Friday, April 12, 2024

Jonas Eidevall reacts to 3-0 victory over Brighton

Arsenal were 3-0 winners in the WSL at Brighton on Sunday evening thanks to a Stina Blackstenius double and a goal from Beth Mead. Jonas Eidevall spoke to the press post-match, the first four questions are from Arseblog News.

On pushing Lia Walti over to the left when Arsenal were building up…
It’s a little bit about how teams press us, I don’t know if I really want to reveal too much! Certain pressing behaviours triggers certain positioning in the way we build up. The idea is that we have a formation that should be able to handle most of the things the opponent does in terms of pressing. Sometimes that involves the six being a little bit higher, sometimes a little bit wider, sometimes central.

On whether it was always the plan to use Miedema and Blackstenius together…
All things are like this in football, you can’t know anything for sure before you have tried it. At the same time, when we signed Stina, that was one of the things i wanted to try. I wanted to see how that would work. But you always have to be open, you can’t be stubborn. If you have an idea that doesn’t work you either have to improve it or do something different. Now it is a case of seeing what the opponent will do differently and we might need to have to adapt to that.

On wanting to rotate more but the form of too many individuals making it difficult…
Yes, exactly. It is really difficult to have such a talented bench and to not be able to give more players more minutes. At the same time, it has to work like that. When you are in form you need to continue to play and continue those relationships. That is tough for the players on the bench but there isn’t login in taking players out who are playing really well and they lose momentum and lose their form. You have to protect that.

On managing the game in the second half…
I didn’t mention managing the game at half time, for me it is really, really important that we keep on attacking and working with intensity, keep the ball, keep attacking. I think we could have done that better in the second half, there is nothing worse than when you stop playing. If you concede a goal from there it is so hard to pick it back up. It also becomes difficult for the players coming on from the bench. I think the players that came in today did that really well. Jordan, Nikita, Katie players like that, they really helped us to get that momentum back, we looked a little tired in the five minutes before we brought those players on. We probably should have scored another goal in the second half, it wasn’t as good as the first half but the first half was really, really good. I don’t know if it is realistic to play every half like the first half, we hope so!

On Caitlin Foord’s recent form…
She came back in very, very good shape from the Asia Cup. Some of it comes down to self-confidence, she has been able to play wide which is a position that suits her more. Before that she played a lot as a 9 because we didn’t have Stina. It gets her facing forward and that is a better position for her and she is growing in confidence and it’s a positive cycle.

On his team’s first two goals coming from counter pressing…
We say we want to be lightning fast, you see the lightning before you hear the thunder. That’s how we want to be. If I have time to assess countepressure it is too slow, some of our players are incredibly fast at this. I have never coached a player who is as fast at it as Beth Mead, she can run 15 metres in seconds and close a player down. It is lightning. The reactions are great but the starting positions are good too and we have good players behind the ball, so the structure is there as well, you need to have both. If you want to counterpress and press the ball, that involves getting dragged out of your position so you need someone behind you who is going to fill in. Sometimes our left-back is pressing on the right side because she is closest to the ball, that means someone has to drop into her position, it is a prerequisite of playing dynamic football that everyone understands their roles and responsibilities.

On whether his team is in a good place and has acclimatised to his ideas…
It’s in a better place but I learned in football that the moment you relax and think you have it figured out, you get whacked in the back of the head! You can’t do that, opponents will change, dynamics will change in your team, you have to be on your toes. You have to keep on looking for improvements and for reinforcements, the small details make the difference. I am not relaxing, I have done that in my career before and I learned that nothing good comes from that.

On a note he passed to Manu Zinsberger during the game…
It wasn’t a poem and if you know me, it wasn’t a joke either! It was just a small thing, not life or death.

On Miedema enjoying playing as a 10…
I think she is but she also got into really good scoring positions today and that is really important because otherwise it is a waste of her talent if she is never in front of goal. She does that.

On the team missing some chances today…
Nobody is missing on purpose, it is not like I am saying “you have to score!” But we started this game and the Reading game very well and after 20 minutes you already wonder how we are not 2-0 up. The goals come eventually but when we play in the Champions League, we will need to be more clinical because the games will be tighter, we’re not going to have 15 scoring opportunities in those games. We have seen already during the season that it fluctuates, sometimes we have maybe scored one goal too many, sometimes one too few. Maybe we scored two too few today.

1.Zinsberger; 16.Maritz (26.Wienroither ‘70), 6.Williamson, 3.Wubben-Moy (5.Beattie ‘87), 7.Catley; 13.Walti, 10.Little(c), 11.Miedema; 19.Foord (15.McCabe ‘70), 9.Mead (14.Parris ‘78), 25.Blackstenius (8.Nobbs ‘78).

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Excellent first half. Good second half. A couple more goals to boost the GD would have been perfection.


Great game. All I can think of is ThAT Birmingham game; still stings!

Once again thanks to the club hierarchy for all the recruitment done this season; the future is bright!


Miedema at the 10 solves a lot of problems from the first half of the season. Trouble is what happens to the team without her there, because Jonas couldn’t make it work with the other players. Viv is such a talent that she’s made the team better playing deep and dictating plays. Jonas needs to hand her a blank cheque and get her contract signed.


Tim, is there any updates on the promises that were made before the season started? What’s the progress on the women’s facilities?


Question for those who get to watch the games, I keep reading about Viv playing as a 10 but also Jonas saying she’s more advanced than a pure 10…would it be an accurate comparison to think of her playing that Bergkamp shadow striker role, a 9.5 if you will?

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