Tuesday, December 6, 2022

‘The Champions League is where we should be’ Lotte Wubben-Moy reacts to victory over Ajax

Lotte Wubben-Moy was a first-half substitute for Arsenal’s 1-0 win over Ajax in Amsterdam on Wednesday evening. Lotte spoke to the press post-match, the first two questions are from Arseblog News…

On how pleased she was to get on after not making the most recent England squad…
Thanks for reminding me! If you strip it back, the reality is that I am not playing many minutes and Sarina’s policy is that if you’re not playing you’re not selected. That is as clear as day. I am fighting for a spot every day in training, training well beyond that i can’t do much else.

In terms of the game, you relish the opportunity to play at such a high level. They brought a high level today we could have been a lot better, on and off the ball but they posed us a lot of problems. Physically, definitely. To come on in a game like this, you have to keep your head and stay cool and I would say I am cool under pressure anyway.

On the different intensity between WSL and UWCL games…
We are used to playing the Arsenal way and we play it regardless of the occasion. The way other teams defend against that differs from team to team, they were much more physical than any other WSL team are. They hit you on the counter and they are really fast. That’s quite unique to Ajax, I think but it is a good point about the difference between Champions League and domestic football and we’re trying to bridge that gap.

I think all English teams are trying to do that and it’s an important step in the growth of the WSL. If you look at the way the coefficients are we are not where we should be so other WSL teams should be watching this and looking at the level, collectively and taking those experiences into the league and setting that standard. These opportunities are so valuable and to be in the group stage is massive for us, it’s where we should be.

On the difficulty of maintaining a high level in training when you’re not playing many minutes…
It’s difficult but that’s my job and I am doing it with an unbelievable group fo girls. I’ve got the England captain and the Brazil captain ahead of me, that needs to be my level and that benchmark is good for me, i need competition. I think I am playing some of my best football.

On having to play with ten players when Beth Mead went off with concussion…
Surely there should be more protection for players, especially in a high competition game like this where there were a lot of impactful challenges going in. I worry for the safety of the players, we are playing so many games and staying at a high level is tough, let alone when you are being hit by that. More needs to be done to protect players, I didn’t even know that rule wasn’t in place (the removal of the concussion sub rule) anymore, that really needs to be looked at.

On the Dutch side of her family being in the stadium…
I had a posse! My whole family was here, there were about 20 Wubbens here for me today. The last time i played in the Netherlands was my U-15 debut for England, it was pretty special. They were all here that night too. So much changes in life but you’re still playing football and that’s your currency in life but things change off the pitch, it was a nice full circle moment for me.

On having those three UWCL group stage matches at the Emirates…
I’ve been speaking about this a lot coming off the back of the Euros, there is a demand that is being noticed. We now know the demand is there, we need to supply it. We need to have as many opportunities as we can to get bums on seats. Opening up the Emirates and getting 47,000 in there, that’s what we want. It’s valuable that we keep creating that momentum. Obviously it’s a different challenge because the games are on weeknights but I would say take the kids out of the after school clubs and get on the tube and take them to the Emirates instead!

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C.B.

Ajax – small goals, dangerous tackles with two big injuries – glad they lost and we got through.

MartynJ

The small goals thing fascinates me. As someone with experience of squished fingers, aka putting posts up, it is extremely difficult to put them up at the wrong height, especially if it’s your actual job that you’re doing for every match. Either they’re regularly set up at the wrong height, in which case anyone who’s played Ajax recently might want to ask questions, or…

Tim Stillman

Think the mistake was an honest (if stupid) one. Ajax have youth games on this campus so probably do have slightly different sized goals around.

MartynJ

Aah – there’s the temptation, given the way Ajax play, to suspect dark arts etc. Incidentally, this happened in a game my daughter played in a few years ago. As goalie, she was surprised to find during the warm-up that she could reach the crossbar more easily than usual (not the tallest). The opposition claimed not to have the wherewithal (ladder, spanner) to adjust the goals so the referee abandoned the game and the points were awarded to my daughter’s team. Would’ve been amusing for a UWCL game to end like that…

Noddy 81

Missed the first half, but thought LWM was excellent in the second, including a Rafaelle esque wander up the pitch & smart ball out to the left!

chig

Was very impressed with how Wubben-Moy played in such an intense high stakes game after coming on as an unplanned substitute. I know Lucy Parker has played well in some WSL games but what Wubben-Moy did in a knockout Champions League game against this intense and physical Ajax puts her ahead for England surely

MartynJ

Agree – I guess the problem is that she hasn’t had the opportunity to play, unlike Lucy Parker. Perhaps if Sarina had held off for a day or two more…? Tbh, I was more impressed that Sarina resisted the clamour for Le Tissier and opted for Parker, the latter looking a far more promising CB.

Paul

Didn’t know she was Dutch. You learn something everyday.

Peter Story Teller

She’s not that’s why she plays for England! Her father is Dutch which is why she has family in the Netherlands.

Goonersince55

What an intelligent young woman.

Gunner H

From the vantage point of my desktop computer it looked pretty clear that Ajax were playing with an aggressive style beyond what is considered acceptable. As Jonas said about the Mead injury incident, it was not deliberate but “careless” Arsenal should consider protesting to UEFA about both the standard of refereeing, in particular the substitute issue, and the excessive “style” used by the Dutch opposition. Viv took the game by the “scruff of the neck” though and was brilliant in the first half, the first time I’ve seen her truly “excel” at Number 10. Kim was once again immense throughout,… Read more »

chig

The aggressive style Ajax and also Wolfsburg in the quarterfinal last season used will probably be mimicked by other teams that play against us in the future because the referees keep allowing it. I’m afraid the only way to combat it is to escalate the aggression against opponents that try it so they are aware it could cost them injuries too and maybe force the referee to get the game under control. It’s the old fashioned way of dealing with a bully. England did this against Germany’s physicality in the Euros final. It became very scrappy but the bullying tactics… Read more »

MartynJ

There is a certain irony in a German team signing Georgia Stanway… I thought Arsenal handled things much better in the second leg – didn’t retaliate or respond in kind, stuck to the game plan, Katie McCabe as peacemaker etc. A key part of the way teams like Ajax play is to provoke a response. So much depends on improvements in officiating – recognising what’s going on and dealing with it appropriately. In the Euros final it did turn into a bit of a battle in the middle of the field, but England’s approach was likewise pretty controlled.

Gunner H

I agree that other teams especially in the CL may mimic the style of Ajax, but I still think that we should make some sort of comments to UEFA – even if the protest is unsuccessful at least it may make future opponents more wary of being overly aggressive.
UEFA might also instruct referees to become stricter.

Fun Gunner

LWM’s character and intelligence shine out.

“I’ve got the England captain and the Brazil captain ahead of me, that needs to be my level and that benchmark is good for me, i need competition.”
Great attitude. She will get there.

Very true that the other European teams are more physical than the English sides.

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