Beth Mead brings up 100th Arsenal appearance
Hinderwell’s Beth Mead brought up her 100th appearance for Arsenal Ladies on Sunday - marking the milestone with a victory.
Mead celebrated her milestone at Meadow Park with a dominant 3-0 victory over Birmingham City in the WSL.
The Hinderwell hot-shot took to Twitter to express her pride at the milestone: “Proud moment for me, honoured to have reached 100️ appearance for this amazing club. Hopefully many more to come.”
It’s been some journey for the 25-year-old since she signed for Arsenal from Sunderland in 2016 and one which has seen her transform from a prolific striker into one of the division’s most creative forces.
And now that she’s reached the milestone, Mead’s been able to reflect on the adventure which has seen her establish herself as a regular in England’s senior set-up.
“I was 21 when I signed and was probably still a bit of a kid,” said Mead.
“I was still learning my trade and then obviously I came to Arsenal to start playing on the wing. It’s not something that I thought I’d do when I signed.
“I would like to think I’ve grown up a lot. I’m living in London as a country girl from up north, so I’ve had to look after myself a little bit on and off the pitch.
Hopefully that shows in my maturity since I signed for the club.
“If you’d have told me I was going to play 100 games for Arsenal when I first started here, I wouldn’t have believed you.
“It’s a great milestone to hit. There are some legends that have made it there. I wouldn’t call myself a legend but 100 appearances for a club like this is a true honour.”
Mead may not consider herself a club legend just yet but she’s a firm fan favourite at Meadow Park.
The Whitby-born forward has topped our assist charts in the past two seasons with 17 last term and 13 during our league-winning campaign, and has already set up five goals in 2020/21.
Impressive numbers on their own. But when you factor in the 37 goals she’s also scored during her time in the capital, it makes for serious reading.
“I think I care more about getting an assist each game than I do scoring now, which probably isn’t the right thing to do,” Mead added.
“But no, playing as a winger is great. Playing as a No 9, I think I’ve got a bit of an upper-hand in that I know what the perfect ball is, what No 9s like delivered into the box.
“I’ve been on the receiving end of that so now it’s my time to put that in.
“I think that’s helped me, playing as a No 9 for most of my career, and now it’s helping me as a winger.
“I’ve had quite a lot of assists so maybe some more goals would help as well!”
Mead’s self-deprecating personality - and a love of TikTok off the pitch - has helped endear her to our fans even more but don’t be fooled, she knows where the goal is.
And when the England international hits them, they tend to stay hit - regardless of where she’s shooting from.
“Looking back, my favourite goal so far is probably the one against Brighton,” Mead added.
“That was quite nice because of the way it went in and it was the same day we won the league.
“That’s pretty memorable, and we got to play at the Amex which is a pretty impressive stadium, too.
“In terms of games, there are two that stick out. Being a big rivalry, the 5-0 win away at Chelsea was a big game for me, as well as the Continental Cup final when we won it in 2018.
“Those are the two that I remember the most. Well, those and the Brighton one of course.”
Arsenal manager Joe Montemurro couldn’t be any happier to have Mead in his ranks.
“It’s fantastic for someone so young to hit 100 games for us,” said Montemurro.
“It’s great to have players of that age really maturing.
“Beth has three or four great weapons, she’s very good at cutting inside, she’s very good at exploiting spaces in behind, her finishing and dead balls are very, very good.
“She’s got three or four ways of breaking deep blocks and breaking lines. Beth is a good component for our team.”
It was a double celebration for Mead after she retained her place in the Guardian’s The 100 best female footballers in the world 2020.
Mead and her Arsenal teammates travel to WSL title rivals Manchester City on Sunday, kick-off 2.30pm.