Friday, March 1, 2024

Arsenal Women Weekly Round-Up: Mastercard Bolster Gunners Coffers

Arsenal Women have signed an exclusive sponsorship deal with Mastercard- a groundbreaking commercial deal in British women’s football. The sums are as yet undisclosed, but all of the proceeds will be funnelled into the women’s team. With spending caps still in operation in the WSL (salary cannot exceed 40% of turnover), competing with the likes of Lyon and Wolfsburg is not straightforward for English clubs.

Lyon have invested a lot over a long period of time, having sewn up their fourth consecutive Champions League title last week, their dominance is total and it will take some time to catch up. Deals such as this one raise Arsenal’s turnover- and their ability to compete at that level- significantly.

Mastercard have signed a similar deal with Lyon, however. Both clubs will have lead ambassadors. For Lyon, they will be Ada Hegerberg, Kadeisha Buchanan, Saki Kumagai and Wendie Renard. For Arsenal, former right-back Alex Scott will take the lead. That Lyon will have four ambassadors from the current squad and Arsenal have one- a former player- shows the gap between the two ‘brands.’ There will be a launch event in July, which Arseblog News will try to jimmy its way into for further information.

Arsenal’s pre-season plans are already taking shape. The club announced a friendly with Bayern Munich Frauen as part of this year’s Emirates Cup last week. The Gunners will also face German champions Wolfsburg in Walchsee, Austria on August 7th. This match will likely be played behind closed doors. The new WSL season begins on Sunday, 8th September, with the World Cup Final taking place on Sunday, 7th July.

Gunners star Jordan Nobbs has called for further investigation into the link between menstrual cycles and cruciate ligament injuries. Female footballers are somewhere between 4-6 times more likely to rupture their ACLs than their male counterparts. Theories for this include physical differences- women have a wider gait which often leads to awkward landings.

There is also thought to be a link with ill-fitting boots, which are generally designed solely with men in mind. But there is some circumstantial evidence to suggest that there is a link with menstruation in female athletes. Jordan ruptured her ACL back in November and told BBC Sport that it coincided with the start of her period.

“I was very tired leading up to that week and I was on the first day of my menstrual cycle,” England vice-captain Nobbs told BBC Sport. “I’m not one for saying it was that, but the facts on how so many women have done their knee and been on their menstrual cycle is very high. I don’t know if it was down to that but it was a very high factor.”

There is a push in women’s sports for more open conversations about the effects of menstruation on female athletes and Jordan’s comments lead the charge in the football field. On that note, I thoroughly recommend the link below. The latest episode of the Offside Rule podcast probes the way PE is taught to girls in schools and the link between menstruation and a drop-off in participation in sport for girls.

Meanwhile, Nobbs began light training with the ball again last week- a crucial step on her journey to full fitness. It is expected that she will be ready to return to first team action again in late September at present.


Teams are currently playing World Cup warm-up friendlies and there was some Arsenal involvement this weekend. Leah Williamson played 90 minutes and Beth Mead 79, as England beat Denmark 2-0 at Walsall. Beth Mead set up the second goal for Jill Scott with a peach of a cross. Janni Arnth played the full match for Denmark. Pauline Peyraud-Magnin also played for France against Thailand, keeping a clean sheet in a 3-0 win for Les Bleus.

New Dutch signing Jill Roord has spoken about her desire to break into the Nethelrands starting XI and feels as though her squad number for her country reflects her status in an undesirable way. Roord is currently preparing for the World Cup with her country. “I think I will get 12 again. I don’t care about that number, but I also literally feel like number 12 and that is difficult,” she told NU Sport.

“At the last World Cup I was still a baby. I went there without expectation. In that regard, it is easier to go to a World Cup as number 23 than to number 12. I hope I get my chance now. I do not think that the competition is now completely open. It is waiting for my chance.” Roord left Bayern partly due to a lack of minutes.

For Netherlands, the likes of Danielle van de Donk, Shanice van de Sanden and Lieke Martens are ahead of her. At Arsenal, Jill will face a similar challenge, with Kim Little, Jordan Nobbs and Danielle van de Donk to compete with. If nothing else, the 22-year old will be hungry to fight for her place.

Vivianne Miedema also spoke with NU Sports about Netherlands’ chances at this summer’s World Cup. The current European champions are just one a mong a sea of fancied teams, according to the Gunners striker. “Because of that title, people now think we can just become world champions.

“We feel that and we talked about that as a group. But I think it is not realistic now to say that we are one of the top favorites. There are eight or nine countries that can become champions, it will be an open tournament.” Miedema is also not focused on personal goals during the tournament.

“Of course you can expect me to play a good World Cup and score a few goals, but the most important thing is that I perform my tasks well in the team, both on and off the field. Furthermore, I don’t have to worry too much about what everyone thinks. Only if things go right at the right time can it be a very nice summer. Who knows, maybe we will end up with a medal around our neck.”

If you haven’t jammed it into your earholes already, get a load of this month’s episode of the Arsenal Women Arsecast. You will meet our new co-host Pippa Monique and you will also get a 15 minute sit down interview with Joe Montemurro in the bargain. Joe talks about his managerial philosophy, how he secured buy-in with his players and we press him on some of the players he bought last summer.

We also hear from German international Tabea Kemme on her injury hit first season in England. Tabea is a professional policewoman and has played in every outfield position for her country. Tabea talks about how growing up on a farm influenced her get up and go lifestyle. Both of these interviews will be available as YouTube videos this week too.

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Of course Alex is a great Ambassador, but it does feel strange that none of the current team are being chosen for that role alongside her.

Fun Gunner

True – but look at it this way – it also says a lot that we are the first and only British team Mastercard are sponsoring!

Fun Gunner

Wow, what a lot of news! Thanks for the date of the start of next WSL season. Very much enjoyed the podcast – I got round to listening at the weekend – especially the interviews with Joe and Tabea Kemme. We fans keep saying this, but everyone connected to AWFC seems to be a remarkable individual! Pippa Monique is a fab addition, too – very personable and knowledgeable, so I am looking forward to your discussions on future podcasts. I read Jordan’s piece about menstruation with interest – I vaguely recall, when I was younger, many years ago, hearing about… Read more »

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