New Beginnings: Lotte Wubben-Moy

New Beginnings: Lotte Wubben-Moy

Lotte Wubben-Moy is homegrown talent at its finest. A true Gunner and an Arsenal academy graduate, Lotte will fulfil a childhood dream when she plays at the Emirates against Chelsea this weekend. She tells us why this season is the start of something special.

Supported by Supported by
September 1st 2021

‘New Beginnings’ is an editorial series in partnership with Arsenal celebrating a new generation of elite talent at the club ahead of AWFC’s historic return to the Emirates Stadium this season. Although Arsenal Women’s home is Meadow Park, they also belong at one of the world’s most prolific stadiums: the Emirates. This season, for the first time ever, Arsenal WFC will play not one, but two games, at the iconic North London ground. ‘New Beginnings’ will profile the Gunners who are focused on breaking new ground and making history at the start of the biggest Women’s Super League season of all time. The only way is up.

Lotte Wubben-Moy is homegrown talent at its finest. A true Gunner. An Arsenal academy graduate. Already a ‘one-club’ icon at the age of 22. Like most Arsenal Women legends, a stint across the Pond to study and play collegiate level football is the path Lotte took. But three years away from Colney was more than enough for this East Londoner.

The girl from Bow has more strings to hers than most. A supporter of the grassroots organisation Hackney Laces and equal rights movement Common Goal, Lotte encompasses Arsenal off the pitch as much as she does on it. Opportunities for growth and development through football, supporting her local communities? What’s more Arsenal than that? This Top Gunner is redefining what it means to be a baller and she sat down with us at London Colney before the start of a new WSL season to talk about the ‘New Beginnings’ in-store for her this season.

Arsenal play Chelsea on September 5 at the Emirates Stadium to start the WSL season. Book your tickets now via arsenal.com.

VERSUS: Leah Williamson, Anna Patten, Lotte Wubben-Moy. You’re all Arsenal through-and-through! What does it mean to be an Arsenal player?

Lotte Wubben-Moy: When I look at the badge, it’s a bit like a ‘transporter’. It’s the closest I think I can get to experiencing magic.

I think of all those times as a kid when I wanted the kit, when I watched the telly with my family, or the times I made my way down to Islington with my aunty to watch games at the Emirates. It hits you hard looking at that badge, and not just because I’m now employed by Arsenal, but to know you’re so close to making a change with your childhood club, it’s something really special. That alone gives you so much motivation and inspiration to push the club forward. And with my friends and family – a majority of them Gunners – when you have the backend of people around you like that, who also push you to make those changes, it gives you so much on and off the pitch; so much passion and inspiration to go about making a difference with every bit of energy you have.

That’s such a strong bond and sense of identity you’ve described there, and to have that as a player is really powerful. Being an Eastender, just how much does London, or being a Londoner, inspire you?

So much! Our club is full of remarkable people from all around the world and I think that sort of epitomises London as a whole.

The fact it’s this place made up of so many diverse individuals who’ve been through so many things and have so many stories to tell, it’s amazing to say I am from London! But it’s also amazing to share it with people who come to visit.

Players from Austria, Holland, Switzerland – the people we have on our team – they come to London and they already have this ‘pre-known backstory’ to what they think London is, but when they arrive in the City and come to the Emirates or Meadow Park, there’s this newfound identity they can resonate with. It’s one I feel like I have a responsibility to share with them because it is my home.

I’m not going to take them to the London Eye or Buckingham Palace because to me, that’s not London. To me, London is Shoreditch, it’s Brick Lane.

Grabbing a bagel at Brick Lane Beigel Bake, that’s London. And as a Londoner I have a responsibility to share that but to also help those who visit feel at home here because if you feel at home in an area or place, you’re going to perform to the best of your ability. That’s what it’s all about at the end of the day. We are here to do a job: to win trophies. To me, there’s no better place to do that than London.

“The women’s game has really had to fight for a seat at the table… I want to gain more seats.”

