Tag Archives: Barcelona Femeni

What does the future hold for Vivianne Miedema?

Vivianne Miedema has already cemented herself as an Arsenal and Women’s Super League legend.

Within the checklist of things to achieve within the league, she’s already ticked most things off, despite being only 25 years of age. After giving the league four-and-a-half seasons Miedema is now in the last five months of her contract, leading to much speculation about where her future lies.

She’s been heavily linked to the Spanish and French leagues, and the -constant talks appear to be about reasons why she may want to leave.



It’s important to really understand that staying at Arsenal also presents a great option and one that could match her ambitions.

As previously mentioned, Miedema has already reached huge heights at Arsenal. She currently stands as the as the WSL record goalscorer – amassing 67 goals in just 76 appearances.

During just over four seasons, the striker has won the FA cup and one league title too. For many, having such an outstanding individual accolade, as well as the team accolades to match, would prove too good to walk away from. However, it’s clear that she wants more in terms of team accolades and the highest of them all being the Champions League.

Currently Arsenal are the only English team still left in this year’s competition but they face great challenges ahead, with a quarter-final against Wolfsburg who knocked out last year’s finalists Chelsea.

Vivianne Miedema of Arsenal during the UEFA Women's Champions League group C match between 1899 Hoffenheim and Arsenal WFC at Ditmar-Hopp-Stadion on...

If that hurdle is overcome Arsenal could face a rematch against Barcelona, who in the group stages beat them convincingly. The dominance that the Barcelona team have in the Women’s game right now, and the dominance that in previous years Lyon have had, is the type of environment that many think Miedema is in search of.

The nature of the WSL makes it difficult to have this kind of dominance, with the ‘Big Three’ often deciding the title amongst themselves. A potential move to either of these two clubs could present her the opportunity to finally get her hands on the Champions League and to be at a club that is already at the top of the world football chain.

Both teams are well known in the sport for dominating opposition and being ruthless in the box – both phrases that we would use to describe the Arsenal striker.

Reports have suggested that both clubs as well as PSG would be interested in getting her signature, however, moves to these clubs may not be as simple as it appears on paper.

All three of these clubs currently have strikers at their clubs and strikers who have been performing at the highest level for a number of years.

At Lyon, prior to Ada Hegerberg’s injury, she was widely proclaimed the greatest of all-time in the sport. After over an 18-month injury layoff upon injuring her ACL, Hegerberg is back and hungry to add to her ridiculous goal tally.

She already has 229 goals in 195 appearances and is keen to add to her honours list which includes six League titles and five Champions Leagues.

Her return from injury this year, as well as the fact that Lyon have exciting wingers presents a potential area of thought for Miedema. This, coupled with the fact that Lyon don’t commonly play with a strike partnership may cause a problem for her when it comes to playing time.

Similarly, Barcelona have often opted for the 433 or 4231 formation which would mean that Miedema would be coming into the team to play as the lone striker.

Ada Hegerberg of Olympique Lyon celebrates after scoring their side's fourth goal during the UEFA Women's Champions League group D match between SL...

While stylistically, she would slot in well to both this and Lyons’s ball dominant sides, the personnel that already exists at Barca do present a problem.

With the development of Asisat Oshoala this season, as well as the ever-dependable Jenni Hermoso, it does bring questions as to whether striker is an area that Barca need to strengthen.

Even if Hermoso’s age is considered here, the fluid playing style of the team means that positionally there is always an interchange within the front line.

Arsenal could still yet prove to be the challenge that Miedema needs. Despite not yet reaching the level to win the Champion’s League, under Jonas Eidevall there’s a clear plan in place when it comes to progression and eventually reaching that level.

Asisat Oshoala of FC Barcelona looks on during the UEFA Women's Champions League group C match between FC Barcelona and 1899 Hoffenheim at Estadi...

They’re currently in pole position in the league as well as being in the quarter finals of the Champion’s League which further shows the progression they’re making. Committing her future to the club would allow them to continue to build around a genuine world class talent.

