Arsenal midfielder Daniëlle van de Donk admits she felt “lost” and wasn’t enjoying her football before new manager Joe Montemurro arrived just over 12 months ago. It’s little more than 12 months since the Australian took charge of his first Arsenal game and his arrival has sparked an upturn in form in both the team and the Dutch star.
From Wimbledon beating Liverpool to Hereford beating Newcastle to Bradford beating Chelsea, there’s nothing quite like a David versus Goliath. The Women’s FA Cup has had its fair share of romance, too, and this weekend sees fourth-tier Crawley Wasps face 14-time winners Arsenal. An Arsenal that has record-breaking Vivianne Miedema, the world-class Kim Little, the composed young defender Leah Williamson, and a host of internationals and top young talents to boot. The Wasps were formed 27 years ago and have only ever been a women’s football club. It’s a name which the locals hold dear, a brand which has become synonymous with the side, noticeable in their black-and-yellow striped shirts. Last year they were as low as the fifth tier of English football before earning promotion and the side has a good chance of back-to-back promotions, largely thanks to the efforts of committed manager/chairman Paul Walker.
There are very few managers who have a penchant for a motivational quote quite as much as soon-to-be-former Birmingham head coach Marc Skinner. While Skinner is leaving his role to take charge of National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) side Orlando Pride, he’s a local boy through and through — just listen to his accent.
Keen to not let their first potential FA WSL title since 2012 slip through their fingers after a more-than-impressive first half of the season, Arsenal has swooped in early to seal the signings of Danish duo Janni Arnth and Katrine Veje.
United States head coach Jill Ellis says the defending champions will be attacking, not defending the World Cup after the draw was made for next summer’s tournament in Paris. The U.S. was placed into Group F alongside Thailand, Chile, and familiar foes Sweden, ensuring an encounter between the sides for a fifth World Cup group stage in a row.