No Arsenal player has played more minutes this season than captain Kim Little. The captain represented Team GB at the Olympics this summer and has slotted straight back into the starting line-up.
Despite coach Jonas Eidevall’s insistence on rotating his players, Kim has been a mainstay, never rotated from the starting line-up and only withdrawn once a game is secure.
Jonas is hardly the first coach to regard Little’s qualities as indispensable. The 31 year-old took the decision to retire from international football this month to look after her body in her 30s.
A true legend.
After 15 years, Kim Little has brought her international career to a close.
— Scotland National Team (@ScotlandNT) September 1, 2021
It’s a decision that her coach Jonas Eidevall is fully supportive of, telling Arseblog News, “From a loading perspective with the point she is at in her career, it can be valuable for her. Like you said, the internationals are not ‘an international break’, it’s further loading for the players.
“It can be a really good decision by Kim to focus on club level.” I ask Jonas what it is about Little that all of her coaches find so valuable and difficult to replicate in other players.
“It is a lot of factors,” he ponders, “But as a coach you select players because of the qualities they can bring to the team and with Kim she is a great passer of the ball, she has great dynamics and movement in offence and defence.
“Then as a coach you look for consistency and Kim is so intelligent that she understands everything immediately, which makes you feel very assured as a coach to keep playing her. That probably explains why all of her coaches throughout her career keep picking her game after game, she guarantees a level of performance.”