Morning all.

The Arsenal women got their Champions League challenge back on track last night. Having suffered a heavy defeat to Barcelona in the last group fixture, Hoffenheim were given a pasting. Kim Little started the ball rolling by converting a penalty in the first half and then just before half-time, Tobin Heath scored her first for the club since signing in the summer. Vivianne Miedema grabbed a third and Leah Williamson headed home a fourth. 

All in all it is our strongest performance so far in the season. The way we moved the ball and our passing game in their half was the best we have had this season. I am very pleased with the performance. Arsenal coach Jonas Eidevall said after the game.

Top of the WSL and second in their Champions League group is a really good start to the season. One day I might be writing the same about the men’s side in the month of August. Obviously not the WSL bit.

I watched the television programme on the Women’s Hall Of Fame and Vic Akers was part of the panel discussing the women who have have been included on the ‘elite’ list. He spoke about how he hopes that one day soon, the women footballers of the past will be included as well as those from recent years. He was of probably thinking back to 2007, before even, when he was the women’s manager. 2007 was of course, the year the ladies team (as they were known back then) won the quadruple. An incredible achievement which not a lot was said or written about at the time. Reference to Man Utd’s treble winning season often pops up but Arsenal’s quadruple? Now and then perhaps but staggeringly, during that season, Vic Akers team didn’t lose a game.

Akers’ total haul included three domestic trebles, 12 Premier League titles, 10 FA Cups and 10 League Cups.

A funny story from Arsenal’s UEFA Cup semi-final, not funny at the time of course, but like so many Arsenal players in today’s game, Kelly Smith was targeted by the opposition Brøndby. Arsenal were running away with the first legged tie with Smith on the scoresheet but around 80 minutes she saw red, literally. One too many tough challenges on her and she reacted. As Smith trudged off for an early bath, she stuck her fingers up to the booing Brøndby fans which her an extra match ban. As did kicking a chair by the tunnel. What should have a one match ban became three and her European campaign was over. I bet UEFA enjoyed dishing out the extra punishment.

The final was a one sided affair and it wasn’t Arsenal who were enjoying themselves. Swedish side Umeå had been to three finals previously, winning in 2003 and 2004 so they were hot favourites. But when it came to scoring goals, only one person was successful. Arsenal’s Alex Scott and that came in the first leg and away from home. The second leg at home was equally as one sided and Vic Akers laughed as he reflected back on the night. Lady Luck was definitely in Arsenal’s corner that year.

The Arsenal women didn’t need Lady Luck in their domestic campaign though. Their League challenge was a one horse race because Vic Akers team was superior to all others. The FA Cup Final saw Arsenal beat Charlton 4-1 although the League Cup needed just one goal to see off Leeds. The likes of Utd, Chelsea and City, even the neighbours, were nothing back then.

Back in 2007, women’s football was better run than back in the days when I played but even so, it was nothing like it is today. The mainstream television channels as well as Sky Sports are covering the game so much better and the recognition of players and coaches is improving. Arsenal women haven’t reached another European Final since 2007. Perhaps though, this season will be their time. After all, they’re playing some of the best football the English game has seen in my opinion.

It’s back to the WSL for Jonas Eidevall’s team this weekend as they take on Brighton at Meadow Park. BBC2 are showing the game which kicks off at 4-45pm.

We have to wait a bit longer to see Mikel Arteta’s team back in action.

See you in the comments.