EXCLUSIVE Arsenal and England women’s star Beth Mead: I enjoy creating as much as scoring

Beth Mead of Arsenal (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Beth Mead of Arsenal (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo) - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Beth Mead has flourished for Arsenal Women this season despite taking on a new role in the team. Read Art De Roche’s exclusive interview with the Gunners and England star.

Arsenal's Beth Mead in action for England Women (pic Andrew Matthews/PA)

Arsenal's Beth Mead in action for England Women (pic Andrew Matthews/PA) - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

A striker to many, Mead has played most of her football out wide for the past year. For both club and country.

But that hasn’t taken away her drive to create and score goals as seen with the brace she scored in Arsenal’s 5-1 win over Liverpool Women this weekend which took her up to six WSL goals for the season.

This followed up her impressive form at the SheBelieves Cup with England where she scored twice in three games.

Top of the WSL assist charts with 10, Mead’s creativity has been recognised more in the 2018-19 campaign.

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After claiming her 10th league assist against Bristol City Women in mid-March, speaking exclusively to the Gazette, she said: “That’s not something I expected at the start of the year.

“I used to be known more as a goalscorer but I’m really happy to help the team get even more goals.

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“I actually enjoy assisting as much as scoring now which sounds weird but I’m really enjoying it out there.

“The games are crucial now so we need to create and convert as many chances as possible, so it’s nice for me to help do that.”

Since Mead’s move out wide, the centre forward role at Arsenal has been filled expertly by Vivianne Miedema. The Dutch striker has broken WSL goalscoring records and currently has 20 league goals (the most in the league), helping drive Arsenal’s title charge.

Having both the league’s top scorer and top assister has worked wonders for Joe Montemurro’s side.

They now sit top of the WSL, a point ahead of Manchester City Women with a game in hand. Having just four games left to play, the contributions of Miedema and Mead have put the Gunners in an incredibly strong position.

“Viv and I are on a similar wavelength which is showing at this point in time. We’re getting loads of goals and assists,” Mead added when talking on the pair’s partnership.

“Having played as a number nine for my whole career, I know what they like, so it helps me in knowing the type of ball to put into the box.

“I also think it works both ways. So when I’m back in the middle, I’ll know when to make a run and that’ll help massively.”

With the Women’s World Cup fast approaching, Mead has done her selection chances no harm showing her versatility in the frontline.

Reflecting on the attitude she had when taking on the new position, she concluded: “I think that’s helped me become a more adaptable player.

“You’ve just got to work hard and take it as it comes. At England, we have a lot of tough opposition like there is here at Arsenal.

“That’s helping me develop and improve which is all I can do right now as well as doing the best that I can.”

Follow Arsenal writer Art on Twitter @ArtdeRoche

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