There were a lot of question marks over Arsenal going into this Women’s Super League season following wholesale changes. Not only did manager Joe Montemurro move on, but key players including Jill Roord and Danielle Van de Donk departed too.
Life under Jonas Eidevall has begun swimmingly though, with the Gunners flying high.
Barring the Champions League defeat at the hands of title holders Barcelona, Arsenal have won every game thus far this term. One player at the core of this elite form is Beth Mead.
Mead has been a superb performer for both club and country over the last couple of years but her place in the Arsenal side was under threat. US national team star Tobin Heath, Mead’s fellow Lioness Nikita Parris, and World Cup winner Mana Iwabuchi were all brought into the attacking ranks.
When you add Caitlin Foord, Vivianne Miedema and Katie McCabe into the conversation, that is a massively diluted frontline. Despite that, Mead has kept a firm grip on a starting spot, repaying Eidevall’s faith to date.
The former Sunderland player was one a few big names to miss out on Hege Riise’s Olympics squad. This is something she has been determined to prove herself over. That is exactly what Mead has done – contributing three goals and three assist as the Londoners have beaten the likes of Man City and Chelsea already.
Their season began with a huge derby against current WSL champions Chelsea, and Mead was the star of the show. She scored twice in the second half as her side won in a dramatic five-goal thriller.Embed from Getty Images
Mead then netted in the next game after that as Arsenal put on a clinical display away at Reading. She may not have scored in the recent victories over Man City, Aston Villa, and Everton but she has continued to be an integral cog in this successful system.
Since swapping Sunderland for Arsenal in 2017, Mead has often been on the receiving end of criticism so it is a delight to see her silence any negativity.
Arsenal lead the way in the WSL for goals and shots on target so far. On top of this, they are only second to Chelsea in total shots.
Of this, Mead has played a major role alongside Miedema, whose presence is always going to wreak havoc.
Mead has started four of the five games in the league so far and going forward. It remains to be seen how Eidevall will rotate his squad but there is a lot to be said for the form of Mead.