Arsenal Women Weekly Round-Up: Injury Hit Gunners Suffer Blue Sunday in Manchester


Arsenal Women’s 100% start to the season was curtailed with a 2-0 defeat at 2nd place Manchester City on Sunday. The Gunners only had 9 fit, senior outfield players so 17 year old Paige Bayley Gayle was given her full debut at the Academy Stadium.

Georgia Stanway gave City an early lead, which gave the home side the perfect platform to play on the counter. Stanway added a second in the second half just as the Gunners were building up ahead of attacking steam. Defeat cuts Arsenal’s lead at the top of the WSL to 3 points and Joe Montemurro will be relieved that there are no further WSL games for the next 5 weeks, as his side desperately needs to get some players fit.

There are players no strictly on the injury list who have carried knocks. Emma Mitchell was only fit enough for the bench yesterday, while Beth Mead played on despite appearing to pick up a groin problem. Arsenal will have Danish centre half Janni Arnth available to them for the West Ham game on January 6th if they wish to use her.

Kim Little travelled to support the team on Sunday and hopefully the Scottish midfielder will return in time for the New Year, particularly with a home clash with Chelsea looming on January 13th. To be without Little and Nobbs away at Arsenal’s main title rivals, whilst missing a host of other players just proved to be a bridge too far.

Man City 2-0 Arsenal

Georgia Stanway at the double as Manchester City defeat leaders Arsenal 👊

Posted by The FA Women's Super League on Monday, 3 December 2018

But this wasn’t Arsenal’s final game before the Christmas break. They round off 2018 by finishing their Continental Tyres Cup group stage with a home match against Charlton on Wednesday evening, followed by a trip to Dartford to play Millwall Lionesses, who are managed by ex-academy coach Chris Phillips, who works with Director of Football Pedro Losa, who managed the Gunners from 2014 – 2017.

4 points from these two fixtures will guarantee that Arsenal top the group, but in reality, they should be looking to comfortably win both matches. Though the games ought to see several academy prospects get some first team minutes, especially given the length of the injury list. I would expect to see the likes of Ava Kuyken, Paige Bailey-Gayle, Ruby Grant and Amelia Hazard start with some first team players rested.

The well renowned football analytics site Stats Bomb has branched out into the WSL this season, producing detailed statistics on players. If you needed further convincing of Vivianne Miedema’s quality, they’ve the charts and graphs to prove it. There is also a detailed look at Lia Wälti’s impact, which bears a look.

Arsenal’s home game with Chelsea on Sunday, 13th January will be screened live on BT Sport 2. The match will now kick off at 1230pm. The Arsenal men’s team will not be in action on this day- which feels like a pleasant change!

Dutch attacking midfielder Danielle van de Donk has been nominated for the WSL Player of the Month award for November, along with Fara Williams, Brook Chaplen and Emma Follis. DvD scored in all three of the Gunners’ fixtures in November. The winner will be announced on Wednesday.

There will be a full match preview for Wednesday’s Conti Cup tie at home to Charlton on the site on Tuesday. Due to the clash with the Manchester United game, I won’t be at the match so again we won’t have player reaction from that one. However, December’s feature interview promises to be something a little different and we will have a match preview and player reaction from next week’s Conti Cup game away at Millwall Lionesses. December’s feature interview will go live some time after that Lionesses match.

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I think that even with an injury hit team, we were unlucky not to get something from the City game.

Better luck next time.

Fun Gunner
Fun Gunner

I couldn’t agree more! If Emma Mitchell had been fit enough to start we would have won that match. One silver lining to the cloud is that I don’t a less injury ravaged squad has anything to fear from City. They are really organised defensively and tough to score against, but we did make chances and they resorted to a lot of last-ditch defending.

Thanks for the roundup, Tim. I really liked the look of young Amelia Hazard – she had a sort of confidence and exuberance about her play and also she reminds me of Beth Mead! (To whom, hearty congratulations on being voted FSF player of the year.)