Tuesday, December 6, 2022

‘It’s an honour to play with her’ Leah Williamson talks up Rafaelle partnership

Following Saturday’s 4-0 win over Sp*rs at the Emirates, Arsenal broke a WSL record with eight consecutive clean sheets. Lotte Wubben-Moy and Leah Williamson were the centre-back pairing that oversaw six of those at the end of last season.

This season, Brazilian defender Rafaelle has recovered from injury and played excellently in the opening three games of the season, putting the seal on her performances with a tidy headed goal in the North London derby.

After the game, Arseblog News asks Gunners defender Leah Williamson about the partnership she is creating at the heart of the defence with Rafaelle.

“I love it, it’s an honour for me to play with her. The way she plays is the way I want football to be played. Defensively, she has the body and the strength that I wish I had!” she laughs.

“I’m not as gifted as her in that respect! But how she uses that and her other strengths in this team is exactly what we need. The group of us, the centre-halves and the keepers really work together at training.

“At the start of the season, me, Jen (Beattie), Lotte (Wubben-Moy) and Rafa, we have been very critical of ourselves to try to figure out how we can be better.

“We’re all working together to get better and I think that’s what you’re seeing out there on match day based on what I am seeing in training every day.”

Williamson, who captained England to the European Championships this summer, says to achieve another slice of history with her club was very satisfying as a record 47,000 crowd descended on Emirates Stadium.

“I feel very privileged because I have had the opportunity, in an Arsenal and an England shirt, to be part of these record breaking crowds.

“I feel very proud that it’s Arsenal I think it’s fitting that the club that has always been investing in women’s football and pushed the boundaries and set new boundaries again.

“For us, we didn’t just want the effect to be in the summer and the Euros, we wanted it to carry on into the league. We want people to come and enjoy the football but we also want them to come because they love the club.

“We were on this road before covid, we had that record crowd (38,000) for the game at Tottenham’s Stadium (in November 2019) and we had games in big stadiums.

“Then covid hit and it set us back but now we’re back here, people watching us today are fans of the game and I really think they’ll come back to watch us again and again.”

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Gunnerboreus

Souza was absolutely fantastic on Saturday. What a player

Gunner H

Leah is already a first class player, but I think that playing alongside Rafaelle (what a signing!) will improve her play even more.

Zoe Waterfield

Oh yes Leah…. We’ll be back… Over and over and over again
But it was 53’737 not 47’000 it said so up on the big screens!!

Tim Stillman

It was 53k tickets sold but turnup was 47k so that’s considered the attendance on this occasion (since it’s a record, the increased accuracy was considered necessary).

C.B.

Strange that 6,000 (over 10% of the crowd) paid then didn’t turn up, wonder what happened?

verstellung

6000 Sp*rs fans…then they all said “why bother…we’ll just get crushed again”

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