The Gunners’ star striker believes this season’s squad is even better than the one that won the WSL last year and is craving more success
Arsenal’s main goal this season is to win a cup, but they couldn’t be hungrier to retain their FA Women’s Super League title, says Vivianne Miedema.
The striker scored 22 goals as the Gunners claimed their first league title for seven years last season, while also racking up 10 assists.
She was named PFA Player of the Year as a result before also going on to reach the Women’s World Cup final with the Netherlands, becoming her nation’s all-time top scorer in the process to cap a fantastic year for her on a personal level.
But none of that success is going to Miedema’s head, with the 23-year-old focused on helping Arsenal build on their title win while also being under no illusions that it promises to be a difficult task.
“Obviously it’s a big challenge but I’ve had this situation before,” she told Goal. “I did it at Bayern [Munich] and obviously we’ve felt that pressure at Holland, non-stop, when we play a European qualifier.
“It’s something you probably need to get used to, but I think we’ve got a stronger squad than we did last year and a lot of confidence as well going into the season.
“Our main focus will always be winning the league and I definitely think we’ve got the quality to do that. But it’s going to be harder.
“For me, there’s only more hunger,” Miedema continued, rubbishing the idea that the squad will be less motivated after winning last year’s WSL. “I want to win the title again. I go to clubs because I want to win titles.
“Like I said, I believe that our team is stronger than it was last year and I hope everyone stays fit. We’ve got more players we can use and that [means] we don’t just [have to] focus on the league.
“Obviously, we want to win the league, but we also want to win a cup. That’s probably our main goal this season.”
Arsenal face more competition this year, with an influx of great talent coming to England this summer and opponents strengthening.
Manchester United and Tottenham, the Gunners’ north London rivals, also come into the league after being promoted from the FA Women’s Championship.
“I think it’s going to be, especially for the bigger clubs who’ve got a lot of players going to the World Cup and coming back from it, it’s going to be a hard season,” Miedema said.
“It’s managing players all season long, everyone comes back in a different state. Manchester City have lost a couple of players, Chelsea have not lost anyone and have got some players in… I’m really excited to see where it’s going to go next year.
“I think it’s going to be a tough league.”
Arsenal’s title chances are boosted by a flurry of new signings, many of whom Miedema knows well.
Manuela Zinsberger, Leonie Maier and Jill Roord all arrive from Bayern Munich, the former two having played with the striker there before she moved to London, while Roord and Miedema both play together for the Netherlands.
Few are better placed than Arsenal’s No.11 to assess what impact they will have on the Gunners, then.
“They’ve got experience,” she said. “I think Jill is a very creative midfielder that we kind of needed and the others girls are just really decent players. You know that they always turn up. When you need them, they’re always there.
“That can only help us, especially with the amount of games we’re going to have, it’s good to have a bigger squad that can give 100 per cent every single game. That’s really going to help us compared to what we had last season.”
Arsenal begin their WSL campaign on Sunday, August 8, taking on West Ham United at Meadow Park, with kick-off at 2:30pm UK time (9:30am ET).