The Arsenal Women Journal: One For The Records


There is so much to say, so much to tell about the four-nil home win against Spurs that it’s truly hard to pick one player, one moment, one tactical aspect of this very welcome win.

We could talk about the eighth straight clean-sheet; we could talk about Rafaelleʻs performance at the back (everywhere, actually…); we could talk about Caitlin Foordʻs importance in the attacking setup; we could talk about Katie McCabe’s astute movement from the left wing and her swapping positions with the Australian forward or we could talk about Lia Wälti’s role in the pressing.

Truth is, the North London Derby carried a much bigger message, and this is what I want to talk about.

In a summer that saw women’s football crash any possible record in terms of attendance and number of viewers during the Euros, setting a new record for a Barclay Women’s Super League game has been the pinnacle of a fantastic weekend. In the race that will (hopefully) see clubs competing to record the largest attendance, it is very important to mark a big difference between filling your stadium or selling actual tickets, something that Jonas Eidevall was quick – and right – to highlight during the post-match press conference: “I don’t want to sound arrogant but I don’t think we should compare attendance figures with giveaway tickets and sold tickets. I don’t think it’s fair when you’re doing that comparison. If you’re giving away tickets it’s something else. When you sell tickets, that’s how you run a football club.”

The club SOLD an amazing 53,737 tickets for the game against Tottenham, they didn’t give anything away just for the sake of filling as many seats as possible. Clubs can give away tickets for a specific event, once or twice a year, but they won’t be able to survive unless they find a way to generate interest from the supporters, hence income, and this is exactly what the Arsenal managed to do, while others were showing off their empty numbers.



Attracting over fifty thousand people to the Emirates for the North London Derby shows that there is genuine interest for the Women’s team and opens the door for even bigger attendances, should the team get past Ajax and qualify for the Champions League or play a title-winning game late in the campaign. There is a genuine interest in seeing Vivianne Miedema in flesh and bones; there is genuine interest in being part of Beth Meadʻs revenge tour; there is genuine interest in watching Ms. Arsenal donning the famous number six, and so on. England “bringing it home” surely played a part in putting women’s football on the centre stage but, at the Arsenal, we have a team that can inspire current and future generations through the quality of its football, the closeness with the fans, a fantastic heritage and a set of actual Gooners in their ranks.

Those FIFTY-THREE THOUSAND AND SEVEN HUNDREDS THIRTY SEVEN people who attended the North London Derby are very likely to be there again, if given the chance, and bring along some friends and family, for the occasion.

This was the biggest win, last Saturday.

We’ll speak again next Thursday, after the all important return leg of the Women’s Champions League playoff against Ajax, in Amsterdam.

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