Arsenal star Lotte Wubben-Moy back with a bang
Superstar signings have dominated the headlines in the Women's Super League, but on Sunday it was a returning super-sub who popped up to score for the Gunners
15 October, 2020 — By Catherine Etoe
Lotte Wubben-Moy in action against Manchester City’s Demi Stokes in a training match for England. Photo: The FA
SUPERSTAR signings may be dominating the headlines in the women’s top flight, but on Sunday a super-sub popped up to remind us that Arsenal bagged quality in the transfer window too.
Lotte Wubben-Moy re-signed for the Gunners from the University of North Carolina in September, and after being thrown into the fray against Brighton, the 21-year-old banged in her first goal for the club.
“I can’t put into words what it felt like because, really, you can’t put a childhood dream into a few words, it wouldn’t do it justice,” she told me.
“All I could, and can do, is grab the badge and hold it as tight as I possibly can, because I’m not letting go any time soon.”
The defender spoke like a true Gooner, which the former Stoke Newington School sixth-former surely is if her childhood memories of walking from her auntie’s house in Islington to cheer on Arsenal are anything to go by.
“I remember going to the Emirates and being captivated as a kid, and even today,” she said.
“Not just because of the energy and atmosphere, but for being so close to some of the best players in the world on my doorstep. I felt privileged.”
Wubben-Moy’s first spell with Arsenal came after she graduated from the centre of excellence in 2015 and made her first-team debut. Then came a bold move to UNC, where she enjoyed title-winning seasons with North Carolina Tar Heels.
So what does returning to the club mean to a player who lists Tony Adams, Dennis Bergkamp, Thierry Henry and Ian Wright among her heroes?
“Being back at Arsenal means home sweet home,” she said. “Not in the ‘I can relax now sense’, but in the sense that at home people love you for who you are, will push you and demand high standards from you, will help you, teach you and put an arm around you.
“That’s what being home at Arsenal means to me.”
Having seen his injury-hit Arsenal squad emerge not entirely unscathed from five matches in just over two weeks, Joe Montemurro has the luxury of an entire week to prepare for this weekend’s London derby.
On Sunday, FA Women’s Super League bragging rights will be at stake and, as things stand, Arsenal have those in spades.
While Spurs fell 1-0 to Manchester United at the weekend, a successful day at the seaside saw Arsenal beat Brighton to return to the top of the table.
The narrow loss was food for thought for Spurs, while Arsenal’s 5-0 win offered an antidote to last week’s 4-1 Continental Cup mauling by Chelsea, who Montemurro described as a “super squad”.
“The scheduling is what it is, it was never going to be good for us,” he added. “We just need to keep believing in what we’re doing.”
Talking of “super squads”, it was interesting to hear Chelsea boss Emma Hayes say that, before facing Arsenal in midweek, she motivated her players by showing them a 2014 video of Spurs. No, not that Spurs.
It was actually American basketball outfit San Antonio Spurs whose own big and talented squad were NBA finals victors that year.
“Winning teams possess players that can be great teammates,” said Hayes.
“I told them not to look at the amount of passing exchanges, but everything from body language to positive eye contact, to backing each other, to supporting each other.”
And Chelsea captain Magdalena Eriksson’s verdict after Arsenal had been dispatched? “It was a great team effort today,” she said. “We all put a good shift in.”
Job done, then.