Sunday, May 19, 2024

Jonas Eidevall reacts to Manchester United defeat

Arsenal Women were eliminated from the Conti Cup with a 1-0 defeat to Manchester United at Meadow Park on Wednesday night with a late header from Alessia Russo. Jonas Eidevall spoke to the press post-natch, the first four questions are from Arseblog News.

On his assessment of the performance…
It was a big step in the right direction, we pressed much better than we have done lately and we were much better with the ball in the build up phase. We attacked much better in the penalty area, unfortunately we didn’t convert the chances we created so we couldn’t win the game. For me, I have a totally different feeling than I did from the Birmingham game because we were the better team today and if we played this game again like this I think we’d win it, that wasn’t the case against Birmingham so it was a step in the right direction even though we are disappointed not to get the result. If there is any competition I can take a loss it would be the Conti Cup so we move on and try to build on this performance.

On dominating territory but not creating many clear cut chances…
I think there were a lot of times when passes were going between the players legs and not resulting in a shot so we need to convert those situations into shots on target, if we do they are high percentage opportunities. It all starts with getting into the positions, if you don’t do that it’s impossible to score. Today we did that so we just need to work on the final touch or the final pass.

On United dominating from attacking set pieces and scoring their goal that way…
We have defended set pieces this season so far but I agree with you, there were too many times today where they made the first contact from corners and free kicks. They are a strong team on set pieces with good aerial threat. We are not happy to concede chances that way and to concede the goal that way and it was the difference today and we need to do better.

On the team mainly looking to create from wide but less so from central spaces…
I do think there are situations where we can do better there, today also. Especially in the second half when we could have held onto the ball a bit more, we got too transitional and the distances were too big. A team like United they work with a lot of their players central in the area and they overload there in defence. If they are not moving then we need to attack on the sides but we can get better at moving central when their players move to the sides and try to create opportunities from there. It’s that balance and decision making and we try to perfect that and in the second half, we could’ve held onto the ball a little bit better because United get tired and we don’t need to force the decision making so much, especially when it just results in wide crosses.

On arresting a run of five defeats in six games…
We need to work on our game, today was a big step in the right direction and that is where our focus needs to be even if it wasn’t the result we wanted. We need to attack the next game against Man City we know it’s going to be a tough game.

On debuts for Blackstenius and Wienroither…
Very good, it was difficult with the practice time they have had with us but they both worked very hard and made a positive impact. They can build on their performances.

On why Lotte Wubben Moy wasn’t involved…
She had a minor injury. The weekend is a question mark, we don’t know yet if she will be available. It’s not certain either way.

On preparing his team for Manchester City on Sunday…
We need to remember who we are and not get carried away with the result today because we could have so easily won. Sometimes it doesn’t go your way but the performance was much better from us.

On getting Leah Williamson and Tobin Heath back from the bench…
We knew the game could go into extra time tonight and that would have affected their loading in a not ideal way so we started them on the bench but it was excellent to have them back and it will help us a lot in the next games.

On where the important match ups were tonight…
I think we had two teams who tried to disrupt the build up in a fairly aggressive way and so the decision making from goalkeepers and defenders were very important in setting the attacks, our players were good in that tonight in setting structure. When your midfielders have to jump out and press either centrally or out wide that can create space to exploit but only if you do the first part well and it was the same for both teams.

On the importance of Leah Williamson to play through the press…
She is a great player because she has so many tools to play through these situations she can dribble her way out but she also has the passing range to get out. Because of that she is a hard player to press.

On Vivianne Miedema not getting service tonight…
Generally strikers have fewer touches because they play in the most dangerous position to score so most teams are compact in that area. It’s about finding her at the right time and that is always the case for a forward player, it’s about quality of actions. Of course we would like to always attack centrally and play into feet but that depends on how well you move the ball. We need to open up that space and sometimes that means going over to the sides. If we are good on the sides, they have to go out there and press and it opens up the centre. I think that’s just part of the game.

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The team that finished the game was much better than the team that started, but the extra quality from the subs seemed to emphasize some of the problems elsewhere. Laura W looked excellent though, and I need to be persuaded that Leah W really hasn’t played since November. Any news on whether Lia W will be available at the weekend? I think she was missed.


