Friday, September 22, 2023

Vivianne Miedema and Nikita Parris spared international duty ahead of FA Cup Final

Vivianne Miedema and Nikita Parris have been rested for upcoming international dates scheduled for this week so they can rest and prepare properly for Sunday’s FA Cup Final against Chelsea.

Netherlands will play an exhibition match against Japan tonight but Netherlands boss Mark Parsons has agreed to spare Miedema. During the last international break, Mark Parsons and Arsenal struck an agreement that saw Miedema rested for Netherlands’ World Cup qualifier against Belarus and Arsenal’s FA Cup semi-final against Brighton so she could have ten days off.

Meanwhile, Nikita Parris has left the England camp and been spared tomorrow’s World Cup qualifier against Latvia in Doncaster. Arsenal have a huge week on the horizon with a Wembley showdown against Chelsea in the FA Cup Final on Sunday, followed by a Champions League group stage match against Barcelona at Emirates Stadium. Jen Beattie has also been released from the Scotland squad as they play away at Spain on Tuesday evening. Beattie came off at half-time in Scotland’s draw against Ukraine, it is not yet clear whether this is injury related.

In the meantime, Arsenal striker Vivianne Miedema has been voted BBC’s Women’s Footballer of the Year for 2021. Miedema beat off competition from Chelsea’s Sam Kerr and Barcelona’s Alexia Putellas to win the award.

Elsewhere, Arsenal have a number of players involved in international duty this week, Jonas Eidevall is hopeful that Mana Iwabuchi, an unused sub in Japan’s defeat to Iceland last week, will get some minutes for Japan against Netherlands tonight as she aims to prove her fitness ahead of Wembley.

On Tuesday, Noelle Maritz and Lia Walti will face Lithuania for Switzerland, Katie McCabe will captain Ireland who play at home to Georgia, Beth Mead, Lotte Wubben-Moy and Jordan Nobbs are in England contention for the home qualifier against Latvia, Manu Zinsberger will play for Austria in Luxembourg. Steph Catley, Lydia Williams and Caitlin Foord are part of the Australia squad for their friendly against USA in Newcastle, Australia on Tuesday morning UK time.

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Well done Vivianne, excellent player! Helped by an excellent team!

Big week coming up, hope we win the FA Cup and do well versus Barca.


Club over Country. Things that shouldn’t happen in the women’s game for WC qualifiers. But Parris didn’t play much for England why would she need a rest?

Peter Story Teller

I see the Aussies are being their usual helpful selves. It is only a friendly ffs! Congratulations to Viv she is a great player. I just wish that these experts who pick out the nominees used a bit more imagination at times. Viv, for example, is on every “best player” list and yet consistently doesn’t even win best player of the month / season at her own club! On the other hand, FIFA nominated Lucy Bronze who has hardly played through injury. Not her fault at all but how can she be considered player of the year if she hasn’t… Read more »


I think you make a really good point about who gets nominated for these ‘best player’ awards. Some players just don’t seem to get the recognition they deserve. McCabe is a good example. I think she’s world-class but I’m not sure she’s considered amongst the elite players in the women’s game by those outside of Arsenal. Perhaps her versatility and ability to play both at the back and in a more advanced role is the reason for this, i.e she’s not seen as one of the very best players in one position. I also think Chelsea’s Cuthbert is strangely under-appreciated.… Read more »

Fun Gunner

Excellent points.


Unfortunately for the aussies, they havent the depth of players to just go with a second string team against the USA. The womens game is trying to get a foothold in the country so to attract crowds and improve the games exposure its important to have the best players available. Australia doesnt get the same competitive advantage that European and South American womens teams get with regular strong competition so these friendlies are extremely important to improving the womens game downunder and improving the national teams chances of success on the world stage.


Why Mead is not giving a rest?
It’s not Latvia are world beaters.
Norway is playing a team that lost 19-0 to Belgium, and it looks like Maanum will still feature.
My only worry is the Swiss duo and Katie MacCabe. Hope the return to Arsenal unscathed ahead of the cup finals.


Its great that Viv has been voted top for this award by the fans rather than a panel of pundits. Her continued humility in these situations is heartwarming.
The Club or Country debate?
In the context of the coming week, personally, I’m all for anything that favours Club (our Club!).


Disappointed Viv’s accolade is a tag on bit to this news update, if it were a player in the men’s team they’d have their own article celebrating.


I wish I had worded my comment less aggressively!

I do appreciate how these awards are decided and have no real bearing on ability, I also realise the men’s team needs more positivities than the women’s as the latter’s aren’t as distant in memories.

my intention was more the championing the celebration of one of the few absolutely world class players we have on our books than that of upset at your work Tim.

Tim Stillman

No worries at all! I didn’t take it that way 🙂

Bill Hall

Congratulations Viv, thoroughly deserved!

Fun Gunner

Phew! Thanks, Mark Parsons and Sarina Wiegman, though I would have been nice to get Beth Mead back early, too, just saying…
Torn between pride at how many of our players are internationals and anxiety about the possibility of injury at a crucial time for us.

Fun Gunner

Congratulations, Viv Miedema! You are the tops and everybody knows it.

Teryima Adi

Congrats, Miedema. Soar to greater heights.👊👊👊

Gunner H

Fab news about Viv winning BBC Player of 2021 plus being rested for the Final too, along with Nikita.
Agree with Peter & Matt that Katie deserved to be nominated, also regarding Cuthbert, who would have contributed to the cause in Tokyo.
Of course I don’t understand why Kim wasn’t nominated having been in outstanding form for Arsenal plus GB’s top star at the Olympics – Beth Mead said on Saturday that Kim’s the best player she’s ever played with, thus agreeing with Tobin Heath & Hope Solo. Pretty much all WSL players would agree too – including Lucy!

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