Lotte Wubben-Moy signed a new Arsenal contract this week. The Hackney born defender came through the Gunners academy before spending three years at college in North Carolina before returning to the club she has supported all her life in September 2020.
Arseblog News is invited to a round-table discussion earlier this week to discuss Wubben-Moy’s new deal with the player. I ask Lotte how she sees her role alongside fellow international centre-backs Leah Williamson and Rafaelle. I describe Leah and Rafa as “big international players.”
“I see myself as one of those big international players too,” she considers. “I played at the Olympics and have been selected for every England squad this season. I feel as though I am performing at club level and on the international stage.
“That level of respect is reciprocated by Jonas and I and the way we challenge one another, on and off the pitch. We’ve built a strong relationship and I want that to continue so I can compete at the highest level.”
Wubben-Moy’s return to her home in East London came earlier than she anticipated when the covid pandemic put her US college league on ice at a time when she was just starting to be called into the England squad. She took the decision to come back to her childhood club.
While Lotte was coming back to familiar terrain where she was raised in Northeast London the footballing environment in her first season back home looked very different. Games were being played without fans and contact time with teammates was limited at London Colney.
I ask how this season has differed with supporters back in stadiums and covid restrictions easing. She explains that it has made time feel longer. “I don’t even think of it as a year or 18 months ago, it feels much longer.
“I am trying to live in the moment and be present with it. I think that allows me to get the best out of myself. In every training session and in my life off the pitch, I push myself and my teammates. I don’t spend a lot of time looking back, it’s a case of living in the moment and looking to the future.
“That’s why this deal was so important, I am in a good place in my career. Coming back to Arsenal was the start of my professional career. When I do look back, a year ago feels a long time but I think I have taken every opportunity that I have been given in that time.”
However, this contract is slightly unique and special to Lotte because it does not just cover her endeavours on the pitch. Wubben-Moy is passionate about art and writing and she is also passionate about her local community.
She has elected to continue leaving in her East London neighbourhood rather than living in St. Albans like the majority of her teammates. She is very active in social causes and donates 1% of her salary to Common Goal, an organisation that partners with charities and organisations for underprivileged or underrepresented groups.
This Arsenal contract contains a special tie-in with Arsenal in the Community. Lotte attended sixth form in Stoke Newington and Arsenal in the Community were a big presence at her school. But the 23-year-old says a visit to the Arsenal sensory room at Emirates Stadium really inspired her.
“I know the guys at Arsenal in the Community, Freddie [Hudson] he’s wonderful. I met him one time when we went down to an Arsenal game, he showed us the sensory room and it blew my brain. Meeting those young children and their parents and seeing that Arsenal was a place where young kids could come and feel like they had a place and feel like they had a home, regardless of their situation. Whether they could hold their attention on the game or not, whether they just wanted a space to actually be free, it literally took my breath away.”
— arseblognews (@arseblognews) November 14, 2017
Wubben-Moy will work closely with Arsenal in the Community to mentor young girls and women in Hackney, Camden and Islington through exposure to creative pursuits to help build confidence and skills in the arts, as well as exposure to football coaching sessions. “There will be four intakes each year, running for 12 weeks, under the supervision of Arsenal in the Community,” Lotte explains “With their resources, which includes not only staff that they provide but also staff that they’ll bring in externally. My focuses will be art, reading and the environment and using football to underpin that.
“It will be a 60/40 split each session, which will hopefully be two or one and a half hours a week for those 12 weeks and I’ll hopefully confirm my timings and the amount of time I will be able to get to those sessions but I hope to get to as many as possible. For those one and a half hours each week a 60/40 split, with 60 per cent of the time going to play football and 40 per cent of the time looking towards either art, reading or the environment and bringing in individuals externally who’ll be able to help with that. At the end of the 12 weeks they’ll be doing an excursion, a trip out, I’m vouching for a trip to the Tate but I’m sure we’ll do various other trips as well.”
That sense of community and giving back has always been important to Wubben-Moy, “I exist in the same community as Arsenal, I come from East London and that’s very much where Arsenal is present. With my contract, I have built a programme, inspired by my sort of outlook on life, which is appreciating the little things. Some of you may know, I write a blog, I like to share my appreciation for those little things. But the programme, which will run in collaboration with Arsenl in the Community is built upon giving back to my community.
“I’ll be part of it, giving my time and energy to giving back to these kids. It’s about helping young women and girls build confidence in terms of communication, broadening their horizons and exploring different things. (These are) all things that can help them both on and off the pitch. Football helps give individuals options and possibilities. Those possibilities may not necessarily be on the highest professional level, but just on an enjoyment level. That’s what football can provide.”
Back on the pitch, Wubben-Moy says that the new deal represents another step on the road in her Arsenal story. “I’m ready and this is the next stage in my career and the contract is a reflection of that. I’ve always been me. I’ve always been Lotte. I’ve always been competitive.”
What a dream. Scoring in a Champions League quarter final. At the Emirates. Pinch me. Thanks for all the fans who came out tonight. Looking forward to Thursday’s away leg in Wolfsburg. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/qtQe6hLHg3
— Lotte (@lottewubbenmoy) March 23, 2022