On Lia Wälti, Steph Catley and Jill Roord not being in the squad…
Lia was rested today, that was precautionary but Steph pulled out of training with her calf again; so we are just trying to work out what happened there. We will assess them ahead of Thursday night, we know both will want to play in an FA Cup semi-final. We’ll see how they recover but we have to make decisions not just based on now but we don’t want to overload them and for them to break down in November and December.
Jill got a knock to her knee in the Netherlands game against Russia and she hasn’t recovered as well as we’d hoped. We hope in 2-3 weeks we should have her back on the park playing. [Confirming our information in the match preview]. All the signs are positive that it’s nothing dramatic and we should have her back in a couple of weeks.
On starting with Caitlin Foord and Lisa Evans in the wide forward positions…
We wanted Caitlin to stay nice and high and stay between the centre-back and the full-back and we wanted to put pressure on Tottenham in transition and it also gave Viv the chance to float away from the front line and play a bit lower. We thought we could hurt them in those areas. For Lisa the message was to stay wide and stretch the pitch and lo and behold she scored a hat-trick.
On Lisa Evans scoring a hat-trick, meaning Arsenal have a hat-trick scorer in all three games so far this season…
Yeah, we draw straws in the changing room before the game and decide who gets to score the hat-trick today. No, I’m happy for Lisa she has some great qualities and really excited for her because she’s finding great rhythm, she’s trained so well. We tried to get her coming off from ball side on the opposing flank and she had some excellent movements and scored some excellent goals.
Mood rn. pic.twitter.com/cfrZu6BOUa
— Arsenal Women (@ArsenalWFC) September 26, 2020
On the performance…
It was always going to be a very tough game today and not just from the Tottenham perspective but we were always going to need to grow into the game because we’ve had a lot of players who have been away. So it was always about balancing the load but knowing when we needed to step the game up but we controlled the rhythm and controlled when we decided to go forward, so I was very pleased especially in the second half when we really started to step it up a gear.
Spurs are a very good team, they press very well and they didn’t allow us to play through the lines in the first half, their midfield four was very tightly connected with their back four and they covered space in behind, so they didn’t allow us to play through and we had to keep dragging lines out. At times in the first half we didn’t have different heights to pull them out, we were pretty flat in the build-up phase. It was just case of allowing the game to get a little bit stretched.
On most of the attacks coming down the right-hand side…
Playing Caitlin Foord on the left allows us to have a second number 9 and for Viv to float a little bit more. We felt we could pull out the left-back and overload with our full-back but also with a midfielder in that area and it worked well, so all credit to all of the players. We didn’t put ourselves in situations where the game got tricky, we had the professionalism to dictate the game and dictate the tempo and decide when we wanted to press and when we wanted to attack.
On the performance of Jordan Nobbs….
Jordan is growing, we have given her different challenges this year. We’ve given her different roles to give us that fluidity and balance that we need. That’s typical Jordan, she’s capable of doing those things and that’s why she’s the player she is. But we had to manage loads as well, the Dutch, Swiss and Austrian girls had tough [international] games and it was good we could rotate and control the tempo.
Take a bow, @JordanNobbs8 ?♀️
— Vitality Women's FA Cup (@VitalityWFACup) September 26, 2020