Viv Miedema has spoken at length after signing her new deal.
Read the full transcript of what she told the club after putting pen to paper on a new contract with Arsenal Women.
on how it feels to have signed a new contract… Yeah, really good to be honest. It’s obviously been a really big decision. It’s taken me a long time, but if feels right, right now. I had to follow my heart and I’m happy to be part of the team next year.
on what she has to consider…I mean I’ve always said it, like I think London felt like home, like I’ve obviously been here for five years now and I love being part of the club, and I think I am in that stage of my career that probably my top years are meant to come, but I am still quite young and I just really hope that we can keep developing and actually make the next step next year.
on whether she has unfinished business…No, I do, I think as I said I’ve been here five years, we’ve not won that many trophies, so I really feel like when I came here we started talking about getting back into the Champions League, becoming a top club in Europe again, and I do feel like we’re on the way but I don’t feel like we’re there yet. I do feel like over the last couple of seasons, we have made the right steps, and as I said if we keep developing we can get there, and I feel like I should be one of the players than can help the club to get there.
on whether it would have felt strange to leave this summer…Yeah, I think so. I think obviously this season has been quite disappointing for us, coming out without anything, but with Jonas coming in things have changed and we are going in the right direction. And actually, as I said before, I want to win titles and I would love to win them with Arsenal. I’ve always seen football as a beautiful bit of being part of a team that you love and I do have that here, so yeah, I would love to help the club and win titles next year.
on whether Arsenal and London feels like home…Yeah, no I definitely do. I think, in the UK especially – I think living here is amazing. I mean, being part of a club for so long you kind of obviously get that lovely feeling towards the club as well, so yeah. I want football to mean something to me and that is definitely how it feels right now at Arsenal.
on whether it will be nice not to be asked about her future…Yeah it does. Obviously like, I can be really open about that. Like I have obviously really considered moving on, potentially going to different leagues to see how I can develop myself, but as I said I think the most beautiful thing about the game is building something with a team and with people around you that you really want to be around. I do feel like I have got that at Arsenal. I feel like for me, winning titles with Arsenal will mean a lot more to me than winning them with another club at the moment. And that’s what I obviously hope to achieve with Arsenal.
on whether it’s been difficult to keep the news secret…I mean, it’s not been that difficult. I actually really like keeping all of you on your toes! I mean, obviously for myself, I’ve actually only made the decision recently, so I’ve tried just to focus on the season, end it on a high, which I think we’ve obviously done, and go from there. Yeah, as I said, I know people will be speculating until it comes out, but it feels good that it’s out in the open right now, and I’m fully behind it.
on why she wants to continue her Arsenal journey…I think it was just like a gut feeling really. I think obviously like at this point – as I said – in my career there are so many paths it could have gone into, but yeah, just putting on the Arsenal shirt every week and being out there with the girls and obviously like being part of something that I’ve been part of for the last five years. I think it made me more upset thinking that I would leave than staying.
on which of her teammates will be happiest…I don’t know, I mean I hope they’re all happy! But obviously like yeah, we do have a really good team. I think we have been together for a longer time – there’s obviously girls that came in the summer, in the winter, and I think they’re all actually really happy with what they’ve come into. I think the most important thing is for us to just switch it on in every single game now, and I think we’ve done that in most parts of the season. It’s really frustrating that we haven’t done that in ultimately the dependent games, but yeah – I hope that we can change that around next year and I hope that we can add a couple more players to it and go from there.
on how she reflects on the season… No, I think obviously looking back at the season, like, I think it’s been different, it’s been difficult as well. You know, us coming back from Olympics, I only had four or five days off after, so you go into the season being tired. Jonas coming in – we didn’t actually have much time to get used to the way he wanted to play. Throughout the season we’ve had a lot of injuries, we’ve had players that obviously struggled coming back from the Olympics, but I think after the winter break you could really see that we kind of got into that flow and like we started winning more games and I think especially towards the end of the season, you could see the work Jonas has done but also the work we have done as a group. As I said, I would really like to see that developing into next year, obviously like the girls having a normal pre-season again, with him this time. We obviously will be later because we are going to the Euros, but yeah – it’s really exciting to see where it will go.
on our season of transition under Jonas Eidevall…No, absolutely. I think as Arsenal, you obviously want to win trophies, and if you look back at the season, like it’s been a disappointment not winning anything, but I also think, as you say, like, where we came from last year, we hardly got Champions League, like I think we secured Champions League on the last day of the season, where now we were all the way in it with Chelsea until the last game, which I think has been a massive step. I think, as I said, the thing for us next year is that we need to perform in every single game, all the big games as well, and go from there. We’re going to be back in the Champions League, which is a massive thing, and we just want to compete, and we want to win titles.
