Cast your mind back to summer 2019, where we lived in a COVID-19 free world. Fans could enter stadiums, the only masks used in sport were by wrestlers and players didn’t have to scrub their mitts with hand gel at every given opportunity.
Summer 2019 saw the Women’s World Cup staged across France, with giants of the sport attracting big crowds. One player stood out amongst them all and she gained her own loyal audience of fans. Vivianne Miedema became the Oranje’s record goal-scorer during the tournament, after netting two against Cameroon. Her roly-poly (a rare celebration for her) represented the growing interest in not only her achievements, but women’s football.
Flash-forward to nearly a year later and things are rather strange, lockdown has meant that women’s football has ground to a halt. In England, the Women’s Super League and Championship were decided on a points-per-game basis, with the leagues in Tier Three and below being voided. Although the football may have stopped, the awards are rolling, and Miedema was the recipient of the Football Writer’s Association Award this week.
Ever humble, the Arsenal striker recorded a small message of thanks, reflecting her desire to stay out of the limelight and focusing on her game and winning. However modest she is, no one can argue that this award was not well deserved.
The 23-year-old pipped Chelsea’s Bethany England by one vote to win the award. The Chair of the FWA committee, Jen O’Neill, attributed Miedema’s win to her “clinical efficiency in front of goal” and her “all-round ability and football intelligence”.
Miedema is easily one of the most intelligent footballers playing currently. Her ability to pick out passes and score exactly where she wants is a rare talent. Her ability to score and consistency as a reliable goal-scorer is valued for both Arsenal and the Netherlands.
She has had yet another excellent year for Arsenal, despite the fact it has been cut short due to COVID-19. She finished as the WSL’s highest goal-scorer in the 2019/20 season, with 16 goals in 14 appearances.
Miedema is someone who just loves scoring goals. Last year in the Champions League Arsenal beat Slavia Praha 5-2, Miedema contributed four of Arsenal’s five goals.
Arguably her finest performance in an Arsenal shirt this season came in December 2019 when the Gunners smashed Bristol City 11-1. Miedema was involved in all ten goals scored at Meadow Park, scoring six and assisting four, breaking a WSL record for individual contributions in a game.
There’s a reason why Miedema is nicknamed the GOAT and her contributions all over the field demonstrate it. Her goal-scoring ability, her assists and her passing make her an incredibly worthy recipient of this award.