It's been a little under 12 years since Casey Stoney last put on an Arsenal jersey. That streak is now a thing of the past, as the defender is rejoining the club. Ah yes, I'm slowly beginning to remember what joy and happiness feel like here in the new year.
As I just mentioned, Stoney has been away from the club for quite a stint. Playing with Charlton Athletic, Chelsea, and most recently Lincoln Ladies. Friendly reminder that Stoney was a player/manager at Chelsea in 2009.
While adding Stoney goes a long way in replacing some of the defensive pieces Arsenal has so recently lost, I think this addition to the tea does much more than that. Bringing Stoney back in means bringing in a lot of leadership that was seemingly lost with Laura Harvey. Good ole Stonewall has been the captain of two different international squads since her last minutes with the Arsenal, Team GB and England, and has proven herself to be a vocal team leader out of the back.
All of that lovely stuff being said, this move by no means signifies Arsenal is back in title contention this year. It would take several more signings to do that. The Gunners have lost far too much offensively this season, and while their defense has at times be stellar (allowed a league low 11 goals against last season), there is no way they can expect to win every game 1-0.
Here are some more likely expectations that don't include winning the league:
- Expect Casey Stoney to start right away, and be the captain
- Expect the youngins to make mistakes, and to grow and learn from them
- Expect Stoney to help keep a positive team morale
- Expect Sio Chamberlain to be the starting goalkeeper
- Expect two more signings before the season begins