Jonas Eidevall reacts to 3-2 victory over Chelsea

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Arsenal opened their WSL season with a 3-2 victory over Chelsea at Emirates Stadium thanks to goals from Vivianne Miedema and a second half brace from Beth Mead. Tim Stillman spoke to coach Jonas Eidevall post match. The first three questions are from Tim, the rest from other journalists.

On pushing Katie McCabe very high in the build up with Frida Maanum tucking in behind her at left-back at times….
We wanted to create more space and time for ourselves in the build up to pin some of their players who we knew would want to press. They pressed and we didn’t have much time in build up but we were able to exploit the space in behind the players that pressed. That worked really well as long as we had the runs in behind, which we had for the fist 30 minutes.

We stopped doing that at the end of the first half and then we ran into problems. But i was very pleased with the first 30 minutes and I think that was an example of us being a better at playing out from the back against a team that presses you.

On switching Beth Mead and Mana Iwabuchi in the second half…
To be fair it ended up like that after a set piece and we just decided to let them stay so it’s no credit to me. That’s what is happening in football, it’s more a player sport than something like the NFL, you need to let the players say when something is working and the players need to be knowledgeable to solve those situations.

On his nerves in the final 20 minutes…
It was a learning opportunity for us, if we want to be a great team we need to be able to defend as a unit when needed, even if we are tired and we need to make substitutions because we are forced to and we need to stay organised. We need to be clever and calm enough to protect the spaces that we choose to protect.

I am not nervous in those situations because I am looking to see how the team is doing and that’s where my focus is. I don’t think it’s possible to be nervous and to be focused on a task at the same time. I have to stay task focused. The next time you are looking for tactical things Tim, you can try the same and you will have a nicer ride and better for your heart!

On whether this was a statement win…
In some respects, the way we played out from their pressure in the first 30 minutes and the way we defended in the last 30, those were nice aspects. We know we have a good squad and we are a big club, for us it’s about performing in every game. We will learn and develop during the season, it’s just one game out of many. It wasn’t perfect, I am new to English football and I made some tactical mistakes, I need to learn from today too.

On Beth Mead scoring twice after a summer in which Arsenal have brought in Nikita Parris and Tobin Heath…
It’s not a problem, we need to rotate, we want to play a lot of games and we want to make substitutions in games too. I am not a fan of thinking that playing lots of games is a problem, the best teams play lots of games. If you want to be a top player you need to play a lot of games. I love her first goal as well because it was an unselfish finish, that was the selfless action. It is easy in that situation to look for the pass but it wasn’t on and she took responsibility, it was the correct, brave decision. Everyone here is competing for spots, Beth has had a really good pre season, she has been dangerous offensively and she works hard defensively.

On defending central areas and allowing Chelsea to put crosses into the area…
Chelsea is very good at attacking space between full backs and central defenders, they do that constantly. They don’t want to cross the ball, they want the full-back to commit and play the ball in behind. We covered that space with our midfielders in the first half, but we tired we conceded some chances in that respect. So we chose to stay narrow and say ‘let them cross.’ We know that’s not their preferred option but we knew we had a lot of players in the middle to stop the cross. We looked comfortable with it and made good decisions under pressure. Sometimes you need to clear the ball and not play yourself into trouble and we did that when we needed to.

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Bassarse

Get the fuck in.

Arsenal Women showing the men how to get the job done.

Havi

Great start to the season.

Xuan

Very good psychological boost and massive 3 points. My heart couldnt take it for the last 20 minutes. Glad we rode it out.

Looking at the difference between the benches, i must hold my hand up and say glad we got in Tobin Heath.

Shame Foord got injured- i was thinking she would have been perfect to bring on with her physicality.

Gunnar Eli

He said it…

Could work for the men’s team ? Maybe…

“It’s more a player sport than something like the NFL, you need to let the players say when something is working and the players need to be knowledgeable to solve those situations.”

Henkamp

Lol. Not when Arteta is standing there always wanting to tell them where to play the ball and all that. It’s something Guardiola does too at times, and I hate it.

