Arsenal v Manchester City: The Brief
Sunday’s title-clinching win over Brighton & Hove Albion meant more to Leah Williamson than most.
The 22-year-old defender has been an Arsenal fan for as long as she can remember - and since the age of nine, she’s dared to dream of lifting the Women’s Super League title.
After the game, Williamson spoke about turning that dream into a reality, overcoming our injury crisis and her highlight of the season.
“I felt a bit silly because I started crying on the pitch at the end. But I won’t apologise for having that emotion after winning the title for the club I love. It’s all I’ve wanted to do since I’ve joined this team. I joke about it a lot, but it’s true!
“When I was a youth player growing up I thought I could just wonder into Arsenal and win trophies, but it’s not that easy because the game has developed so much. To win that out there in a competitive league is unbelievable. I thought it might come sooner when I was younger, but the fact it’s taken this long almost makes it sweeter. I’m all out of emotion.”
BRINGING SUCCESS BACK TO NORTH LONDON
“More fool any team that doesn’t respect us, because this team can absolutely devastate other teams. I think that respect is back, we know we have the ability to beat any team now and other teams know it too.”
OVERCOMING OUR INJURY CRISIS
“That makes today even greater, because we’ve had a crazy season with injuries. It’s easy to forget that when the trophy is in the cabinet. It’s easy to forget that at one stage we were down to ten senior outfield players.
“Those two defeats [to City and Chelsea either side of Christmas] was during the readjustment period. Credit to us for not dropping points to any other side, but losing those two games was probably good for us in the long run because we knew there was no room for error going forward, so we’ve played every game like a cup final.
“I do just wish we could have played that City game more towards the start of the season when we were on a great run playing unbelievable football. But Joe always tells us, good teams have to learn to win hard and we’ve had to do that in losing a player like Jordan. A lot of teams would crumble in those circumstances but we didn’t.”
HIGHLIGHT OF THE SEASON
“That was probably the highlight of my season. You may see calmness, but we’ve been fired up the whole time. Birmingham was the last game against a top-four side in that time and the goal going in felt significant. I kept thinking it would get easier after that, I was thinking, ‘If we just get through the Birmingham game’.
“But you realise it doesn’t change anything, because then you’re thinking ‘Just get through the Everton game, just get through the Brighton game’. You fool yourself into thinking you’re in the clear each time. But this is my first league championship, I will learn and adjust my mentality next time. The bottom line is that if we didn’t win this week or next week, we wouldn’t have won a piece of silverware - and that wouldn’t have been a successful season for this football club.”
JOE MONTEMURRO’S INFLUENCE
“Joe is my perfect manager. He sees the game in the same way I do and he wants the same out of me that I want to deliver on the pitch.”
“Obviously the pressure is off because we’ve done the job, but we’re a proud team and we want to show City what we’re capable of doing and what we weren’t capable of doing back then.
“The tough times had really hit us at the point. I know they respect us as a team and I know we respect them, but I think we’ll be even more fired up than this because we’ve got nothing to play for except for pride.”
Copyright 2019 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source.
This news item was provided by the Arsenal FC News Feed website - the original link is: http://feeds.arsenal.com/~r/arsenal-news/~3/sgEb3rd7a2k/arsenal-v-manchester-city-brief-4