Friday, June 21, 2024

Pelova injury scare, Maanum and Russo on the scoresheet, McCabe suspended- Arsenal Women international round up

The June international window has concluded in women’s football with plenty of Arsenal related news to get our teeth into. Let’s start with the happy news that Manu Zinsberger was not part of Austria’s 2-1 defeat to Iceland, she left the camp prior to the game as her wife is expecting a child. Laura Wienroither was a second half substitute in that game.

Emily Fox came on as a 72nd minute substitute as Emma Hayes’ USA beat Korea Republic 3-0. Beth Mead, Alessia Russo and Leah Williamson all started in England’s impressive 2-1 win over France in St. Etienne, with Russo on the score sheet and scooping the Player of the Match award. Lotte Wubben-Moy missed that game due to a foot injury.

Frida Maanum came off the bench for Norway to score an 81st minute equaliser in a 1-1 draw with Italy.

Katie McCabe captained Ireland for their 1-0 defeat to Sweden (Stina Blackstenius was injured and Amanda Ilestedt is on maternity leave) and received a booking that means she misses the crunch Euro 2025 qualifier against England on July 12.

The news around Victoria Pelova is more concerning, she had to be replaced after 12 minutes during Netherlands’ 1-1 draw with Finland. Pelova went down holding her knee but seemed to leave the pitch comfortably enough. When quizzed on the injury afterwards, Netherlands boss Andries Jonker didn’t rule out a potential ACL injury, however, I am assured by Dutch speakers that he was suggesting he couldn’t entirely rule it out given the number of ACL injuries in women’s football rather than because he thought that was the likely injury. ‘This is one of the big downsides to being a women’s coach. I don’t rule out a serious knee injury. The doctors said, ‘we will have to look at it carefully’.” Fingers crossed that injury isn’t a bad one for Pelova.

Kathrine Kuhl came on in the 59th minute as Denmark led Spain 2-0, only to surrender to a 3-2 defeat to the World champions, who scored three times in the last 16 minutes. Kuhl actually gave away a penalty which Mariona Caldentey, who we are expecting to sign for Arsenal imminently, subsequently missed. Laia Codina missed that game with a muscular injury.

Cloe Lacasse started for Canada against Mexico, playing 66 minutes of a 1-1 draw in Toronto. On Monday, Steph Catley and Kyra Cooney-Cross played the full 90 minutes as Australia beat China 2-0 in Sydney. Caitlin Foord missed that game as a precaution due to a thigh strain, all three players are confirmed in the Matildas’ Olympics squad.

The players will now have a short break until July, when there will be a further Euro 2025 qualifying double header and Canada, Australia, Spain and USA will prepare for the Olympic Games. Arsenal will play pre-season friendlies against Washington Spirit and Chelsea in Washington in mid-August.

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Why don’t we fling in more crosses to Russo? Before she came here I knew she was devastating in the air, but we didn’t seem to utilize that part of her game enough.


Hopefully! That could be a potent weapon next season — especially in games that are tight. The likes of McCabe, Catley, Mead, Fox, etc are all good crossers too.


Not much of a break for those playing in the Olympics, then it’s qualifiers for the Champs league.

Hope Vic is ok. 🤞


Please unblock me on Twitter, Tim. I promise to be of better behaviour. Totally deserved it though. Gave you enough grief about your support for Manuela Zinsberger 😂😭.


For a long time I’ve felt Olympics should go to age limited


Once again Russo played briliantly, ran her socks off for the team and made me realise just how lucky we are to have her at AWFC. I believe her position on the pitch at different times is a pointer to her running back and forth to help out. Doing this she is not in a centre forward position. Brilian footballer.
I hope Pelova’s unjury is not too serious.

Fun Gunner

I don’t know if you saw Tim’s Twitter/X comment about Russo shielding, controlling and passing the ball in one movement? That’s one of those little skills that can make a big difference to an attack – like the “tackle-pass”. It doesn’t sound glamorous, but having players who can do those things elevates a team.


I don’t do X much but, for me, to write down all that contributes to the ream and the game takes up more space after every game. I know what Tim meant and it was in evidence against France.
I may be wrong but the press seem to concentrate on the “wonders” of Toone or Stanway rather than the player of the match but then, what do the press know?

Fun Gunner

Not Pelova, please. Please not Pelova.


I just have to hear the word knee now and my heart sinks, fingers crossed she’s ok


Was very happy to see Russo play against France but now will spend the rest of the day wondering about Pelova’s knee.

Gunner H

Alessia Russo was absolutely magnificent last night, but this doesn’t surprise me as she has the magical skills as described by Ms Fun Gunner, consistently great off the ball running & tracking back, plus scoring a few goals – and she was in blistering form versus France. For all commentators who have criticised her for not scoring enough goals, I hope you now understand the full extent of her actual qualities. Sincerely hope Pelova doesn’t have an ACL, she was a crucially effective contributor in 2023/24. We will need KK & Matilda Kyra even more if so. Surely no Olympians… Read more »

Fun Gunner

It was Tim who described Russo’s magical skills, not me. I was just passing it on! But totally agree she was terrific against France.


Thanks for this info on injuries. Bottom line, we need to wait to hear the nature of pelova’s injury,

Jeffrey Langdon

Hoping to see Arsenal play the Washington Spirits in DC. Where is the best place to find information on that match? The Spirits’ front office has no information at the moment. Thank you.

Amor pelo futebol feminino

My question is: Could the Olympics hinder our access to the Champions League? I realize that most of the athletes will be involved in this event, and key players.

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