Our season is threatening to capsize after a promising two thirds, but during our woes, our Women’s team have given us all something to cheer about.
They are now Womens Super League Champions, lifting the title with a game to spare after trouncing Brighton 4-0.
Arsenal Women – the most successful English Womens team in history – had not lifted the league title since 2012. That was something that had to be rectified, but the money pumped in from both Chelsea and Manchester City to their sides made things very difficult.
But the appointment of boss Joe Montemurro and some shrewd signings has seen the Gunners sweep all aside this season, and despite nearest challengers Man City not losing a game, we have become champions once more.
Montemurro has allowed a more adaptive style of football since his arrival two years ago, and a League Cup triumph last season was the signal of what was to come.
This season has also seen the rise to prominence of players when we needed them most. Vivienne Miedema was a shadow of herself last season, injuries lowering her impact. This campaign though has seen her average more than a goal a game, and her finishing has been a world above anything else on show in the League.
A serious injury to star playmaker Jordan Nobbs threatened to derail the season, as the England player was flying at the time. Who would step up in her absence?
Danielle Van De Donk. The Dutch midfielder/winger has been a revelation, and has used the space created by Miedema to bang in double figures. Kim Little too has achieved the same, and while any team would miss the calibre that Nobbs provides, we have had the creativity to lessen the blow somewhat.
Lisa Evans and Lia Walti have also made huge contributions. Evans started out as a wide player but has since moved into a more defensive role, and Walti’s presence in front of the back four and her distribution have been nothing short of excellent, offering an outlet when under pressure.
The strength of the squad had to be strong, with injuries to Walti, Danielle Carter, Nobbs, Tabea Kemme and Emma Mitchell throughout the campaign, meaning Montemurro had to wring every ounce out of his girls, and he did that and more.
It is a welcome sight to see our Women’s team back at the top of the Womens Super League, and they will now be back into the Champions League. They are still the only English side to have won the tournament.
So hats off to every single player and member of staff who contributed to this triumph. You’ve given us all a smile when we needed it most, and are also contributing to the growth in the Womens game – the crowd for the win over Brighton was the biggest ever seen in English Womens Football.
Well done Ladies.