on why she feels like Arsenal is moving in the right direction…I think obviously coming to England five years ago, it’s not just been the club, it’s also been the league. I think the change in the league is amazing. I think it’s really competitive. I think it’s amazing that this season you have Chelsea and us competing until the last day. Everyone can beat each other and I think that also helped on with Arsenal – I think they realised we need to invest more, we need to do things differently. We’ve started doing that, and no we’re not there, and I think no-one within the club thinks we are there, which is a good thing, because we do still want to push forward and we do still want to develop things, and I think the next step basically means that we are going to win titles, compete in Europe until the quarters, until the semis, maybe even reach the final. And that’s what we need to work to.
on Jonas Eidevall signing a new contract…To be honest, I didn’t know that he was going to re-sign again, and I’ve actually got a really good relationship with Jonas. We’re both very open and honest and we can tell eachother what we think, go home, be grumpy and come in the next day and be like ‘Oh yeah, you were right yesterday!’. I think for him, coming in the way that he did right before the start of the season, I think he’s done really well this season and as I’ve said I think he needs a bit more time with the girls and the team to really put his way of playing into us, but it is going to be exciting and I do hope that he’s also going to be able to take us to the next level.
on her relationship with Jonas…Absolutely, I think I’ve been quite lucky to be fair with the coaches that I’ve had over the past couple of years. I kind of had the same relationship with Joe, obviously here at Arsenal, with Sarina with the national team and even with Mark right now. I love football and they know I do, obviously I’ve done my coaching badges myself as well, so it’s really nice to speak football and you’ve always got leaders in the team when it comes to being on the pitch and seeing things on the pitch, and I think when things change on the pitch, I’m probably one of the players who needs to stand up and help the rest around me. It’s just good to have that relationship and to be able to be open and honest about it.
on what Jonas has added to her game…He’s obviously given me the freedom to play as a 10, especially after the winter, which I’ve really enjoyed. I think that’s obviously played a big part in my decision as well. I love being able to be more on the ball and to give the team a lot more going forward rather than just basically waiting as a No 9. I think looking not just at me but the whole team, he’s given a lot of the girls a lot of confidence and I think obviously you’ve seen that in Beth this season and you’ve seen that in Steph Catley coming back in, it’s been really nice to see, and I think he’s really good in that sense.
on whether Jonas is as emotional on the training ground and inside the dressing room…Oh, absolutely! He’s the complete opposite from me so maybe that’s why we work! He’s very emotional, he’s a really nice guy and he’s actually quite quiet off the pitch, but it’s really nice to obviously have somebody to bring that energy to training and I think that’s what we needed because sometimes we need a kick up the bum to just get everything together again and prepare you for the next game or switch that moment in the game, and he can definitely give us that.
on whether she still classifies herself as a ‘9.5’…I do! I’ve basically only been a 9 because with our national team we basically didn’t really have anyone else and they were like ‘Well, you can score goals, so just go and play there’, and don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to play the 9 and I’m happy to play the 10, but as I’ve said, I really love being able to pick the ball up in midfield and being able to create things for others, and just to be on the ball more. I feel like I’m more involved and I ca help the team better, and that also comes back to defending. You’ve seen me make slide tackles which I don’t think you’ve ever seen me make before, so I just love the freedom and I love that I’ve been playing as a 10 with either Caitlin or Stina in front of me.
on whether we need to secure a title next season…Yeah, absolutely. As I’ve said, we’ve been really close this season. We obviously got to the quarters of the Champions League and we were only one point off in the end in the league, but we want to win titles and we need to win titles. That’s obviously one of the things that I’ve said to the club, that’s why I want to stay, that’s why I want to be here, because I do want to win things, and I think next year is the season we need to show it and we need to do it.
on whether we can use the frustration of this season to motivate and fuel us…I think so, I think I’m always a bit like that. You do play for winning things obviously, but it wouldn’t necessarily be my priority. Me winning titles with Arsenal will mean a lot more to me than just going somewhere random right now and winning things. As I’ve said, I think England is the most competitive league and I do really hope that we are going to win things, and that’s what we need to push for.
on the fans influencing her decision…I think the fans have been amazing and I actually said that on Sunday before the game as well. I think this season has been a massive change, playing at Boreham Wood we’ve got a lot of people coming in and you can feel the atmosphere. That’s why you want to play football and I think obviously us players, we really appreciate them being there for us and you kind of thrive off it, and you want to go and pay. I just really hope they are going to come back next season. I think we kind of staged it really well on Sunday because obviously I got taken off five minutes before the end and I was basically giving everyone a big clap, but yeah, I’m still going to be there!
on whether she knew she was teasing the fans on the final day of the season…Yeah, yes I did!
on the fans nicknaming her ‘The GOAT’…I mean, it’s really cute obviously from the fans! Again, I think that kind of played a big part in my decision as well, obviously being at the club for so long and now already five years is a long time in football, I just think you build something up and you kind of want to continue on it and that’s one of the things with the fans with setting records as a team and winning titles. That’s what you want to be a part of.
on her message to the fans ahead of next season…I mean, obviously, I want them to come back to the stadiums and I want to win leagues, titles, cups, everything with them being there. I really hope that we’re going to enjoy a lot of moments together next season and we’ve got things to celebrate about and do better next season.