Poor season for Arsenal Women’s Mana Iwabuchi ends in no call-up for Japan

Poor season for Arsenal’s Mana Iwabuchi ends in no call-up for Japan Women’s World Cup squad by Michelle

This really is not Japanese international Mana Iwabuchi’s season, to put it mildly.. In the January transfer window we saw Arsenal legend Jordan Nobbs leave our beloved Gunners to join Aston Villa, in a bid for more play-time, to increase her chances of selection for Sarina Wiegman’s World Cup squad – which she has achieved.

Shortly after Jordan’s departure it was announced that Mana iwabuchi was moving on loan to Tottenham Hotspur, again in a bid to play more to increase her chances of selection for Japan’s World Cup squad, as she was regularly on the bench for Arsenal. Unfortunately, Mana did not excel at Tottenham and has not been named in Japan’s World Cup squad announced today. Mana is not alone – Saki Kumagai is the only remaining player left from their 2011 World Cup victory that has been selected for this summer’s World Cup tournament..

Iwabuchi signed for Arsenal in June 2021, from Aston Villa and it is widely expected that Iwabuchi will leave Arsenal this summer as her contract is due to expire. It must be a very sad time for Mana.

Mana was one of Japan’s star players since she won the Women’s World Cup with Japan in 2011, at just 18 years of age, and she has earned more than 80 caps . She won Asian Young Footballer of the Year in 2008 and 2009 and was named MVP in the 2018 Asian Cup.

It is every players dream to be chosen to represent their country, particularly in such a high-profile tournament. The FIFA Women’s World Cup is being dual-hosted by Australia & New Zealand, between 20th July & 20th August 2023.

We expect the official announcement from Arsenal soon, reference Mana’s departure from the club, but in the meantime we wish her all the best in what must look like quite an uncertain future at the moment.

Michelle Maxwell
Follow Michelle on Just Gooner Women on Twitter for regular updates on the Arsenal Womens Team!

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1 Comment

  1. Mana Iwaduchi is best to forget her stay at Arsenal. Arsenal had been trying to get her for a few years. She was a World Class player,, and that so- called, arrogant, clueless Jonas Eidevall, if you can call it a Manager/Coach, had absolutely no idea in how to play her whatsoever. With how he treated Mana Iwaduchi divided the dress room. She’s certainly not finished as a footballer just yet. I’ve known that young lady personally since she was 15 while I was working in Japan for the Japanese Football Association as a goalkeeping coach. We’ve always kept in touch since. She is very disappointed in not making the Japanese playing squad of 23,,, but at the same time she fully accepts the decision of being left out of the squad. She knew a little while ago that she would be pushing to make that final squad with the very limited game time she was given. I’m very proud of her,, she’s not blaming anyone. She was loved and respected by her Arsenal team mates, and various staff members at Arsenal, but not by Jonas Eidevall. More fool him. Very poor player management on his behalf

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