Women’s Super League team-by-team preview: Arsenal out to get title back
Ahead of the return of the Women’s Super League this weekend, NewsChain takes a look at each of the 12 clubs involved.
Next up is a side who narrowly missed out on winning the title during last year’s campaign but will be looking to make their mark during the club’s 35th season of competitive football.
How did they do last season? 3rd
Arsenal were in contention to win the title throughout the 2019/20 campaign, but after the season ended and positions were based on a points-per-game basis, they were placed third.
The Gunners won 12 games and only lost three.
After last season’s campaign was shortened they will be even more hungry to make an impact and compete the top of the table against the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United.
Manager- Joe Montemurro
Joe Montemurro has been at Arsenal since 2017 and led the side to take the WSL title during the 2018/19 season, the first in seven years.
The 50 year-old has kept the majority of his team the same with only four new signings.
Ahead of the new season he believes the squads, staff and coaches in the WSL are all stronger, meaning the race for the title will be even more challenging.
He said: "It's undoubted that's its becoming probably the best league in the world with the attraction of both players and the commercial value of the league so definitely a league where you want to be the best you can be.
“We try to make a statement every time we step out on the field as Arsenal.”
Despite getting knocked out of the Champions League quarter-finals by Paris Saint-Germain last month, they will be looking to target similar spots next year and improve on their performance.
Key Player- Kim Little
While many will have their eyes on striker Vivianne Miedema, who was the top goalscorer with 16 last season, Kim Little is returning from injury and will captain the side.
The 30 year-old Scot has been training in pre-season with the squad and also appeared during their quarter-final match against PSG.
She has been with the club since 2017 and continues to impress in the midfield.
Earlier this year she had surgery on her foot but is now eager to get back on the pitch.
She said: "I had surgery in February and I’ve obviously been rehabbing most of the time during the pandemic, being away from the club.
“I came back into pre-season ready to go with the team, so I’ve just been progressing my fitness and getting back to the team training, the football aspect and the contact. I’m in a good place and I’m ready to go.”
New signings and departures
Defenders: Steph Catley, Lydia Williams (Melbourne City), Noëlle Maritz (VfL Wolfsburg).
Midfielders: Malin Gut (Grasshopper Club Zürich).
Defenders: Louise Quinn (Fiorentina), Pauline Peyraud-Magnin (Atlético Madrid), Emma Mitchell (Reading).
Midfielders: Katrine Veje (FC Rosengård), Ruby Grant (West Ham United).
Forwards: Danielle Carter (Reading).
What will they be aiming for this season?
Arsenal will ultimately be looking for another title win and a better run in the Champions League.
The Gunners will face Reading at home on September 6 at Meadow Park.