Tobin Heath has been credited with inspiring Arsenal to turn around their performance against Brighton in the Women’s Super League last night.
The Gunners came up against the Seagulls at Meadow Park, and despite being seven places above their opponents in the league table, struggled to make an impact in the first half.
Instead it was Brighton who hit the back of the net first, ending a 465-minute WSL goal drought.
Emma Koivisto was the goalscorer, looping a header over Manuela Zinsberger in the 15th minute.
Arsenal were unable to respond, and went into half-time with a one goal deficit.
The second half was a completely different story, however. The Gunners were full of energy, carving out chance after chance.
Vivianne Miedema equalised for Arsenal in the 55th minute, before Beth Mead scored a sublime free kick just five minutes later to secure a 2-1 victory.
The three points were crucial for Arsenal, who maintained their place at the top of the WSL.
Heath has been credited with motivating her teammates during half-time, which then led to a much improved performance in the final 45 minutes.
Arsenal Women journalist Tim Stillman shared a conversation he had after the match with the team’s manager Jonas Eidevall.
According to Stillman, Eidevall said: “It’s great to have a player like Tobin Heath who said in the dressing room at half time ‘it’s better when it’s difficult.'”
The 33-year-old Heath, who has featured for Sky Blue FC, PSG, Portland Thorns and Manchester United, is a linchpin of the United States women’s national team.
She earned Olympic gold medals with the US at Beijing 2008 and London 2012, and won the World Cup in 2015 and 2019.
Heath joined Arsenal in September, having supported the North London club for nearly two decades.
Her time with the Gunners has been blighted with injury, but her winning mentality has been clear to see.
The winger kept calm under pressure in the dying minutes of Arsenal’s clash against Manchester City last week, stroking the ball home to get an equaliser for her side.
Heath earned praise from fans for this latest example of leadership, with one social media user posting: “Tobin wisdom and experience = Winning way!”
Another wrote: “That winning mentality and the passion by the one and only TOBIN HEATH! And it’s contagious!”
Arsenal take on London City Lionesses in the Women’s FA Cup this weekend, before coming up against Manchester United on February 5th.