Jonas Eidevall reacts to 3-1 victory over PSV Eindhoven

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Arsenal Women continued their Champions League qualification journey with a 3-1 victory over PSV Eindhoven in Moscow thanks to a brace from Mana Iwabuchi and a goal from Vivianne Miedema. They will now play one of Lyon, Wolfsburg, Rosengard or Slavia Praha in a two-legged playoff at the beginning of September for the right to play in the group stage. Jonas Eidevall spoke to the press post-match, the first four questions are from Arseblog News, the others are from Art de Roche of the Athletic and Tom Garry from the Telegraph.

On the plan to create wide overloads behind the PSV full-backs…
With our positioning we knew that was one of the opportunities that may arise because we thought their full-back might commit early into pressing actions. They were basically trying to press the ball in these situations and I think we moved the ball extremely well into the pockets that they left.

On whether using Katie McCabe on the wing and Jen Beattie’s diagonal passing from centre-half was part of this plan…
Of course, we select the players for the way we want to play but it wasn’t just about Katie McCabe and Jen Beattie, it goes for all eleven players that were selected that they have the qualities to fit into the match plan.

On PSV’s goal at the beginning of the second half…
We can learn a lot from the second half in two ways, one part we basically haven’t worked on at all yet and it’s our collective defending in our own half. There we were disorganised and the goal we allowed was a result of that. It’s also totally natural that we haven’t worked on it yet because we need to prioritise at the moment. Now we have some time before our next game so obviously that will be one of our priorities that we will work on.

The other thing is that PSV started to press us a lot higher in the second half and that disrupted our play a little bit. We like to move the ball and to move the opponent and when they start pressing higher, we need to exploit the the area in behind their defensive line. That I think we did well enough in the second half to win the game. We had a period in the second half from about the 50th to the 60th minute where we didn’t do it especially well and today we escaped but we need to learn from it so we can be better next time.

On whether Lia Wälti will be fit for the next game…
Yes.

On whether the build-up to the opening goal was a rehearsed pattern of play…
For me it is 100% down to what the player decides in the moment. As a coach you can help with the positioning of the players so we can create overloads and situations where we think we can exploit weaknesses of the opponent. But the way the players moved the ball, especially in the first half, was amazing to see. They were doing some magnificent things and I don’t think football can ever be totally rehearsed. It almost looks rehearsed because it is so quick and the decision making is so effective that you think they have done this a thousand times, but they haven’t. They are just really good players and when they are in good positions, they can do things like that.

On how that speed of decision making can cause problems for the next Champions League opponent...
I think we have an attacking play that can hurt any team in the world and the way we move the ball to create opportunities, it’s already on a very, very high level. What we need to improve, especially against the best teams in Europe, is our collective defence. We need better structure and to be more compact and to have better organisation than we had today.

On Mana Iwabuchi’s quick acclimatisation…
It’s always easier to adapt to a new team when you are very intelligent. Mana is adapting so quickly too because all of the other players are really intelligent. It would be a real struggle for Mana where people wouldn’t understand her passes or her movements, or if they needed a long time to get used to that. Clearly her teammates understand her very well and that shows great intelligence and we shouldn’t forget that Mana and Viv played together at Bayern Munich, which also helps with their connection, even if it was for another team, time spent together is still helpful for us.

On Sunday’s draw for the next qualifying round…
I only focus on the things that I can control, I can’t control which balls are drawn! Once I know the draw we will start the preparations.

On whether Arsenal might play another friendly prior to the next Champions League game on 31st August / 1st September…
We have been looking into the possibility of playing a friendly next week, we haven’t found a good fit yet. It’s also a matter of whether we play on Tuesday or Wednesday, because that sets the rhythm for our practice. Also whether we play away or at home first. When we know the opposition we are going to play that can also be a factor to see if we can play a friendly against a similar team. From a loading perspective here this week we have been pretty fortunate to be able to load many of the players, not everyone, but many in an optimal way so we are not coming home from Russia with lots of players that need minutes.

