna got an ankle injury at the end of last season and was out for 3 months. I think they would’ve all played this season given that we’ve only 18 first team players. But they’ll certainly play more where they’re going.

Clock-End Mike

Ah, I’m sorry I didn’t realise that. I remember thinking Anna had promise but still had a lot to learn when I saw her playing, I think it was at Millwall. Good luck to you, Anna. And never forget you were a Gunner.

Ben

Really great to see!
Nice one…

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