Arsenal will be without first-choice centre-half pairing Leah Williamson and Rafaelle for “several weeks” according to Jonas Eidevall. Rafaelle fractured her metatarsal during the 1-0 win over Ajax last month.
Williamson was injured in training on international duty and remains in a protective boot. Arseblog News asked Jonas Eidevall whether there was a more definite timeframe available for the return of both players.
“We expect it to be several weeks unfortunately, but we have to wait for further assessment by consultants before we can put a more exact timeframe on it. At the moment we don’t think surgery is needed on either.”
Jonas also said that Leah had “no chance” of playing in the November internationals for England. Last season, Williamson’s absence coincided with a poor run of results, with the Gunners losing five of the eight games that she missed.
On that occasion, that included games against Barcelona, Chelsea and Hoffenheim but with UWCL games against Lyon and Juventus on the horizon the schedule is no less demanding on this occasion.
Leah Williamson: 'We don't want anyone feeling it's not their game'
Over the past few weeks I’ve been speaking to people about the lack of diversity in women’s football. Grateful to have had some honest and refreshing conversations ⬇️ https://t.co/aBxvf8IXnk
— Miriam Walker-Khan (@mimwalkerkhan) October 13, 2022
Arseblog News asked Jonas Eidevall what he learned from that period last winter and how it might inform his approach this time around.
“What is really important is that we treat every game 100%. We have team values that we want to live and one of those is to be 100% and to be fearless and we want to put the team first. None of that changes if we have one, two, three, four injuries or because we have unavailable players.
“Then it’s about finding the best way together as a team and that might change with the personnel we have available. That doesn’t mean we can play exactly the same way as we can when all of our players are available.
“They have different strengths and different weaknesses. If I learned something from that period last season is is that when we are playing with different players, we might need to tweak some of our priorities in order to be smart to play into player’s strengths and not their weaknesses.”
The Gunners play away at Reading in the WSL on Sunday evening at 6.45pm, with the game live on Sky Sports in the UK. They then travel to Lyon for their UWCL opener on Wednesday evening. That game will be shown live and free on DAZN’s YouTube channel.
Hope the shallow squad gamble doesn’t backfire again
Not sure any decent CBs could have been persuaded to join on the basis that they might have to sit on the bench all season.
i’m intrigued to see who plays alongside Lotte on Sunday though.
Jen Beattie ?
You’d imagine so, or Catley. I think there’s likely to be some rotation anyway as I’m not sure Beattie will be able to play three games a week. Hopefully Lotte can. Personally I’d really like to see Maanum get more minutes so wouldn’t mind Walti being moved back to centre half with a midfield of Kim, Frida and Viv. Not sure I can really see Jonas doing that but he rates Frida highly so this could be a good opportunity to get her playing.
I agree and can see why they gambled. That said injuries have been devastating the past 2 seasons so perhaps its time for a different approach if it happens a third season in a row.
There isn’t a team in Europe with five international centre-halves. Chelsea have four- Nouwen, Bright, Buchanan and Mjelde. I make that pretty equal to us. Lyon lost a centre-half and had to scrabble around on deadline day to get one because they were about to go into the season with three. Arsenal have four internationals and one player on loan in the WSL they can recall in January. I don’t see anyone stronger than that.
Didn’t mention Magda Eriksson in that list who plays left side in a back 3 for Sweden. Isn’t it fair to say Chelsea have more options in case of multiple players out with injury?
I think they do, to some extent. But it’s always easier to keep players happy on the bench if they’re winning medals. It’s harder for us in our position so in fairness I don’t think you can really blame the club.
Well, the results will show how much indeed we have learnt from last season.
Lotte Wubben-Moy, this is your time. That is the only silver lining to this very dark cloud.
So sorry to hear about Leah, rotten for her as well as us on top of Rafaelle’s injury. Get well soon.
Off topic but get well soon to Emma Hayes. Very scary stuff and I hope we see her (being grumpy because Chelsea have lost, obv) on the sidelines again very soon.