Arsenal Women’s Leah Williamson fired up for final day clash with Manchester City
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
Arsenal Women’s defender Leah Williamson has insisted the Gunners won’t hold back in their clash with Manchester City Women at Meadow Park on Saturday in their final WSL game of the season, despite already being crowned champions.
Joe Montemurro's side secured the FA Women's Super League title in with a 4-0 win over Brighton in April, avoiding a title-decider this weekend when they host City at Meadow Park.
City dealt Arsenal their sole league defeat this season; a 2-0 loss at Academy Stadium in December and remaining unbeaten in second place.
"Man City respect us as we respect them but we'll be even more fired up than when we played Brighton," said Williamson.
"The pressure's off but we're a proud team, we want to compete to the best of our ability and show City what we might not have been capable of in December.
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"I wish we could've played against City in the form we were in at the start of the season but Joe says all the time: 'good teams have got to learn how to win hard."
At just 22, Williamson has already made over 100 first team appearances and become a key figure in the Arsenal side.
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With that experience, accompanied by a FA Women's Super League winner's medal, she has also earned a call-up to this summer's Women's World Cup in France.
A composed, ball-playing defender, she explained how her game has evolved since Montemurro's arrival in November 2017.
"Joe's my perfect manager," she said.
"He brought a winning mentality straight away and the way we've played since has stayed the same.
"We see the game the same way, he wants the same out of me as I want to deliver. I'm a young player and I need someone to guide me, give me information and see what I can do with it.
"We have a good balance with that and if anything I want more, any time he gives me information I'm open and I can't wait to develop further as I feel I've come on a lot in the last year under him."
Despite winning the league with a game to spare, this season has been a rollercoaster for Arsenal Women.
They made a blistering start, and despite suffering a mid-season injury crisis and enduring the nerve-wracking home stretch, much to the delight of Williamson.
"If we didn't win any silverware this year, it wouldn't have been a successful season for this football club," she said.
"The injuries make it even greater because we've had a crazy season which is easy to forget once the trophy's in the cabinet.
"At one point we were down to ten players, grinding it out.
"We knew there was no room for error going forward and played every game like a cup final since then.
"Some teams would crumble but credit to everybody for stepping up and just think how strong we'll be when Jordan (Nobbs) and other players are back."