Pelova had to ‘get used to it’ at top club Arsenal: ‘Training does get intense’

Pelova had to ‘get used to it’ at top club Arsenal: ‘Training does get intense’

NOS Football

Orange international Pelova on first months in London: ‘Training does get intense’

Victoria Pelova made the switch from Ajax to Arsenal at the beginning of this year. The 23-year-old midfielder is now briefly back on Dutch soil, where she is preparing with Oranje for the practice international against Germany.

“It took some getting used to,” Pelova looks back on the move across the North Sea. “It’s a different culture. They eat beans in the morning. But I really like it and the girls are very professional.”

Pelova not only had to get used to the culture, but also to the training intensity. “The first weeks we didn’t have that many matches and the training sessions were intense. And every match you play against a top player. With the Dutch national team I also played those matches, so I knew a little bit where I stood, but I did find it very difficult the first month.”

“And you come new to a team,” she continued. “That’s always tough, especially when you come in the winter.”

The 32-time international has now played six games for the English top club and has plenty of support for her compatriot Vivianne Miedema, who is rehabilitating after a cruciate ligament injury.

“She really helped me a lot. I also lived with her for a month,” Pelova says. “She’s been tugging for years: ‘Vic, go abroad. That would be really good for you.’ So Viev has always believed in me. It’s nice that a very big player for me says that.”

Victoria Pelova (right) in action for Arsenal against Bayern Munich

Whether she is also entitled to a starting place at Orange now, she still finds it difficult to say. “I think everyone thinks she is entitled to a starting place. Ultimately the coach decides that. So I don’t have that much to say about that.”

She is confidently looking forward to the practice match against Germany, scheduled for Friday. “I have now played against Manchester City and Bayern Munich and then you come here. Now we are going to play against Germany. That level is not super different. So I think I do come here with a little more confidence now.”

Kayleigh Williams