Alan Sunderland

Arteta acts like an college basketball coach. I feel sorry for pepe watching the games, he seems to be on his back non stop.

...and really bad eggs

Man, life is funny. I vaguely remember towards the end of Arsene’s tenure, fans were always getting on his back about ‘just sitting there on the bench’ when his teams weren’t playing well, instead of being like Klopp and Guardiola who get involved and are always barking instructions out.

What I’ve learnt from this is – as a coach, if you aren’t winning, everything you do is wrong, and you need to do the opposite 😂😂

Anubhav

Bruh.. re watch the match. You could literally hear jonas shouting at viv to drop and telling nikita that it her player to mark.. Coaches will shout instructions all the time. Emma was doing with her team as well.

Daniel

Makes a change from montemurro and his constant instructions

WayBackWhen

Platforms, foundations, development, growth.

Jonas couldn’t have delivered this without Joe’s work over the last few years.

Please let’s stop this binary everything’s amazing or everything’s crap.

Embrace life’s complexities, it’s not as a frightening as you might think.

Futsboller

Beautiful.

ADiddleDog

Imagine that Arteta!

WayBackWhen

Dull and boring.

Any views about the Women’s team, or the classic game we just witnessed?

Henkamp

He is something special. The more I hear from him, the more I like him. Loved the passion he showed all throughout on the bench and tha6 seemed to rub off on the girls as well. We will only get better as he continues to leave his mark on this team. Shame to see Jen pick up a knock. She was a stalwart alongside Leah. My players of the match alongside Maanum (can see why Jonas loves her. She is going to be annoying to play against in that midfield). Anyone has any idea why there’s no VAR for the… Read more »

Xuan

Abit like Klopp… a little crazy!

Henkamp

That’s correct. Remembered him almost consuming the 4th ref with his eyes after some questionable calls in the PSV game.

turcofeo

His celebrations were funny as hell.

WayBackWhen

Klopp esque – good shout.

Suz

Cost. They said on Sky Sports would be £3m to introduce.

Henkamp

Yeah, figured as much from Emma Hayes’s post match interview

Noddy 81

Beattie immense, especially for 10 mins when we appeared to be playing Foord & Parris as wingbacks (was that just me?). Wasn’t worried once Lotte came on though, cause she’s ace!

Diaminedave

Not all venues have VAR…Maybe consistency throughout league program?
I don’t know …just speculating
At Everton they did not use Goaline tecnology and Everton missed out on goal to make 1-1.

Armchair

Yes, it certainly seemed a goal–and these big mistakes alter the games.

WayBackWhen

Fair enough but it’s not like putting people on Mars, it’s not a difficult thing to achieve. A relatively small investment would bring all venues up to the same level.

This isn’t a dig at you, I’m just supporting the premise of Emma Hayes’ point that it’s time for parity, cost is an excuse.

It’s so tiresome to have to justify equality, rather than holding a mindset of ‘how do we get this done’.

Henkamp

It’s an issue of technology being expensive to set up. Kinda sad, though.

WayBackWhen

Not being critical of you but the issue isn’t the cost. It isn’t what’s called cost prohibitive – it’s a very affordable investment for a sport that by all measures is growing in popularity and financial income. “During the 2019-20 season, The FA generated a total turnover of £335m with an operating profit of £9.8m.” The issue is the will to equate the top level of English Women’s football with the men’s game. We’re talking about (on average) 6 league fixtures a week and for 12 venues, some of which already facilitate this for the men’s game. Additional officials are… Read more »

Henkamp

I see. Thanks for the enlightenment

Som

Our women’s team made us proud today. COYG!!

Gary

Very solid performance from the ladies..

After many years of disappointments with the men team, i’ve finally find a solid team to support♥️

WayBackWhen

A definition of “Supporting”: – the act of helping someone (or something) by giving love, encouragement through thick and thin.

A definition of “Infatuation” – an intense but short-lived passion or admiration for someone or something.

With the danger of being an uptight pr*ck, I’m really sick of this culture of conditional ‘followership’.

We’re free to engage with this club as we wish, but at least be honest about defining the relationship.

