Kelly Smith: Arsenal forward livid after Sunderland tackle

The tackle that left Smith 'furious'

Arsenal Ladies striker Kelly Smith says the Sunderland player who left her needing ankle surgery "is not good enough" to play in Women's Super League One.

Abby Holmes was sent off last month for the tackle which has left Smith sidelined for three to four months.

Smith, 36, is regarded as England's best ever player and recently retired from international duty.

"I'm absolutely furious and I can't get that tackle out of my head," she said.

"While she gets a three-match ban, I, in effect, get a 15-game ban in the league as well as cup games.

"She's clearly not good enough to be playing at this level."

The Arsenal player-coach added: "Those type of tackles end careers."

Smith, who is England's record scorer with 46 goals in 117 games, has has had an injury-hit career where time out from the game has previously led to struggles with alcoholism.

But she wrote in a blog on "I have good people around me and I can assure you I will get through this.

Kelly Smith is tackled by Sunderland's Abby Holmes
Kelly Smith is tackled by Sunderland's Abby Holmes in the 4-1 win at Borehamwood last month

"I am totally laid up, can barely move to make a coffee or have a shower and face the mental challenge yet again of recovering from a long-term injury."

She added she was fully focussed on recovering.

"Twice before I have been the victim of a seriously bad challenge, once in America and once playing for England against France," Smith said.

"Both resulted in broken legs and some serious mental repercussions.

"Sure, she apologised as I got stretchered off and Sunderland subsequently apologised to Arsenal. That's all well and good, but she should be thinking more about how to tackle, not how to apologise."

Smith, now in her third spell with Arsenal, was nominated for the Women's PFA Players' Player of the Year award last month.

After spells playing in the United States, she is due to be a Fox Sports analyst for the World Cup in Canada, starting on 6 June.

With the domestic league taking a break for the World Cup, Arsenal's next game is on Sunday, 12 July.

The Gunners lie second in Women's Super League One and remain unbeaten in the league so far in 2015.

Abby Holmes
Sunderland's Abby Holmes receives her marching orders
Kelly Smith
Smith was appointed as Arsenal player-coach in 2013

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