Nobody questioned him about his out-of-control reaction from the sidelines? The challenge was a bad one and deserved a sending off but that was disappointing from him too and both deserved to be shown red cards.

Tim Stillman

I planned to ask but had to cut my questions short cos the woman in front of me was about to go live on the radio. But tbh I’m not hugely surprised nobody else asked, everyone saw what happened and can decide what they thought of it, there’s not much to say / demystify I guess other than whether he regrets it or thinks it was excessive in hindsight.


That reaction was a lot about pent-up frustration with the team’s poor play for the last two months.

Viv the 🐐

Oh boy. This is more than bad. Arteta tought us patience in December of 2020. But this is going from good to horrible really quickly. I fear the worst for Jonas.


I still love this guy…

Peter Story Teller

Neither team are bathed in glory after that performance. Utd are fortunate that we cannot defend high balls slung into our box. Manu thought about coming for the ball but didn’t and none of our other players attacked it either giving their striker a free header; 0-1! Hopefully that will not happen with Fafa at CB and that was about the only difference between the teams. Ending on a positive, just from that cameo you can see Stina gives us a different dimension up front that should be quite productive once she gels with the others and Laura did well… Read more »


Much better than the last two games, can still be better. Despite the surprisingly good first half of the season, I think we should be patient until the team is fully transformed. We are in a transitional period which always comes with inconsistent performance. Also, with so many new signings, the team needs time to gel together, try new combinations and achieve its full potential. They are basically working stuffs out while playing matches. No matter how good things looked, let’s not forget there was still a major change in the playing style for the team which needs time to… Read more »


Yes. Be patient. If we lose to Man City, the title is over. Coming up playing at Chelsea. No cup this season. Let’s talk about next season’s preparation. The women league is not like the men’s league where the top teams can easily lose points and have more fixtures. For women, there are only the most 2 teams fighting for the title. Just losing one game can determine losing the chance for the title. I thought at the beginning of the season, we might have hope. But now, I know we still belong to where we have been left off.… Read more »


Exactly this! At the beginning of the season, i already doubted if we can keep that form as it’s so good to be true. Having such improvement in both performance and results in a few months with a new coach and playing style? Impossible. It’s a matter of time other teams found out ways to break you down or a decline in performance. I think the time has come for the last two months. It’s up to the reaction of the team. It’s either we keep staying where we have been or a breakthrough. I know it’s our fifth defeats… Read more »


Eight weeks ago Arsenal was flying high and everyone was talking about how brilliant Eidevall was. Now, following two confidence-sapping, rather embarrassing drubbings by Barcelona plus three or so subsequent dreadful performances, Arsenal is a hot mess, there is a question (in my mind, for sure) about whether the coach knows what he’s doing–and the team seems to be on the cusp of a complete overhaul. That’s quite astounding, when you think about it. But then there has been a lot of weirdness lately–injuries, Covid issues, international breaks and the ridiculous scheduling that we see in Europe and in England–with… Read more »


I’m not 100% sure, but I think I remember reading that Montemurro retained the club’s backing and it was his decision to leave. I think he actually planned to have a break but was then offered the position at Juventus, which was too good to turn down.


OMG… Comparing this game with the Birmingham game? Please compare the last 5 defeats. What went wrong? If we compared to the Birmingham game and prepare it for the Man City game, we are in deep trouble. Slight better than Birmingham game won’t able to take us through against Man City. They are a big team. Think big when you have a big opponent. Work like a champion. Increase the mentality. Yes, we were damn bad against Birmingham but to use Birmingham’s game standard as the guideline or measurement… Urgh… Today I saw we were like headless chickens when attacking.… Read more »


I’m starting to wonder whether our great start was just luck against Chelsea and unlucky from City with their squad struggles. But that now we’re just back where we all belong. Chelsea to win the league, City to overrule us and we hang behind. I want to think about injuries and missing players, and that we’re building. Truth is, we never ever should’ve tied with Tottenham and we never ever should’ve lost to Birmingham and we never ever should’ve lost that 2nd leg to Hoffenheim. Those changed something… I wanna be optimistic, but I’m realistic. Something needs to change if… Read more »


