Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Stina Blackstenius and Kim Little react to victory over Brighton

Arsenal opened their WSL season with a 4-0 win over Brighton at Meadow Park on Friday evening. Striker Stina Blackstenius, who scored the second goal, spoke to the press post-match.

Her thoughts on the performance…
Of course, we are happy with the win. When they went down to 10 after five minutes we knew we had a really good chance to win and I think we could have scored more because we created so many chances. We were happy to finally get the season started. I felt that I could have scored earlier in the game, I had a lot of chances, so I was happy to finish one in the second half.

On having had half a season to acclimatise to the league since joining the club in January…
It’s been fun since the very start. This season I hope to create even stronger relationships with my teammates and it’s helped me a lot to have some time here already. We know each other as a group now and that is really positive. Lina (Hurtig) and Kaylan (Mackerse) have come in so we need to build on the good things from last year but build new relationships, like with Lina.

On how her runs into the channels help her fellow attackers…
Jonas and I don’t talk about it so much because it’s something I do very naturally, I want to create space for myself and my teammates and I want to keep doing that. Giving my teammates space is something I have been working on for a few years, it’s not just about me having the ball every time. If I can give one more second to another player I am happy with that. I can always be available to get the ball in the next space.

On what she needs to improve…
It’s very quick here in England I think I need to be better with my first touch, to get the ball in tight spaces and to get the quick passes between me and Viv because I don’t have so much time with the ball and that is something I am really working on.

Kim Little also spoke to the press post-match. The first question is from Arseblog News, the others are from other journalists.

On her relationship in midfield with Lia Walti…
Wally and I have a great relationship, we want to be dynamic in the way that we play, we balance each other really well. When I can get forward and be attacking that’s my natural game and for her it’s to tidy up and get on the ball more. But also, as a team we don’t want to be predictable, we both have the capabilities to do both and that’s why it works.

On the performance…
We always know Brighton are going to be difficult to break down and when they went down to 10 players I don’t think it changed the game too much because we know they want to sit in and you have to break them down. I thought there were times when we could’ve been a bit cleaner in our play but our counterpress and our intent and our finishes for the goals were great.

On her loan spell at OL Reign over the summer…
I played six games over in America and I think that has really helped. It would have been a long off-season otherwise, over four months, for me I feel good and it’s put me in good stead to start the season.

On the stability in the team over the summer and how that contributed to the performance…
We have such great footballers throughout the team, across the whole squad, for us it’s just about those fine details, the movements, how quick we are and picking out the best pass. I thought we did that really well throughout this game. We’ve got a good base.

On the balance between structure and intuition…
It’s a bit of both, we speak in the build-up to games about always having structured passing lines both from the back and in midfield and then we also have the freedom to use intuition too and when we play at our best, you really see that.

On playing in front of a full-house at Meadow Park…
It was great, even before the match you can hear it, from the dressing rooms and from outside around the stadium, you can tell it’s a big crowd. We want everyone to keep coming back and we hope people enjoyed the game. We want to entertain, we want to win and playing in front of thousands of fans, who are singing and want you to win, that motivates you.

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Collibosher

Kim. Little by name, little in stature, but huge in influencing the game. Tackling, picking up loose balls, great close control when surrounded by opponents, bringing team-mates into play, and you know when she’s found arriving in the box, exactly where the ball will end up. I think she lost the ball once in the entire game, it was a misplaced pass. Player of the match.

Gunner H

Beautiful summary – Kim is our sensational skipper who leads by immaculate example and inspires the players in the team to emulate her, including more recent “superstars” such as Leah & Beth 🙂

Jax

It’s unrealistic that this well supported team should continue to play at Boredom Wood’s small Meadow Park (max 3300) capacity ground and surely the club will be looking to relocate, possibly to somewhere like Barnet’s The Hive Stadium which holds 6500, and even that may not be big enough if the supporter trend continues.

Jax

…small capacity Meadow Park

PeteyB

Worked fine without the correction

Moses Larel Luwalira

Ticket sales have to consistently be selling out before your suggestion is even met. There should be a sustainable demand for change to be implemented. Somethings are more complicated than we think they are. If the tickets are selling out all season then the club will move onto the next step. It is still a business, they don’t want to make losses just to appease a few.

Fun Gunner

Well said. I’m not a huge fan of the location of Meadow Park but it is big enough for our current needs. When we are turning fans away for every home match, that’s when we can think about moving.

SpyroFanatic

I wasn’t a fan of the (maybe) two-camera set up of the coverage. Something as momentous as the red card was barely shown on the broadcast. There was no replay of the player getting sent off. I had to count the players on the pitch as the ball was knocked about.
I think there could be some more effort put into the direction and camera coverage. Maybe it was a stadium issue but it was hard to invest into the drama of the game even before the red.

Chrishgooner

The coverage would have been better on either Sky or Beeb. Arsenal.com and FA Player have their limitations.

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