Premier League 2021/22 review - Analysis of every team's seasonMay 23 | 22 min read
Leah Williamson only focused on Arsenal as title race comes to a head
The Gunners are a point behind Chelsea heading into the final round of WSL fixtures on Sunday.
Leah Williamson insists she does not want to be kept updated with the Chelsea score during Arsenal’s Women’s Super League clash at West Ham as the title race reaches a crescendo on Sunday.
The Gunners ran out 3-0 winners over neighbours Tottenham on Wednesday evening to ensure the season-long tussle goes to the wire, with Jonas Eidevall’s side just a point behind leaders Chelsea heading into the final round of fixtures.
Arsenal make the short trip to face West Ham while Chelsea entertain a Manchester United team with outside hopes of qualifying for the Champions League, the Blues knowing they only need to better Arsenal’s result to be crowned champions.
With drama likely across the capital, fans at both games will be expectedly checking their phones and listening out for updates from the matches involving their title rivals.
But Williamson has no interest in what Emma Hayes’ side produce at Kingsmeadow, with the England captain focused solely on carrying out the job at hand.
Asked if she wants to be kept abreast of the Chelsea game, she replied: “No, it doesn’t change anything. We have to win, we have to win our game. Same as we have the last two.
“I don’t really like getting involved in it personally anyway, but if it changed and we have to get goals then that’s different, but we just need to win that game of football.
“We as a team haven’t spoken about it a lot. I know obviously everybody’s talking about the title race, but it’s not really something that we talk about.
“I turn my phone on at the end of the games to see what happens and obviously you’re hoping for a result but, call it superstition, I just wouldn’t get involved.
“If it mattered what we did it would be different, but we have to win our games and I hope the rest of the girls are on the same wavelength and I know they will be because there’s another three points, that’s what we need.”
The victory over Spurs came at the Emirates Stadium, where Arsenal opened the season with a thrilling 3-2 win over Chelsea.
With two Women’s Champions League ties also taking place at the ground, Williamson believes it is a venue which suits the way Arsenal want to play.
“All the girls are really comfortable here,” she added.
“The football that we play is suited to a big pitch as well as a small pitch, we’ve got technical players that all ‘ball out’, for want of a better phrase, at Borehamwood every week.
“When we’re on a bigger pitch and we have players that can be so direct and utilise the space, I think we take it in our stride.
“To be part of days like that is very, very special to me.”
Meanwhile, Arsenal have announced defender Steph Catley has agreed a new deal with the club.
The 28-year-old Australia international, who has made 41 appearances for the club since joining in 2020, said on Arsenal’s official website: “It feels absolutely incredible. I’ve been here for two years now and I’ve made some incredible friendships and I feel right at home here.
“I’ve been through some tough times and some great times and I feel that I’m growing so much as a person and as a player. I’m just happy to call Arsenal home for another few years.”
Eidevall said: “Steph is one of the best players in the world in her position, so it’s fantastic news that she has signed a new contract. She’s played an integral role this season for us, making big contributions in both defence and attack, so we’re very pleased that she will be staying with us for the coming years.”