Arsenal’s Maier enjoying first season in England

Arsenal youngster Ruby Grant (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Arsenal youngster Ruby Grant (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo) - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Arsenal Women’s defender Leonie Maier has spoken about her first season in England after joining from Bayern Munich last summer.

Manuela Zinsberger of Arsenal (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Manuela Zinsberger of Arsenal (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo) - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Maier has been a pivotal member of the Gunners squad, making 20 appearances in all English competitions this season and helping them reach the Continental Cup final.

She said: “Football is hugely popular here in England, and women’s football too. It has always been my dream to go abroad. After six years in Munich, I think it was the right time.”

When speaking about the differences between the English and German leagues Maier added: “The teams play more aggressively here, not as tactically as in the Bundesliga but English football is much more physical.

“My family says it’s always fun to watch. I hear from a lot of people in Germany that they’re following our league via the FA Player.”

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Maier is one of a number of players who have played for both Arsenal and Bayern, along with Lisa Evans, Jill Roord, Viktoria Schnaderbeck, Manuela Zinsberger and Vivianne Miedema.

Goalkeeper Zinsberger also joined Arsenal from the German giants and heaped praise on English football, adding: “A few weeks ago we played against Chelsea, there were even 4,100 spectators. The tickets were gone immediately. The commitment here is really strong. Clubs, associations and league sponsors want to make the difference and they do a lot.

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She also feels that the level between English and German football is similar, saying: ”At the top Chelsea, Manchester City are in a tight race for the title, but there are also games like Bristol City that we won 11-1.”

The Austrian number one praised the differences between fans in England and Germany, admitting ‘there was nothing going on after the game’ in Munich, while many supporters stay behind for autographs and photos at Meadow Park after Arsenal home matches.

There is a chance Arsenal could meet Bayern Munich in the UEFA Women’s Champions league semi-final, should it get played after the coronavirus pandemic.

Arsenal are set to face Paris Saint-Germain in the last eight and if they get through would play current European champions Lyon or Bayern.

The sides have already met this season, in the Emirates Cup in August, with Bayern winning 1-0 thanks to a Melanie Leupolz goal.

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