Monday, May 20, 2024

Jonas Eidevall reacts to FA Cup Final defeat

Arsenal were soundly beaten 3-0 by Chelsea in the Women’s FA Cup Final with goals from Fran Kirby and a brace from Sam Kerr. Jonas Eidevall spoke to the press post-match. The first three questions are from Arseblog News, the others from other journalists.

On Chelsea starting in a 442 formation and whether it was a surprise…
It didn’t take me by surprise, we see that Chelsea constantly switch between formations in games between a 442ish shape and sometimes a 343ish so we had strategies to deal with both of those formations. We knew it would be one of the two and that it might change during the game, so it wasn’t down to that that we weren’t able to deal with them better.

On being exposed by the pace of Chelsea’s forwards…
I don’t think it’ necessarily down to running duels with the strikers, i think we were dropping way too late and we weren’t good enough at recognising the moment- that’s one part we need to do better and correct as a team in this game. We were doing that better in the second half but in the second half we lost the ball at very, very bad times and that was a bad balance for us, in those moments, Chelsea exposed us on the counterattack. In the first half, they created opportunities from structured open play because we were dropping too late and we were not able to press the player with the ball. In the second half, it was more down to losing the ball at very, very poor times and being exposed. What you have to give to Chelsea is that the players they have upfront, if they get time and space and run against you, they are world class. You can’t let Chelsea do that that many times like they did today and expect a good result.

On Jordan Nobbs being an unused sub…
It’s all about the balance in midfield and, of course, you want to have many different scenarios and there are different scenarios as a fan and it’s impossible to think about all of them. We wanted to go for it and see if we could take the game to overtime but we still needed substitutions to spare at the end because of different players loading going into the game. Jordan Nobbs is a class player, she’s really, really important for us. I understand that she is disappointed that she didn’t get on the pitch today my only message can be that I really value Jordan as a player and she will be very important in December as well.

On what he said to his players at full-time…
I don’t think we have a constructive learning in this moment, what I said is that I understand that everybody is very, very disappointed because we can play so much better than we played in this game but it wasn’t down to effort, they tried to give everything on the pitch. The quality for us as a team was not there today.

I also told them that, at times like this, everyone will say we are bad and they think we are at the bottom but we need to believe as a group and we all have family, friends and loved ones in the stadium today and we’ve been through difficult years with covid without spectators. As a group we can support each other and the fans have been supporting us in good times and bad times, so let’s get some energy from them and remember that we have failed before and risen again and we will do that one more time and we have a great chance to do that against Barcelona on Thursday.

On what’s needed to get through other big games coming up…
I wouldn’t necessarily frame it s a big game problem but it’s obviously an issue when we play opposition that gives us less time with the ball because they have very good players who press us in a very intense way. We need to be prepared, to be better positioned, to have better quality in our passing game to exploit those spaces. That’s what we need to develop so we can impose our style on any opponent and it’s clear today that we need to be better at that.

On Lia Walti motioning for the midfield to get closer to her during the first half…
We could have been better positioned in the first half. Chelsea make it difficult because they are dynamic with the way they press, they shift and sometimes they press with their front two and sometimes they just press with one which makes it important to recognise the formation we are playing with in our build up phase and where are midfield players are needed and where the spaces will be. We were too slow at doing that in the first half so it’s definitely something we need to develop.

On the hurt of watching Chelsea celebrate at the end…
I think the feeling when we put so much preparation into the game and when we push so hard to score a goal, even when it’s very tough during a game you still ant to do everything to try to get a goal and get into the game and after the final whistle you can’t do anything at all and you feel powerless and it’s an opportunity that has gone.

Personally, i am not a person who is driven by hatred or rivalry or motivated by seeing others celebrate. I would definitely like for my players and my staff to be standing there because that’s what they deserve. I can’t wait for another opportunity to get back here and to do everything in my power to be able to let them do that, that is my motivation.

On the players continually encouraging one another during the game…
It is always a strong building point to understand that we are in this together and it’s the easiest thing in the world to point to someone else and say that you are making a mistake and to find excuses, but nothing gets better from that. We are building trust and of course, also we need to be better. But it’s good that we are reinforcing the positive things during the game and now we have to look at the reality and see there are things we need to do better.

1.ZINSBERGER, 16.MARITZ, 3.WUBBEN-MOY (20.Boye ‘86), 5.BEATTIE (19.Foord ‘70), 7.CATLEY; 13.WALTI (23.Iwabuchi ‘60), 12.MAANUM (14.Parris ‘79), 10.LITTLE(c); 9.MEAD, 15.McCABE; 11.MIEDEMA.

