Friday, September 22, 2023

Jonas Eidevall reacts to defeat to Birmingham City

Arsenal fell to a shock 2-0 defeat away at bottom side Birmingham in the WSL on Sunday afternoon. Coach Jonas Eidevall spoke to the press post-match, the first two questions are from Arseblog News.

On why the performance was so poor…
I agree with you. When you say ‘poor’ I think the words you use are too nice. What we didn’t do today that we have done well so far this season is to anticipate moments and to work together as a team. Birmingham are a very direct team and when they played the ball direct and it goes into duels and second balls and we had numerous occasions when we don’t defend those situations together as a team. We get very, very separated.

Some players sprinting, some players jogging, some players walking back into position to get into positions. So even when we win the ball, we are so spread out as a team that even if you think the players with the ball should be better with their decision making, our players are not well positioned enough to connect with them and give them good options.

You can even see that when we do break through Birmingham’s line of defence, we are so slow in getting numbers in the box or creating numerical superiorities. We had situations in the game where we played through them but the person with the ball is alone because other players haven’t anticipated or made a run into an area where you can score.

What does that come down to? I have to take 100% responsibility because I didn’t think we looked like a team today that understood that those aspects are really important, it annoys me so much because it should never be down to those reasons why you are not winning. It clearly was today and it frustrates me but I am responsible.

On Birmingham’s high press causing issues with playing out…
It didn’t surprise us because we saw the same things when they played Manchester City. It doesn’t help to start the game as we do conceding a goal but I knew they are a really hard working team and they are not an easy team to break down in this medium to low block and you need a lot of quality on the ball and move the ball well to exploit gaps and we all saw that that quality was nowhere near where it needed to be today.

On his message for the supporters…
We had amazing support at the game, the supporters cheered us on the whole game and even though we weren’t playing well, they gave us that support and tried to drive us on. That makes it even more frustrating and hurtful that we can’t perform better. We need to focus on ourselves and reset and we need to do the basics well again.

On not bouncing back from the Hoffenheim defeat…
One of the big aspects in football is effort, for example, running as a team in defence and offence. You can always run into a position and maybe you have a bad touch when you get the ball but that’s a different matter. But we weren’t doing that today and that has to be a learning point for us so we don’t see this performance again.

On getting back to winning ways…
For me personally, I didn’t lose a league game in 2021 in Sweden or England, so we know what it takes to win games. That’s what our focus needs to be on and it’s not about pointing fingers or finding excuses, it’s about doing the basic principles again and if we do that, I am very, very confident that we will start winning again.

On why he thinks the players weren’t running enough…
I don’t know. I can do a lot of things but I can’t read minds. We will talk about it as a team and make sure it doesn’t happen again. Sometimes it happens in life, sometimes you don’t behave as you want to and you don’t mean it, it just happens.

If I had one excuse, I would say that during this week all of our meetings have been virtual. You saw the squad today, it is very thin so we had to be very careful not to get anyone else out due to COVID, so all of our team meetings were online and that is always a little harder. But we can’t totally blame that today.

1.ZINSBERGER, 16.MARITZ, 20.BOYE (3.Wubben-Moy ‘64), 5.BEATTIE, 15.McCABE; 12.MAANUM, 10.LITTLE(c), 8.NOBBS; 9.MEAD, 23.IWABUCHI; 11.MIEDEMA.

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Why do we not press any more ?


I think it’s because the players were unable to put their heads in the game. Maybe they hadn’t spent enough time to trainings as a team since holiday? I don’t really know. It’s like the fa cup final all over again. They are so separated as 11 players on the pitch. They didn’t help each other out and and work as a team and were so underperforming as an individual. They seemed unmotivated and confused. Zero dynamics. What Jonas said above basically sum up our performance yesterday. I hope they can find the issue and solve it asap.


Today Alanna and Raso played for City… why did we release our Aussies that early?


It’s not just this game where things have gone wrong. The scoreline over our last four games away from Meadow Park is 1-13.

Adedeji Abidoye

Jonas has been here for a short while but the amount of poor games we’ve had under him have been very worrying. That’s now Barca home (arguable) and away, Hoffenheim away, FA Cup final, Spurs and today. That’s 6 games already within how many months?

I think teams have figured us out and Eidevall is struggling to counter this. He is on fraud watch for me going forward.


So much for the “brilliant” Jonas. Arsenal have been certifiably bad for quite some time.


The performance against spurs is not bad tho not poor as today. The players were focused and determined. We also created plenty of chances but couldn’t put the ball in the net. We just lacked luck. What makes me more worried today is the mentality of the team and players.


