Three things we learned from Arsenal Women’s 2-1 defeat to West Ham United at the Chigwell Construction Stadium.
Leah Williamson did well in her first game back in the WSL.
Thought I’d start with a positive. Her reading of the game is exceptional, and so are her long passes through the lines.
It’s also great to see her wearing the captain’s armband for the club her and some of her family support, and a club she has not only grown up at footballing wise, but also made her home.
She is still building up to full match fitness of course, but hopefully she will be able to feature heavily in our games coming up, which are all extremely important, especially now the league title is looking more and more challenging to achieve.
As fans, it’s easy to support the team when things are going well, but they’re all top-quality players and they’re also human, so any true Arsenal fan will be behind them. Try and stay positive. Fox was also good again, so that’s another positive.
Some of our struggles this season showed themselves again in this game.
Things that I’ve previously mentioned in these articles unfortunately reared their ugly head again.
Not choosing the right pass at the right time in the final third, errors at the back leading to goals, not finishing off teams at 1-0 up, and having a short spell letting the opponent back into it during which they score.
While we may not all have the same view of the specific reasons for our underperforming in these type of games, and it’s obviously not our job to know, it’s clear that an Arsenal team with this much talent in it should not be losing against a side which, while much improved, is still towards the bottom of the table and in a relegation battle.
West Ham seem to be a bit of a bogey team for us.
I was there last season for our away game at the Chigwell Construction Stadium, and West Ham were, again, resolute defensively and well coached.
That game ended 0-0, and I wasn’t necessarily expecting that either. The league is getting more and more competitive, and West Ham are a team you cannot take lightly.
I think Arsenal will analyse this game and see that, while they controlled it, there are still ways to improve against teams who transition from a mid to low block and say ‘ok, break us down’.
Jonas Eidevall said that there are lessons to learn from this game, and hopefully, much like the Liverpool game at the start of the season, it can wake us up a bit and we can now go on a winning run.
There is still an FA Cup and a Conti Cup to fight for.