I think such a huge part of being an Arsenal fan or player is everything the club does off the pitch, whether it be for the wider world of football or our local communities. I recently saw your piece with Ian Wright, someone who is a huge advocate for women’s football. To have the allyship of someone like that really helps the beautiful game to be a more inclusive and progressive place. One of the reasons why I love women’s football in particular, is because we have a seat at the table to really push that narrative and agenda in football…

But that hasn’t always been the case you know. We’ve had to really fight for a seat at the table and it hasn’t been a ‘good’ seat or been a ‘comfy’ seat, but I think that pushes us further to claim that space even more.

Even just hearing you say that inspires me because, when I am around people who are aware of that situation but then have the audacity to say: no, I want to push it on further, I want to gain more seats at the table, all so we can share, inspire and do more to push the game onto bigger and better things. That’s why we’re here.

And how important is it to have people like Wrighty as allies for the women’s game?

So important! Not just because he’s an Arsenal fan and we have so many common denominators in that sense, but also because he’s a man of the people and people understand that…

He’s our Uncle right?

Exactly! He’s everyone’s Uncle! You listen to your family. He can tell a story that not many other people can tell and as a result, that carries so much more weight. Having him as an ally, he’s leading the way in what that should look like and in a few years time it won’t be so remarkable that we have so many allies because everyone will be one, and that’s where we are trying to get to. Wrighty is trying to normalise that. He said recently: ‘why would I not be into women’s football? I am a football fan.’ That attitude and support is what we need.

“We have a legacy and as Arsenal players we have a responsibility to look at that legacy and say we’re going to add to it.”

This idea of ‘New Beginnings’, in a really straightforward sense, applies to Arsenal: new manager, new players, new season, return of homegrown talent like Keetz and the beloved fans. But why do you think this season, Arsenal are a cut above the rest?

We are here to prove a point. We have 58 trophies in our locker, come on!

We have a legacy and as Arsenal players we have a responsibility to look at that legacy and say: that is us, but we are going to push ourselves further and we are going to add to that collection. And that isn’t arrogance, because we are a classy club and we go about it in a way that’s humble, and because of that I genuinely think, this ‘New Beginning’ isn’t necessarily a ‘beginning’, but a continuation of a job we know we need to do, and we will do!

It’s exciting to have new people onboard and to have a new philosophy to freshen things up a little bit. It gives us a new perspective to look at that situation and make a real difference.

For me, the history of women’s football – in this country in particular – has been Arsenal. Historically, the club has always been ‘there’, at the very top. Arsenal have always been driving the game forward and because of that they’ve been at the forefront of the women’s game. If you could have played with any Arsenal player who would it have been?

I am going to say Titi, but then… we pretty much have our own Titi in Viv who I get to play with every week! So, it’s sort of like I already play with him in a way.

As a centre-back, to be able to have a centre-forward that sort of sandwiches the team the way Viv does… it gives you so much confidence as a player.

“You do it for your ‘past-self’, but also for future young girls coming through the ranks who are Arsenal fans so they can dream, too.”

What is it going to feel like to play at the Emirates this weekend? The smile says it all really!

I’m going to tell you something now…

When I was maybe 9-years-old, I played at the Emirates with my local borough Tower Hamlets and I thought it’d be a good idea to eat a bit of the grass. I just wanted to have a bit of Arsenal ‘in me’, and now to be able to wear the kit at the Emirates on Sunday, I think that grass was a bit of magic!

It feels like a full-circle moment for me, and I really like that expression because it feels like the epitome of these past few years.

Coming back to Arsenal and being able to play at the Emirates, I was once a fan in the stands – my aunty had a season ticket – you never really think you can dream about something like that. But when it actually happens, you understand all the work you’ve put in, all the times you’ve spent dreaming, or not dreaming because you didn’t think this was possible! You do that now for your ‘past-self’, but also for future young girls coming through the ranks who are Arsenal fans in North London, East London, all over the world really! Who can then have the possibility of dreaming and eventually doing that too.

Lotte, you don’t need a bit of Emirates grass to ‘be’ Arsenal. That club is in your heart!

Exactly! You don’t even have to wear the kit. You don’t even have to be able to afford the kit. I think, as long as you live with class and humility, you’re part of the Arsenal family.

Arsenal play Chelsea on September 5 at the Emirates Stadium to start the WSL season. Book your tickets now via arsenal.com.