Monday, June 24, 2024

Lia Walti speaks to Arseblog News following 100th club appearance

Lia Walti made her 100th appearance for Arsenal during Tuesday’s 2-2 draw with Ajax. Lia spoke with the press after the game, the first three questions are from Arseblog News.

On the transition from playing as a pure six to playing a more advanced, pressing role in left central-midfield…
As I said last year to you, I think it just took a bit of time for me because it was a big change in my game. I think I adapted to it towards the end of last season a bit better. I think right now, I’m feeling really confident and comfortable in my position both we could both adapt our ideas a little bit and I think right now it fits perfectly to the game.

Now, I’m back to enjoying my game and I think at the start of last season, I struggled with that because when you feel like you’re not… when it’s not getting better week by week, then you feel… it wasn’t a burn out but it was kind of like, ‘I don’t have fun playing football’. I think I have that feeling back now.

On the number six position being more appreciated in women’s football now…
100%. I think Keira (Walsh) said it well, it’s not only a win for women’s football that you have bigger and bigger, especially for our position, I think we’re usually not as appreciated maybe as strikers or goal-scorers and I do think Keira Walsh did an amazing job for Man City for many, many years and for the English team. I’m really proud to see that someone of our position could be that person to be the new record transfer.

It’s cool to see and it’s also nice to see that it’s a bit of a rotation in the clubs with that number because I think it makes it all a bit interesting and changes also the style of the [teams]. For example, Man City is not going to play the same anymore without Keira, so I think it’s going to make the whole league a bit more interesting.

On the intensity of the game tonight…
We maybe expected to have the ball a little bit more in the first half but we couldn’t really find the solution to get the right pressing. We adapted it in the second half. I think we did way better.

We created a lot of chances but it was very physical, I agree, and I think in the midfield, you didn’t have a lot of time. We need to be 100% focused for next week because this is a really good team that we played against tonight.

On whether a draw was a fair result…
I would say, based on the second half, we were a bit unlucky with a draw, I think. I think we created more chances, we hit the post twice or three times, I don’t remember, and I think we feel a bit more like we lost that game maybe now, but it doesn’t matter. We have another chance next week, so we just need to win that one.

On whether she was frustrated with some of the refereeing decisions…
On the pitch it maybe felt like that, I’d need to see it again. You feel frustrated in certain decisions but then you need to keep going and just keep the speed of the game up and try to not let it affect you. I think we did that well and we created chances but I wasn’t fully happy today with the decisions, no.

On the difference in intensity between WSL and UWCL games…
It depends on who you play. Tonight, we were the favourites so maybe we expected a little bit more of us than we brought on the pitch. I think Ajax does have really good players. I think if Spitse is on the ball, it’s really dangerous.

She can pass great balls forward and they have really quick attackers, so it’s about us adapting in those moments and being able to change in the game if needed and I think we did that tonight in the second half. That gives us some hope for next week as well.

On what the team discussed at half-time…
I think the main thing was the pressing. It didn’t work. We couldn’t get the ball off them. They could play way too easy so we just had to address that and find solutions. I think that was all we spoke about really and then we fixed it – we had way more of the ball and created way more chances. That was important at half time.

On whether Ajax had greater rhythm having started their season earlier than Arsenal…
Maybe, but I thought we played really well on Friday as well as at the start of the season. I think we could’ve won that game by a bit of a higher scoreline. We were maybe a bit sloppy but we found the rhythm quite well in those two games and we had some pre-season games as well so I don’t really think it makes a difference. It’s more, tonight, it was about mentality and creating chances and I think in the first half, Ajax was better, in the second half, it was us.

On how Leah Williamson and Rafaelle playing higher up helps to push Lia higher up the pitch…
I think Jonas needed those defenders for us to play that game. I think you need defenders who also want to attack the ball, who are brave enough to go into the tackles to push your team forward. That is really important for us. I think that gives us confidence and trust to make that step forward that they win the ball even if it comes over us.

I think Leah is a player who, I’ve played a couple of years with her, we know about her strengths and I think with her, the trust was always there. With Rafa, it was a bit different because she was a new player, so you need to get to know each other a bit and that takes some time, but I think right now, we’re in a really good place.

On where her two-footedness comes from…
Actually, I spoke to Noelle (Maritz) about that because we both went to the same boarding school. We always had to do push-ups if we used the wrong foot doing passing drills, so I think it was something our coach at that time really paid attention to and I think we have to thank them for that.

Related articles


Notify of

newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Please please please no injury for her this season. Any player but her (or Williamson)


How about NO Player including her ?

Share article

Featured on NewsNow

Support Arseblog

Latest posts

Latest Arsecast

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x