VIC AKERS supports Arsenal in their quest for silver after losing two of their most feared strikers to injuries.
The former Gunners Ladies boss, 76, says Vivianne Miedema and Beth Mead will be “a huge failure” for the side with the duo currently injured.
Akers, whose Arsenal side became the first English side to win the Women’s Champions League in 2007, was among the guests to watch the Gunners meet Lyon in the Emirates on Thursday.
Despite the 1-0 defeat, Jonas Eidevall’s players secured a place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
The qualification was overshadowed by Miedema’s serious injury, the WSL’s record goalscorer was carried off the field after an unfortunate fall while grabbing the ball.
Akers said: “Vivanne will be a big, big loss to the team.
“As she went down I could see it was pretty serious as Gary Lewin (Arsenal Women’s Head of Medicine) came out on the edge of the field.
“When I saw the look on Gary’s face, I knew it was serious. Let’s hope it’s not an ACL violation. It looked ominous.”
Miedema’s injury comes a month after team-mate Mead tore her knee ligaments in Arsenal’s 3-2 defeat by Manchester United in the Emirates.
The timetables for how long the England ace will be out due to her injury are not yet known.
In a statement last month, the club said Mead would “stay on the sidelines for an extended period of time”.
Last season, Mead and Miedema combined for 26 goals in 22 WSL games, with Miedema becoming the league’s second-highest goalscorer.
And Akers expects Leah Williamson, Kim Little and their teammates to be more intent on succeeding for their injured friends.
He added: “This group is tight-knit and similar to the all-conquering group I had in 2007.
“You will want to succeed for the girls who are out and injured.
“I think that motivation will carry her through this season.”
Arsenal, currently runners-up in the WSL, meet leaders Chelsea in the Emirates in their first game of the new year in what could be a crucial game in the title race.
The derby clash on January 15 comes a month later after defenders Williamson and Rafaelle Souza are due to return to action after suffering foot and knee injuries.
And Skipper Little is back in training after a knee problem.
Akers added, “It’s tremendous to have these characters back.
“Kim Little was one of the biggest missing and I felt like they were screaming creativity against Lyon.
“I know Leah really, really well and she’s definitely going to go the extra mile and make sure everyone is on the same page.
“I’m sure they want to fight for trophies for the injured girls and for themselves.”
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6944514/vic-akers-arsenal-womens-champions-league/ Former Arsenal women boss backs the ‘tight-knit’ Gunners as they battle for trophies for injured team-mates