Henkamp

Couldn’t have worded this better myself. Support the women’s team because they are a part of this great footballing institution and not just because the men’s team is a shambles at the moment.

Futsboller

Absolutely right, but prepare to be shouted down if you place such a comment anywhere near an article on the men’s team!

I love the women’s team, I love the men’s team, I love the club and its supporters. Simple as that.

It’s a shame to come on here to read about a statement win and find too many comments using it as a stick to beat the club.

WayBackWhen

As I get older my skin seems to get thicker. There’s too much glory-hunting ‘fandom’ masquerading as support. It’s not supporting – it’s entertainment seeking. It’s a free world people can obviously engage in any way they want I just wish they’d be honest with themselves about the ‘transaction’. All this toxicity we’re seeing at the moment has actually made me realise I’d rather see the men’s team relegated than (say) owned by a source with dubious financial income that could guarantee multiple titles. Supporting a successful team is great but it’s the pain and the loyalty that makes it… Read more »

Futsboller

You had me at hello … 😉

Chrishgooner

What a great people managing “idea”…..just let intelligent players come up with solutions.

WayBackWhen

That’s not what he said, or how he meant it, otherwise there wouldn’t be a role called a coach.

Catlike1

Love to hear he can admit mistakes and own his tactical decisions. Also love how he talks about players needing to have input and also find solutions on the pitch on their own. Arteta could learn something from him. I have never heard Arteta admit fault or mistakes in a press conference. In the mens game against Chelsea he got the line up and tactics totally wrong. Let he could not admit it and take some pressure off the players.

Santi’s Thigh Grab

The ability to admit mistakes by publicly acknowledging them is a sign of a human who is capable of personal growth. Arteta has many football gifts and plenty of areas for improvement. Let’s just enjoy the women and their coach in their own right and not contaminate their positive start to the season w negativity from the men’s team.

Catlike1

Fair enough. It was such an enjoyable game. The players worked hard the manager did a great job preparing them. I think we benefited from the Champions League game, and were thus more match sharp than Chelsea. As as Jonas mentioned in his Sky interview, the team is really at the beginning stages and has a lot to learn. Not even close to being a finished project. And will Nobbs coming back, and Tobin Heath yet to join the team and start getting integrated into it, the future is bright! I also hope a challenge for the title convinces Viv… Read more »

WayBackWhen

Not the thread to discuss the men’s team but as you started it – Jonas has a higher quality of player relative to the level and competition.

Nonetheless it was a tactical masterclass, really well executed.

canon fodder

The BBC headline said: Arsenal stun Chelsea! It wasn’t long ago that beating us was almost an impossible job. We need to return to our status as the league’s Number 1 team so that when we beat the very good teams it’s no longer a surprise.

Henkamp

Exactly! I was particularly keen on seeing us win this one. Every review I read before this game (part from Arseblog’s and Arsenal’s) predicted Chelsea would win this.

People have been looking down on this team for too long now, forgetting that we are still the most successful women’s team in English football.

Noddy 81

They won the league & reached CL final last year….I’m loving the win & counting it as a scalp personally!

Crash Fistfight

Still doesn’t mean losing to one of your 2 rivals for the title, away from home, should count as being “stunned”. Would the men’s Man City team losing away to one of Chelsea/Man U/Liverpool be considered be written up as them being “stunned”?

Henkamp

Fair enough. But the reviews kept on droning about how Chelsea are a star-studded side, as if we didn’t upgrade in the off season.

Fun Gunner

My thoughts exactly.

Goonersince55

Lots of thoughts at the end of the match (apart from the last 25 minutes not being good for my heart), but here’s my first: what a brilliant advert for women’s football!

GoonerLady

Love this guy and his intensity. It’s transferring to the team too. Leah was sensational at the back,especially in those last 30 or so. Lol he called you out Tim

Robert FULLER

This was a nail biting, exhilarating match! I’m just so proud of the Women’s team and have been for years. And it’s laudable that the WSL is finally gaining more mainstream exposure. I’d like to see more integration between the men’s and women’s teams in terms of promotion, encouragement and marketing although I acknowledge that has been happening progressively- I still think more could be done to bread a winning mentality in tandem, it can only be a positive!

