Saturday, December 10, 2022

Jonas Eidevall reacts to Chelsea draw

Arsenal and Chelsea drew 0-0 in the WSL at Kingsmeadow on Friday night, meaning the Gunners preserve their two point lead at the top of the table. Jonas Eidevall spoke to the press post match, the first two questions are from Arseblog News.

On the defensive structure that restricted Chelsea’s chances…
I was very pleased with that. A lot of times in defence a general philosophy is to try to make the play predictable, so it comes from a certain player or a certain area. That means everyone can read the play and you can have good set positions. Defence is very hard when you are moving a lot. When you are moving around a lot it is really hard to make good reads. If you are moving backwards it’s difficult to turn around and go forwards. If you are set in your position, you’re almost half way there to win the ball. That’s what we did really well today, we were compact, the structure was right and it becomes predictable for us to be set in our positions and we can act on reading the game and the players did that very, very well tonight.

On playing Vivianne Miedema as a number 10 behind Blackstenius tonight…
After reviewing the FA Cup Final we felt it was really important to play with two sixes to get more control in the build up phase. We didn’t get that detail right in the Cup Final. We still wanted to create space in behind their midfield and it’s good to have a forward like Stina who will be working against their central defenders and constantly asks the question in behind. We combined that with a player like Viv who shows feet in behind their midfield line and that’s a tough combination for them to take care of. But we needed to get the defensive structure right so we could play into these players strengths as well and then you look at Viv’s defensive contribution today and it is very, very high. I think it worked well.

On improving Arsenal’s record against the top four this season…
Very pleased, it is really important for us, it was a big thing going into this season. I said we needed to be better on the ball against those teams, because they were pressing us high and we couldn’t get out. Chelsea were pressing us high in moments today and we were playing our way through that pressure and that’s really satisfying to see, we have made progress in that and we should be proud but not content.

On Stina Blackstenius moving over to the right channel a lot…
It will be a question that a lot of teams will need to answer, how do they deal with that deep threat and a player who can hold up the ball and then to deal with the space in front of the defensive line. It creates a lot of space and a lot of good opportunities and it’s one of the reasons we wanted to bring Stina to the club.

On whether a draw was a fair result…
It’s a very, very entertaining game I think it is the best game that has been played in the league this season. It’s two very, very good teams and both teams have chances to win the game. For me it is one of those nights that if the margins are on your side you win it. There was some really good defending tonight too so neither team could win it but both teams had chances to win the game. I’m disappointed not to win but I am very biased!

On who was the big winner from the game…
Women’s football and the WSL. There is only one thing wrong with the game today is that it is played in front of 3,000 instead of 30 or 40,000, that’s the only thing wrong with the game. This game was so entertaining with such good players, more games like this and more people will want to see these games.

On the title race and whether it’s in Chelsea’s hands…
After the first round in the league, if we win all of our games we win the league- there is a lot of football to play. If they win all of their games remaining, fair play, good work. We’re not going to focus on that we are going to focus on ourselves and keep developing. Like I said, I am very optimistic about the spring, the team we put together today has barely any practice time together. You can’t believe it when you see them play, but it’s barely any practice time. If we believe that practice will make us better, then we are going to get better.

On whether Chelsea could have had a penalty in stoppage time…
Caitlin Foord should have had a penalty in the first half. If we get that, the second penalty call never happens anyway. It’s hypothetical. It’s a tight game with decisions going both ways there and I think there are situations with Caitlin when we could have got something out of it. I’m not going to give them anything for free if we don’t get anything for free!

1.Zinsberger; 16.Maritz (26.Wienroither ‘72), 6.Williamson, 2.Rafaelle (12.Maanum ‘65), 7.Catley; 13.Walti, 10.Little(c), 11.Miedema (8.Nobbs ‘89); 9.Mead (14.Parris ‘72), 19.Foord; 25.Blackstenius.

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Christopher Humphrey

So many positives tonight.
Not least, to remain unbeaten in the league against Chelski, Citeh and Mank U. A first since……umm. Dunno.


