Monday, May 16, 2022

Jonas Eidevall reacts to victory over Brighton

Arsenal were 2-1 winners over Brighton in the WSL on Thursday night. The Gunners trailed at half time but second half goals from Vivianne Miedema and Beth Mead gave them a valuable three points. Jonas Eidevall spoke to the press post-match, the first three questions are from Arseblog News.

On the performance dropping in the first half once Brighton took the lead after a fast start…
I agree the first 15 minutes were good and maybe it was logical that we couldn’t do that for the whole half. My feeling of the first half was that it didn’t drop that much I am more concerned about the last five or six minutes of the half because we started to lose patience and we lost our structure and we talked about that at half time.

It was so important to keep our structure because we knew the game would open up and Brighton would tire and I think we did some good things in the first half. It’s always hard against them in the first half especially when they are fresh and they can cover a lot of ground. I was happy that we were composed.

I compare it to when we went 1-0 down against Birmingham and we lost all of our patience and our structure. If I compare this game to that one, this one is miles better. It was a better response.

On getting more of a left sided overload in the second half…
We spoke about our positioning and how we move the ball especially when we change the point of attack, we spoke about moving the ball with fewer touches so they couldn’t get as close to us. We spoke about our pressure too and being more aggressive and front footed. I think a lot of the situations you mention come from us pressing and Viv was really getting an advantage by doing such a good job in the initial press. When we were winning the ball in midfield she had a naturally good position that we can find her in more often. It was the result of the defensive structure being there that that happens.

On Beth Mead’s second half performance with an assist and the winning goal…
From the whole team it was an impressive second half. It’s not easy but we have great players for it. It’s great to have a player like Tobin Heath who said in the dressing room at half-time, ‘remember that it’s better when it’s hard.’ That gave us perspective. Beth raised her game and put that energy into action. I missed that Beth Mead a little bit in the latest games. When she is that assertive and aggressive and she is world class. That helped us a lot in the second half.

On Stina Blackstenius, Jen Beattie and Fran Stenson’s absences…
They are all ill. It makes our performance even better.

On the FA charge for the players ‘failing to conduct themselves in an orderly fashion’…
I said after the game refereeing is difficult and they should get the right conditions to do their job. With the incident we have to respect what the authorities say. They have to draw the line and say what behaviour is allowed and if that is the line that they draw then we and all other teams have to adhere to that. It’s not up to us to make the rules. We respect it. I haven’t spent time thinking about whether it was fair because it’s the past. I got upset in the moment because I thought the fourth official should have communicated to the referee what he saw. But I was preparing for Brighton, nothing can be changed, i have better things to do than to watch refereeing decisions back.

On Miedema picking up more dangerous areas in the second half…
It was a lot about keeping the structure and reinforcing the positive things. Sometimes it’s not about big changes, it’s about getting the small details right. We moved the ball better with fewer touches which makes space open up more. I think if you compare the number of touches we had in their area in the first half and the second half there will be a big difference. That worked for Viv and the team. She is not going to be able to get the ball in the area if the team doesn’t get the ball there. It is all interdependent.

On conceding from another set piece…
We never like to concede but that is going to happen in a season. There will be games where we concede early or in a set piece, the thing that matters is how you react. You can’t guarantee a result, but I see in the performance that we were very composed even when we were losing 1-0. We played with such energy for each other, that makes me really proud and I can see this team is developing. We started the month really poorly against Birmingham but we are taking steps and we are working hard and showing quality. I have good hopes for the spring when I see how this team develops.

On the psychological importance of the win…
Every game and every win is important, football is the present and it’s about momentum. I don’t take everything for granted so every win is sweet. We enjoy tonight and then tomorrow we look to Sunday before we think about the league again.

On how much pressure the players were feeling at 0-1…
Pressure is a part of being a player or a coach at Arsenal, you are representing a club that wants to be the very top, that comes with pressure. You can view that as something that makes you anxious or something that is a privilege and means a lot of people care about your job. I choose to do the latter. I think the players do too. We have been doing good work getting our structure and our mentality back. As long as I can see the vision it is not stressful, it is enjoyable. If I don’t see that then it turns into stress!

On whether the players feel stronger for going through this period…
More people die going down Everest than they do going up, because people relax and think the challenge is done once they get to the top. Every game is a challenge, I don’t relax, football is hard work and it’s about keeping focus. Nothing comes for free, teams prepare to play hard against us.

1.Zinsberger; 26.Wienroither, 6.Williamson (3.Wubben-Moy ‘61), 2.Rafaelle, 16.Maritz; 13.Walti (12.Maanum ‘81), 10.Little(c), 8.Nobbs; 9.Mead, 77.Heath (14.Parris ‘76), 11.Miedema.

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Chrishgooner

That was such a transformation.
Greatly impressed with the Beth inspired turn round.

Eelleen

The first 20 minutes of the second half was the best we have played under Jonas against the team who sits deep and defends compactly. I hope that something clicked there. And also I hope that we can play now couple of matches with same starting 11 (Steph/Katie coming back in off course) just to get those connections better.

Also defensively, we gave Brighton nothing, besides one quite unlucky set piece. Despite Leah and Rafa clearly not being fully fit, it is just so good to have defenders who will clean up the balls getting over the press.

Peter Story Teller

That’s more like it! Digging out a result rather than heads down capitulation. Meado was inspired but it was no coincidence that Tobin was there she simply changes the team’s mentality.
Turning good players into great players is as much about psychology as it is about physical attributes.

Xuan

Their goal was that moment when u thought it would be like birmingham again. Good to see the urgency in the 2nd half. It is a virtuous circle where u up the tempo, press, run, thereby creating pressure that then forces errors and create good positions. Just a shame we could only get 2, as i felt it was still abit nervy with their setpiece threat right till the end.

Anyway, Any idea why katie was left out?

Tim Stillman

Katie was suspended 👍

Xuan

Oh right. I thought she would be a suspension risk for utd or chelsea. So, good that it is out of the way. Maritz was quite solid at LB too.

Bea

nah, she was looking for that yellow v City to make sure she had served the suspension I think.

gonnerforlife

Love what Tobin said “it’s better when it’s hard” and the commentator’s “Turning things around it’s what champions do”. That’s the spirit we need. It’s always harder to be someone who is challenged than a challenger. When everyone one is tired for a long season, it’s the belief that differentiates losers and winners. Wanting to face weak opponents or hoping opponents to underperform isn’t the mentality of champions. They keep pushing until they beat all their rivals. And indeed, it’s better when it’s hard cuz you always can take away more from those hard games than easy wins (the bonding,… Read more »

pizzicato

Much better from Jordan, stayed more centrally, got more involved and helped keeping the structure as result. Perhaps she was too eager in previous games and stretched the positions a bit too much. Lias best game in a while too. Think Tobin is exemplifying why the US women’s team are so successful. I wonder how long her contract is with us.

XiNi

Thanks for all you do wrt Arsenal Women. If it won’t be much work for you, I’d really like it if you could rate the players. I don’t get to see a lot of the matches, a lot of what I do is read your reports and analysis. Again, thank you.

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