2022-23 Women’s Super League preview No 1: Arsenal | Arsenal Women


The plan

Jonas Eidevall turned Arsenal’s fortunes around, taking Chelsea to the wire in last season’s WSL title chase. The Gunners had finished nine points behind Chelsea in the previous campaign, finishing third, and that deficit was reduced to just one point in his first season.

More encouragingly, eight months into his tenure, Arsenal had taken eight points from Chelsea and Manchester City, having struggled against their closest rivals. A stellar start fell through around Christmas as injuries and a game piled up, but action in the January transfer window, with the arrival of striker Stina Blackstenius and defenders Rafaelle Souza and Laura Wienroither, has strengthened things enough to ensure the title race. the last day. This summer they have been less active, with HB Køge goalkeeper Kaylan Marckese, Champions League group stage opponents last season, and Swedish striker Lina Hurtig the only signings.

More importantly, they retained Vivianne Miedema, the WSL and Netherlands record goalscorer, who signed a new contract after being courted by Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain, and hired a new senior analyst and added to their strength and conditioning. personal. Having a lot of incoming players is appealing, but there’s a lot to be said for team consistency, maintaining the core and building the team around them.


Hurtig’s arrival is significant, however, as Nikita Parris was cleared to join Manchester United, Tobin Heath returned to the United States and Miedema was used in the deeper No.10 role. of the Dutch striker gave Eidevall a headache in midfield, with Japanese magician Mana Iwabuchi, England’s Jordan Nobbs and captain Kim Little competing with Miedema for space in front of the most defensive Lia Walti.

The only concern in terms of personnel is the lack of reinforcement for Wälti. Frida Maanum has been used in this role under Eidevall but is not a natural choice and although Leah Williamson has been tried in midfield for club and country, her removal from the backline weakens her immensely. .

Whether Arsenal are ready to win the title or can remain competitive in all competitions is difficult to predict, but there are promising signs of growth and development.


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