Arseblog Arsenal Women End of Year Awards 2019

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It may or may not have escaped your attention that Arsenal players struggle to attract to attract attention when it comes to awards season. Well, they don’t really try to attract attention, but in any case, after an outstanding 2019 which saw the team win their first league title since 2012, the girls absolutely sweep the boards at the inaugural Arseblog News Arsenal Women Awards for 2019.

The Ballon J’Ord for the bestest player in the world
53 goals for club and country in 2019. World Cup finalist. Record broken for number of goals scored in a WSL season (22). 26 goals and 10 assists so far this season. Became the Netherlands’ all-time record goalscorer before her 23rd birthday. Currently has more direct goal contributions (21) than the second, third and fourth top goalscorers combined (18) in the WSL for 2019-20. Six goals and four assists in a single game in December and still considers herself more of a number 10 than a number 9. She has made clear time and again that she does not give a single shite for individual awards, but I hope she will make an exception for this prestigious bauble. Stand and applaud the GOAT, Vivianne Miedema.

Moment of 2019
Arsenal confirmed their first league title in seven years with a 4-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion at the AMEX in April. A Vivianne Miedema thunderbastard set the Gunners on their way, with Katie McCabe making it 2-0 just before half-time. A fulminating long-range strike from Beth Mead and an impudent finish from Danielle van de Donk put the seal on a 4-0 victory and confirmed Joe Montemurro’s Gunners as England’s foremost team once more.

The celebrations were memorable too, Lisa Evans and Emma Mitchell wandered through the mixed zone post-match with the sort of sound system reserved for a Spinal Tap gig. Meanwhile, centre-half Leah Williamson enjoyed an emotional embrace with mum Amanda. “You know, I felt a bit silly because I started crying on the pitch at the end. But I won’t apologise for having that emotion after winning the title for the club I love,” she told me post-match. Awwww.

The “fuck me, did you see that?!” award for goal of 2019
Hate short corners, do you? Think they’re a waste of time, is it? Well feast your eyes on this piece of footballing ballet from the Gunners 3-0 win over Reading earlier this month. Mead plays a short corner to Kim Little, Leah Williamson, instantly recognising her cue, moves to the edge of the area for the wall pass.

She plays a one-two with Kim, who then shovels the ball to Jordan Nobbs inside the area where, just to reiterate, all eleven Reading players are located. Nobbs shows soft feet to spoon the ball back into Little’s path, who chests the ball down before lobbing it gently into the top corner without breaking stride. The kind of goal that leaves you making vaguely sexy noises with every touch. A masterpiece.

The Lisa Evans award for most underrated player
Arsenal have quite a lot of unassuming, humble characters in the squad. They also have a lot of players in their squad that aren’t English. Both of these factors lead to a sense of under-appreciation in the wider context. Kim Little, Katie McCabe and Leah Williamson could easily lay a claim to this award.

However, it is Scottish international Lisa Evans whose contribution continues to be overlooked. 5 goals and 8 assists from 15 starts this season tells its own story given that she plays most of her football at full-back. Nobody completes more passes in the opponent’s penalty area than Lisa, her raids down the right are a constant source of Gunners goals.

The ‘dry your eyes mate’ award for tearjerker of the season
This is a joint award. You can’t make me decide between the two moments. You’re not the boss of me. And I already referenced Leah Williamson’s tearful embrace with her mum, so that has been covered elsewhere. First up is Emma Mitchell’s last minute winner against Manchester City in the final game of the season in May.

Mitch was a late substitute in this game following a 4-month absence. She would later confirm that her absence was due to anxiety and mental health issues. With the scores locked at 0-0 on the Gunners’ coronation day, the Scottish international curled a beautiful left-footed strike into the top corner with the clock showing 89 minutes. A true ‘would you believe it?!’ moment.

Mitch’s moment is tied with Jordan Nobbs’ return from an anterior cruciate ligament injury in August. Cruelly, Jordan’s season was cut short in November 2018 due to the ACL curse and it cost her her World Cup. She returned to action on a sunkissed afternoon at Meadow Park in August for the pre-season friendly against Spurs. Arsenal won 6-0 and Jordan curled a trademark shot into the bottom corner minutes after coming on. Not a dry eye in the Meadow Park house.

The Freddie Ljungberg ‘it’s fuckin’ excellent’ award for on air swearing
Kim Little is one of the most mild-mannered individuals you could care to meet, but Emma Mitchell’s last-minute winner against City caused the Gunners skipper to turn the air blue live on BT Sport. “She turns up when we need her,” Kim tells BT of her compatriot after the game, “Gets a fucking tackle to secure the draw then scores the goal for us to get the win.” Kim quickly realises her error. “Did I just swear?!

