Tobin Heath Exclusive Interview: USA Striker Seeks More Glory After Making Arsenal “Dream” Move | Football news

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“I was wowed,” says Tobin Heath. Sky sports with a smile. The 33-year-old forward, a two-time World Cup winner with the United States, is reflecting on how she fell in love with Arsenal as a soccer-obsessed young woman growing up in New Jersey.

“There were two teams that broke into the soccer landscape early in the United States and they were United and Arsenal,” says Heath. He has now played for both after his stint at Manchester United last season. But it has always been Arsenal. “I loved the way they played,” he adds. “I loved everything the club stood for.”

The bedroom walls of his childhood home were adorned with posters of the winning sides of Arsene Wenger’s title. While celebrating their successes, Heath saw Arsenal Women, in her own words, “paving the way for women’s football in the UK”.

“Arsenal not only have a rich history on the men’s side, but also a huge history on the women’s side,” he says. “It was just a childhood dream come true to join the club, and I know it’s not always like that as a player.”

His transfer to Arsenal, confirmed at the beginning of September, made the sport vibrate. In addition to his World Cups, Heath has won two Olympic gold medals. There have been 181 international appearances and 36 goals. His career at the club spans three decades.

She describes her first few months at Arsenal as a “whirlwind”.

“I was joking with the girls today that I haven’t even had a full training session,” he says, smiling again. “It’s only been a day minus one; game; day minus one; game.

“It was really good to jump right into him and now we have a little more regularity in terms of me understanding things. It’s always interesting when you first come to a club because they are all the same but they are all very different in the way they are. do they work.

This team that I have joined is really strong in terms of the quality of the players and I really believe that it is a team that can compete for the highest honors.

Tobin Heath

“It’s just about discovering all the differences, getting on the pitch and having those new relationships. So it’s been a whirlwind, but it’s been nice.”

Arsenal’s romantic attraction was strong: “In the back of my mind, I always thought that towards the end of my career I would actually try to make one last effort to get here,” she says, but the decision to join them wasn’t just about to fulfill a childhood dream.

“I would never go to a place that did not share the same ambitions as me,” he says. “I don’t have that much time in my career so I’m not looking to go somewhere that is in the early stages.

Tobin Heath aims for a third consecutive World Cup in 2023
Image:
Tobin Heath aims for a third consecutive World Cup in 2023

“This team that I have joined is really strong in terms of the quality of the players and I really believe that it is a team that can compete for the highest honors.”

The way they have started the season bodes well.

Arsenal Women, which finished third in the Women’s Super League last season, are now three points clear at the top of the table after winning five games out of five, scoring 19 goals and only conceding two.

Heath’s debut came in a 5-0 beating over last year’s runner-up Manchester City. His first start was in a 5-1 win over Tottenham in the FA Cup quarter-finals. Arsenal have also beaten champion Chelsea, whom they will face again in the FA Cup final next month.

They have won 12 games out of 13 in all competitions and the brilliant start has been planned by new head coach Jonas Eidevall, who outlined his plans for the club in an introductory phone call with Heath prior to his arrival.

“He immediately stood out as someone who was absolutely passionate about the game, passionate about winning and passionate about taking this football club to another level,” says Heath.

“I think we had shared interests in those things, so I really wanted to go in and start working with him. I think every day I have come to understand him a little more.”

“I have been in football for a long time, but there are certain aspects of him as a coach that have impressed me a lot. I have also seen how he has transformed this team in a short period of time, and how eager the players are going to give. the next step with him, so they are good signs for the club. “

He stood out as someone who was absolutely passionate about the game, passionate about winning, and passionate about taking this football club to another level.

Tobin Heath on Jonas Eidevall

Heath has been even more impressed by the quality of his new teammates.

This summer, in addition to Heath, Arsenal added Nikita Parris, Mana Iwabuchi and Frida Maanum to a squad that already had outstanding performers such as Beth Mead, Kim Little, Katie McCabe and of course the Dutch forward Vivianne Miedema, with whom Heath already you are building a strong understanding.

“It’s absolutely exciting,” says Heath. “She and a lot of other players here are a big reason why I wanted to come to the club, play with that kind of quality and be close to that type of what I call generational talents.”

Tobin Heath

“She is obviously special, with what she has already accomplished at such a young age, and I know she will continue that way. It has been wonderful. Obviously, she is a big part of the success of this team, so I can help in any way.” . supporting her is positive.

“I love teaching, I love giving guidance and little treats. I am passionate about the growth of women’s soccer and I am passionate about the development of young players. It’s part of soccer, that growth mindset, and if I can the next generation, just it will improve the game. “

Heath is already improving Arsenal and describes their depth of attack as “unbelievable”.

Even she, a world-class operator and one of the most decorated players in women’s soccer, has had to be patient for opening opportunities this season, but she welcomes competition for places.

“For a team to be great, there has to be competition for every position, or else you become complacent,” he says. “That’s how I grew up and that’s how it has always been for me.

“I was lucky enough to play in some of the best teams in the world and all those teams had that competition. I always say, if you are not growing, you are dying, and this is a place where you need to grow every day in training to be chosen. for the XI “.

Tobin Heath pictured with his Arsenal teammate Vivianne Miedema
Image:
Tobin Heath pictured with his Arsenal teammate Vivianne Miedema

Rotation, he adds, is also a necessary part of the game when fighting on multiple fronts.

“We are playing in a lot of competitions and we want to go very far this season,” says Heath. “So we understand that we need a team that is not only extremely flexible, but has the quality to be able to deliver quality performances in every game, no matter what players are on the field.”

Arsenal have done it in every game except one. Amid all the victories with which the season has started, there was a humiliating 4-1 loss in their first match of the Champions League group stage against European champion Barcelona.

Heath describes the reality check provided by that outcome as a “blessing” and hopes it serves the team well.

“It was such a good learning experience for the team and a great motivation for us to understand that we still have to get to another level to really cement our place in that competition and achieve what we want,” he says.

“At the WSL, we’ve had some good results, but that can sometimes confuse you as to where you are at and it’s great to have those moments in football where you know you need to improve.

“That was a game that really helped the team, which is funny because you’d think a loss like that would hurt. For this team, we need moments like that.”

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Arsenal head coach Jonas Eidevall says his October WSL manager of the month award is a sign of the team’s progress this season.

Arsenal had an impressive response in their next Champions League game, winning 4-0 against Hoffenheim, with Heath scoring his first goal for the club, but Sunday’s WSL clash with sixth-ranked West Ham is a reminder. the strength of competition at the national level.

“I was aware of the growth of the league,” he says. “I think it was the perfect time to come here. They saw a lot of big transfers, players coming back to the WSL, and it’s always a good sign that the best international players are playing.”

Heath hopes her time at the WSL with Arsenal will help her maintain her position on the United States national team. “There is no greater honor for me than to represent my country,” he says, especially with the 2023 World Cup on the horizon.

The tournament, which will be held in Australia and New Zealand, is an opportunity for Heath to win a record for the third consecutive World Cup. “It is going to be a very competitive squad, but I hope there is still a lot for me to give to the national team and I will always do my best,” he says.

Also, a little competition for places has never stopped Tobin Heath in the past.

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