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Henkamp

“one part we basically haven’t worked on at all yet and it’s our collective defending in our own half.” I have been very impressed with how he can succinctly describe things (cue: his description of Mana’s passes in the last game). I was just saying that the team needed to defend more as a team at the beginning of the second half. The midfield was really open. And I placed it down to the fact that many of the players were playing together for the first time. Glad Jonas noticed that, and hopefully they get better. Enjoyed that game and… Read more »

Henkamp

Exactly what I thought! Felt Kim and Frida, brilliant players that they are, cannot really be expected to do the defensive work Lia is known for. Also thought a good back is needed seeing Gut is injured.

Ed

I felt we missed Lia’s left foot today when it came to build-up on the left as well. Steph was quite isolated and wasn’t able to get up the pitch easily, which in turn limited how and where Katie got the ball. Katie may be a jack of all trades but she can’t compete in the air, she didn’t really suit jumping for the long balls from the CBs. So many more angles open up when we have Leah or Lia available (preferably both!).

Xuan

While the catley vs mccabe rages, i think maritz may quietly put her name into the hat for a standout season performance. The comparison to sagna is about right too.

Viv The 🐐

I was a Maritz fan from the first game of the season (against PSG) where she took no sh*t and was an absolute warrior. Now I just enjoy her blooming in the team. Just lovely to see. ANd now we even see some of Steph too, which impressed me. I think we have 2 quality Fullbacks at our hands.

Xuan

Fullbacks make the difference between a good team and a great team. So fingers crossed on Catley and Maritz staying fit and showing what they can do.

Fun Gunner

Agree re defending. For a few seasons now we have not been organised about it and have relied on the individual ability of our defenders.

Henkamp

Yeah, that’s one issue people had with Joe. It’s why Chelsea and City found it easier to play against us in the latter stages of his tenure here.

Peter Story Teller

We were also obsessed with fannying about around our own penalty area so when we invariably got caught on the ball decent sides would punish us.

There seems much more momentum now and the player’s first thought is “can I go forwards?” and we don’t have a third of our own team standing in our own penalty box!

Eelleen

I also hope that we don’t see much of Jen and Boye as a CB pairing in tougher games, because they are both quite slow. Having Leah or Lotte there instead one of them, should make our defence more solid. If we push fullbacks high in the attack, we need at least one CB with good recovery speed to be able to deal with balls over the top in counter.

Henkamp

Great observation. I think it’s going to be more of Boye and Leah we will see together.

Peter Story Teller

Feel a bit sorry for Simone as she was having a good game up until the point where she got caught out of position for the PSV goal. Her confidence seemed to slide after that even when we knocked in our third goal.

verstellung

To me it like she thought Manu was coming out to get it. Instead, she stopped and went backwards.
Mistake imo

Elise

really liking Jonas & our new signings; excited to see how we’ll do against better teams.

Chrishgooner

Jonas seems to have the gift of clarity of thought and understanding where action is needed.
“Mana from heaven”. What a footballer
If we had managed to sign her last January, Joe might still be in the job.

Bill Hall

That goal from Mana, a hell of a footballer ☺️

Chidi

Mana is such a special player. Our attack is something else

Morrisey fan #1

Didn’t take Iwabuchi long to show her quality. 3 goals in 2 games!

That finish today was absolute class.

Xuan

How about that reverse pass to Catley? How did she squeeze it through???

Diaminedave

The team looked great today. seemed to see every opportunity and then have the vision to carry it out.
There was that period, when they were subject to the press, where a small bit of unease spread through the team and they lost that vision of the pass or move to take, but the coach changed it slightly and they were back to being a class above.
Look better than last season…title run? Definitely!

Henkamp

If they manage to get at least 4 points from the first 2 games, then we definitely have a shot at the title. Because the team will only get better as they start to get used to Jonas’s style.

All_denis

Arsenal has finally arrived in Russia. But unfortunately I could not come to Moscow from Ulyanovsk.
I hoped that this season I would be lucky and Arsenal would come to Russia again, but unfortunately, as I understood, Russian clubs were eliminated from the tournament: (