The schedule is too full.. Arsenal Women star striker Miedema agrees with boss Eidevall by Michelle
Vivianne Miedema has played for Arsenal for over 5 years, after signing in June 2017, from Bayern Munich. The Dutch international was recently granted a leave of absence from Arsenal to rest and recharge as the Arsenal Women’s team were regularly playing back to back games through the Women’s Super League, the UEFA Women’s Champions League AND their national team commitments for World Cup qualification.
Miedema returned to Arsenal after the international break and was in Eidevall’s starting XI for their Champions League game this week, away against Juventus. Back on form Miedema scored Arsenal’s only goal of the match, keeping Juventus to a 1-1 draw, and Arsenal at the top of Group C.
Miedema, at only 26 years of age, uses her platform well, including being very vocal on LGBTQ+ inclusion within the game and society in general. She writes a regular monthly column in a Netherlands publication ADSSportsweld, and recently tweeted about injuries coming from playing too much: Benzema, Mané, Kantévarious and my own teammate Beth Mead all have something in common.” she wrote. “They miss the World Cup due to an injury. The schedule in both women’s and men’s football is just too full. I wrote about this worrying pattern in my column.
It’s all no coincidence. Sure, injuries are sometimes unstoppable, but I see a worrying pattern. The playing calendar for both the women and the men is simply too full.
Regularly cited as one of the greatest strikers in modern women’s football, Miedema is the all-time leading scorer in the FA Women’s Super League and has scored more goals at international level for the Netherlands than any other player, across both the women’s and men’s teams.
Miedema won the BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year award in November 2021. In 2020, she was named Women’s Player of the Year at the London Football Awards and by England’s Football Writers’ Association. She was named PFA Women’s Players’ Player of the Year in 2019. The same year, she was shortlisted for the Balon d’Or Féminin, and was also a nominee this year. She was named in the Top 10 of The Guardian’s ‘The 100 Best Female Footballers In The World’ for a number of consecutive years including 2021. The list of the accolades that this female icon of women’s football has received goes on and on and certainly cannot be contained within a short article here.
Vivianne Miedema is certainly a young woman to be reckoned with, and in my opinion, a person with her head screwed on and a healthy perspective on issues inside and outside of the football arena.
The Arsenal Womens boss Jonas Eidevall, currently suffering from 6 players out of action in a 21-strong squad has recently said a similar thing himself, that players need rest period to recover from fixture overload.
He said: I really think it’s something that we need to consider in women’s football when we see the calendar – to see how we put the players’ health first here. They are constantly going between really competitive games at club level onto an international level. It has been taking up a lot of my thinking time because my gut feeling says that we’re not creating something that is good for the players at the moment.
It is hard to deny that there seems to be a glut of injuries (and a lot of games!) to top players recently, so maybe there should be more research into the short and long term effects on their bodies.
Moral of this story? Footballers are NOT machines..
Happy to hear your point of view..
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