Ahead of Saturday’s North London derby at Emirates Stadium in front of what will be a league record crowd of 51,000 fans, Gunners boss Jonas Eidevall talked up the club’s long-standing commitment to women’s football.
Arsenal have been at the vanguard of the game since the early 90s and have won more of each domestic trophy than any other team and remain the only British team to win the UWCL.
“I was reflecting on this the other day, that Arsenal is the only English club to win the Champions League,” Eidevall, who took over in 2021, explained. “I was thinking about which other clubs at that time were in the competition. I remember the Swedish club Umea (who Arsenal beat in the 2007 final).
“I remember Turbine Potsdam in Germany, what they had in common is that they were only women’s football clubs. At that time it was only women’s football clubs that were successful in women’s football.
“Today, when you look at the clubs going into the quarter-finals of the Champions League, there are no women’s only clubs left. They are all clubs who have top teams in men’s football.
“But what you have to see there is that there is only one consistent member and that’s Arsenal. That’s class and that’s history and that is something that you can never change. You were a first mover, that you were a believer before everyone else.
“That is something the club and all the fans should be very, very proud of.” Meanwhile, the impressive form of right-back Laura Wienroither caught many Arsenal fans eyes with her form for Austria at Euro 2022. The club’s two right-backs, Maritz and Wienroither have started a game each so far this season.
“They’re not the exact same type of player,
they have different qualities like Noelle and Laura, so of course, sometimes that quality of a player might fit the opponent with the style you want to play, but it’s also (about) competition.
“I believe competition brings out the best in people long-term. When you are practising with a lion behind your back, that will give you the last 2%. Very few people, without competition, can drive that standard by themselves everyday.
“That’s why you need a coach, but you
also need competition, so you’re constantly preparing and practising well. I’m very happy about that situation and we will see who will get to play tomorrow.”
Class recognizes class! And long may it continue at Arsenal
Class oozes throughout our squad (and our manager!) currently – I reckon the retention of all our key players bodes very well indeed for the season ahead!