Arsenal Women Weekly Round-Up: Countdown To Coronation

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GUARD OF HONOUR

It wasn’t exactly a carnival atmosphere at the Emirates on Sunday after a limp 1-1 draw with Brighton & Hove Albion, but the Arsenal Women did bring a touch of celebration to the final home game of the season as they joined the lap of appreciation post-match. They were given a guard of honour by a glum looking first team. They will hoist the WSL trophy in their home match against Manchester City on Saturday at Meadow Park.

NOBBS CITES ‘STRESS-FREE ENVIRONMENT’ AS KEY TO GUNNERS’ TITLE SUCCESS
Arsenal midfielder Jordan Nobbs paid tribute to manager Joe Montemurro after the team won their first league title for seven years last weekend. Nobbs says the Australian has created a stress free environment at London Colney and the trust he has placed in the players has helped them to reach their full potential, according to Jordan.

“There has been no pushing white-water rafting at us or making us go on SAS training weekends for team bonding. Once or twice we have gone for food with him – he is of Italian descent and loves his Italian food – but I think he knows we are all in a good spot.

“He has made a relaxed, stress-free environment: he trusts in players when they say they are tired, want to do more, or need to, maybe, see their family or friends. He has allowed us to be in the best head space to enjoy our football and has allowed us to develop as individuals and a team.” The full column is available below.

LOUISE QUINN REFLECTS ON FINEST HOUR
Louise Quinn told the Irish Times that Arsenal’s title win is the proudest moment of her career. The 28-year old from Blessington was part of the Notts County squad that suddenly found themselves unemployed after the club folded two years ago. Arsenal quickly snapped Quinn up and she has gone from strength to strength at the heart of the Arsenal back line.

“It’s definitely my proudest moment. When I look at where I’ve come from, it’s amazing. I never even dreamt about it, winning a title with Arsenal was never even in my thought process when I was going through the ranks, playing at home and then playing in Sweden.

“Myself and Katie had our little moment after Sunday’s game, telling each other we were glad we’re both here together, doing it for each other, representing Ireland, thinking of the likes of Emma, Ciara and Yvonne and Niamh Fahey too, people who really set the standards for us and all Irish players.”

McCABE CAN’T HELP FALLING IN LOVE WITH FOOTBALL AGAIN AT ARSENAL
Quinn’s Irish teammate Katie McCabe has undergone a similar journey of self-discovery at Arsenal. In August 2017, she was loaned to Glasgow City after struggling with a bit part role in the Gunners squad. Since returning in January 2018 she has gone from strength to strength and has played more games than any other player during this season.

“I was getting frustrated not playing but I knew I wasn’t ready and I needed that game time. They way the season was shaping up, I knew the manager didn’t have that for me. I just wanted to get out and play – to fall back in love with football. I did that at Glasgow City. When I came over I was still quite young when Pedro [Martínez Losa] signed me. I don’t think I was ready yet.

“I’d to work and go through the physical battle to play at the top professional level. I just didn’t feel quite ready. For me to go out [on loan] and get game time was really important for my development as a player. When I came back Pedro was gone and Joe was there. I was ready to come back in and take my place in the team. Joe believed in me from the start – it turned out alright.”

HOUGHTON: ‘ARSENAL THOROUGHLY DESERVE TO WIN THE TITLE’
Manchester City captain and former Gunner Steph Houghton congratulated Arsenal on their title success, admitting they fully deserved to win the WSL. The teams prepare to face off at Boreham Wood on Sunday for the final game of the season, where Arsenal will be presented with the trophy. Houghton was gracious in an interview with Our Game.

“If you know me as a person, I want to win everything available and I take pride in not getting beat and making sure we remain unbeaten. Congratulations to Arsenal because they thoroughly deserve to win the title. We now have to make sure we go out on Saturday wanting to win and do the same again next week against them.”

OFF CHART MIEDEMA EYEING CHAMPIONS LEAGUE GLORY
PFA Player of the Year Vivianne Miedema already has her eyes on the next prize with Arsenal returning to the Champions League next season. The Dutch striker looks set to win the Golden Boot too, but fresh from collecting her player of the year gong, she declared she was already focused on conquering Europe.

“We’ve had quite a hard period after the 2012 title. There’s a lot been going on at the club but we found a way back upwards again,” she said. “We showed that this year with winning the league. I want to win the Champions League and I would love to win the Champions League with Arsenal.”

PEYRAUD-MAGNIN IN FRANCE SQUAD
Arsenal keeper Pauline Peyraud-Magnin has been called into the France squad for this summer’s World Cup, which will take place on home soil for Pauline. The Gunners stopper is currently recovering from a knee injury, but will be ready in plenty of time for the tournament, which kicks off on June 9th.

MEADO NOMINATED FOR APRIL PLAYER OF THE MONTH
Arsenal forward Beth Mead has been nominated for April’s WSL Player of the Month award after playing a big part in Arsenal’s title run-in. She is now up to 13 assists in the WSL, after two assists against Everton and one against Brighton. She also scored a pretty nice long-range effort at the AMEX on the day the Gunners clinched the title.

ARSENAL WOMEN TO TAKE PART IN EMIRATES CUP

Per our story on Sunday, Arsenal Women will take part in this summer’s Emirates Cup, which is set to be a one day affair. The opponents will be announced in due course, but the girls will play a friendly against another top quality women’s side as a precursor to a match for the men later that day. With the World Cup finishing on July 7th, it might be a slightly depleted side, but this is undoubtedly a very positive step for which Arsenal deserve great credit.

FURTHER REACTION TO ARSENAL’S TITLE WIN
Arsenal have earned deserved plaudits for winning their 15th league title, so why not drink it in a little more? This piece from Suzy Wrack focuses on Arsenal beating up on the little guys in the WSL, despite losing matches to Manchester City and Chelsea. Sophie Lawson suggests Arsenal’s victory, whilst not quite a fairytale for the neutral, does have a feel good factor about it.

NLDs IN THE WSL
Arsenal will enjoy two North London derbies in next year’s WSL after Tottenham were promoted from the Championship on Tuesday evening. The clubs last met in the 2017 FA Cup, with Arsenal limping to an underwhelming 10-0 victory over their North London neighbours. Let’s try and get to 20 next season, eh girls?

COMING UP
We will have a full match preview for the final home game against Manchester City on the site on Thursday. Remember that the City game is a sell-out at Boreham Wood, but you can watch on BT Sport at 12.30pm on Saturday. We will also have exclusive player reaction as the girls lift the WSL trophy after the game.

The season finishes on Saturday, but the coverage doesn’t! The May episode of the Arsenal Women Arsecast will feature a sit-down interview with Gunners boss Joe Montemurro, as he reflects on the title winning season. We will also have the usual feature interview for the month on Arseblog News in a couple of weeks time.

We’re also delighted to announce that the monthly podcasts will be a joint venture between myself and the excellent Pippa Monique from now on. Pippa is an experienced presenter with fantastic knowledge and insight on the Arsenal Women’s team, she brings a lot to the party!

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Fun Gunner
Fun Gunner

Really looking forward to the new-style podcasts. They have been great so far, very interesting and informative.

I got goosebumps reading some of the bits above.

C-J
C-J

Such deserved winners. They make the club, and us fans, proud! 🙂 Looking forward to seeing how they will do next season in the Champions League.