After having an excellent three games, Vivianne Miedema was voted the Barclays Player of the Month. Her October included goals (obviously), a hat-trick (obviously) and breaking records (obviously).
It was a month which saw Arsenal maintain a 100% record whilst conceding just two goals to their 14 scored.
This is Arsenal’s second successive Dutch Player of the Month, with Jill Roord scooping the prize for September. However, it was the ‘GOAT’ who took the prize this month with nobody coming close to what she achieved.
More Clinical and More Hungry
Miedema managed six goals (from just eight shots on target), one first half hat-trick and one assist. With every game that passed, she got even more terrifying for defences. We are taking a look at her performances and what made them and herself so special in October.
The Dutch striker started the month off slowly with just the solitary goal against Bristol City. After splitting the two City centre-backs, she latched onto a long ball over the top with an excellent burst of pace in the 86th minute.
Miedema got the ball under control before closing down on the Bristol goal and poking it under Sophie Baggaley into the bottom corner. This was an early sign of what was to come in October.
Next up was an energetic, creative and sometimes unpredictable Brighton & Hove Albion. Miedema registered three-goal involvements in a 5-0 win.
She carried on where she left off in the last game with a goal. Getting the first of the match set the precedent for the remaining 80 minutes. After seeing a corner cleared to the edge of the box, Miedema took one touch to control and the next to chop inside the defender before working the ball onto her right foot and rifling it past Megan Walsh.
It was a beautiful solo goal, taking three touches before the ball nestled in the bottom corner. What was most amazing though is that Miedema did all that within a one or two-yard space – showing off her close ball control and always thinking one move ahead of other players.
More than Just a Goalscorer
The Player of the Month turned provider as she set up Lotte Wubben-Moy for her first goal in the WSL and for Arsenal. Miedema worked the ball on the left-hand side, drawing Victoria Williams into making a challenge before gliding past her. She then had the pace to leave the defender with no chance before putting in an inch-perfect cross for Wubben-Moy at the back post, who had the simplest of finishes into an empty net.
After getting things going in the tenth minute, Miedema brought proceedings to a close with a strike in the dying embers of stoppage time. Katie McCabe – another Player of the Month nominee – somehow danced her way around four Brighton defenders and created space on the byline to dink a cross to the six-yard box.
Miedema did the rest, faking to volley home first time before hitting her effort into the ground, this bouncing over two Brighton defenders as well as Walsh. Another standard day at the office for Miedema.
The game which summed up Miedema: A North London derby, a first-half hat-trick and an elite mindset.
The Dutch dynamo needed just one goal to become the WSL’s all-time top scorer and overtake Nikkita Parris’ record of 49 goals. However, Miedema doesn’t do ‘just. She went and smashed past the record, all before half-time.
All-time Top Scorer in the WSL
She got the important half-century goal by nutmegging a Spurs player on the half-way line before bursting forward and playing a one-two with Danielle van de Donk.
Just as it seemed she had no options other than to play in a crowd, she found a way to squeeze her low effort past Becky Spencer before she could even react. A truly emphatic finish.
McCabe, who had another influential game, recognised Miedema’s quick thinking as the only one ready for a free-kick and made a smart diagonal run behind the Spurs wall.
The ball was weighted perfectly so Miedema didn’t have to break stride and without taking a look, she managed to finish past Spencer at her near post.
Her footballing brain is second to none. She sees the game differently and almost in slow motion. She’s able to break plays down before they’ve even happened. It’s almost like she’s a cheat code for Arsenal.
Miedema’s ability on and off the ball is the best of any striker in the world and she’s showcasing it for the world to see.
Just five minutes later against Spurs, she took the ball forward, got her head up and zipped a pass to Caitlin Ford, who took it beautifully on the half-turn. Instead of admiring her pass and watching on as Foord had a one-on-one with Spencer, she burst past three Spurs defenders to give her teammate an option. Foord was smart enough to acknowledge this and squared it back to Miedema to tap home into an empty net.
It’s been another simply stunning month for Miedema who didn’t hold back and only got better as the weeks went on. Smashing the all-time scorer record and showcasing why she is much more than just a striker that scores goals but somebody Arsenal can rely on to create space and goals for others.
MORE from Her Football Hub:
- Imogen Riches: Soccer AM’s First Female Goalkeeper
- Rangers show title ambitions with late win over Hibs
- Primera Iberdrola 2020/21 Gameweek 4