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Sorry to be blunt and no doubt some won’t like this.

But it’s clear this is a ‘Club’ with a big game mental block – running right through it at all levels- the occasional contrary result not withstanding.

It began in Wenger’s latter years and is still deeply embedded at all levels. This is where the coaching staff do – or do not – earn their corn.

Until we shake that inferiority complex, we won’t win.

Bleeding gums murphy

That was women against girls 😜

Teryima Adi

I’m glad that’s only your opinion and not the collective here.


I’d be fascinated to read the evidence – such as it might be – that we :-

1/ Are a big game Club.
2/ That such shortcomings didn’t begin in Wenger’s latter years and have not carried on since.
3/ That it isn’t the business of the coaching staff to address that.

Seriously – I would be fascinated to read the counter arguments.

Please feel free to outline them –


you aren’t entirely wrong, but then we won against chelsea on the opening day itself

VAR will solve all the problems

We beat Chelsea twice in 2 FA cup finals…in the men’s team. Arsenal Women’s team still is the biggest and the most successful team in the country in terms of titles. Chelsea may have won the title last year but their team don’t have the history that we have. So I’m not sure there should be any mental block in regards to that. Truth is Jonas Eidevall exceeded expectation in his first year already but this team still hasn’t reached it’s full potential yet. I think we can definitely make more investment on the defensive side of things. This defeat… Read more »


It’s not a mental block: Arsenal were just terrible today–and generally (even forgetting today’s lobsided result) I would say Chelsea’s counter-attacking style of play has a much greater chance of success against the Gunners than the Gunner’s possession style has against Chelsea’s strong defense. I have no idea how we won the earlier game against them this season. This match could easily have been 6-0 were it not for Zinz and some botched chances by Kerr–who oddly scored on her more difficult opportunities The Arsenal centerbacks were absolutely dire today–Beattie is far too slow for an opponent like Chelsea and… Read more »


His no different from our previous coach, what was the point hiring him surely it was to win the big games that gives as the titles and cups we crave but nothing has changed same old Arsenal useless when it comes to big games weather it’s the Mens or Womens teams.

Jeremy DG

Urgh what a grotty weekend. Wake me up when you can’t pick the games in the calendar Arsenal will lose.


Our performance is quite hard to understand. Chelsea were quicker to every ball and though I’m sure everyone wanted to try their best, they seemed mentally as well as physically defeated. I was even staying to myself during the warm-up that they didn’t look very confident or sharp, and then conceding a goal after three minutes didn’t help. I felt that only Manu and Kim were anywhere near their usual standard. Can someone help me understand why Lotte, Jen, Lia, Frida, Katie and Viv all had their worst game of the season?


That was our strongest 11 bar Leah. Shows how far behind Chelsea we are. Defense is a joke. Can’t even deal with long balls. Teams should just stick a striker next to our CBs and hoof away, we’ll take care of the rest for them. Lotte was just as slow and clumsy as Jen, got bullied by Kerr all game. Should have been sent off for that high kick on Kirby. What will happen when Leah leaves? Lia has been the worst performer in our midfield for a while, yet she seems completely undroppable in big games. Don’t understand what… Read more »

Peter Story Teller

I’m beginning to wonder. Jonas talks of squad “balance” so are we going to see a raft of signings in the next window? To me, we are too dependent upon Leah as a play maker and without her we cannot progress the ball and Viv to score goals when she can easily be marked out of the game. Both could leave the club this summer and where does that leave us? Ideally we should retain both but also bring in 2, 3 or 4 players of similar standing to spread the load and provide options for when Viv and Leah… Read more »


No answers here but I thought while the first half was on the players the second half was on the manager. Clearly it could only end one way without any changes?

Sir TY Duncan

I really thought we’d turn them over seeing we beat them the last two times we played them this season but we simply didn’t turn up today. Our defenders were slow and wary under pressure when pressed, I don’t see Beattie or Wubben-Moy as the answer to our defense next year, Williamson was missed but I don’t recall us having a shot on target which in itself is unforgivable being it’s a cup final. Just a bad, bad day at the office. We can do better but it won’t get any easier for us with the best team in Women… Read more »


If we are honest the 3-0 scoreline flatters us not Chelsea. We should have been down by that scoreline to the 20th minute. For me we had 2 main problems, which I am afraid neither will go away. Jen/Lotte defense with Lia infront of them is just too slow for fast attack and it is almost impossible to find a solution for that. But I would give Lia/Steph go at CB, because this is awful. And next summer we need 2 new CB’s if we can get Leah to stay. And this midfield does not work. It hasn’t worked for… Read more »


We don’t need just any kind of CBs, we need world class CBs with a bit of pace. Chelsea exposed our defense time after time and the defenders were just too slow to react.

