Get To Know….The Arsenal Women’s Team

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With Arsenal Women set to play Bayern Munich Frauen at Emirates Stadium on Sunday in the Emirates Cup, the team will be introduced to a new audience. (Albeit, the players that took part in the World Cup knockout stages won’t take part). With that in mind, I thought I would produce a short profile of each player in the first team squad for the uninitiated.

1.Manuela ZINSBERGER– The 5ft 10in Austrian goalkeeper began her career at ÖFB-Frauenliga club SV Neulengbach before signing for Bayern Munich in June 2014 where she won the Frauen-Bundesliga twice (in 2015 and 2016). Zinsberger is the first-choice goalkeeper for her country having made her debut for Austria in 2013 when she was just 18.

Zinsberger joined the club in May 2019 from Bayern Munich to replace the outgoing Sari van Veenendaal. She is a former teammate of Lisa Evans, Vivianne Miedema and compatriot Viki Schanderbeck. Manuela, who was part of Austria’s run to the Euro 2017 semi-finals, is renowned for her excellent reflexes and for her ability with the ball at her feet.

2.Katrine VEJE– The Danish international joined Arsenal in January 2019 after an unhappy spell at French side Montpellier. She has also played for Odense, Malmo, Brondby and Seattle Reign. She won two Danish league titles and two Danish cups with Brondby and two Damallsvenskans and two Swedish cups with Malmo. She also won the WSL with Arsenal last season.

Veje can play either on the left wing or at left-back. Katrine delivers an excellent cross with her left foot and likes to take players on. She also has a reputation as a very high energy player who can sprint up and down the touchline all day. Katrine has been used principally as a left-back at Arsenal to provide an overlap for Beth Mead.

3.Emma MITCHELL– ‘Mitch’ signed for Arsenal from German club Essen in July 2013, she had previously played for Glasgow City in her native Scotland. Emma won four Scottish Premier Leagues and three Scottish FA cups with Glasgow City. Since arriving at Arsenal, she has won two FA Cups, three Conti Cups and a league title. She debuted for her country at the age of 18.

Mitch is one of the most popular figures in the dressing room with a reputation as an outgoing teammate with a good sense of humour. She has been the Gunners’ first choice left-back for the entirety of her spell at the club and is capable of playing as a left-sided centre half in a back three. Despite her small stature, she is excellent in the air.

Arseblog feature interview: November 2017.

4.Janni ARNTH– Danish international Arnth joined the club at the same time as compatriot Katrine Veje in the 2019 winter transfer window. The 32-year old centre-half has a wealth of club and international experience, having played for Fortuna Hjørring where she won a league title and Linköpings FC in Sweden where she won two Damallsvenskans and a Swedish cup. Janni made her debut for Denmark in 2010 and has been a fixture in their squad ever since.

Janni provided back-up to centre-half pairing Leah Williamson and Louise Quinn during the second half of the 2018-19 season and also appeared at right-back. This season she will also compete with Jen Beattie for a place in defence. Arnth is known for her professionalism and her sound positioning. She scored on her debut for the Gunners against West Ham in January.

For more on Janni, read the lowdown from Scandinavian women’s football expert Katja Kragelund.

5.Jennifer BEATTIE– ‘Beats’ originally joined the club from Celtic Ladies as an 18-year old and she studied at the University of Hertfordshire during her time at the club. Jen started out as an attacker and announced herself with a hat-trick against Chelsea in November 2009 when the Gunners had trailed 2-0. Gradually, she moved positions and played in defensive midfield, centre-half and at left-back.

Beattie won three league titles, two FA Cups and three Conti Cups before leaving Arsenal in 2013 for Montpellier. She spent a year in France before moving to Manchester City in 2014 where she formed a formidable centre-half partnership with fellow former Gunner Steph Houghton. Jen won a WSL title, two FA Cups and three Conti Cups at City.

During 2015-16, she spent time on loan at Melbourne City under current Gunners coach Joe Montemurro. The Scotland international rejoined Arsenal in May 2019. She is the daughter of Scotland rugby international John and the sister of Scottish rugby player Johnnie. During the World Cup Beattie scored for Scotland against Argentina in the same stadium that her father had scored a Six Nations try.

