Update on Coverage of the Arsenal Women’s Team

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Hello chums. Arsenal Women do not play this weekend and, after Wednesday night’s Conti Cup tie at Millwall, they will go on a 3 week hiatus before playing West Ham on Sunday, 6th January in the WSL. As such, I thought I would take the usual Friday afternoon match preview slot to update you on what we’re trying to do with the coverage, which we’ve expanded this season thanks to the part Patreon model the site adopted this year.

The way we are currently structuring the coverage is to have match coverage- a full match preview for every game and for the games I can get to (which is most of them) we bring you a short, 5-600 word match reaction piece from a player or the manager that goes on the site within a few hours of the final whistle. (NB- Arsenal, Joe and the players are exceptionally generous in granting us this level of access and the club charitably put up with my pestering emails, so full credit to them!)

At the beginning of the week, we do the Arsenal Women Weekly Round-Up, which is essentially a newsletter rounding up events and highlights of the most recent game, other tidbits from the week and signposting other interesting content related to the Arsenal Women. We are aware that a large portion of the audience will have a casual or passing interest in the team, so the Round-Ups look to cater to that, largely.

Then we have the monthly feature interviews, which are usually around 12-1300 words and go a little more in depth on a particular subject. We want these to be accessible to those with both a passing interest and an invested interest. My ambition is to use these to cover some of the wider subjects around women’s football too.

For instance, last year we spoke to former Head of Marketing at Arsenal Women Gemma Avery about the challenges of marketing women’s football. Last month, we spoke to Danielle van de Donk about what a typical week looks like for a pro women’s footballer in terms of diet, training, recovery, video analysis and strength and conditioning.

Now, we can’t necessarily take on a ‘wider’ topic every month. We also try to respond to significant developments at the club for these pieces. For instance, in October, manager Joe Montemurro signed a new contract, so we spoke to him about it. In June, we spoke to Dan Carter about her ACL injury just a few days after she underwent surgery.

For this month, we will be chatting with ex-Gunners boss Pedro Losa, who is now working as a Director of Football at Millwall. Essentially, the feature interviews will take on slightly less timebound subjects. I do want to get to some of the more sensitive subjects around women’s football in these pieces too- sexism and sexuality for instance.

We didn’t want to do that straight off the bat as we increased the coverage of the women’s team. We didn’t want to define the coverage in that way at the outset. We wanted to put across, from the start, that increasing the coverage was not ‘political’ for want of a better word, or about ‘tokenism’, but that Arsenal Women is a valuable product in its own right that is worthy of coverage and worth following on its own merits.

We don’t make comparisons to the men’s team in the writing, for example. I wouldn’t describe Aaron Ramsey as playing “a bit like Jordan Nobbs” (well, I might, but most people wouldn’t), so there is no reason to describe Jordan Nobbs as having a similar playing style to Aaron Ramsey. There are plenty of people that support the women’s team that have little to no interest in the men’s team and we want to be conscious of that too. We want the women’s players, the women’s staff and the women’s games to define the coverage.

However, we will get to some of these broader topics eventually, they are important and they require thought because we need to treat them appropriately. We also need to speak to the right people to do them justice. That takes time. There are other very interesting avenues for exploration too, the high number of women’s football supporters on the autism spectrum, for example. Arsenal do brilliant outreach work with local girls’ football teams and I would love to shine a bit of a light on this too.

But ultimately, what we want is to create content that people will enjoy and find valuable, be they hugely invested or just casually interested in Arsenal Women. We even want to produce articles that appeal to people with little to no interest in the women’s team. Hopefully, as the thing grows, we might even be able to go a little more ‘multi-media’ in some of the content, but it’s fair to say we’re not quite there yet. We are grateful to Kunjan Malde too for her excellent images from games and training sessions.

Please do keep feeding back with suggestions on the coverage if you have any- whether it be on what we already do or on what you would like to see. Feel free to tweet me @Stillberto at any time. This is for you after all! Cheers.

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THEBIGRAYGUN
THEBIGRAYGUN

Keep up the great work! Love the coverage the women’s side gets here.

Hantal
Hantal

Im loving the coverage, a significant number of years ago I watched a woman’s game and it was pretty pants.
The quality now doesn’t even compare

Regulapple
Regulapple

Thanks Tim. I don’t always read the Arsenal Women articles but I would never had read any if you and Arseblog hadn’t dedicated resources to publishing them. Please keep it up!

