Beth Mead on fellow Lioness & Arsenal Women prospect “We back Mary 100% all the way.”

Arsenal Women’s Beth Mead played her first game for the England Lionesses last Friday after missing over a year due to an ACL injury. The Gunner had just scored a brace against West Ham, her first goal since returning from injury, only days before appearing for England – a goal for which Beth has received a nomination for WSL November Goal of the Month. That impact for Arsenal, as well as her return to the Lionesses fold, must have made last week a very special week for her.

Beth did not start against the Netherlands, but she was introduced as Chloe Kelly’s replacement at halftime. The large audience at Wembley cheered her on as she walked onto the pitch. Given England’s 2-0 deficit, many must have assumed she would be the one to orchestrate their comeback. She was fantastic, especially considering it was her first game with the Lionesses after a year away. She didn’t score, but she was instrumental in England pulling off the comeback 3-2 win. Georgia Stanway, Lauren Hemp, and Ella Toone scored for England.

Mary Earps had a nightmare moment against the Netherlands, putting the ball into her own net when a tame shot came in on target. She was visibly distraught after the match saying the error would “haunt” her for a long time. However, Mead & the Lionesses have her back. Speaking to Sky Sports after the match, Mead said:

“Plenty of us have already put their arms around her shoulder. Mary has been a vital part of this team being so successful. It happens. Unfortunately as a keeper, it is unlucky. But Mary has been incredible. Whatever people are saying, we don’t care. We back Mary 100 per cent all the way. She is an incredible teammate, human, and she deserves all the success she has had.” all the way. She is an incredible teammate, human, and she deserves all the success she has had.”

Beth also talked about her return to international football, after the match:

“The days when I’ve struggled in the gym—long, hard training days of not being able to play football and do the thing that I love, makes it worthwhile to run out there in front of such a big Wembley crowd, getting a great reception and a ruthless second half of football,”

“The first half let us down. We were chasing the game, and you don’t want to be 2-0 down at halftime. But we had the belief in the team; we knew we could score goals, and we came out fighting in the second half. I thought the team was amazing.

“We’ve just shown it in front of such a big crowd on such a big occasion, and now we’ve got to do it consistently. I think we’ll concentrate on ourselves (against Scotland); we’re the team nominated for Team GB. We want to win the game; we want to score goals, so that’s our aim for that game.”

It’s reassuring to see Mead play. She’s gradually proving those who doubted she’d be back to her best wrong. She was at her peak when she unfortunately picked up the injury, but I believe she is now going to be in her prime; she will not only be outstanding for Arsenal but also for England. There is no doubt about it.

How do you think the Lionesses will fair against Scotland on 5th December? It’s a MUST WIN and with lots of goals scenario, if England Women are to secure Team GB a spot at the Paris Olympics 2024.

You can watch the match live on BBC One from 19:30 GMT.

Michelle Maxwell

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