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Robert Vilahamn reflects on his first season in the WSL: “It’s a tough league, but a fun league”

Despite a tough week, Spurs head coach Robert Vilahamn expects a competitive but positive final game of the season against West Ham. Tottenham pulled off a late 4-3 win in the chaotic and windy reverse fixture in January.

Amanda Nildén had an MRI after going off just before halftime in the mid-week game against Chelsea. The Swedish international doesn’t need surgery but will be out for 4-6 weeks. Nildén is currently on loan from Juventus with an option to make the deal permanent in the summer.

On tomorrow’s opponent, “They have struggled a little bit this year. But, they have some really good players in that squad so you know if they have a good day they can beat Arsenal. 

“You know they’re going to be a tough game. But we also know we love to play at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.”

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Speaking on the mood in the dressing room, Vilahamn said, “It’s a good mood. We had tough games, big games. 

“We want to end this season with a really good game and make sure we try and go and win in front of our fans at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

“You can tell the players are using all the energy they have left to make sure we have a good game [against West Ham].”

Reflections on first season in England

Saturday’s game marks the end of Vilahamn’s first season with Spurs. The Swedish manager spent plenty of Friday’s press conference reflecting on the journey so far and his confidence about next season.

“It feels like I’ve been here for many years because it’s been a long year with so much new stuff for me as a coach and in a new country.”

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Vilahamn only transitioned to the women’s game a couple of years ago. It’s presented plenty of learning opportunities, especially after his move to England.

“I’ve learned a lot and I’ve learned that it’s the best league in Europe. 

“It’s a tough league, but a fun league.”

Summer transfer plans

Canadian Shelina Zadorsky was loaned to West Ham in January and is out of contract this summer, but no decision has been made about offering a new contract. 

Vilahamn said, “She was good for them and she got the minutes she needed for them as well. So it was a good loan.

“Next week when we go through the squad, the loan players, the contracts for everybody else, we’re going to make sure we go through everything.

“But until then, we’re just focusing on the players we have in the squad to win this game.”

When speaking to potential signings, Vilahamn is looking for a certain type of player who can slot into Tottenham’s style of play.

“They’re going to see a cool journey. They’re going to be in a team that want to go for the Champions League in the future, we want to go for the titles. 

“They need to have the passion to do the journey with us.”

The Spurs boss is selling a positive team environment and a clear vision for closing the gap at the top of the WSL. He needs energy from his players to see this vision through.

Vilahamn is looking forward to relaxing with his family, including a trip to Cornwall, so he can return for pre-season ready to improve upon the team’s growth this season.

“I think we have nailed a style of play and I think all of the players have adapted to how we want to play.

“When we go into next year, we have a good ground to keep building on.

“We are going to make sure we are better next year. Make sure we have a good pre-season to make sure we can compete from the first game next season.”



  • Julia Andersen

    Julia Andersen is an American living in London. Previously a health research coordinator with a master’s in public health (MPH), she is interested in the intersection of health, research, and sport. A Liverpool fan who regretfully named her dog Henderson, she also closely follows golf, baseball, and tennis.