Arsenal Women played their first pre-season friendly at Emirates Stadium on Sunday as part of the Emirates Cup. They lost 1-0 to a Bayern Munich side a good three weeks further down the line in their own pre-season.

Scottish centre-half Jennifer Beattie made a second debut for the club in the game, playing the full 90 minutes at centre-half. Jen initially left the club five years ago, but spoke exclusively to Arseblog News after the Bayern game.

On a physically demanding game against Bayern…
Pre-season has been very tough so far, playing a top side who are close to starting their league season, they start in two weeks, we start in five. It was a very good physical test for us at this point in pre-season.

On whether she will play exclusively at centre half at Arsenal…

First and foremost I have to earn a spot, I have come to the league champions and there is quality throughout the team, so I am in for a fight in any position. To be honest, I am open to playing where Joe thinks it is best for me to play, it’s his decision and I am happy to play anywhere where I can earn my place.

Whether Arsenal feels like a different club to the one she left in 2014…

Yes, it feels very different. As with many clubs in this league, they have progressed in so many ways with the infrastructure and the people they have brought in, so it’s a world away from what it was five years ago. But I am so happy to be back.

On playing at the Emirates Stadium…
It was amazing, my first game back against Bayern at the Emirates- it doesn’t get much better than that. It was clear I think that Bayern are ahead of us in their preparations, but we hope it was a good game for everyone to watch.

On slotting back into the Arsenal back four…
I thought it went really well, obviously I know the players from playing in this league for so long and I worked with Joe when I played in Melbourne too. So a lot of things are familiar, but it’s a huge test coming here and challenging myself to break into this team.

On playing in the Champions League next season…

I know that was a big objective for Arsenal to get back into the Champions League and it’s a competition that every player wants to be a part of. We want to push to get to the final stages and Bayern today was a really good test because they are regularly in the final stages of the tournament and that’s the level we need to get to and get past.

 

Source: Arsenalblog