Arsenal just can’t stop scoring!
Grounded Gunners not getting carried away by emphatic start to WSL season
17 September, 2020 — By Catherine Etoe
Arsenal boss Joe Montemurro celebrates another big win with Katie McCabe, left, and Kim Little.
PHOTO: Kunjan Malde for The FA
SHOULD goal difference wind up playing any part in the title race this term, Arsenal manager Joe Montemurro can at least look back on September’s fixtures knowing that his players did all they could.
A mere two weekends in, and already 50 goals have flown in across the Barclays FA Women’s Super League, with last season’s top-three teams accounting for more than half of them.
Arsenal have made the biggest impact. On Saturday evening, Montemurro’s side beat 10-player West Ham 9-1 at Chigwell Construction Stadium to bring their tally to a healthy 15 goals in just two games.
Netherlands midfielder Jill Roord claimed the match ball for the second week on the bounce with yet another hat-trick. Her compatriot Vivianne Miedema also replicated last week’s tally with two, while Kim Little, Beth Mead, Leah Williamson and Caitlin Foord also all scored.
But while there was much in the result to please Montemurro, he wasn’t putting out the bunting just yet.
“It’s round two, our feet are firmly on the ground,” he told me. “We will continue to work hard and goals is what we do.
“We have the players that will score goals, we have the players that will prepare goals and we have the system and the structure that will always create chances.”
Watching from the stands was a West Ham season ticket-heavy crowd of 734 who had been allowed in to watch this London derby in the flesh as a test pilot for the return of spectators to football.
It will have made for uncomfortable viewing for most, particularly as the Hammers were in the match until their captain and former Gunner Gilly Flaherty was sent off with the score at 2-1.
Following the red card, the West Ham defence duly collapsed, although Arsenal had been threatening to move up a gear even before the dismissal.
Top of the table going into the international break, the Gunners are in the driving seat domestically – for now at least.
SPURS SEAL THE DEAL
ECLIPSING all-comers in the signing stakes this week were Tottenham, who crowed about their latest acquisition – Olympic, World Cup and Champions League winner Alex Morgan – from a billboard hoarding in Leicester Square.
“This is a historical moment for Spurs Women, and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome one of the biggest names in football to our club,” purred joint head coach Karen Hills when the rumoured transfer was confirmed.
In case you don’t know, in her 169 appearances for the USA, the 31-year-old striker has scored a whopping 107 goals, including the one that knocked England out of the 2019 World Cup.
Morgan notoriously marked that killer header by pretending to sip a cup of tea, so we’ll watch her WSL celebrations with interest.
Unluckily, Spurs’ new No13 wasn’t available this weekend when the north Londoners slipped to a 1-0 defeat at high-flying Everton.
HARDER HITS HOME
ANYTHING Arsenal can do we can do better may well have been the mantra at Kingsmeadow on Sunday, as Emma Hayes’ reigning champions Chelsea dismantled Bristol City 9-0.
Every one of those goals was scored by a different player, but the pick of the bunch had to be number eight – a sublime back-heel flick from Chelsea’s new expensive import, Pernille Harder. Sheer class.
• Don’t forget, all WSL and selected Championship matches are being shown for free on the new FA Player. faplayer.thefa.com