Arsenal's Vivianne Miedema Makes the Extraordinary Look Ordinary

Oct 19, 2020, 6:00 PM GMT+1
Vivianne Miedema
Miedema hit a hat-trick against Tottenham to break the WSL goalscoring record - and made it look easy | Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Vivianne Miedema has spent most of her professional career breaking records.

Within six years of making her international debut, she had become the Netherlands' all-time record goalscorer.

Aged 22.

UEFA Women's EURO 2021 qualifier group A"Women: The Netherlands v Turkye"
Miedema became the Netherlands' record goalscorer in September 2019 | VI-Images/Getty Images

She currently has 69 goals in 89 appearances for her country. If ridiculous doesn't cut it for her Dutch scoring record, feast your eyes on her stats for club side Arsenal.

Miedema overtook Nikita Parris as the WSL's all-time top scorer on Sunday during the Gunners' 6-1 victory over rivals Tottenham, netting her 50th, 51st and 52nd goals in the English top flight inside 41 first-half minutes.

She's made 50 WSL appearances. And never taken a penalty.

When Miedema broke the WSL scoring record at the first time of asking, it came as little surprise to anyone. The fact she then extended her newly-broken record by completing her hat-trick within the first half also left very few supporters staring wide-eyed and open-mouthed at their TV screens.

Fans have become numb to her brilliance. Of course she's broken the league's scoring record in a little over three seasons. Of course she's got more goals than WSL appearances. Of course she scored a hat-trick inside 41 minutes. She's Vivianne Miedema.

Miedema is one of the game's most fascinating players to watch. She's a number nine who plays like a number 10, who possesses the goal scoring instinct of a selfish, goal hungry striker without being a selfish, goal hungry striker.

The 24-year-old plays with a real nonchalance about her, reflecting her laid back, off field persona. In front of goal she is ice cool, off the pitch she doesn't 'give a s*** about individual awards'.

On the pitch, it can often appear as though she doesn't give a s*** about anything. She celebrated her record-breaking 50th goal with a broad grin - the Miedema equivalent of charging up the pitch Emmanuel Adebayor style coupled with a Brandi Chastain top off roar of delight.

Vivianne Miedema
As excited as Miedema will get | Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

It is this aloofness that makes Miedema so deadly. She does not determine success by scoring goals - as evidenced by the number of opportunities she lays on for her teammates. This means when she is through one on one, the pressure is off. So what if she misses? She usually doesn't.

Miedema occasionally displays visible frustration, but the outcome is again the same. During Arsenal's 2018/19 title-winning clash against Brighton, the slight annoyance at not being able to get the ball down during a phase of play led to her absolutely leathering one into the roof of the net from distance.

Likewise against Reading on the opening day of the 2019/20 campaign, as the opposition attempted to take chunks out of her, Miedema responded by venomously letting fly from range, the ball clattering into the net off the underside of the bar.

These moments of power and aggression are often outweighed by effortless elegance and intelligence; she glides across the pitch like Roger Federer at Wimbledon.

The quick feet, the ability to shift her weight from one foot to the other and her ability to create a shooting opportunity in the tightest of spaces. In the box, Miedema is calculated. She rarely shoots for the sake of it - she has to work the opportunity, make the space, find the gap - and then usually the net.

The forward is a goal scorer who is so much more than a goalscorer. She is not just 52 goals in 50 games. You cannot reduce Miedema to a statistic. But how else do you explain her brilliance?