What a nice way to start the new campaign!
The four-nil win at home against Brighton had many protagonists and several highlights but, to me, Stina Blackstenius was the story of the night.
The Swede, whose arrival raised a few eyebrows for all the wrong reasons, has been a constant pain for the Seagulls with her perfectly timed runs and her physicality. Last January, when she arrived from BK Häcken, many believed that she would be a luxury alternative to Vivianne Miedema and very few understood that her signature was signaling a major switch from Montemurro’s Arsenal to Eidevall’s.
In Stina Blackstenius, Jonas Eidevall found the out-and-out centre-forward who wouldn’t deviate much from her nominal position, either vertically or horizontally. While Vivianne Miedema would often come deep into midfield, roam across the whole attacking line, exchange positions with the wide players, Stina Blackstenius plays on the shoulder of the last defender, attacks the box on every occasion and uses her body effectively to occupy the space.
Against Brighton, Stina Blackstenius forced an early red card, hit the bar and scored a goal in one hour, before making way for Lina Hurtig’s debut, but most importantly provided the perfect target for Leah Williamson, Rafaelle, Katie McCabe and others to hit a long ball over the top, leaving Brighton exposed when they were committing higher on the pitch. Don’t’ get fooled by the “hit the long ball over the top” part because we’re far from the route one football: the team is cleverly and patiently building their chances by drawing the opponents towards our defensive third, then unleashes Stina in space, where her mix of pace and power makes her virtually unstoppable.
She might not have the best start of life in London, last winter, but Stina Blackstenius is on her way to become one of the most important cogs in Jonas Eidevall’s team.
Bra jobbat, Stina!
Thirty-something Italian, currently in Switzerland. Gooner since mid-ninties, when the Gunners defeated my hometown team, in Copenhagen. Twelve years ago I started my own blog (www.clockenditalia.com) after after some experiences with Italian websites and football magazines. Debate, don’t insult or you’re out.
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