Arsenal Women shine a bright light on ACL injuries in the first Step by Step episode.
If you haven’t already, I’d highly recommend going and watching the first episode of the Step by Step series that Arsenal.com has just released. I’m not going to lie, it was a hard watch and pulled at the heartstrings a lot but Beth Mead and Vivianne Miedema’s ACL injuries last season were a massive blow to the Arsenal women and their respective countries as they both were set to miss out on the whole season and this year’s Women’s World Cup.
In what was a really hard 25 minutes to watch, Mead, Miedema and Arsenal have used these horrible injuries as a way to put a huge spotlight on the ever-growing concerns over ACL injuries in Women’s football. In what looked like was one of the hardest times in both their careers has somewhat been made into a positive and could make a huge difference to the visibility of the problem going forward.
Beth Mead was the first to go down with an ACL injury In our game against Manchester United in November last year, saying in the short documentary that because we were 3-2 down, she went for a ball that she normally wouldn’t have gone for and was nudged in the wrong direction, twisting her knee to the wrong angle. At first she said she was optimistic and was hoping for the best but the next day a scan revealed that she had ruptured her ACL and was set to spend at least 9 months on the sideline. For Mead it was devastating and to know she was going to miss out on the season and world cup, crushed her.
Only a month on and her life partner and Arsenal team mate Vivianne Miedema was struck with the exact same injury. Playing against Lyon in the Champions League and unlike Mead, she said she knew straight away what had happened when she heard a loud pop from her knee and felt a pain that she’s never experienced in her life. A nice little moment in the short documentary was when Miedema said that once she had been carried into the physio room, Mead had sat down next to her and they both looked at each other and said “we’ve messed up here, we’ve done something really stupid together” and at least they did have each other to go through it with.
ACL’s are becoming very common in the women’s game but never have you heard of two players from the same team, who live in the same household, dealing with the same injuries and for both of them it was a completely new experience. Knowing you’re going to miss at least 9 months of what makes you happiest, clearly had a huge impact on their mental health and obviously physical demands. I personally think it’s really important that we keep shining a light on these injuries and how consistently bad they are getting in the women’s game.
I don’t want to spoil too much of it for you but it’s well worth the watch and a great way to shed some light on a pretty scary situation from behind the scenes. We Arsenal Women fans are over the moon to have both back healthy and looking at their best.
What’s your thoughts on the short doco Gooners?
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