I understand Jonas point that most teams block of center, so we have to go wide to make room, but for weeks now it just is not true any more. We have only one way to play and everyone knows it. We were very dangerous from the left in the first half, but didn’t take our chances, for second half ManU dropped off, put even more players in that left half space, so room must have been everywhere else but it that space. Our opponents know even better than we know, what we are trying to do. Because our quality,… Read more »

Peter Story Teller

Think you have identified the issues of late. We have been trying to play a high press with our CB’s near the half way line and without any sort of recovery pace. Simple ball over the top and we are in trouble! Even Birmingham fathomed it out! Note to Jonas; if we do not have a pacey CB in the team keep at least one CB guarding the space in front of the penalty area to sweep up the long through ball. CB being beaten just inside her own half led to her bringing the attacker down because she knew… Read more »


If we are ok against ManC in weekend and this “progress” is seen in that game, I am fine with yesterdays result, because it seemed we made a step up. Why we had to get so abysmal in first place is another question.
I don’t think that dropping off with slow CBs is also solution. Birminghams second goal game from that. Then we leave obscene amount of space between midfield and defense that no DM can cover.

Peter Story Teller

Just one CB not both to stay back. The other can push forward and link to midfield.


Mr coach, with this “right direction” of performance, you will not only lose the conti cup, but other trophies as well. “Right direction”, so who lost the way in the last 5 defeats? (Correct me if I m wrong) As someone mentioned elsewhere, players running like headless chickens, they did not seem to know where to run comfortably, where was the talk of “positioning”? Or could the coach be running out of ideas for strategic positions? Mr coach, teams in CL are hard nuts to crack, imagine the team that beat Arsenal 3-0 got smashed out in the group stage,… Read more »


So what is your solution or constructive advice other than buying more players and being sarcastic? We can’t buy players every time there’s a problem. If you want to watch a team close to invincible atm, go watch barca. They are the team for you.

Peter Story Teller

I’m sure many clubs are considering Jule Brand but as I have said previously, the issues at present are more than one player can resolve. Unless you know her personally what makes you believe she wants to come to North London anyway? This isn’t a Playstation game where you can simply buy the best players in the world for your team you have to factor in their preferences, life, and livelihood too!


It’s easy to forget that some of these players are very young. It’s not easy to leave close friends and family to move abroad, as we saw earlier in the year with Malin Gut.

To give myself a little pat on the back, back in early May I think I was the first person on this blog to flag up the talent of Jule Brand!

Peter Story Teller

I believe you were, mate! Do you fancy a job as talent scout?
You are not the only one to have noticed she is something special now though!
It is certainly a good point you make about players upping sticks and playing in a different country. It is what I inferred in my post but you spelt it out more clearly.
In this world of “buying their services” it is easy to forget the players are ordinary people with feelings and emotions the same as the rest of us and being away from home simply does not suit everyone.


Yup it’s the final touch or final pass. I just watched the match again, we obviously had created more great chances than mutd but just couldn’t get the right pass to the box without many good movements to pull the opponents off. There were many chances that could have been turned into goals if our form were as good as the beginning of the season. Many of the decisions or execution of passing/dribbling/crossing were problematic. Everyone had this problem last night, except the new signings and leah. When someone new to the team and someone just come back from injury… Read more »


I feel that some of our team seemed to have lost the sharpness – Viv seemed unhappy, Jen is (sadly) too error-prone and Keets just not clicking. The top WSL goal scorers are not really scoring. That usually means the coach needs a serious rethink. I remember earlier on in the season, there was talk that Jonas did not like moving the ball backwards- I saw lots of that in the ManUtd game- so what has changed?

Peter Story Teller

I feel a lot of that backwards passing was the CB pairing we had at the beginning of the game. It seemed that neither of them were proactively trying to progress the ball but just not to lose possession of it. In mitigation, Viki has been out of the team forever and her first start is a cup 1/4 final vs Man U so her confidence is not likely to be sky high. Similarly, Jen has come under much criticism lately, and without a new contract offer on the table appears to be on her way out of the club,… Read more »


Eidevalls comment on losing in the Conte cup is so so wrong, regardless of what competition we should be playing with a winning attitude and if the coach does not have that mind set then we have problems!

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