As Arsene Wenger, Arsenal’s long serving coach searches for his first trophy since 2005, his counterpart at Arsenal Ladies, Laura Harvey is searching for more room to put all of their trophies. After winning their 11th Premier League title in 12 years, they can now focus on the next two crucial games – Barcelona in the Champions League and then the Continental Cup final against league runners-up, Birmingham. Regardless of the results in those two matches, Arsenal Ladies go down as one of the most successful women’s teams of all time with a trophy roll call that Arsene Wenger or Sir Alex Ferguson would be proud of:
- Women’s Super League (2 times)
- Women’s Premier League (12)
- FA Women’s Cup (11)
- Women’s Premier League Cup (10)
- WSL Continental Cup (1)
- UEFA Women’s Cup (1)
With striking options such as England’s Rachel Yankey and Kelly Smith competing with Scotland’s Julie Fleeting (who boast a total of 351 International caps between them) and a depth of talent behind them (Kim Little, Katie Chapman and Alex Scott to name a few) it’s no wonder that this team has dominated the domestic hours in the past 12 years. Some may argue that when the Women’s Premier League National Division kicked off in the summer of 1991, the quality of competition and players was not up to par so the Gunners earlier successes must be taken with a pinch of salt. That said, as the division improved over the years and become an ever increasingly competitive competition, drawing crowds on a more regular basis, Arsenal Ladies have improved with it. Now part of the WSL (Women’s Super League), England’s new top division for women’s football , they have continued this success winning back to back titles in both seasons since its founding in 2011.
With the second title secured even before a ball was kicked in their match against Doncaster, the focus now turns to Barcelona in the Champions League. It’s a trophy Arsenal are desperate to win (they did win the Women’s Cup in 2007 against Umea IK of Sweden, before it was rebranded the Champions League) but face a difficult route to the final which will be held on home turf in England at Fulham’s ground, Craven Cottage in May 2013. Having won the first leg 3-0, they go into tomorrow’s game with optimism and the hope that this could finally be the year when they are crowned not only Champions of England but of Europe as well.