The expectation at Manchester City is huge. Make that massive, come to think of it. Just like the amazing men’s team, fans expect City’s women to lead the way on the pitch. Alas, as of this moment in time City are not quite there. That has a lot to do with the blistering start Arsenal Women have enjoyed in the first eight games of the FA Women’s Super League season. The Gunners top the pile with City behind them in second spot, but with an eight-point gap already there is a lot of work ahead for Nick Cushing and his squad of talented players.
One of those players is Belgian ace Tessa Wullaert; an attacker who manages to influence matches but does so with a calm approach not necessarily evident in what can be often be frantic match action. And Wullaert has explained how she manages to stay focused and not be weighed down despite the stresses and strains that come her way as she pursues goals (aged just 25, she is already Belgium’s all-time top goal scorer).
The secret to her success, seemingly, is that she is prepared to have fun along the way. She told Manchester City’s official website her path to the club came because she enjoyed “just doing my thing”, adding:
“It came along the way – I didn’t think about it. I just scored goals while I was having fun. The biggest thing I’ve learned along the way is: just have fun. Don’t think; don’t stress. You play the best games without stress. Just follow your instinct and have fun.
“Without stress, you make the best calls – not thinking. I think it comes naturally. It’s not a good thing to have to think before a goal. That’s how I enjoy a game, by following my gut and instinct. It’s worked out quite well! I just want to look back and say I was happy and that I enjoyed my time. I think that’s the most important thing.”
Meanwhile, there is certainly very little stress over at City’s title rivals Arsenal, who have surged ahead at the summit. Joe Montemurro’s side chalked up a 4-0 win over a redoubtable Everton in the Women’s Super League on Sunday. But the Gunners chief recognises there is a long road ahead before any thoughts can turn to silverware even though Arsenal have recorded the best ever start to a WSL season.
“Statisticians have records that are there to be broken and we’re more than happy to break them. It’s all credit to the players and staff because they deserve it. They’ve worked very, very hard and the good thing is that we’re doing it in our style, in our way and with our style of play — and that’s the most important thing for me.”