6.Leah WILLIAMSON– Leah joined Arsenal at the age of 9 and has been a fixture in the first team since she was 17. She spent the early part of her career rotating between centre-half, left-back and defensive midfield before Joe Montemurro decided to make her a full-time central defender. Williamson is a ball-playing centre-half, who is very strong in personal duels. She made her 100th appearance for the club in January 2019.

Leah won her first Arsenal trophy in her hometown of Milton Keynes when the Gunners lifted the FA Cup in 2014. She was a second half substitute in that match and also won the FA Cup at Wembley in 2016. She has also won two Conti Cups and was a key part of Arsenal’s title winning season in 2018-19. Leah and her mother are lifelong Arsenal fans.

Arseblog feature interviews: January 2018
May 2019
Arsenal Women Arsecast Episode 1

7.Danielle VAN DE DONK– ‘DvD’ joined Arsenal from Göteborg in Sweden in the summer of 2015, having previously represented Willem II, VVV-Venlo and PSV Eindhoven in her native Netherlands. Van de Donk was part of the Dutch squad that won Euro 2017 on home soil and finished runners-up in the 2019 World Cup. She has won all three English domestic honours once each during her time in North London.

van de Donk is an attacking midfielder with a range of qualities. She is excellent in the air, strong in the tackle, economical with the ball and she has an excellent eye for goal. DvD also has a reputation as a feisty competitor, to say the least! She signed a new contract with Arsenal in March 2019 and scored 14 times in 2018-19.

Arseblog feature interview: November 2018

8.Jordan NOBBS– Nobbs joined the Gunners from Sunderland in 2010 and has been a fixture in the first team ever since. Jordan is an all-action central midfield player with a superb all-round game. She is defined by her high energy performances and her eye for goal but is also an excellent passer and an effective weapon in a high pressing game. Jordan has a very good shot from range.

Jordan has won three league titles, four FA Cups and five league cups in her time in North London. She is approaching 200 appearances for the club and must be considered one of its all-time finest players. She won England’s Player of the Year award in 2016 and scored nine goals last season despite missing much of the campaign with injury.

Arseblog feature interviews
October 2013
October 2016
June 2018

9.Danielle CARTER– Forward Dan Carter has been with a club for a decade now after joining the club from Leyton Orient’s School of Excellence in 2009. Carter has been part of the first team squad since she was 17 and has collected four league titles, four FA Cups and five League Cups with the Gunners. Dan scored the winner in the 2016 FA Cup Final at Wembley against Chelsea.

Dan is a wide forward also capable of playing through the centre. She is known for her pace and her ability to cut in and shoot on her right foot, as she did so memorably at Wembley. Carter scored a hat-trick on her England debut against Estonia in 2015.

Arseblog feature interviews:
May 2016 
May 2017
July 2017 
July 2018
March 2019
July 2019

10.Kim LITTLE– Captain Kim Little joined Arsenal from Hibernian as an 18-year old in 2008. Kim has forged a reputation as one of the finest midfielders in the world during her career. In her first spell in North London she hoovered up four league titles, three FA Cups and four League Cups. Kim scored a stoppage time winner in the 2009 FA Cup Final against Sunderland. In 2013, she left the club for the USA where she played under former Gunners boss Laura Harvey at Seattle Reign.

In her first season at Reign, she won the NWSL Golden Boot and the MVP award. She also spent time on loan at Melbourne City during her three and a half year spell in Seattle, where she played under Joe Montemurro. Kim returned to the club in 2017 and has since won a Conti Cup and a further WSL title. She made her debut for Scotland aged 16 and was the only non-English player in the Team GB squad at the 2012 Olympics.

Kim operates as a number 8 with a penchant for getting forward. She has two excellent feet, peerless close control and one of the best passing ranges in the game. Little is known for her fastidiousness, she was made Gunners captain shortly after her return because of her quiet, super-professional nature. Kim is one of Arsenal’s all-time greatest players.

Kim Little reacts to winning Conti Cup in March 2018

May 2013

October 2012

11.Vivianne MIEDEMA– The Dutch striker signed for Arsenal during the summer of 2017, shortly after firing her country to the Euro 2017 title on home soil. She scored in every knockout round of the tournament including a brace in the final. She was part of the Dutch squad that finished runners-up in the 2019 World Cup. She broke the goal scoring record for her country at the 2019 World Cup before her 23rd birthday.

