For the first time, the WSL will switch to a winter calendar. Here are my thoughts on how Arsenal Women will get on as they compete in FA WSL1 from September to March.
Story of Last Season
In their last full season, Arsenal won the FA Cup at Wembley with a 1-0 victory against Chelsea. They finished 3rd in WSL1 behind winners Manchester City and runners-up Chelsea. Then they competed in the FA WSL Spring Series along with eight other teams. This was a one-off transitional competition before the switch to a winter calendar. Arsenal Women finished 3rd once again and were the only unbeaten team over eight games. Chelsea won the competition and Manchester City were the runners up.
Louise Quinn: After Notts County Ladies folded on the eve of the Spring Series, Louise Quinn joined Arsenal on a short-term deal. The defender impressed during the Spring Series and has since signed an extended contract. Republic of Ireland international Quinn was awarded the FAI International Senior Women’s Player of the Year in 2013. She spent four seasons at Swedish team Eskilstuna United and her experience will continue to be an asset to Arsenal.
Vivianne Miedema: Signing a player from Bayern Munich always come with high expectations and Vivianne Miedema has already got Arsenal fans excited. She is yet to play for the club, having signed in the off season, but Miedema was part of the Dutch squad who won the Women’s Euro 2017. It was their first major women’s international tournament and it was won on home soil. Miedema played a huge part in the tournament for the Netherlands. She scored twice in the final as the Netherlands beat Denmark 4-2 and was named Player of the Match. Miedema also scored against England, introducing herself to her new Arsenal team-mates in the process. Arsenal have made a huge statement by signing Miedema and the 21-year-old will help the side to become serious title challengers.
Lisa Evans: Another player signer from Bayern Munich, forward Lisa Evans joined Arsenal in June. The Scottish international had been at Bayern Munich since 2015. She has also made a total of 48 appearances for Scotland, scoring 12 goals in the process.
Jessica Samuelsson: Swedish international Jessica Samuelsson signed for Arsenal from Swedish side Linkopings. She was part of the squad that won a silver medal in the 2016 Olympic Games. The right-back is an excellent signing for Arsenal and will provide great strength in Arsenal’s defence.
Josephine Henning: Many Arsenal fans were sad to see Josephine Henning leave but the German defender has returned to the club after a short spell with Lyon in which she won a historic treble including the Champions League. Henning feels she has “unfinished business” at the club and is raring to go following her return.
Arsenal have many excellent players but Jordan Nobbs is one of the best. Nobbs is a crucial player for both Arsenal and England and continues to dazzle with her superb and consistent performances. The 24-year-old won FA WSL 1 Players’ Player of the Spring Series at the recent FA Women’s Football Awards. She also won the FA WSL 1 Goal of the Spring Series for her stunning 30-yard free-kick against Manchester City. If Arsenal are to challenge for the title in the coming season, Jordan Nobbs will play a huge part in their success.
Manager Pedro Martinez Losa has been at Arsenal for three years after taking charge on the 15 September 2014. He is yet to win the FA WSL 1 title during his reign as Arsenal manager. This is Arsenal’s best chance to improve on their recent 3rd placed finishes and Losa will be determined to make the most of it.
Which matches will be shown on TV?
The BBC and BT Sport will be showing matches on live TV or providing radio coverage of Women’s Super League One when the season begins later this month. At this current moment these are the Arsenal matches that will be shown on TV or covered by radio:
Live on: BT Sport and BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra
Arsenal v Bristol City (Sunday, 8 October)
Live on: BBC Red Button
Everton v Arsenal (Sunday, 29 October)
Live on: BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra