Friday, July 19, 2024

‘We came together as players in the changing room’ Wubben-Moy reflects on Arsenal’s fighting spirit

Arsenal defender Lotte Wubben-Moy says the February FA Cup defeat away at Chelsea was a turning point in Arsenal’s season in terms of team spirit.

The Gunners went down 2-0 at Kingsmeadow that day despite creating good chances in the game. A week later, Arsenal beat the same opponent 3-1 in the Conti Cup Final, a result widely considered as a tipping point in Jonas Eidevall’s reign.

But Wubben-Moy says the groundwork for that victory, which begat victories against Manchester City and Bayern Munich from losing positions, was laid in that Cup defeat.

“If you step back and look at this second half of the season, we’ve had a lot of highs and lows,” Wubben-Moy explained. “After that loss in the FA Cup to Chelsea, we came together as players in the changing room, all sat down and that was a pivotal moment for us as a group.

“From there everyone’s been able to see our togetherness and resilience. We’ve gone through a process of building relationships within the team between players.”

Arsenal have suffered it injuries to Beth Mead, Vivianne Miedema, Kim Little and Leah Williamson during the season and Lotte suggests that that sense of team spirit- and the ability to show tough love- has become even more important as a result.

“When you have that as a bedrock to living life in general but also trying to succeed as a football club, you are then able to have harder conversations on the pitch, understand what a team-mate is going to do and work off that.

“When you come onto the pitch you ultimately get closer to winning. Those are the fine margins we’re understanding as a
team in the Champions League which is maybe different to the WSL.

“We’re understanding that’s maybe the difference it’s going to take. If you look at our togetherness and ability to problem solve on the pitch, that’s somewhere we’re able to meet that margin and take a leap forward to hopefully get a win, but even moreso, put out a good performance.”

Since that game at Kingsmeadow, Arsenal have come from behind to beat Chelsea, Manchester City and Bayern Munich and have come from two goals down to draw in Wolfsburg. Wubben-Moy says the Conti Cup Final victory over Chelsea has imbued the team with extra belief.

“Winning is a habit once you’ve done it once. It sort of becomes second nature becomes an intuition. I think that’s the point where we’re at right now.

“We’re coming into the business end of the season, and every game is a cup final in the sense. I’m not even getting far ahead as to talk about the league. I’m talking about the Champions League right now.

“And when you look at it like that, and when you have the experiences of coming back from goals down, when you look at fighting back, if that is something in your blood, in your DNA, then it always sort of be part of you, then that’s the luxury we have.

“Maybe it’s not even a luxury because we’ve worked for it. Everything that we do day-in, day-out process again, it’s here for a reason and we’re here to continue that process and what happens at the end of it, that end product, it will be what is justified and what we deserve.”

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