Viv previously played for Heerenveen before spending three years in Germany with Bayern Munich, where she won two Frauen Bundesliga titles. Miedema scored the winner in Arsenal’s 2018 Conti Cup Final win over Manchester City, last season she broke the record for goals in a WSL season with 22.

Miedema is considered the world’s finest centre-forward, having begun her career as a number 10. The Dutch forward won the PFA Player of the Year for 2018-19 and signed a new contract in December 2018. For more in-depth analysis of Miedema, check out my piece here.

Arseblog feature interviews: September 2017.

13.Lia WÄLTI– The Swiss defensive midfield player signed from Turbine Potsdam in the summer of 2018 and instantly established herself as the team’s anchoring midfield player. Liä has an uncanny ability to dictate the tempo of a game, she is very difficult to manoeuvre off the ball and she is very precise with both feet.

Her season ended in January due to a knee problem, but she was still voted into the PFA Team of the Season in her first season in England. Wälti spent five seasons at Potsdam alongside Gunners teammate Tabea Kemme. Prior to that, she won the Nationalliga A with YB Frauen. Wälti has been a fixture in the Swiss national team since she was 18.

14.Jill ROORD– Jill is an attacking midfielder who formed part of the Netherlands squads that won Euro 2017 and finished as runners-up at the 2019 World Cup. Jill scored a stoppage time winner against New Zealand in the group stages in France. She signed from Bayern Munich in May after a two-year spell in Germany and previously played for FC Twente where she won four Eredivisie titles.

Roord is a primarily attacking midfielder who is good at arriving late into the penalty area to score- she finished as top scorer in the Eredivisie in 2016 at the age of 19. Jill will compete with the likes of Jordan Nobbs, Kim Little and Danielle van de Donk for a place in the side, although she can operate as a wide forward too.

15.Katie McCABE– The Ireland captain signed for Arsenal in 2015 when she arrived from Shelbourne as a 19-year old. McCabe has won a league title, an FA Cup and a Conti Cup. McCabe spent the first half of the 2017-18 season on loan at Glasgow City, where she won the Scottish Premier League title before returning to North London.

McCabe can play on either flank, in central midfield or at left-back. During Arsenal’s title winning season of 2018-19, McCabe played more minutes than any other player and finished the season with five goals and eight assists in the WSL- her most important of which was a late winner away at Birmingham City that put the Gunners within three wins of the title. McCabe has an excellent left-foot both for crossing and shooting and is a very technically clean player.

Arsenal Women Arsecast Episode 5

16.Louise QUINN– Quinn joined the club in the spring of 2017 when Notts County Ladies folded on the eve of the Spring Series. Quinn joined on a short-term contract initially but fought her way into long-term contention. Louise previously spent three years at Eskilstuna United in Sweden after producing and editing her own highlights video and sending it out to agents.

Quinn is an uncompromising centre-half who excels in duels- both aerial and on the ground. But the Irish international has developed her technical game at the club too, she played more passes than any other player in the WSL in the 2018-19 season. Louise has won the 2018 Conti Cup and the WSL league title during her time at the club and she signed a new contract in May 2019.

Arseblog feature interview: January 2019
Arsenal Women Arsecast Episode 5 

17.Lisa EVANS– The Scottish international winger signed from Bayern Munich during the summer of 2017 with a reputation as a flying winger capable of isolating and beating full-backs and delivering excellent balls into the area. Evans started her career at Glasgow City, before leaving her club and her university degree to play in Germany for Turbine Potsdam. After three years at Potsdam, she earned a move to Bayern Munich where she won the Frauen Bundesliga in 2015-16. Lisa is a fluent German speaker.

After Joe Montemurro’s arrival in November 2017, Evans was repurposed as an attacking right full-back in the absence of the injury ridden Jessica Samuelsson. Her raids down the right side are a feature of the Gunners play, where her ability to power to the by-line and create opportunities for the forwards is a constant menace to opposition defences. She has won the Conti Cup and the league title during her time in North London and signed a contract extension in December 2018.

Arseblog feature interview: February 2019

18.Pauline PEYRAUD-MAGNIN– The French goalkeeper joined Arsenal from Lyon in the summer of 2018 and quickly established herself as the first-choice goalie over Sari van Veenendaal- largely due to her ability with the ball at her feet. Nicknamed ‘Hulk’, Pauline is a very popular character in the dressing room.