I like the suggestion of giving Catley a go at CB, she plays for Australia in that position.


She does? I thought Catley still played outside back for Australia? I think Wubben-Moye can be a good centerback, but she was awful today, and Beattie is just way too slow and not athletic enough. The midfield was out of position and beaten all day, too–just bad: Walthi was pushed off the ball, gave the ball away multiple times in the early going–and Maanum was not good either. We could do nothing in attack.

Noddy 81

Completely agree with walti & CB combo being a problem. All good players but too slow altogether (I’ve never been convinced by walti at DM in big games tbh).
I love Nobbs, but I don’t know if I would have started her today – inconsistent since the big injury & just getting back to form now. She surely deserved a sub today though.
Overall I think everyone was just off though (dodgy lasagne?) Or maybe spooked by conceding early? Loose touches, over elaboration in the final third… Hopefully they perk up for Thursday or it might be brutal😱


Even off form Jordan is at least quick in both playing and thinking. Our CB’s and our entire midfield today are one paced. We are too slow to try to play transitional football with inform Chelsea with these players. It they start running, we can’t keep up. Jordan is only midfielder who can at least run with them.

Noddy 81

Let’s hope Jordan is at least well rested for Thursday – we’ll need her on top form


Give me a defensive mid who can put a body on an opponent with the ball and is physical. That is not Walti.


Second time this season I see Lia swallowed by a big game. Fumbling and giving the ball away under very little pressure. So not sure starting her as CB would have helped us. But it was clear we were too one dimensional and could have benefitted from earlier introduction of Mana and Jordan. For sure instead of going rogue last 20 mins with just one CB we could instead gone bold starting second half with Mana or Jordan over Lia or Frida?


Let’s take the positives from the game: Zinsberger played well, Little and Mead were OK. That’s it.

Tim Stillman

I thought Kim was quite poor. Sometimes she just takes so many unnecessary touches and slows the game down. Occasionally she reminds me of Pogba in that she wants to beat the same player twice instead of beating them and moving the ball forwards quickly.

Fun Gunner

Zins was our best player on the day. Mead at least showed energy and Catley occasionally had some drive but what shocked me was how poorly our “big” players performed.Little, Miedema, McCabe. Really disappointing.


No Jordan. No chance.

Birdtail Bill

Jonas needs to look in the mirror. It was obvious from the opening whistle that our centerbacks were in trouble. They were much too slow for the speedy Chelsea attack and they looked nervous on the ball resulting in giveaways and errant passes so we couldn’t get our own attach going. I could not believe that he did not make a change at half time or sooner. It was never a question of whether Chelsea were going to score only how many. We were fortunate it wasn’t more.

Teryima Adi

We’ll get over this and spring back. COYR!!!


The game highlighted that whilst we have many good players we need more great ones to compete at the highest levels with Chelsea. Leah’s absence is a big blow but should not be be causing major panic, we need to have dependable alternatives also as Jen has had more than her fair share of injuries and illness. Cups and WSL will be decided by very fine margins and Chelsea’s strengths in depth gives the the advantage.


The midfield of Little and Frida has not worked for a while… this is the worst game I’ve seen Frida play, I would have replaced Frida with Iwabuchi at half time and replaced Katie with Nobbs. This was a game that needed more guile than power. To end the match with no shots on target is the worst. Against Barca at least we created some chances. We are lucky it was just 3-0, as the number of big chances created could have seen us lose by 6. Lotte and Jen should not play big matches together, they too slow. We… Read more »

Noddy 81

I’ve been impressed with maanum this season, but not today☹️ I think she’s better at DM alone with two 8s ahead rather than in a pivot.


The thought of that defense facing Barcelona.
We need to get a Centre half in the transfer window.

Pete Plum

Its always worth reminding ourselves that Chelsea buy success. This is even more so in their womens team than their mens. We’re doing an amazing job againt Chelseas financial juggernaut in the league. It wasn’t our day today but we can learn from this – some of the problems like dropping to late are easy to solve.

Reiss Neverseen & the DicTeta

Any figures of both teams expenditure?

Fun Gunner

We are also very big spenders. The financial situation is not the same as on the men’s side. The difference between the clubs is Emma Hayes.


Everybody criticized Monte after losses to our big rivals–but his teams never stunk it up this bad against anybody, and he had /serious/ injury issues to contend with. And the first Barca game was just as dire–Arsenal not competitive.