Is the vibe fine within the dressing room? The chemistry displayed in the initial winning matches seemed to have vanished somehow. By the way, it is not only today, the players have always been not proactive enough to fight for a lost ball (except for a few) or get numbers in the box or create numerical superiorities, glad the coach noticed it. If issues with players’ emotional states are not being fixed, CL triumph seems to be building castles in the air.


In this game our inability to play in central spaces under Jonas absolutely cost us. It has been theme whole season. We have had lot of bad first half’s, today showed what happens then other team takes advantage of our bad periods. This level of attacking talent that was on the pitch today should never form as bad of attack. And about our CB situation – although Lotte has not been good recently, she should start every game until Leah is back. Lotte is 23, may or may not be the future, but Simone and Jen are definitely not and… Read more »


Agree: Eidevall overreacted to one bad game by Wubben-Moye. She should definitely be starting every match, and I’m surprised he did not see that.


What is Jonas doing with this team of players?


Eidevall is in way over his head as a manager and appears to have lost the dressing room too. Much like the players, I have zero confidence in his ability to manage the game or the team. It’s unfortunate we couldn’t bring in a world class manager to inspire the players. Fingers crossed Casey Stoney will be available once she experiences the s*hit show that is soccer in the states.


It’s been evident for a while that Jonas is incapable of making tactical changes during games that the team are struggling in. This isn’t the Swedish league Jonas.


When Jonas first came he said “there is only one ball and it is ours”.
We played like that up till the Spurs game.
Not sure what has changed…
We are not pressing at all anymore and I’m not sure why…


Our opposition do tactics too. How we want to play was quite obvious to everybody already in October. Teams hoof the ball up the field and don’t invite us to them anymore. Besides our pressing game counted on Leah to clean up the balls that got through the first line of pressing. It is hard to be effective pressing team then every other ball over the top is not dealt with by our CBs mainly because of pace and positioning issues. If I am not mistaking the 2nd Birmingham goal came from Jordan going to press up the field, long… Read more »


Another note that pissed me off was the referee.
She allowed Birmingham to kick the f*ck out of players.
Every time a player received the ball with their back to goal, their calves were hammered.

Peter Story Teller

I don’t understand. Jonas talks about this being a team sport and then isolates all of the players during the week in case they fall ill. No wonder there was no togetherness. The team should be together and putting into practice what we learned from the Spuds game and the CL debacles. We might get a few positive covid tests but then we simply postpone the match the same as many of the other teams are doing. It is very noble to try and present a team at the appropriate time and date but you can clearly see that they… Read more »


Was Monday the only day the team trained together? If that’s true it’s a shocking decision on Jonas’ part and he only has himself to blame if they were training on their own and having remote meetings.


This performance is really unacceptable with the quality of this squad. Yes we lost players for injuries and covid but the squad today should win if everyone performed at their standard. I dunno what happened but the team was so disjointed with no determination and discipline. They didn’t fight back in the second half either. It has been a while since I saw all players performing this badly. So many imprecise passes, losing in position when defending and mistakes. Ring a bell of the fa cup final. Even Manu was in a shambles yesterday. The dynamic seemed off in the… Read more »


Also, the defence has been so so so poor without leah. The cbs available lack so much pace and can’t put accurate long pass or move the ball forward (Lotte is the better one there). Yesterday we went backwards to getting lots of possession without getting many shots. It’s not ideal to rely on one player to make play. We desperately need to sign a defender who is fast and good at breaking through with good insight on the pitch. Listening to the post match interview of Jonas, it seems like we already signed someone but they haven’t got to… Read more »

Peter Story Teller

Well we had better sign a couple of players quick if that is all we have at the moment because we lose Mana to the Asia tournament next week too! Other teams have full benches but we are back to where we were under Joe and the mysterious injury list in terms of players actually available although for different reasons i.e no substitute attacking players and the bare minimum cover elsewhere.


Totally agree. Yesterday showed how thin our bench was these days especially attackers. Yes there are less injuries compared to the past but there’re covid and Asian Cup. All these things trim the size of our squad. If we don’t bring a couple of decent players to the team, I can’t imagine how many defeats we will get in next two months which basically determines who’s gonna win the league. It’s so crazy cuz we went from having a deep bench to now with no striker to substitute…And the form of the players is also worrying. I remember someone was… Read more »


We need Leah back soon.

Peter Story Teller

We need 3 or 4 Leah’s. We have seen the results of being so reliant of one player! It cannot be allowed to continue.

John Kirby

I have never seen our women play so bad they were outplayed by Birmingham. We were too slow and our defence were awful, ok so we lost some of our players but if we do not get our act together then I can see us slipping down the league table also I think the time has come to start looking for new players in certain positions.

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