The Arsenal Women Journal – Entering a whole new world

Good morning, Arsenal Women aficionados!

Our dear Arsenal Women team didn’t take the pitch this weekend, yet I felt the urge to put together this blog because 1) Tottenham were battered in the FA Cup final and 2) the club shocked the women’s footballing world with two massive announcements in the space of 24 hours.

Of course, I won’t spend too much energy on Spurs losing the FA Cup final to Manchester United, because what has happened in the past few days has been absolutely gigantic: first, the club announced that Vivianne Miedema would leave at the end of the season, sending huge shockwaves through England and Europe, then they managed to go one level up and announced that the mightily big Emirates Stadium is set to become Arsenal Women’s primary home ground as soon as next season.

Holy s……..!

Pardon my French but these are the only words I could find to sum up my feelings.

Vivianne Miedema leaving is not a real surprise per se, but the fact that the club decided not to renew her deal is: the Dutch superstar has been at the center of several transfer sagas over the past three years and seemed destined to join Barcelona, as Arsenal didn’t look equipped enough to match her ambitions (I feel I heard this before………….), then signed a two-years extension in 2022, when everyone looked resigned to see her leave.

Clare Wheatley, the Head of Women’s football at Arsenal, said that Vivianne Miedema’s staying onboard marked “an important day for the club”, which signaled the importance of her choosing to commit to Arsenal over joining some of the biggest clubs in Europe.

Going from being the cornerstone of the “new” Arsenal to being released in two years is difficult to understand, especially for a world class player like Vivianne Miedema.

At first sight, this decision looks like a power move to hand the team to Jonas Eidevall and Alessia Russo, in a similar fashion to the big repulisti that Mikel Arteta and Edu did when they released Mesut Özil or Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Of course, I am not implying that Vivianne Miedema has been disruptive, lacked motivation or didn’t fit the values of the team, because this is a completely different scenario, but the target is quite similar.

This might be the ultimate move to maneuver the squad away from the Joe Montemurro era to the Jonas Eidevall era, once and for all.

Over time, Vivianne Miedema lost her status of first name on the team sheet under the Swedish head coach and saw her influence vastly reduced, on and off the pitch, and the arrival of Alessia Russo from Manchester United suggested that the English forward – who could be seen as a similar nine-and-a-half forward, like Vivianne Miedema – would become the driving force, instead.

Alessia Russo looks more apt to do all the counter-pressing, all the harassing on the defenders and all the running that Jonas Eidevall asks of his center-forward, while Vivianne Miedema has always been a free-roaming, creative force, imaginative forward who could be seen happier with making an assist than scoring a goal.

By letting Vivianne Miedema leave, Jonas Eidevall will be allowed to field his own forward line without being questioned about how and where Vivianne Miedema fits in, and I understand how such a big personality could be difficult to handle, but there is no arguing about the fact that we are losing a tremendous player – one of the best on the planet and surely the best ever to don the red & white, by a distance.

It is a huge gamble and I sincerely hope it pays off for Jonas Eidevall, but it is hard to feel optimistic right now.

Vivianne Miedema leaves as a true Arsenal legend and the top scorer in the Women Super League – one of the multiple records she set or broke during her seven-year stay in North London – and will be fondly remembered by everyone for the prowess on the pitch and her unique personality off it; for her goals and for the infinite meme material she produced; for her unparalleled vision on the grass and for her unparalleled honesty in front of a microphone. She will be missed and, should she join Manchester City as reported, she will be feared, too.


As mentioned earlier, this is a huge turning point in the history of this club, but an even bigger one will be the official move to the Emirates Stadium as the primary home of the Arsenal Women team. The club announced that Jonas Eidevall’s players will play eight of their eleven WSL home games at the Emirates Stadium, plus three Champions League games – assuming we make it to the group stage this time.

Once again, this club is making history and keeps leading the way in pushing women’s football onto the front stage, where it belongs.

I had my reservations when I first heard the club coming to the front with the “one club” project and I thought it was mostly a PR thing, but I must admit I am surprised by the determination and speed at which it was carried: from opening up the Emirates Stadium for selected games to making it the primary home ground in less than two years is a spectacular result and shows great ambition.

Obviously, this is not the end of the road for this project as much of its success will be measured on the average attendance over the eleven games to be played at the Emirates Stadium, but it will surely push other clubs to catch up with the Gunners – at least from a financial standpoint. Moving to the Emirates Stadium surely is a big statement about the ambitions of the club, and a nice, tangible way to prove how committed the club is towards their women’s team, but it also brings a huge financial benefit as the matchday revenue is likely to skyrocket compared to previous seasons.

If anything, other clubs will be interested in increasing their matchday income and that might push them to develop their women football’s operations more. It might not be as poetic or as noble as what Arsenal did, but it would still represent a big win for the women’s footballing world. Pulling everyone forward is the ultimate target and if it can only be done through the promise of a fatter bank account for this or that club, so be it. A win is a win.

Arsenal Womens Announcement Exports Web Pages 1123x623

That’s all for today, while we wait for the team to play their last game of the season – at home against Brighton. Hopefully we will all have a final sight at Vivianne Miedema in an Arsenal shirt, and she will have the farewell she thoroughly deserves.

The club has already planned a formal ceremony to say goodbye to her, but the true farewell will come from the stands of what has been the home of this club and many of its supporters – Meadow Park.

We’ll talk again next week and wrap up this season, for good.

Speak to you soon!

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