As lockdown continues we ask is this Arsenal Women’s all-time greatest XI?
PUBLISHED: 13:00 02 April 2020
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With the Women’s Super League season suspended for now, Josh Bunting has looked through the archives and selected his all-time Arsenal XI.
The defending champions are currently in third place, four points behind leaders Manchester City with a game in hand.
They lost the Continental League Cup final against Chelsea, who scored a last-gasp injury-time winner at the City Ground.
Emma Byrne: The word legend gets thrown around far too often but Republic of Ireland stopper Byrne is an Arsenal legend. She joined in January 2000 and helped the Gunners to the domestic treble in her first full season, saving a penalty in the 2001 Women’s FA Cup final win over Fulham.
Byrne also helped Arsenal win the Women’s Champions League in 2007 when they beat Umea Ik in a two-legged final, making a number of vital saves over the course of the tie.
Alex Scott: Scott is another Arsenal legend, helping the club to the League and FA Women’s Cup Double in 2005-6 and playing a major part in the 2006-7 Quadruple.
Scott also was the hero in the Champions League final as she netted the only goal in that famous victory over Umea Ik, was named captain in her third spell at the club in 2014-15 and helped them to the FA Cup in 2016 as Danielle Carter’s goal beat Chelsea at Wembley. Scott played her final game for the club in a 2-1 victory over Manchester City in 2018.
Faye White: One of the most recognised and respected figures in the women’s game, White was a commanding presence at the heart of the Gunners defence and went on to captain England.
In 1997-98 she helped Arsenal win the League and FA Cup and was the league’s player of the year, going on to win a total of 31 trophies at club level including the inaugural Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Premier League 10 times, including seven consecutive years from 2003-10.
White also led the Lionesses at Euro 2005, the 2007 World Cup, Euro 2009 and the 2011 World Cup in Germany.
Leah Williamson: Still only 22 and a crucial part of the current squad, Williamson has been a real star at the Gunners. Joined the Centre of Excellence aged nine in 2006 and made her senior debut as a substitute in the Champions League quarter-final defeat to Birmingham City.
Won her first major title in the 2014 Women’s FA Cup final, coming on for Jade Bailey against Everton, and was named the PFA young player of the year in 2014-15.
Also helped Arsenal win the 2016 FA Cup and Continental Cup in 2017-18, before being a pivotal member of the squad that won the 2018-19 WSL title.
Casey Stoney: Now manager of Manchester United Women, Stoney will go down in Arsenal folklore as a combative warrior at the heart of the defence, a tough tackler and a true leader.
A member of the squads that won the 2000-01 and 2001-02 FA Premier League titles, as well as winning the FA Cup with the North London side on three occasions.
Jordan Nobbs: Still playing, but will also go down as an Arsenal legend when the time comes.
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Made her debut in a Champions League game as a second-half substitute in a 3-1 win over ZFK Masinac.
Scored her first goal for the club in the home leg and won her first trophy in 2011 as she started in the 2-0 win over Bristol Academy in the FA Women’s Cup final at the Ricoh Arena.
Nobbs was a key figure in the inaugural WSL season as Arsenal won the title, playing 12 of the 14 games, and scored in the 2013 FA Cup final as Arsenal beat Bristol Academy at Doncaster’s Keepmoat Stadium.
Despite suffering an ACL injury in the 2018-19 title-winning season, she still played a crucial part and scored twice in a 5-0 win at Chelsea.
Kim Little: Current captain has had two separate spells at the club, scoring her first Arsenal goal aged 17 against Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium.
Little is the leader of the team and has popped up with crucial goals throughout her career, receiving the PFA’s first women’s player of the year award in 2012-13.
Has won five league titles, three FA Cups, four Continental Cups and one Premier League Cup.
Fara Williams: A real Women’s Super League legend, known for her long-range efforts, Williams is England’s most-capped player with 172 appearances and 40 goals.
Has also said her international career isn’t over, should Phil Neville call upon her, and still plays in the WSL for Reading as a set-piece specialist and consistent goalscorer.
Rachel Yankey: Registered as the first professional female athlete in England, she went on to win eight league titles with Arsenal, nine FA Cups, four FA Women’s Premier League Cups and a Champions League title.
Yankey was known for her range of pace and trickery and also went on to make 129 appearances for England, scoring 19 goals.
Vivianne Miedema: The Dutch striker is another who is still playing for the Gunners and already the top scorer for her country.
Signed in 2017, scoring her first goal against Everton, she was influential in the biggest victory in WSL history on December 1, 2019 as she netted six times and grabbed four assists in Arsenal’s 11-1 thrashing of Bristol City.
The 23-year-old has netted 16 goals in 14 games this season, after scoring 22 times in the WSL title-winning campaign last season.
Kelly Smith: When somebody says Arsenal Women you automatically think Kelly Smith, probably the greatest-ever player to play in the Women’s Super League.
Smith is England’s record goalscorer with 46 goals and had three spells at Arsenal, netting 30 goals inside 34 games in the Quadruple season.
Added another 73 goals in 66 league games after rejoining in 2005, scored a hat-trick in a 5-0 win over Doncaster Rovers Belles in the FA Women’s Premier League Cup final and was player of the year in 2006 and 2007.
Smith helped Arsenal to 20 major trophies, including four league titles, three FA Cups, two Community Shields, one Premier League Cup and the Champions League.
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