HomeArsenal WomenThree things to watch for in the second half of the season...

Three things to watch for in the second half of the season for Arsenal Women

Three things to watch for in the second half of the season for Arsenal Women

After the winter break, Arsenal Women will begin the second half of the season with a massive match against Chelsea at Emirates Stadium on January 15. We examine what will define Arsenal’s second half of the season.

How will they replace Vivianne Miedema and Beth Mead’s output?

Mead and Miedema have been permanent members of Arsenal’s starting XI for the past five seasons and are by far the most productive players in the final third. Mead and Miedema have ranked first and second, respectively, in goals scored and assists over the past three seasons. To lose both within three weeks due to ruptured anterior cruciate ligaments is particularly cruel.

However, Arsenal cannot afford to feel sorry for themselves, and they have not acted frugally in the transfer market to compensate for these two losses. In the final game before the break, Jonas Eidevall stated to Arseblog News, “One of the challenges of this transfer window is that we need to recruit players who can provide us with end product, as that is one of the measurable factors that we have lost with those two players.”


Arsenal has responded by acquiring attacking midfielders Victoria Pelova and Kathrine Kuhl and recalling Brazilian winger Gio Queiroz from Everton, where she was on loan. It strengthens Arsenal’s creative prowess, but none of these players are yet prolific goal scorers. However, according to Arseblog News, a striker is likely to arrive in January, and the club has been strongly linked with a move for Canadian striker Cloe Lacasse, who scored five goals for Benfica in the UWCL group stage. Lacasse could help the club in that regard.

Competition at midfield

Arsenal signed Rafaelle Souza and convinced Leah Williamson and Lotte Wubben-Moy to sign new contracts between December 2021 and April 2022. Jonas Eidevall made it abundantly clear how he views the foundation of his defense for the upcoming seasons. Rafaelle and Leah Williamson led their respective nations to continental victory in July, and Lotte Wubben-Moy was a member of England’s Euro 2022-winning squad.

Williamson and Rafaelle began this season together, as they did following Rafaelle’s signing in January of last year. However, since his arrival, the Brazilian has been plagued by injuries, opening the door for Wubben-Moy. Lotte has been an integral part of a WSL record-breaking defense.

When Rafaelle and Williamson returned to the team prior to the holiday season, Wubben-Moy retained her position so that Eidevall could ease the two veteran defenders back into action gradually. Eidevall shifted Williamson to midfield for the final game and a half before the break and paired Wubben-Moy with Rafaelle.

Jonas Eidevall was asked by Arseblog News if this was a tactical maneuver, to which he responded, “I chose the starting eleven that I felt was the best.” With Kim Little’s return to full health, the vacant midfield position can no longer be filled by three players instead of two. Prior to being substituted 61 minutes into the 9-1 victory over Zurich just before halftime, Wubben-Moy had played every available minute since being substituted in September’s Champions League qualifier against Ajax. Of course, Eidevall has the option to rotate, but a very dependable defender is likely to miss out.

Nobody compares to Lia Walti

For all of Arsenal’s significant injuries during the first half of the season, one potential player absence keeps Gunners fans up at night. Lia Walti. The Swiss missed four games in 2022, including the loss to Birmingham on the road that cost the team the WSL championship, the Champions League quarterfinal second leg loss in Wolfsburg, and the Conti Cup quarterfinal loss to Manchester United in January.

She was a substitute for the Champions League game against part-time FC Zurich at home, and she was rested for the FA Cup game against London City Lionesses at home. In short, she is extremely important, and there is no natural replacement for her within the squad.

In September, Arseblog News questioned Jonas Eidevall about his contingency plans for the position. “Leah (Williamson) can also play there and has played there for England, and Kim Little can definitely play there as well.” If Frida Maanum improves her defense, which requires only minor adjustments to her positioning and decision-making, I believe she also possesses all the other necessary tools.

“We have the same options as last season, so there is continuity, and I am comfortable with that. We have different types of players who can play there, giving us a variety of tools depending on the opponent.” Maanum is needed in the advanced position, but he has not been in the starting lineup since the loss at Birmingham.

The loss of Miedema diminishes the appeal of bringing Kim Little back from the bench. Given the aforementioned depth at central defense, Leah Williamson would likely replace Walti if necessary; however, she plays the position in a very different manner, necessitating an adjustment. All of this is speculative because, despite Jonas’s boasts about the team’s ‘different tools,’ we have yet to observe them, highlighting the significance of Walti. Let’s hope Wally stays healthy so that the solution remains a mystery.

Three things to watch for in the second half of the season for Arsenal Women

latest articles