Honourable mention for Vivianne Miedema in this category after September’s 4-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion. When I quizzed her on her exclusion from the FIFPRO World XI, Viv produced a proper mic-drop moment when she answered, “I don’t really give a shit about individual awards to be honest, but I think it’s a joke.”

Celebration of the year award
Vivianne Miedema is known for her deadpan response to scoring goals (I guess if you do it that often….) But when Viv broke the Netherlands goalscoring record, aged 22, at the World Cup, did she have something special planned? You betcha. Viv broke the habit of a lifetime with the world’s most apologetic roly-poly after hitting the back of the net against Cameroon. She later explained that the celebration was a promise to her brother Lars.

The ‘North London is red’ award for knowing your place
Spurs were promoted to the top flight of women’s football for the first time this season. Tottenham have decided to invest in their women’s team over the last 2-3 years and have been rewarded with two promotions in three seasons. But the correct order of things has been established very early on in their top-flight existence.

They were of course thumped 10-0 by the Gunners in the FA Cup in 2017, when Spurs were in the third tier. They improved slightly, losing only 6-0 during a pre-season friendly in August. In November, the champions then travelled to the new Tottenham Toilet Bowl or whatever the fuck they’re calling their stadium nowadays.

Arsenal comfortably dealt with Spurs 2-0 thanks to second half goals from Kim Little and Vivianne Miedema. Natural order reaffirmed. Spurs come to Meadow Park on February 9th- on a weekend where the men’s team do not have a fixture- why not come along and join the fun?

The ‘do you even lift, tho?’ award for upper body strength

Kim Little opened the scoring at Spurs in November and the relief was palpable. If you’re Katie McCabe, it was liftable! McCabe was first on the scene to help her captain celebrate and did so by lifting her entire bodyweight with one arm. Someone has been doing their bench presses!

The Kelly Smith award for aggy behaviour
There can only be one winner for this most coveted award and that’s Arsenal attacker (and I use the word ‘attacker’ advisedly) Danielle van de Donk. DvD has drawn admirers for her skill, her commitment and her meticulous finishing, but mostly we love her because if you annoy her, she will knock you the fuck out.

van de Donk, to put it frankly, loves a bit of aggro, usually with opposing players but referees are also not safe from her wrath, as Stacey Pearson found out in April when she somehow failed to send Everton’s Abby-Leigh Stringer off after scything through Beth Mead’s ankle. DvD took exception to the decision, to say the least.

Daan’s appetite for destruction is at total odds with her affable, bubbly off-pitch character. She is a technically super footballer, but she also loves to dare an opponent to clip her ankles, often holding the ball for that extra half-second to invite that aggression. Once wronged, she will exact a lasting revenge too.

The Ivor Novello award for terrace chant inspiration
Hats off to the Arsenal Women’s Supporters’ Club for their ode to Dutch midfielder Jill Roord:

“Louder, louder than a lion
Because we are the champions
And you’re gonna hear Jill Rooooooord.”

Season’s greetings to AWFC fans. There will be a new podcast dropping in the coming days!

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newhere123

Great post, Tim! Loved the summary and highlights of the year. Shaping up for great 3 way race to the title this year.

Keep up the good work and lot of us follow your updates via Twitter/arseblog.

Chidi

I hope we haven’t reached our ceiling yet with these women. Loving everything about this team

BODMAS

Beautiful read
COYG.

Wis Hawk

Beautiful people play the beautiful game. Love it!
Great DvD moment

Jamie

“the new Tottenham Toilet Bowl or whatever the fuck they’re calling their stadium nowadays.” This line alone should earn you a Pulitzer.

Christopher Humphrey

What footballers. What characters. Love them one and all. From Mitch’s “thunderbastard” (sorry, Viv’s!) to Aggy Daan’s feisty response to Beth’s Everton wipeout at Meadow Lane. All treasured moments plus dozens more. Can scarcely believe that 2020 could possibly eclipse 2019.

BenY

“Gets the fucking tackle….. ”
Quality ?

LAParrot

Tim Thanks for posting this awards piece – it’s a great idea and an excellent read. Thanks also for all the previews, reports and other informative articles. Had the pleasure of attending the Everton match this year and being able to see Kim and Lisa Evans in action, having missed out on them last year. Thought that Jill Roord was immense in midfield, a real boon to the team. And her chant even raised a bit of a chuckle from the rather biased Everton fan behind me (who also thinks that Viv is over-rated!). Looking forward to next year with… Read more »

Christopher Humphrey

Just chuckling through the Arseblog Awards 2019. Everyone merited plus some of the responses, that Evertonian comment “Miedema over rated,” I wonder if that came before her first goal that day? Also, the famous Viv quote about her aversion to personal awards. All the talk about the awards she didn’t get but a curios lack of publicity given to the Football Supporters Association Women Player of the Year award that she did get which must rank amongst the best to have since it is voted by the unsung masses……the supporters.