Arsenal Women Weekly Round-Up: Got Carter

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ANOTHER GAME, ANOTHER HAT TRICK FOR VIVIANNE MIEDEMA
Vivianne Miedema’s 4th hat trick of the season kept Arsenal’s title assault on course on Thursday, with the Gunners beating Bristol City 4-0 at Meadow Park. City’s Keats Parris had actually moved ahead of Miedema in the goalscoring charts on Wednesday evening with a hat trick of her own, as City narrowly beat Reading 4-3.

City had played 3 games more than Arsenal at that point, but the Dutch striker’s treble moves her up to 19 goals for the WSL season, with Parris on 18. The Gunners next game is on Sunday away at Liverpool. The match will be played at Tranmere’s Prenton Park and kicks off at 1230pm. It will be screened live on BT Sport 1. Arsenal need 2 wins from their last 5 to guarantee Champions League qualification and 4 wins will seal the league title.

VIV NOT BOTHERED ABOUT GOLDEN BOOT
Despite moving back to the top of the goal scoring charts, Miedema says that winning the Golden Boot is not important to her. The 22-year old insists Arsenal winning the league title is her only priority. She told the FA website, “To be honest I am not really that bothered about being the top goalscorer – I just want to win the league with Arsenal and we know that we need to win every single game from now on to do that. That is my main focus and if I get top goalscorer then that is fine but it is not my biggest aim right now.”

Miedema also gave an interesting interview to the Guardian’s Suzy Wrack recently, in which she talked up the benefit of young girls playing football with boys, as she did when she was growing up, “I used to play at one of the highest levels of boys’ football too. I played against good boys, some of which are playing top-level football in Europe now, and that has really helped me. There’s a big difference between playing with boys and with girls and I would always advise girls to play with boys.”

GET CARTER BACK
Even Miedema’s feats were put into shade by the return of Danielle Carter from the bench against Bristol. It was the forward’s first appearance since rupturing her cruciate ligament at Bristol in May last year. Carter nearly sealed the fairy tale, cracking the cross bar with a left footed strike. Manager Joe Montemurro was moved to comment, “Thank God Dan didn’t score, we wouldn’t have heard the end of it!”

Carter spoke emotionally about her return and the reception she received from the home crowd, “It was an emotional moment and I’m getting emotional now! Words really can’t describe it. It feels incredible and the reception I got was just something else. Ah, I can’t explain it!”

‘DAN IS AN EXPLOSIVE AND SPECIAL PLAYER’
Carter’s manager Joe Montemurro was delighted to see Carter return, not least to boost a squad that has been seriously short of numbers for some months now. “This week’s training has been amazing because we’ve had a large amount of players competing and working with each other, so that’s allowed us to do some different things. It’s been very difficult with limited players on the pitch.”

MEADOW PARK RENOVATION
As you will have seen from our story on Arseblog News yesterday, Arsenal are contributing £100,000 to improving the facilities at Boreham Wood’s Meadow Park ground, where the women and youth teams play. The renovation will include an improved North Stand which will finally have a roof.

There will also be a refurbished home dressing room, with improved kit room, physio room and showers. The Gunners have a deal to play their women’s games at Meadow Park until 2027 and have already helped to pay for a new pitch and a new set of dugouts at the National League ground. Work will begin on the renovations right away.

EMMA BYRNE HALL OF FAMER
Legendary Arsenal goalkeeper Emma Byrne was officially inducted into the FAI Hall of Fame at a ceremony in Dublin on Sunday evening. The former Gunners keeper won 134 caps for the Republic of Ireland, whilst also hoovering up 11 league titles, 10 FA Cups and a Champions League title during her stint at Arsenal.

Byrne is the first woman to receive the honour and was inducted alongside Richard Dunne. On her twitter account, Byrne said, “Thanks to everyone involved in making this happen. I’m extremely honoured to receive this award. It’s a very special day! That’s for you ex-teammates! Thank you!” RTE also made a short tribute video for Byrne, which you can view below.

NOBBS TO BECOME TELEGRAPH COLUMNIST

As part of the Telegraph’s revamped commitment to covering women’s sport, Gunners midfielder Jordan Nobbs will join the outlet as a regular columnist. Nobbs took part in a Q & A alongside other luminaries from women’s sport who will help increase the Telegraph’s coverage of women’s sport, which you can read here.

COMING UP
We will have a full match preview of Sunday’s trip to Liverpool on the site on Friday afternoon, with exclusive player reaction after the final whistle online on Sunday afternoon- the trip to Birmingham will get the same treatment too. Between those matches, we will be releasing the March edition of the Arsenal Women Arsecast too, so keep ‘em peeled!

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BODMAS

Was an enjoyable game…

Max

Thanks Tim for another good round-up. Even when following the team actively, often you’ll include something in here I hadn’t seen before. The Bristol match last week has made me quite a bit more positive about our league chances. I must admit, I haven’t looked much further than the score, scorers, clean sheet and the highlights as I was unable to catch the livestream. Is it fair to say we’re in with a good shout of winning the league? I believe it depends on the Birmingham game, which to me looks the most difficult of them all. No offense to… Read more »

Kbbcw

My feeling as someone who follows less closely than Tim but tries to watch as much WSL as possible Liverpool have really droppes off after losing Greenwoid to Utd. Birmingham’s new manager has hit the ground running. They play tough footy, well organised team who defend well and break quickly. Ellen White is in form and scoring goals again now she’s back from injury. That’s the one game that worries me.

Max

Hit the ground running, but fell to 2-1 defeats (though away) against Reading and Brighton, teams we are easily able to beat. Us at home will be their first game in 5,5 weeks (though they had a 1-1 friendly against PSG), I think that will be noticeable either in a good or bad way.

Ellen White is no Vivianne Miedema, but certainly one to be worried about. Ah well, in the end it all comes down to us scoring a goal more than they do – let’s hope we can do that.

Kbbcw

I think we have the better of them. But they are a good team. The other games don’t worry me, its 3 of the bottom 4. I don’t want to need to beat City on the final day. If they could be so kind as to lose or draw one their last two it’d be lovely. But i dont think it’s likely.

Rob Fuller

So excited for this group! Gonna be a fruitful period I think – So pleased to see Carter back too and congrats to the beautiful, legendary Emma Byrne – fully deserved!

Kbbcw

I really like this current squad. They are a group who clearly have great team spirit and enjoy playing and training together.

Chris Humphrey

A good round-up again Tim cheers. One game at a time for the run-in! The feel good factor is at a high level particularly with the returnees to the squad starting with Dan C, Jess & Vikki. If Lia, Tabea & Mitch (?) were also to be available by Brum. Wow. What a squad! Even if we had to have a couple of youngsters on the bench just how good are the likes of Ava, Ruby , Mel etc. Those girls have come on a bundle & would not let us down. On a technical issue, the top two qualify… Read more »

Max

According to the always reliable Wikipedia page: “The title holder has the right to enter if they do not qualify through their domestic competition, and will start in the round of 32.”

(Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UEFA_Women's_Champions_League)

Chris Humphrey

Yes understood. My point is whether Chelski winning the CL means the 2nd place club in the league ( assuming it’s not Chelski!) would no longer qualify for next season’s CL?

Max

Ah sorry, I misunderstood. As far as I understand it does not, but I guess Tim could be better placed to answer this question.