Jonas Eidevall reacts to 4-0 victory over Aston Villa

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Arsenal Women were 4-0 winners away at Aston Villa in the WSL on Saturday evening thanks to a double from Kim Little and goals from Mana Iwabuchi and Katie McCabe. Coach Jonas Eidevall spoke to the press post-match, the first three questions are from Arseblog News, the others are from other journalists.

On moving the ball more quickly in the second half…
Aston Villa played a formation we hadn’t seen them play yet this season, so it was new for me and new for the players. We weren’t moving the ball as quickly in the first half because we were still trying to work out what positions we were supposed to be and how we could be most efficient. We tried in the first half but in the second half we made some positional changes and with the personnel changes too, so we brought on Mana Iwabuchi at half-time, who is a great fit for a game like this and we created a better environment for scoring opportunities.

The first half was difficult for us but we were better in the second half and this is what happens when you use the space the other team allows you to have. When you beat Manchester City and Chelsea, other teams will see that and playing with a compact low block and we need to be good at breaking that down. What was good today was that we weren’t only using the sides, we were trying to break them down through the centre too. The goals we scored were a combination of attacking central and wide.

On the difference Mana Iwabuchi made in the second half…
It definitely helped us to play the game in a better way and it helped to attract their midfielders to open up more space. You know you can’t give a player like Mana a lot of time and she will constantly drag players onto her and she is so fast at moving the ball that it gives someone else more space. Once we started attracting their players, spaces opened up and it becomes easier to move the ball faster. It’s harder if we don’t get that initial movement.

On taking Vivianne Miedema off with 25 minutes remaining at 1-0…
It was more of a loading choice to be honest, Caitlin is also a very good number 9 both when there is space available to us and when she holds the ball up and she is good at winning free-kicks when it’s played into feet in tight areas. The game became a good fit for Caitlin.

On the performance of Kim Little…
She is an amazing player, she is one of those players that you see in games when you are not her coach you see she is a great player and you are very excited to work with her and then you coach her and you realise she is even better than you thought. Great leadership, great football player, great game intelligence. Really nice to see her score twice too.

On Carla Ward saying this is the best Arsenal team she has seen in ten years…
We need to keep our focus and keep thinking about the next practice, the next game and not to look too far ahead and keep developing. Today was a new step for us, we played against a difficult low block and we learned from it. The next time we play against a team that does that we have something to fall back on and the things we talked about at half-time will come faster to us. We have a lot of different styles to play against and think about how to break them down in the best possible way.

On the challenge of playing Barcelona on Tuesday…
If you play the best team in the world it gives you a good idea of where you are and they are definitely the best team in the world right now. You see the results they have in their league and you think it’s a bad league but it’s not. Real Madrid beat Manchester City and they almost haven’t won a league game yet the Spanish league is much better than people think.

You look at the national team at every age group, they are either winning or in the finals of tournaments. It’s a very competitive league and what Barcelona are doing is very, very impressive. It will be a big challenge for us to see how close we are but we have belief and hope that we can compete but it’s up to us to do it on Tuesday.

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S P

recognising the need to bring on Iwabuchi for her technical prowess and ability to create in tight spaces was a superb move from Jonas. Katie McCabe stole the show with her stunner at the end but overall very impressive from the players and management alike. interested to see this team blossom and lineup/tactics he will prepare against Barca in a few days.

Elise

Yeah I really felt that the Iwabuchi change made the difference at half time!

DannyBoy

Jonas is the man! Just love his ’three sentences’ analysis of all the games played, always spot on! Thanks Tim for asking the right questions straight away!

esa

So all questions from Arseblog news?

PeteyB

Dunno if it’s a late edit but intro states:
“Coach Jonas Eidevall spoke to the press post-match, the first three questions are from Arseblog News, the others are from other journalists”

Chrishgooner

Carla Ward tried every trick in the book to slow down and frustrate as she said she would.
Class had to win out though. Kim POTM, Katie GOTM. Jonas MOTM. Great substitutions.

Marieke

I feel like we’ve seen 1st halfs like this before. For me, it shows again how Jonas is different. Joe would wait, let them sort it out, give some instructions and try. Often it wouldn’t happen. Jonas takes action. He immediately brought on Mana. Not too long after made a few more changes, bringing on Caitlin and Tobin. I’m here for it!

