Saturday, June 15, 2024

Arsenal Women at the Olympics: Match Day Five

There are three Gunners left in Tokyo competing in the Olympic Games following the eliminations of Great Britain, Japan and Netherlands. A round-up of how they got on in the semi-finals.

Australia 0 – 1 Sweden (Yokohama)
Steph Catley and Caitlin Foord played in Australia’s 1-0 defeat to Sweden in Yokohama; goalkeeper Lydia Williams was on the bench. The defeat means that Australia will play the USA in Kashima on Thursday (KO 9am UK time) for the bronze medal. The US were beaten in their semi-final by Canada, so Canada and Sweden will compete for the gold medal in Tokyo on Friday (KO 3am UK time).

Arsenal do not have any Swedish or Canadian players participating in that match, so Steph Catley, Caitlin Foord and Lydia Williams’ participation in the Games will end on Thursday. Vivianne Miedema revealed that she has been given three days off to spend time off with family in Netherlands before returning to training with Arsenal at the end of this week.

It surely follows that Leah Williamson, Nikita Parris, Kim Little, Lotte Wubben-Moy and Mana Iwabuchi will follow the same programme and return to London Colney later this week. Arsenal play another pre-season friendly away at Tottenham this coming Sunday afternoon before they play two Champions League qualifiers in Moscow on 18th August against Okzhetpes of Kazakhstan, before playing one of PSV Eindhoven or CSKA Moscow.

It is doubtful that the three Australian players will take part in Moscow but the other Olympians will do. The need for them was exacerbated by a bad looking ankle injury to Jordan Nobbs in Sunday’s friendly victory over Chelsea at Emirates Stadium, Jordan will undergo a scan to determine the extent of the injury. Jen Beattie, Viki Schnaderbeck and Fran Stenson were not considered fit enough to be part of the squad on Sunday, leaving Arsenal with only nine fit senior players without their Olympians.

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Eehm… pretty sure we had 10 senior women players yesterday… 9 outfield, i.e. excluding Goldie and 1 keeper


Oops sorry. Forgot Nobbs is injured


Hope Steph Catley can stay fit this season. She just plays with supreme ease and her crosses are a thing of beauty.

Also, would have loved to see us go for Lawrence of Canada. But I guess RB is not a pressing need right now.

Gunner H

Watched GB versus Ozzies twice already & plan to watch my recording once again tonight! Steph Catley was absolutely superb, which augers very well for the new season. The QF match turned not on the penalty but on Kim’s injury and subsequent substitution – had she not been taken off GB would be in Friday’s final. And Houghton was not at all at the races in the game, so again, had it been Leah with Bright in central defence, different story.

Crash Fistfight

I can never understand how Houghton has so many caps for England/GB, plays for Man City and is captain for every team. She’s a complete donkey as far as I can see. Her “defending” for Australia’s 2nd goal in the QF was embarrassing.

Peter Story Teller

She was quite good once (when she wore a red and white shirt!) but unfortunately for her the game has moved on and she hasn’t. I know that she is towards the autumn of her career but she is slow, cannot jump, and all of her passes are telegraphed. What was acceptable defending 10 years ago just does not cut it now. It is easy to pick on Steph because of how we conceeded, but in truth half of the GB team should not have been selected and should be retired gracefully by Sarina Wiegman when she takes up the… Read more »

Gunner H

She was more than quite good once, Peter, but alas no more. Kim should have been the sole GB Captain too. Turning to your point on the retiring of older players, I only can identify Scott, Houghton, Telford & Parris in this category. I assume you are not suggesting Bronze or White, both of whom had superb Olympics. Ditto Millie Bright, even Stokes was effective as was Keira Walsh whilst Daly was a very strong contributor to the cause 🙂 I feel it was unfortunate that Kelly got injured pre-tourney. I also feel MacIver would have saved some of the… Read more »

Peter Story Teller

There will probably not be another Team GB for the same reasons as in the men’s game or Scotland and maybe even Wales could be independent nations by 2024! Of course the super coach the FA appointed did not realise there are two parts to Ireland and one part had qualifying players! You have interpreted my phraseology “retired” to mean “older” players. I was trying to be kind as IMHO there were several younger players also who should not have been selected they just happen to play for Man City or Chelsea. It was just like Phil Neville never left… Read more »

Gunner H

I always like to read your comments, Peter, and you are quite correct in that I misunderstood your wording. There will be no independent “breakaways” which will stop a Team GB in 2024, though the FA’s of the 3 countries could do so if they felt so inclined. For Tokyo 2021, no NI player was up to selection except for Furness, who was injured pre-tourney. I personally felt Hege Riise proved an excellent GB manager especially given the short timeline she had to work with; she succeeded in bringing together a harmonic group who performed very well throughout the 4… Read more »


Even if we assume that the UK doesn’t break up and that the home nations agree to form a single team, it still doesn’t mean that there’ll be a GB team at the Paris Olympics. There are quotas for the number of entrants from each of FIFA’s various regional federations. At Tokyo there were three UEFA representatives based on a ranking system which I don’t quite follow. My memory is that GB were included on the basis of England reaching the semi-final of the last World Cup; note that France and Germany despite their current rankings didn’t make it. The… Read more »


Miedema surely needs more than 3/4 days off…

Gunner H

And so do the GB girls 🙂

Peter Story Teller

Agreed, but that is the problem for us with the stupid fixture list we have been handed overlapping a major international competition. The Matildas will not even be finished until Friday so it will be even longer to get them back.
The good news is that Steph Catley looks to be on fire this season so fingers crossed for her fitness as we can be devastating down the left with Katie in front of her!

Billy bob

Chavski injuring a key player of ours in both the men’s and women’s team 😮 there should be a rule where dangerous tackles result in the offender missing the same amount of games as the injured player – that would make players think twice about malicious tackles!!! Roy Keane would have missed quite a bit of the season he savaged Harland 👍

Gunner H

Couldn’t agree more, Billy bob – remember Graeme Souness’s vicious play too, though I’d personally rather not. But I certainly have not forgotten the disgraceful “tackle” in 2018 made by the Chavski player who I refuse to name, on our maestro & most recently GB’s Olympic team midfield general!

Crash Fistfight

It seems that VAR being useless isn’t just reserved for the men’s game. The penalty Canada got in the semi-final was an absolute joke. Funny to see USA lose, mind.

Peter Story Teller

Can anyone explain what was wrong with Sam Kerr’s goal vs Sweden? I watched it several times and although I generally think Sam Kerr is overrated you cannot deny that was some strike to get that on target. VAR didn’t seem interested in looking at it but I could not see an offside. Another conundrum is why the lines(wo)men take such an age to flag an offside. I cannot remember the game but I saw at least one incident when there was a clear offside but play continued and a player got completely wiped out only for the flag to… Read more »


The ref is looking at the two aussies screening the defenders from an offside position in the centre. They don’t affect the player marking Kerr but she has already decided when the freekick is taken and the whistle goes before Kerr strikes. I (as Swede) think the goal should have been given but on the other hand the freekick leading to it was very soft…

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