Having Leah Williamson back playing is special
Our Arsenal Women have been crushed over the past year by injuries, and with so many coming at one time. It felt like we were losing a grip on what was an unbelievable team, and bond we were building all last season. One of our brightest and best, Leah Williamson, was missing from the squad for over 10 months due to picking up an ACL injury, and was a massive loss for Arsenal and England’s Lionesses for what seemed like forever.
The 26-year-old Arsenal Women defender not only missed a lot of club football, but the ACL injury led her to miss out on last year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023. and was a huge loss for an England side who was screaming out for their captain to lead them.
Williamson made her full return to club football in Arsenal’s Continental Cup game against Reading, where the walked away 6-0 winners after a dominant performance from our women. Jonas Eidevall looked to his bench around the 60th minute mark and brought on Williamson, for her first bit of football in over 10 months, and it didn’t take her long to get going and make an impact.
Setting up an assist for Beth Mead, who herself had to go through the same injury a few months before Williamson, it was somewhat poetic, and shone a bright light, on what we had been missing from them both for months. Leah made an instant impact as soon as she stepped onto the pitch, and the response from the Arsenal fans seeing her comeback was very special indeed.
Leah has since started the game against West Ham at the weekend, where we walked away unfortunately losing – Leah had a good 45 minutes out of the pitch. Eidevall and his staff are obviously trying to be very cautious, and manage her time back. We can’t risk losing her again, and building her up slowly is probably the smartest option, after being out for so long with such a bad injury.
I personally was delighted to see her back on the pitch, and you can sense the type of leadership and experience she brings back into the team. We must be patient with her and let her take her time and be careful because, when she’s fully fit and at her best, she just adds a sense of quality to a star-studded team, and a strong group of defenders.
I think the Conti Cup game against London City Women later tonight will be the perfect match for her to start and hopefully play a bit more than 45 minutes. Obviously, we don’t want to push her, but she is a vital part of our defence, that we have been missing. Having Leah back to full fitness will be a massive asset going forward, as we look to compete for the title and all the remaining domestic cups.
Arsenal Women are playing away at Princes Park this evening, 7th February, kick-off: 19:00 UK. You can watch live on The FA Player as our Gunners hopefully destroy London City Lionesses in the Conti Cup quarter-finals. COYG!
Arsenal Women then face Man City at Meadow Park on Sunday 11th February, kick-off 12:30 UK – another MUST WIN if our Gunners are to stay in the Women’s FA Cup. COYG!
What’s your thoughts Gooners? How happy are you Williamson is back?
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