I feel like Joe used to say ‘We’ll learn from this’ and the next time they got in the same situation I felt like nobody learned shit. Here I feel like they actually learn from it.

Elise

Yep, spot on; the learning is happening now evidentially, DURING the game (!)

Xuan

Quite surprised Iwabuchi did not start from the beginning. Always felt she would make the difference.

Game was more difficult than the scoreline suggested, and i could only relax after the 2nd goal was scored. But the team will grow from this.

I am not sure if some of the subs were also made in terms of giving some final match tuning ahead of barca (like leah and katie coming on). Else would have loved to see Nobbs get some minutes too.

Marieke

Yeah definitely. Viv was taken off to give her a rest. Katie and Leah might be favorites to start Tuesday so that’s also a factor. As much as I hate having to wait to be comfortable, I also didn’t relax until the 0-2, I don’t mind as long as there is control over the situation and we know the coach will identify the issue and do something about it. And I think Jonas does that better than Joe. The 0-4 was hash on Villa who executed their plan perfectly. Katies goal was, I can’t say luck cos it’s harder than… Read more »

Xuan

In my mind i thought we could go 3-0 up at HT, then rest players and give Nobbs and Viki some minutes. 🙂

DanDomK

I expected Iwabuchi to start. Her (and Kim’s) ability to play in tight spaces and what she does on the ball was always going to be important to unlock a tight Villa defence aiming to frustrate and deny us space.

Peter Story Teller

Nail on the head right there.
Joe believed in his system and when it didn’t work we failed to get a result and he would say it might work next time.
Jonas, in contrast, can react mid-match and try something else if plan A is not working.
Even when not at our best we are grinding out results which is the difference between winning trophies and making up the numbers.

Collibosher

I watched this live on iPlayer, and checked the men’s score on Liveblog at half time and at the end. Great entertainment, even the first half when Villa shut our women out. You knew they couldn’t chase us down for the whole 90 minutes!

Elise

Excited for the tactical analysis piece on this match! Wow, those were some goals. No easy tap-ins or straightforward headers from corners for us this week… even Katie’s, tho somewhat gifted by Villa’s mistake, required initiative and amazing technique to actually put away. Can’t wait to see how we do Tuesday!

Yokomichi

Missed the first half as I was watching the men’s game. Waiting for the full match to be uploaded on the FA Player to confirm the positioning change Jonas made mentioned in the analysis. Such great goals! Little with superb first touch control in the critical center spot, moved the ball a bit to make the defender reach out and nutmegged the ball hitting the goal post. What quality! Heath’s first assist, and a great timed run by Iwabuchi! Heath can always get past at least one defender when attacking from the side. What a threat. And McCabe’s long shot… Read more »

Verdant

I always love Jonas’ post match interviews. His analyses are always spot-on. It shows he knows what he does and does not just leave things to chance.

Sometimes I feel like he gives away too much but I’m sure he knows what he’s doing.

Fun Gunner

“we were still trying to work out what positions we were supposed to be and how we could be most efficient.” Kim Little worked it out before everyone else. The substitutions were brilliant. We couldn’t seem to move Villa around enough in the first half but Heath’s and Iwabuchi’s dribbling ability was the key to opening them up. I also think that Foord’s excellent ball retention and pressing was a factor. And once we scored (thank you, Kim and Lotte) that was it – I knew more goals would come. Huge match, huge result, huge congratulations to the squad and… Read more »

DanDomK

“Today was a new step for us, we played against a difficult low block and we learned from it. The next time we play against a team that does that we have something to fall back on and the things we talked about at half-time will come faster to us. We have a lot of different styles to play against and think about how to break them down…” I love how we are able to adapt to situations mid-game. This is obviously helped by a group of intelligent players and a very strong bench.

Prajwal M Pai

@Tim Stillman Is it possible for a Women’s team head coach to take over the role of Men’s team head coach within the club.
Purely based on results, he has done a tremendous job. I guess Arteta can learn some stuff from Jonas.
The men’s team are too one dimensional and when they run out of ideas, it’s a pain to watch them play.

Paul

This spot light is for the Arsenal women.

If you want to discuss male issues, wait until the men’s game is posted here.

Prajwal M Pai

Ok. I didn’t ask your opinion. Keep it to yourself.