To add to this, being a pivotal cog in the machine to get them to that level could present a higher level of achievement for the young Dutch striker – further cementing her legendary status in the league.

Whether she chooses to stay in the league and buy into the project at Arsenal or chooses to take up a new challenge, no one can deny her of the opportunity to win the trophies that her talent deserves.

Barcelona Femeni: The epitome of technical excellence

I write this having seen how utterly ridiculous this Barcelona team are live in the flesh.

Having had the opportunity to witness the magic of the Barcelona Femeni team at the Emirates last week in the Women’s Champions League, I can honestly say that they’re like no other team.

Their style of play is clear and apparent from the offset and their system relies on one thing – the fact that everybody in the side is so technically secure.



This is something that is true both in and out of possession and is at the basis of their dominance on the field. It’s why the team constantly look as though they’re suffocating opposition teams no matter the level.

Barcelona Femeni have been hit with lots of injuries over the past 4-6 weeks and so we’ve seen drastic changes in both the line-up and in their formations. If anything, the volatility in their line-ups have epitomised the fact that their philosophy is clear and defined.

In recent weeks, we’ve seen midfielders playing out of position and starting on the wing, as well as forwards like Fridolina Rolfo being used as full-backs. The changes however have been seamless because on the ball, each player is so comfortable in playing a possession-based game, meaning that in high pressure areas they’re all comfortable playing their way out of trouble.

In this year’s Ballon d’Or, there were three players ranked within the top five from this Barcelona team, showing their dominance in the sport over the past 12 months. The winner was none other than Alexia Putellas, who epitomises everything about what the club is about.

Barcelona's Spanish midfielder Alexia Putellas poses after being awarded the women's Ballon d'Or award during the 2021 Ballon d'Or France Football...

Due to injuries, we’ve seen the Barcelona captain play in every single position in midfield; both as the deepest in the pivot as well as the most advanced in a midfield trio. She’s able to slot into these roles without looking out of place because of her understanding of the game, but also because of how her technical ability manifests itself on the pitch.

Her range of passing, as well as her control of the ball and flow of the game when in and out of pressure is immeasurable in actual terms.

It means that the team is able to manoeuvre through games and tournaments based on what the team needs for that specific game as opposed to being rigid and predictable. This can only be done because of the fact the technical level of the individuals in the squad is of a supreme level.

There were sequences that they played on the edge of Arsenal’s box at the Emirates where I think every single outfield player touched the ball at least once. Where they distinguish themselves from other teams in the world is the fact that under pressure, they retain and look after the ball so well, allowing them to build attacks even when pressed.

Arsenal are actually a very well drilled side and are a team that also like to press high, but the difference between how they were on the ball when faced with Barcelona’s press and how Barcelona reacted to being pressed was night and day.

From a coaching perspective, having people so composed on the ball gives them the option of experimenting. There were situations when the midfield of Barcelona would be pressed both in the Arsenal game, but also against HB Koge by multiple people.

Whilst saying this, the feeling was always that they would escape this pressure – either through dribbling out from the back or from passing out from the danger. Having this unpredictable nature means that not only is it difficult for opposition to plan ahead of time what their means of containment are, but also creates uncertainty and unsettles their players into making mistakes during games.

Having a squad full of players of this ilk brings such stability to the side and is a huge reason as to why they look so difficult to beat. The model of what they’re looking for in players is evident, and they also have a great pipeline of young players coming through their academy.

Aitana Bonmati of FC Barcelona poses with the VISA Player of the Match trophy after victory in the UEFA Women's Champions League Final match between...

Aitana Bonmati is the perfect embodiment of someone who has come through their youth ranks and has now found herself with well over 100 appearances for the club at the age of 23.

Not only is she playing in games, but she’s pivotal to everything they’re doing in an attacking sense as well as contributing crucial goals to the side. She had the base of being technically secure, and with the experience that being at Barcelona is giving her, she’s well on her way to being one of the best at executing the Barca way.