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Jill Roord will reunite with Arsenal fans on Wednesday night as Wolfsburg face her former side

‘I hope I get a good reception!’ Jill Roord will reunite with Arsenal fans on Wednesday night as Wolfsburg face her former side in the Champions League quarter-final at the Emirates

  • Jill Roord left Arsenal for Wolfsburg at the end of last season amid the pandemic
  • She was unable to get a proper send off from the fans due to Covid restrictions 
  • However, she will be reunited with the Gunners supporters on Wednesday night
  • Roord will play against her former side in the Champions League quarter-final  

Jill Roord was unable to say a proper goodbye to the Arsenal supporters when she departed for Wolfsburg at the end of last season, with Covid restrictions preventing any kind of send off.

But the midfielder will be reunited with the Gunners fans when she comes up against her former side in the Champions League quarter-final at the Emirates on Wednesday night.

‘Well I hope I get a good reception!’ Roord laughs. ‘When I left there wasn’t really an audience which was a bit sad but I’m looking forward to seeing the fans again.

Jill Roord left Arsenal for Wolfsburg at the end of last season amid the coronavirus pandemic

‘It’s weird, I knew this was going to happen. I had a strong feeling I was going to play against Arsenal. I had two amazing years there. I’m really looking forward to playing there and to seeing the girls again. I know them all very well, their type of characters and the way they play.’

Wolfsburg needed a dramatic victory over Chelsea in their final group game to make the last eight of the competition. The Germans needed to win by two clear goals but ended up thrashing last year’s finalists 4-0 and knocking them out in the process.

Roord (left) was unable to get a proper send off from the fans due to Covid-19 restrictions

Roord (left) was unable to get a proper send off from the fans due to Covid-19 restrictions

‘It all came down to that game which was unnecessary,’ Roord says. ‘We gave two wins away in the last minute against Juventus and Chelsea earlier in the group. We all still really believed in the last game, we really had the confidence that we could actually beat them with two goals difference.

‘I think that’s how we started the game, very confident, a lot of power. Maybe we played a bit naive but we had to and it worked.’

Much has been made of the strength of the Women’s Super League and whether it is the best domestic competition in Europe. But Wolfsburg’s victory over Chelsea meant Arsenal were the only English team to progress to the knockout stage. Germany, Spain and France each boast two teams in the final eight while Italy also have one.

‘The WSL, it’s a hype, everyone’s talking about it,’ Roord says. ‘It’s very interesting because there’s so much media attention and spectators but that doesn’t mean that it is the best league.

However, Roord (middle) will be reunited with the Gunners supporters on Wednesday night

However, Roord (middle) will be reunited with the Gunners supporters on Wednesday night

‘It doesn’t mean that the best players and the best teams are in that league. I think that’s why they maybe overestimated it a bit. For the atmosphere, it’s the best league. But it’s about the football and the quality and I think they still have, not a long way to go, but they still have to work really hard to keep the level up.

‘I really like the group stage [of the Champions League] because I think it shows where every country and where every club is at. For example Juventus, nobody is really talking about Italy but they actually have a really good team, they’re doing really well.’

Juventus are managed by Joe Montemurro, Roord’s former manager at Arsenal. ‘I think he really fits there,’ Roord says. ‘I spoke to him as well and he’s really happy there.

‘The way he wants to play is also how Juventus plays and how their football culture is in Italy. I think he’s doing an amazing job. I was really happy for him and the team because I think they deserved to get through.’

The Wolfsburg star will play against her former side in the Champions League quarter-final

The Wolfsburg star will play against her former side in the Champions League quarter-final

Arsenal qualified for the knockouts with the lowest points total and were given a scare by Hoffenheim in their final group game. Jonas Eidevall’s side just needed to avoid losing by five clear goals but found themselves 4-1 down with 30 minutes still to play. The Gunners held on to progress but are in for another tough test.

‘From what I know and what I’ve heard, I don’t think any team likes to play against German teams because they have so much power, the fitness is really good and they keep going and going,’ Roord says.

‘I don’t think it’s fun [for them]. Even when I played for Arsenal I wouldn’t enjoy playing against German teams. You could see that a bit in the game against Hoffenheim, I think that’s also how we should play, with a lot of power and good balance. It will be very unpleasant for them!’

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