Beth Mead is in the process of recovering from an ACL injury and is beginning to feel positive again.

Beth Mead is in the process of recovering from an ACL injury and is beginning to feel positive again.


“I sense that there is an expectation for me to perform at the same level as before I left,” reflects Beth Mead on her return from a nearly year-long absence due to an ACL injury. In December, the forward returned to the England team and scored the fourth goal in a 6-0 victory over Scotland. However, this was not enough to secure a spot in the Nations League finals and Olympic qualification for Team GB.

She has made progress in her journey towards reaching her “Euro level”, but she has not yet reached it. The next step will be playing two friendly matches in Marbella, Spain against Austria and Italy.

The player, speaking from the team’s hotel in a coastal city in Spain, explains that he always strives to perform at his best. He admits to having some unsatisfactory performances while playing for Arsenal, but he is now feeling more confident and has found a good rhythm. He started the new year with the goal of reaching his level from the Euro 2022 tournament and rediscovering his abilities as a player. He is continuously working on improving and learning, even though the process is slow due to a previous injury. However, he is happy with his progress and enjoys playing on the field with renewed enthusiasm.

Unfortunately, coordinating your body with your mind can be a challenging hurdle on the journey towards optimal performance. While I have made progress in this process, it’s important to note that my first training session with the team occurred seven or eight months after my injury and it took a few more months to fully recover. I noticed a significant difference in my abilities even during simple passing drills, such as being on my toes or being caught off guard, which ultimately affected my performance on the field.

Small tasks that are essential to your routine are comparable to riding a bike – you improve over time, but you may still become annoyed at things that used to come effortlessly. You become aware of these challenges because they are tasks that you used to do without much thought on a daily basis.

Injuries to the anterior cruciate ligament have been prevalent in women’s soccer, but the number of professional players experiencing them is becoming a growing worry. In just the past two days, both Mia Fishel of Chelsea and Jamie Finn of Birmingham have suffered this knee injury, which typically requires a recovery time of nine months or more.

Beth Mead in action for Arsenal against Manchester City in the FA Cup this monthView image in fullscreen

Last year Mead and Vivianne Miedema, her partner and Arsenal teammate, took part in an Arsenal documentary which tracked their recovery journeys and discussed the multifaceted causes. Asked whether Fifa or Uefa reached out to discuss their experiences, Mead says: “There is a lot of stuff going on behind the scenes which is great. Me and Viv are going to be taking part in stuff with Fifa and a little bit more, they’re speaking to people who have done their ACLs and how they feel about it.

“You look at the likes of Keira [Walsh] in the World Cup, panicking and thinking the worst because of what’s happening in the game. It’s frustrating to see, us sat watching from home. There were a few ACL injuries in the World Cup and there’s been quite a few this season. We brought our documentary out to bring it to light a little bit better. Off the back of that, we’ve linked up with a few more [people] so hopefully we can get a little bit more data put out there and more specific information.”

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Is Mead obliged to educate football on the prevalence of ACL injuries in women’s games? “That’s the objective, it’s a million-dollar question,” she states. “Whoever finds a solution to prevent these injuries will become very wealthy. We’ve consulted with experts in various fields and discussed for hours, but there’s no clear answer on how to prevent them and that’s the most frustrating part.”

“We are aware of our responsibility. Many of us have the ability to make a positive impact and contribute to ongoing research efforts. It’s interesting to see how much we learn along the way – I almost feel like a physiotherapist, although that is not my profession.”