Ed

Lots of little tactical things to iron out but can’t complain with any player’s performance today, they gave absolutely everything and it’s about time we had the luck go our way. Really beginning to see why we signed another wide player, Katie and Beth worked their socks off and probably deserve a rest. Keets was a massive nuisance to them and I can’t wait for her to properly click with the team. We look absolutely electric on almost every single counter. Loved Jonas’ passion but you can tell how much this meant to the girls after not beating them for… Read more »

Marieke

Man, I’ve been annoyed with Covid but today it sucks being in Holland with a ticket in my mailbox and unable to come over… I am loving Jonas. Loved his energy on the bench. He’s all in. I love how he just beat Chelsea and he’s saying he made tactical mistakes. To me it shows he knows what he’s doing. I felt like this team was solid. No real panic. Not even in the final 20 min. Sure you allow them to come, but overall, every time they had the ball, they seemed like a team with an idea. That… Read more »

Noddy 81

I feel for you with the restrictions 😔 but I was really nervy for a good 15 in the second half….I would agree that the tactics then were dodgy!

BODMAS

It was a nice game. more wins for the ARSENAL Women… COYG

Sri

Excited to see the new style of football under Eidevall. A little bit more tempo and a little bit more pressing. UTA

WayBackWhen

Great tactics, great execution, clinical finishing, passion, fight, organisation, concentration, depth from the bench, not allowing themselves to be intimidated (particularly after those three subs).

Just great.

Eelleen

Today is a good day!!! I lost a year of my life during that last 15 minutes but so worth it.
Viv the best player in the world. Beth had a mad one – bad 45 minutes, fault for the goal and then had her best 30 minutes for this club. Leah was the best defender on the pitch today and it wasn’t even close. Manu has found her form again, some very good passing out. Noelle is so so solid.

Noddy 81

Agreed, Leah absolutely brilliant today, passing out & in defence……took my mate to his first women’s game today & he said he didn’t like the number 11 (some people🙄🤣)

Gunner H

Don’t forget Captain Kim, who lead by supreme example as always

Duno

You have no idea how long I’ve been waiting for this post. This win made me so joyous. We are winning the league!

Armchair

Solid win against a very good side playing its first match. The points gained in this game will be very important down the road, no doubt. Miedema’s first goal = the usual class. Mead’s first goal was absolutely stellar; she was miles offside on her second–significantly lucky there–and a two-goal lead vs. a one-goal lead is huge.

Henkamp

Funny that everyone is talking about the offside. No one is making a reference to Eriksson’s second crunching tackle on Keets. The officials messed that one up, too.

Fun Gunner

you need to let the players say when something is working and the players need to be knowledgeable to solve those situations.”

YES! Thank you, Jonas. I hate to see intelligent players micromanaged. It’s insulting to them and makes the game less interesting.

Peter Story Teller

And Beth’s two goals, offside or not, showed why she has always been a centre forward and not a wide player and apparently she chose for herself to play there today despite frequent reports that she now sees herself as a wide player.

Tim Stillman

‘I’ve been blessed to play for a club like this’, Arseblog Exclusive with Beth Mead | Arseblog News – the Arsenal news site Tbf, Beth said many times that she sees herself as a wide player, she said she prefers assists to goals. I do wonder whether there has been a convo or whether the signings of Nikita and Tobin have just hammered home that it doesn’t have to be either or, she can, and should aim, to do both.

Peter Story Teller

It wasn’t a dig at you Tim I admire your honest and accurate reporting and long may it continue. My point is I have said for years that Beth is a centre forward and not a wide player but the way she finished her two goals yesterday, the first on her weaker, “standing foot” by the way, just demonstrated how she can perform in the middle rather than being out by the corner flag. I think she was pretty much shoved out wide because when she arrived at Arsenal there was this young Dutch girl who was considered to be… Read more »

Tim Stillman

I think it’s a mindset thing with Beth, she got very into her creator role almost at the expense of scoring. I think the next step is for her to do both regularly. As we saw yesterday, plenty of opportunity for her to play off Viv when she makes the runs (and she usually does v Chelsea!)