When you compare our team with that of Chelsea’s player for player, there really isn’t that tremendous of a gap talent-wise. But in terms of performance today, Chelsea as a team were miles ahead. Setting up such a high line with two CBs who lack pace is just a defensive disaster waiting to happen. Eidevall took this approach with Barcelona too and look how that panned out. The exact same team selection too (bar Lotte for Leah this time). Am I the only one concerned that he hasn’t looked at his own game plan but is speaking about the way… Read more »

Tim Stillman

Look at the goal we conceded to Oshoala at Barca and the goal we conceded to Kirby today and they are very similar.

Peter Story Teller

It will be interesting to read Tim’s synopsis of this game but it is beginning to become apparent to me that the problem lies with the whole team’s speed of thought and progression. Everything builds from centre back, the midfield has a little go, it winds up back at Leah’s feet who plays her diagonal to Beth or Katie out wide and we run into the box for the crossed ball. All well and good when you play lesser opposoition and we win 4 or 5 nil. When we are up against a decent side that have well drilled structure… Read more »

Peter Story Teller

BTW I know Leah was out today but honestly she wouldn’t have made any difference. Not a single meaningful shot on their goal when we had “player of the year” up front, wingers that have been scoring for fun, one of the best midfielders to play anywhere in the middle and all of them were effectively marked out of the game. I agree the back four we had today were ponderous but no one in red covered themselves in glory. Our best player was the goalkeeper who single handedly kept the score down to 3 but I thought even she… Read more »


I think Leah would have made a difference. That doesn’t mean we wouldn’t have lost, but Chelsea played the way they played because we didn’t have Leah. Her diagonal switches have been our out ball all season and Lotte just can’t do that. Chelsea could press us without worrying that they leave the room behind, because we didn’t have anyone to play the accurate balls behind Chelsea’s first line of pressing. Lia needs too many touches to do that from midfield and Jen is right footed playing LCB.

Peter Story Teller

Chelsea always play that way because they can and it is why they get results. They are simply better out of possession than we are. How many times did Lotte look up, see that there was no out ball because Chelsea had covered all of the receivers, and then turn it back to Manu or Beats? Leah would have had the same problem. The forwards and attacking midfield were just not canny enough to create space for the ball to be played to them whereas Kirby and Kerr had plenty of pitch to run into unchallenged a lot of the… Read more »


Chelsea counter-attack–and have the perfect personnel for it–and Arsenal do not. Kirby and Kerr get the ball and its 2v2 or 3v3. Miedema gets the ball and it’s 1v4.

Peter Story Teller

Spot on mate!


Yep, they are better out of possession than us, but if you compare yesterdays game to september game, I would argue that Leah was in a way the difference. Chelsea didn’t bother to press Jen and Lotte yesterday, they closed down all the passing options for them to fullbacks and Lia. Lotte specially had time on the ball to play it over the press, but she can’t do it and this same time is Leah’s biggest strength. But yeah midfields and forwards mobility would have been problem even with Leah. But for Chelsea knowing that Lotte can’t hurt them the… Read more »

Tim Stillman

Yes and we missed her defensively too because she has recovery pace. Lotte is not slow but I have just watched the game back and it’s not great viewing for Jen, not sure Simone or Viki would have fared much better. The wisdom of having three injury prone CBs in their late 20s / early 30s is to be questioned. Think we could’ve kept Lisa as a back up RB and had Anna in the CB rotation.


Any chance getting Rachel Corsie or Jess Fishlock on loan in January to help us before the new NWSL season begins?

Peter Story Teller

Agree Tim. Jen is great defensively with the ball in front of her but as soon as she is turned her lack of pace is highlighted. Viki is not as defensively aware as Jen in my opinion but I think she is a yard quicker in a foot race so may have been a better choice but personally I would have played Anna at right back and pushed Noelle narrower. Although I like Lotte her weakness i.e. lack of pace was shown up today and I cannot see her getting faster as she grows older! As other teams become more… Read more »

Reiss Neverseen & the DicTeta

Not quite what most of us were expecting but hopefully some lessons were learnt today.

The season is not over.


Well that was definitely a tough watch as an Arsenal fan. Credit to Chelsea though, they were very impressive and frighteningly good at times. It’s easy to say after the fact but I don’t think the result was that unexpected. The team’s performance in the 3-2 win in the season opener was excellent, but Chelsea weren’t quite ready for that match and still almost came away with a draw (and may well have done had VAR been available). A manager as good as Emma Hayes was always going to leave no stone unturned in making sure her team were completely… Read more »


Damn that Black Cat

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