Eleven years is a long time.
Eleven years in footballing career terms? That is the majority of the whole journey.
Start pro at eighteen, fast forward eight years and you’re 29, enjoying your best years and looking to leave a legacy.
That is exactly what Arsenal striker Danielle Carter did with her eleven years at the club. Our Number 9 bagged goals with alacrity, with trophies nearly as frequent.
Four FA Cups, five League Cups and four titles. That’s quite the haul. But her longevity should be held up as just as glorious as her silverware.
Players don’t stay at a club for such a long time without being pretty good at what they do. Danielle Carter certainly fits into that category. The England striker had a few strengths – her close control was one of her assets, along with her physicality and positioning – but put simply, Carter was good at grabbing goals.
Outside the box, predatory strikes, instinctive finishes, Carter proved to be a real menace for us up top. With so many trophies, it would be hard to pick out a highlight, but one of the best moments of her career has to be the FA Cup winning goal in 2016, when she dazzled Chelsea’s left-back with footwork, jinked inside and wrapped her foot around the ball from the angle of the box. The result was a bending effort that nestled into the top corner.
It was a world class effort - especially given the occasion, and quite reminiscent of Freddie Ljungberg’s Cup winning goal in 2002 against Chelsea.
There was much more than this though.
She played a big part of Arsenal’s success during her time at the club. Carter achieved a criminally low amount of caps for England, as one of the best of the WSL in her time, Carter should and could have spearheaded many different England tournament campaigns.
She did just that in the red and white of Arsenal.
Two serious knee injuries have massively impacted her playing time, but Danielle is the consummate professional who will no doubt continue to score freely wherever she goes next. It is just a pity she doesn’t get to say goodbye to us fans properly.
With a degree under her belt, Carter has shown she excels in whatever she puts her mind to.
Gooners wish her the best in everything she does – and I want to thank her for her goals, her attitude and her quite frankly hilarious social media accounts.
Thanks Danielle, go and smash it.