Saturday, September 30, 2023

Frida Maanum ‘when you get the chance you just really want to take it’

At the beginning of last week, Norway international Frida Maanum might have been forgiven for wondering where her next Gunners start was coming from. The 22-year-old had managed 51 minutes so far this season, all from the bench, prior to last week’s UWCL meeting with Lyon.

Frida was given a surprise start ahead of Vivianne Miedema in that game and justified the manager’s selection with a goal and a player of the match performance in an astonishing 5-1 victory.

The performance was enough to keep her place in the team for the WSL match away at Liverpool where she was again on the score sheet.

On the back of the October international break, her national team coach Hege Riise warned her squad about the need for regular playing time ahead of next summer’s World Cup. Arseblog News asks Maanum whether Riise had that discussion with her.

“Yeah, she had that conversation with me too, we have some players in the national team not playing that much at the moment which is always hard. We spoke a little bit about it but I’m just trying to do my best every day in training and get the rewards from there.”

Maanum again kept Miedema out of the team for the visit to Liverpool on Sunday and the Norwegian brings something a little different to the role, particularly with her dribbling.

“Me and Viv are very different and bring different things to the position, also if it is against a team that suits it, you can play with Viv and me in midfield.

“Jonas knows my strengths and weaknesses well but in the Lyon game, you could see I like to dribble with the ball and the high pressure games suit me really well.”

“I felt good against Lyon and Liverpool. When you are not playing you are desperate to play so when you get the chance you just really want to take it. I’m really happy to be at a club like Arsenal and I have waited a long time to get game time so I am really enjoying it.

“We have a very competitive squad and it makes us even stronger as players because we have to work so hard in training to even play and that’s a big strength in our team.”

FC Zurich will present another different challenge for the Gunners tonight, Jonas Eidevall’s team will be hot favourites while Zurich will come to frustrate.

“We know what we did in Lyon but we have to build from there, it is a completely different game against Zurich and we just have to go out there and play our game. Honestly, I haven’t watched a lot of the Swiss league but our analysts have and we know what we are meeting.”

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Merlin’s Panini

Miedema has been a great player for us. She’s still a great player but it’s good to know there are other options. She signed an extension to the end of this season and now it looks like there’s a possible succession plan.
I would still love for her to stay beyond this season but it doesn’t look quite as catastrophic now if she doesn’t, if Maanum keeps up this form, that is.


Last season, Frida Maanum didn’t seem to be anything special in an orthodox midfield role, despite a great goal, I think against Everton. But in this more advanced midfield position, she looks an absolute monster. Where this leaves Viv and Manu I don’t know, but it’s a nice problem for the boss.

Gunner H

Frida has now proved that she is a valuable squad member and can potentially have a sensational impact in games; I don’t think the comparison with Viv is merited, as she has proved herself way beyond expectations consistently for a few seasons to date – Viv is an absolute key player for Arsenal and will continue to be so.

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