Javoroncov

Thank god we win. If we lose though, he can just copy a certain coach and say “It’s a process so plz be patient”

WayBackWhen

Dull and boring mate.

Brecht

The best thing about these WSL reports is that people answer the fucking question. None of that media-trained nothingness you get from the men.

Futsboller

I think it tells you much more about the journalists asking the questions — they are direct and football-defined, and not meant to create a “story” or to stick it to anyone. Coverage of the WSL might be less represented, but it is infinitely more mature. Thank you, Tim, and your colleagues.

Brecht

That’s definitely part of it yet. But surely in the huge press corps covering the men, there are enough good journalist who ask interesting questions as well. They just get nowhere the same answers because of the caginess that surrounds the whole affair. As you said, that caginess is probably caused by the presence of those bad-faith reporters trying to manufacture controversy, which is a shame.

WayBackWhen

There’s also the secondary issue of “content creators” (i.e. click bait ad platforms) who take quotes out of context, literally edit a new meaning.

Even if the original interviewer acts in good faith, the content eco-system is ready to knowingly twist things to drive traffic.

Brecht

Right, good point. This isn’t just an online thing either. Quite often I think it’s the headline writers or frontpage editors of a newspaper that play up these quotes gathered by their own otherwise decent reporters.

WayBackWhen

Spot on.

Gunner H

Yes, I gave up on Gary and his over-paid gang years ago and now have limited interests in the men’s game anyway – boys can’t play football, only girls!

IGtheshy

I think Tim’ question is more tactical wise which helped create a good Q&A. Good job Tim!

Suz

This feels so much more important than 3 points and a win. We needed that breakthrough moment against Chelsea and hopefully the team’s confidence will get a huge boost.

Peter Story Teller

Absolutely!
We used to scare ourselves into losing against Chelsea before the game even started. That voodoo is over!
Man City aren’t all that this year either they only won 4-0 because Everton’s defence was non-existent and Houghton hit one of her trademark free kicks so there is no excuse for not taking points off them too this season!

Gunner H

Yes a breakthrough for sure albeit a narrow but very clever win……and we’ve got Tobin Heath coming on next………

Chidi

I’m just so proud of this team. With the investments and the specific players brought in, I was far from quietly confident of a win. Told a buddy we’d surely win and I wasn’t disappointed. The personnel we’ve got makes me feel we’d do great things with this team.

The goals today were magnificent and Mana is just a joy to watch, giving me that Santi vibe.

Reiss Neverseen vs DicTetaBall

Of all the days I go to visit the doctor. Can’t believe I missed it. A very good start from Jonas so far. Very impressive given the scheduling too.

Goonersince55

One other quick thought: why is Millie Bright in the England team and Meado isn’t? (Just watch Arsenal’s second goal.)

Because the Lioness has a bad manager… I know she’ll be in there from now on.. the new coach is super 😍

Marieke

She was there… so hopefully she made some notes…

Gunner H

And Leah should be absolutely a first choice starter in defence after her stunning performance at the Olympics

WayBackWhen

Agree but Houghton and Bright seem to work as a better partnership. Leah and Houghton looked a bit off the pace against Kerr.

Sacrilege to drop the captain but I wonder how Leah and Bright would work – similar vibe to partnership with Jen?

Arteta's Hair Gel

Can you upload a match report and highlights like what you do for the men’s team?

Viv The 🐐

Is a more promising start possible for a new Arsenal Women head coach than this? Jonas GODevall is marching on. Is that overhyping him? Yes. Is that just a reflection of my feelings right now? HELL YES!!

Phumzile

Loved the performance! Great start to the season by beating one of the teams we struggled to beat in the previous seasons. This does not only give us a psychological advantage against them, it gives the team a belief that they can win these games. We have a very strong squad – all we need now is consistency like we did at the end of last season and believing that we are good enough to go away to City, Chelsea and United and get a result. COYG!!

Ruhit

What a game! Great atmosphere at the game yesterday and those last 20 minutes were agony. Trying not to get carried away but we look like we are going to cause a lot of problems for other teams and push for the trophies! #COYG