Pauline was France’s third choice goalkeeper at the 2019 World Cup and she has previously represented Issy, Saint Etienne and Marseilles. She won three league titles at Lyon but largely as an understudy. Pauline was a big part of the Gunners title success in 2018-19.

20.Leonie MAIER– Leonie is one of five former Bayern Munich players in the squad having joined in May 2019. As of summer 2019, she has 70 caps for Germany and was part of the German squad at the 2019 World Cup. Maier can operate as a centre-half or as a right-back. Leonie spent six years at Bayern in total where she won two Bundesliga titles.

She was also voted into the FIFPRO Team of the Year in 2016. Before joining Bayern, Maier also represented SC 07 Bad Neuenahr and VfL Sindelfingen. Leonie is an Olympic gold medallist to boot. The German has been a fixture for her country since making her debut as a 20-year old in 2013. Maier is likely to play at right-back for the Gunners.

21.Tabea KEMME– Kemme endured an injury hit debut season in North London due to a meniscus issue, limiting her to a handful of appearances. Kemme arrived from Turbine Potsdam, where she is also a professional policewoman. She took a two-year period of leave from the Potsdam police force to join Arsenal.

Kemme is an Olympic gold medallist from 2016 and has played in every single outfield position for her country. Montemurro sees her more as a full-back, but she has also operated as a very prolific striker at Potsdam and has played across midfield and defence too. Kemme is a keen horticulturalist and VW camper van enthusiast too.

Arsenal Women Arsecast episode 4

22.Viki SCHNADERBECK– The Austrian international joined the club from Bayern Munich in the summer of 2018 but tore knee ligaments on the eve of the new season and missed much of the campaign. Viki can play either at centre-half or as a defensive midfield player. She won two Bundesliga titles and a DfB-Pokal during her eleven years at Bayern. Schnaderbeck forced her way into the Austrian squad at the age of 16. In her spare time, she is also a motivational speaker.

23.Beth MEAD– Mead joined Arsenal from Sunderland in 2017 after an outstanding spell with the Black Cats which saw her score 77 goals in 78 appearances. Her goals shot Sunderland to 4th place in the WSL in the 2016 season. Arsenal tried to sign her several times before winning her signature in 2017, she resisted a move to finish her degree in the northeast.

Mead has since been remoulded as a wide forward for club and country. Last season she broke the WSL record for assists in a season with 12- her setpiece delivery in particular is a potent weapon. Mead has won a Conti Cup and a WSL title in her time at Arsenal. For a more in-depth look at her England and Arsenal career, check out my article from June 2019.

Arseblog feature interviews: May 2018
November 2017.

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Imustafiyou
Imustafiyou

Great work

PolyEmery
PolyEmery

Well done, some great stuff coming from our ladies team with a few excellent World Cup performances to match!

Saurabh Sharma

Excellent read. Really helps raise the awareness towards our team.

A Yank in King Arsene's West Stand
A Yank in King Arsene's West Stand

Cheers, Tim!

hustle6
hustle6

wish there were more Londoners. We need a female Jenko to join the team and teach them cockney banter but not ever really play.

Or maybe there’s a lady Zaha transfer in the works?

Very informative article.

ComradeChe
ComradeChe

Thanks for sharing more on our gallant women’s side! I’m looking forward to another record-breaking season from the ladies, and hopefully a second Champions League triumph!!

Chris Humphrey
Chris Humphrey

Fantastic profiling Tim. It will be very interesting to see Joe’s selection for the first league game with 19 full internationals at his disposal (plus Jordan & Lia to come in when fit). I know we’ve got the CL additional this season so player rotation is going to be a significant factor. Oh..have the FA changed the WSL rule about 50% of a Club’s squad being “home grown”?

PicoBello
PicoBello

Beautiful read, Tim, thank you!

DE Gooner
DE Gooner

Great read, thanks for taking the time to put this out.

alen
alen

love our women’s team!! really deserves all the recognition in the world. Thankyou for this tim!. I hope more people get into them cuz they deserve.

Pete Mc
Pete Mc

Fantastic overview! Thanks for the coverage of the Women’s team. I’m excited to follow them again this year.

Francis Martinos
Francis Martinos

It is interesting that all the girls had been winners before joining up with us. This is very good for our Women Scouts as they have in them a winning mentality and so would be easy to pass it on to those who are not mentally astute. This needs to be incorporated in the men’s team.