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A complicated season: Arsenal secured European football, despite their challenges.

22 games, 15 wins and 4 ACL injuries later, the Gunners finished in a respectable third in the Women’s Super League and took home the League Cup.

Throughout the 2022/23 season there have been many highs and lows for Jonas Eidevall’s side, but it’s been the heartbreaking two words ‘injury crisis’ that have filled the North London club with uncertainty. Confusion has arisen along the way, wondering who would step up to positions of those that would now sit on the bench.

Beth Mead became the first of four ACL injuries this season back in November against Manchester United. Vivianne Miedema swiftly followed suit in December during the Champions League game against Olympique Lyonnais. Leah Williamson and Laura Wienroither became the latest to join this soul shattering group on the sidelines, a squad that has left Gooners in disbelief. No matter the angle of who’s to blame and what can be done, there’s a consensus that these 3 letters- alongside multiple other injuries, including to Kim Little and Caitlin Foord- have had a detrimental impact on Arsenal’s season.

Before this figure became increasingly worrying and unheard of in just a season, Arsenal were flying high- both the women’s and men’s side. Although the men were 5 points clear at the Christmas break, the women were only 3 points behind Chelsea with a game in hand. Only 1 loss came from this first half of the season.

An impressive win from the early games of this season came from an unforgettable 4-0 victory in the North London Derby, where 47,367 fans travelled to the Emirates Stadium. The Gunners have always attracted large crowds, and a sold-out Emirates Stadium for the Champions League Semi-finals proved just how far the team has come!

Since the Christmas break, the league became a challenge for Little’s side, as she handed over the armband to Katie McCabe in more recent fixtures. January signings Victoria Pelova, Kathrine Kuhl, Gio Queiroz and Sabrina D’Angelo became crucial in the last few months, in order to keep the hope alive for the top three.

Defenders Jen Beattie and Lotte Wubben-Moy stepped up in defence, with Foord’s return making pivotal moves up the pitch to goal scoring heroes Stina Blackstenius and Frida Maanum, who found the net 17 and 16 times across all competitions this season.

Alongside the league, Little led her side to another Continental Cup win, in a nail-biting 3-1 victory over Emma Hayes’ squad- who have recently retained their Women’s Super League title. As well as this, the Champions league was just out of reach for the Red Army, as Wolfsburg grabbed an extra-time winner in the Semi-finals.

Neither the women’s or men’s seasons at Arsenal have ended the way fans would’ve hoped, but the achievements that have been met across the season, however minor in comparison to the league title, are to hold on to. With transfer rumours from United’s Alessia Russo in the works, and a departure from Rafaelle, Jonas Eidevall’s focus turns to next season.

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