Rob Fuller

I love the Women’s coverage and hope it continues to grow and progress as the women’s game progresses.
I’m profoundly proud of both the men’s and women’s teams and although I respect that both should be treated with an equal level of individual respect, I actually hope to one day see more integration and interaction between the two entities, more of a co-operative ie. I’d love to see a joint men’s and women’s annual squad photo and more commercial interaction between both teams, why not have the option of a joint Arsenal calendar too?
Let the profile of the men’s team help boost the growth of the women’s team….it just seems a little ‘too’ separated to me.
Ultimately though, the efforts that you guys at Arseblog are going to are fantastic and I fully appreciate what you’re doing.
p.s Gutted for both Jordan and Holding – bloody ACL’s!

Kemperboyd
Kemperboyd

I saw the stupid fancy “stadium gear” advert and although a few of the first team were in there they had one woman who appeared to be a model and only her. I felt you could have used Miedema (maybe not as she’s quite a quiet one) or Bloodworth in that role.

Matt
Matt

Is a Ramsey comparison not a good in/segway for people starting out following the team?

odoylerules
odoylerules

Coverage here has made me a fan of the women’s team. Enjoy all of it.

Canon Fodder
Canon Fodder

Thank you Tim. I really enjoy reading your write ups. As an Arsenal supporter I support all things Arsenal no matter the age range of gender demarcation. I was gutted when Man City beat us last Sunday; I would have been equally as gutted if Spurs had beaten us as well…I really worry about our current injury list at the moment!

mashkeyboardgetusername
mashkeyboardgetusername

I’ve really enjoyed the coverage so far, so happy to hear there’s more coming!

(I also wouldn’t compare Nobbs to Ramsey, because Ramsey isn’t as consistently influential in games as Nobbs. But I get your point.)

Magneto
Magneto

Thanks for the coverage Tim.

What’s your take on where some of our Arsenal Women players have been placed in
the Guardian’s current “100 Best Women Footballers” feature, assuming you’ve been
keeping an eye on it?

Kemperboyd
Kemperboyd

I felt that it was pretty fair. I think had Jordan and Kim not been injured there is a chance one or both would have been higher up in next year’s list. Miedema is a world class striker but was quiet last season. If she finishes this year strongly and plays well at the WC you might see her break the top ten.
Overall that top ten is spot on, France are so deep with talent their recent under performing has been shocking and Hegerberg, Kerr and Harder are easily the top 3 right now.

Stillberto
Stillberto

Yeah these rankings are obviously subjective, but I think they did a good job. It was interesting that Kim and Jordan were right next to one another because I find it hard to choose between them! Viv would’ve been in the top 10 if she’d been fit the whole year. I think she might be the best outright CF in the world.

Fun Gunner
Fun Gunner

Hi, Tim. Thanks for the article.

I really appreciate your dedication in bringing us the match coverage and tidbits from behind the scenes at Arsenal Women FC. Perhaps the odd article about the history might be fun as well?

Explorations of more political subjects would also interest me greatly – this is a fascinating time of change in women’s football and for women generally.

I am awaiting with great curiosity the article on fitness and conditioning which you promised us.

And just my tuppence worth on the comparisons between men and women players, I do take your point, but it *can* be a useful shorthand for describing someone’s style of play and attributes to someone with no knowledge of the women’s game. I mean, there is a reason why the example picked is Ramsey/Nobbs. Not to mention the Miedema/RvP similarities.

Stillberto
Stillberto

Actually Miedema and van Persie is a good point a) Coe it’s so obvious and b) because he’s her hero she has very much deliberately modelled her game on him.

Sunny Oh
Sunny Oh

If this is genuinely true, would be interested in understanding why.

“the high number of women’s football supporters on the autism spectrum”

kaius
kaius

Great job Stillberto, keep it coming.

The mood at the club is good with both teams under new(ish) management and getting better all the time. This is The Arsenal we love

Le Bob
Le Bob

Really appreciate the coverage. Keep up the good work!

Leah's Left Foot
Leah's Left Foot

Thanks as always for the great coverage Tim. As an AWFC season ticket holder who can’t get to all the games I find your articles, along side live games on TV/online, invaluable.
Really enjoy the insights into the team too.

On a side note Silviana Flores, an Academy player, was representing Mexico in the U17 World Cup, ending up on the losing side in the final.
Do you have any more info about her please?