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Arsenal’s Maier making best of ‘very difficult time’

PUBLISHED: 15:00 29 April 2020

Leonie Maier of Arsenal and Angela Addison of Tottenham during Arsenal Women vs Tottenham Hotspur Women, Friendly Match Football at Meadow Park on 25th August 2019

Leonie Maier of Arsenal and Angela Addison of Tottenham during Arsenal Women vs Tottenham Hotspur Women, Friendly Match Football at Meadow Park on 25th August 2019

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Arsenal Women’s Leonie Maier admits it is a ‘very difficult time’ being isolated in England due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Leonie Maier of Arsenal and Kate Longhurst of West Ham during Arsenal Women vs West Ham United Women, Barclays FA Women's Super League Football at Meadow Park on 8th September 2019Leonie Maier of Arsenal and Kate Longhurst of West Ham during Arsenal Women vs West Ham United Women, Barclays FA Women's Super League Football at Meadow Park on 8th September 2019

The defender was speaking to the German Football Association about her time away from home and said: “It’s a very difficult time. The conditions are similar to those in Germany, possibly even more complicated.

“Of course I am in regular contact with my family and friends. What I get as feedback from there is similar to my impressions here in London.

“I sometimes have the impression that we are in England a week or two later with the development compared to Germany. When Prime Minister Boris Johnson was in intensive care, there was of course no other topic in the media. That was dramatic.”

The international defender also revealed how she is passing the time during the lockdown, adding: “I’ve always enjoyed cooking and baking. Unfortunately, I often didn’t have time for this. At the moment I can let off steam in this area. I am very creative there. I’m really enjoying this.

Leonie Maier of Arsenal and Esmee de Graaf of West Ham during West Ham United Women vs Arsenal Women, Women's FA Cup Football at Rush Green Stadium on 26th January 2020Leonie Maier of Arsenal and Esmee de Graaf of West Ham during West Ham United Women vs Arsenal Women, Women's FA Cup Football at Rush Green Stadium on 26th January 2020

“Basically, I rarely get bored. My friend is currently visiting. That helps me, of course. We spent a lot of time outside in the beautiful weather, always with the necessary distance from other people. Despite all the difficulties we are having right now, we are fine. We are healthy and that is the most important thing.”

Asked if she had considered returning to Germany during the crisis, Maier replied: “Yes, that was already an issue. At the beginning, nobody really knew when to go and whether it was worth flying home for this time. Does it take days? Does it take weeks? Does it take months?

“Then when we realised that it would take longer, my friend and I already considered whether we should stay or fly home.”

However, Maier decided to stay in London and speaking of that decision she said: “We noticed that we are doing well according to the circumstances. As I said, I’m not alone here. We are enjoying the free time together. We hardly ever have this opportunity. This is a nice side effect.

Leonie Maier of Arsenal and Katie Rood of Lewes during Arsenal Women vs Lewes FC Women, Women's FA Cup Football at Meadow Park on 23rd February 2020Leonie Maier of Arsenal and Katie Rood of Lewes during Arsenal Women vs Lewes FC Women, Women's FA Cup Football at Meadow Park on 23rd February 2020

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“We also didn’t want to fly home and then endanger our families there. I can hardly meet friends in Germany. That is why we ultimately made the decision to stay in England and make the best of the situation.

“Even if we lack the family, we have not regretted it yet. We have a very close exchange with Germany through the digital channels.”

Although the Women’s Super League season remain on hold, Maier said she is prepared for when it gets going again.

Leonie Maier of Arsenal during Arsenal Women vs Tottenham Hotspur Women, Friendly Match Football at Meadow Park on 25th August 2019Leonie Maier of Arsenal during Arsenal Women vs Tottenham Hotspur Women, Friendly Match Football at Meadow Park on 25th August 2019

“Of course we all ask ourselves the questions. There is hope that we may be able to continue the season in June. But all of that is still very uncertain,” she said.

“Those responsible want to end the series. At the present time, I cannot really assess whether this is really feasible. It can also happen that the game time is cancelled.

“As far as I know, the consequences of this are still completely unclear. I personally prepare myself so that it will continue at some point. Let’s see what really happens.”

Maier remains confident Arsenal can still qualify for the UEFA Women’s Champions League, with their quarter-final tie also on hold, if the campaign does get back underway, adding: “We are currently third, that is not what we imagined. Shortly before the break, we lost an important game against Manchester City. That was a bitter setback.

“I don’t think it’s enough for the top, but we would like to finish second in the end to qualify for the Champions League again – if it really should go on.”

Maier ended the talk about her experiences in England so far by saying: “In England football is very strong. There is a rapid development here. My impression is confirmed that people in England are even more crazy about football than in Germany!

“Women’s football is also very popular. I think back to our international match at a sold-out Wembley Stadium. The European Championships has now been postponed to 2022. The tournament will surely be a highlight and another boost.”


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