Yep, and yet Chelsea has a good chance now of winning the league. I also would assert that making Miedema play as a midfielder is not a positive.


I don’t believe there was any “making” Viv play in the 10 role. She has always maintained that she will play in any position that favours the team. Tonight she was superb in the midfield and I suspect she may well have suggested that this would be where she best served the team for this game.


Yes, and as I posted in another article, Miedema has said she’d play herself as a 10 so she’s clearly perfectly comfortable in the position. I think the team has done really well to steady the ship after the shock loss at Birmingham. They could’ve easily fallen away in the title race in the following games but they’ve dug in to keep themselves in it. Sure, Chelsea might still win the title but I think Arsenal will push them all the way and make them earn it, and we can’t ask for more than that. Whatever happens, I definitely think… Read more »


So, you saying you don’t like Miedema as a 10 ?

LOL, point taken yet again.

remember as a “10” today she had at least 4 shoots on goal, one of which nearly won the game (off the post)


LOL? At the end of the day, Arsenal didn’t score. I saw three shots by Viv–two of which came from deflections off corners or balls in the mixer–not run of play. The other was speculative. My position is that if Miedema has to be a midfielder to improve your competitiveness, then maybe your other attacking players are missing something. I like Stina but she badly missed a wide-open header in first half. Chelsea the more threatening team in the 2nd half, when Miedema was less influential. Read Guardian piece on Miedema. If the team had been able to get Miedema… Read more »


Interesting points, but I would point out that scoring against Chelsea is generally very difficult (they’ve conceded just 3 goals in the WSL since Arsenal beat them 3-2) and this was the first game with Miedema as a 10 and Blackstenius as a 9. The combination needs time to gel (assuming Jonas continues with it) and I still think it could prove extremely fruitful against teams weaker than Chelsea, which is basically all of them!

Tim Stillman

I think playing Viv and Stina was actually more of a structural move that worked really well for this game (Caitlin was a big part of that too). Essentially it kept Chelsea honest and stopped them from really pushing up and putting the squeeze on Arsenal because of Stina’s ability to run in behind and Miedema is just such a good footballer, just think back to how many times she is tackled or gives the ball away- very rarely. It was good for Arsenal’s pressing structure and it meant Chelsea’s defence had to stay deeper than they wanted to.


True, I think I’m just overly excited by the prospect of the two of them forming a lethal goal-scoring partnership!

Ray's ice cream Parlour

Lucky to be there this evening – great game and great atmosphere. Love the Arsenal songbook from the fans… Thanks Tim for your great coverage of the women’s team.


Hope Rafaelle’s injury isn’t too serious – having her in the defence greatly reduces my level of anxiety! Interesting that when she went off, Jonas decided to move Lia to CB, something I don’t remember him doing before the United game, absolutely the right call in my opinion.


She was a beast today…and in the air…. Whoo !

Very happy
Hopefully Lotte will return soon as well.


She made a BIG difference in the team. Very positive.


She played as emergency CB last season and was very solid because she reads the game well and is dual-footed.


Yeah Rafaella did amazing, really stood out as a positive in this game for me!


Little was amazing today., and Walti is a joy to watch.

I thought everyone had a good game today.

Remember…this is the team that finished runner up in the Champions League and at many points today…we had them shitting in there own house.


Thought the first half was really solid- shows the difference having the first choice CBs playing.
Perhaps Tim can analyse what happened in the first 15min of the 2nd half, where we looked exposed.
Feared the worst when Rafa had to go off, but kudos to Lia for slotting in quite seamlessly. I thought her distribution was also outstanding and brought us back into the game.
Aside, Kim was outstanding at DM.


I’m excited to see the games again. When our team is at its best, we beat these top teams. When we’re not, we tied them to down. That proves a lot on the vision and directions this coaching team is heading.

As our Academy’s teams are flying high, now both senior team’s are catching up. Hope the Arsenal once again become the giant that they once were. COYG


This game gave me hope for the upcoming Champs leauge double header.

We will be alright, I think.


Any intel on Viv going off? She looked injured, but I guess she was seen training with Oranjeleeuwinnen so she’s hopefully ok?

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