In focus: Niamh Charles
Chelsea supporters give their thoughts on Niamh's Charles' England call-up for the Arnold Clark Cup
On Tuesday 8th February, Sarina Weigman named her Arnold Clark Cup Squad for the upcoming tournament in which the Lionneses will take on South Korea, Italy and Belgium, looking to retain the tournament trophy which they won last year.
Amid the certainties of the Williamson’s, Toone’s and Lucy Bronze’s of the England squad, Chelsea’s 23 year old full back, Niamh Charles was named in the squad which marks a huge turnaround for her. Charles guttingly missed out on the Euro 2022 squad, but returns to the Lionesses squad amid a stellar season for Chelsea so far.
Chelsea fan, Meg Aherne and a contributor to CFCW Social said, “I think when Niamh has been given the chance to play this season, she has definitely shined. Missing out on the Euro squad last summer, allowed her to prove to Sarina that she deserves to be playing in this England side and she has done just that.
"I believe she’s earned her place in the recent call up because she’s a versatile player who definitely gives her all on the pitch!”
Meg isn’t wrong. Charles has played a total of 581 minutes in 12 games so far this season, with over half of those (8) being starts. She offers a very disciplined outlook in the right back berth, having not been shown a card at all this season and has drawn more fouls (6) than she has fouled herself (5) so far this season.
Fellow Chelsea fan, Hayley added, “She definitely deserves the England call up, especially after being out of the squad for the Euro’s win and since she’s joined, she’s been a vital part of Chelsea’s team, in both attack and defence. She can be an amazing player for the team and has the chance to show Sarina what she can do!”
Attacking wise, you can tell Charles still has her wide midfield roots embedded in her playing style. She’s scored two goals this season for The Blues, in the 3-1 away win at Everton in October and in the 8-0 thrashing of Leicester in December. Alongside her goals, she is always looking for the forward pass which is especially important for a right back in today's game and in the England system. 118 of her 337 passes this season have been forward.
Overall, Niamh adds youth and excitement to the England squad for the tournament, all the whole getting to learn off one of the greats in Lucy Bronze. The guys from the Chelsea group of Her Game Too are buzzing with her inclusion to say the least.
“It is a pleasure to watch Niamh play for Chelsea. She is always smiling and laughing every time you see her and she has so much time for fans.
"She is arguably Chelsea’s most improved player and our most versatile player, with the ability to play on both sides. It was gutting to see her miss out at the Euros because she is always a threat to the opposition and we love seeing her bulldozing everyone as she runs down the wing.
"We’ve got our tickets to the ‘Niamh Charles revenge tour’ and it’s heading to the Women’s World Cup 2023! We’re all very much looking forward to seeing Niamh, and the Lionesses thrive in the Arnold Clark Cup, before a rather big summer down under!"