During the recent international fixtures, Vivianne Miedema joined up with Netherlands for their fixtures against Cyprus and Belarus. However, after scoring in an 8-0 win over Cyprus, Miedema was rested for the second fixture against Belarus and given permission to leave the camp to rest up.
Arseblog News asked coach Jonas Eidevall about the decision in his Friday press conference ahead of Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final against Brighton and he confirmed that Miedema will also be rested for this Sunday’s game. Miedema did not get a summer break due to her participation in the Olympic games in Japan before immediately rejoining Arsenal for their August Champions League qualifiers.
Eidevall revealed that he, Miedema and Netherlands boss Mark Parsons spoke and mutually agreed to give Viv some time off with Arsenal also looking at a rare spare midweek after the Brighton match before they play West Ham on 7th November.
“Our Olympic players had to return very early for the season due to the Champions League qualifiers and at the time we said we would monitor each player’s needs individually during the season,” Eidevall explained. “We really do understand that the players have a need to be refreshed, both mentally and physically, during the season since they had no summer break.
“Me and Viv had a discussion and we decided this period would give her an opportunity to rest, so Viv won’t take part in the Brighton game on Sunday. Then we initiated that discussion with the Netherlands and we said ‘we want to give Viv something here, would it be possible for you to also give her something so we could give her a good rest period in total?”
Jonas said that Netherlands boss Mark Parsons was amenable to the idea of resting Miedema for Netherlands’ match against Belarus while Arsenal would rest her for the Brighton match, giving her ten days off.
“I’m so glad that Mark Parsons understood that decision and how Viv would benefit individually and that Netherlands and Arsenal would also benefit in the long-term. For me, that was the perfect co-operation. I just wish all national team coaches would see it from that perspective!
“We both have to give something sometimes to achieve long-term results. Of course, I would prefer to have Viv on Sunday, I am sure Mark would have preferred to have Viv for the Belarus game but when we look at this long-term, we all have to understand that a player like Viv does need to rest at some point if we want the best version of her.
“This was the best time for us to do it and I am really pleased with Netherlands decision and I think it will really benefit them, Viv and Arsenal on a long-term basis.” Eidevall also said that the other players who took part in the Olympics might be rested during points of the season, though “not at the same time.” Kim Little has retired from international football and didn’t play during this break, Mana Iwabuchi had time off because Japan had no fixtures.
The Gunners face Brighton at Meadow Park on Sunday afternoon at 4.45pm for a spot in the FA Cup Final at Wembley against either Chelsea or Manchester City.