Arsenal and England Defender Alex Scott catches up with The Offside Rule in her latest blog

By Alex Scott. We are back underway in the Women’s Super League after a three-week break following the FA Cup final, which also included international games. Some girls took the opportunity to jet off on a little holiday but my teammate, Emma Byrne, and I headed up to Stoke-on-Trent to Staffordshire University for a week of summer school. Not exactly Dubai, but as part of the degree I am doing in sports writing and broadcasting, I couldn’t exactly skip the week and jet off like the rest of the girls. It will all be worth it in the end though. I have one more year left of my degree then I will be fully qualified. Hopefully, by the time the next Men’s World Cup comes around in 2018, I can join the likes of Gabby Logan representing the females, in what is still a male dominated area in sports presenting and punditry. Well I can hope, can’t I?!

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Goals by Casey Stoney and Eniola Aluko helped secure a narrow 2-1 victory over Ukraine

So, like I mentioned, as well as having a break there was also the big task of the Women’s World Cup qualifying games. England had two away games which saw us travel to Belarus and Ukraine. We knew if we managed to get two wins, it would put us firmly in the driving seat in our group. We managed to get the results and for the first time in the group, we managed to see out a game. What I mean by this is that we came up against a Ukraine side with a hostile crowd behind them that put us under a lot of pressure in the second half.

Ukraine needed to get something from the game to keep their play-off hopes alive. We went 2-0 up, but they managed to get a goal back and were really pushing for the equaliser. As a team, we dug deep and managed to grind out the result. This performance showed a different side to us as a team. When we come up against the best teams in the world in future, we are going to have to show this side of us a lot more.

Winning these two games means we only need one point from the last two group games. Our next game is away to Wales, which will be a tough match. It will be great to qualify for another World Cup as a team, and personally I have to keep competing for my place to hopefully be in the Mark Sampson’s squad this time next year. Competing in a World Cup is an amazing feeling and the Canadians are determined to make this tournament the best one yet. As a player, you definitely don’t want to be the one that is left out.

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Aluko has scored nine goals already in England’s World Cup qualifying campaign

The England manager was at the FAWSL Merseyside/London double-header at the Select Security Stadium in Widnes on Sunday. My team, Arsenal, took on reigning champions, Liverpool, in the first game which was followed by Chelsea’s match against Everton.

As the first half of the season proved, this FAWSL season is wide open. I don’t think anyone could have predicted it was going to be like it is. Birmingham ended the first half of the season sitting top of the table, and many were astonished to see Arsenal occupying bottom place.

While people saw this as doom and gloom for the club, the experienced players in our team have not been panicking. Yes, it has not been the start that we imagined or hoped for, but a couple of wins in the second part of the season and we are back in business.

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Arsenal lifted themselves from the bottom of WSL with their first league victory of the season

Everyone is beating everyone. There are points there for the taking for every team in all matches; for the fans, it could not be more exciting. There is a long way to go yet and as a player it’s always about belief and showing fight, right to the bitter end.

I’m hoping that the FA Cup win has been our turning point. We can continue with our winning momentum as we did picking up a massive three points away against Liverpool. It was not the best of games, but sometimes it’s about winning ugly and that’s what we did… and I have to say, it felt great!

It’s onto the next now and a massive game against Chelsea awaits us next. In the meantime, I’ll continue to watch the Men’s World Cup of course, which has been a great spectacle so far.

Until next time, have a great week everybody.

Read more from Alex here!

Follow @Alexscott2

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