A second half goal from Vivianne Miedema gave Arsenal a 1-0 victory in Amsterdam on Wednesday evening and a 3-2 aggregate victory that takes them into the Champions League group stage. Jonas Eidevall spoke to the press post-match, the first two questions and the final question are from Arseblog News.
On starting Katie McCabe on the right wing…
It was more about rotating, we have had a really tough playing schedule. It is also about having a starting eleven and a finishing eleven, I think those are sometimes the hard decisions to make. Beth is a great player but I think when I see how the game turned out and how we managed it, I am happy with the decision.
On the way the game was officiated…
It was a difficult game today, we don’t get anything for free. We get a lot of free-kicks against us and for the same things, we never get the free-kicks. We are very much in control of our emotions, with what has been allowed against us I am not surprised that we come out with two injuries (to Rafaelle and Beth Mead). It has been a weird experience coming here and playing a big club like Ajax and we have to measure the goals and it turned out they were 10cm too small. I have never experienced anything like it, but we can only control what we can control. Especially with Beth, I hope it is not as bad as it looks but that is unfortunately what happens with the level allowed against us, I can’t see how it is good for the game.
On not being allowed to bring on a concussion sub for Beth Mead…
I think UEFA removed the concussion sub, they still have the concussion protocol but the doctor makes the decision. There is no doubt that Beth Mead needs to be taken off. The problem that I have is that I asked the fourth official if we can do a concussion sub and she says ‘yes.’ Then when we are preparing Lina and when we are about to do it she says ‘no.’ We had a break for 2-3 minutes while Beth was treated, we would have been talking about how to play with ten. That misinformation from the referee… I don’t understand it. It’s such a simple question to answer yes or no. But the players were brilliant and defended well with ten.
On Beth Mead’s head injury…
In Sweden ice hockey is very big and when you tackle towards the head, they realise how dangerous it is. They are so harsh on penalising it because it’s not only pain, that can have impact for the rest of your life. That is so important that the decisions are strong. For me, if that is not a red card to go towards someone’s head like that- I know she doesn’t mean it but it is careless and, in the end, that carelessness puts Beth into real risk. I hope she is alright.
On winning ugly…
That’s how it is in Europe, what I was most disappointed about in the first game is that we gave away so many goal scoring opportunities. Ajax is a good team who play very aggressively. But we weren’t up to our standards defensively last week, this week we were much better. We were much better keeping hold of the ball. It was a hard game but we didn’t make it transitional. We kept the ball moving. We knew the game was going to open up more in the second half and it did.
On Miedema winning the game with a piece of quality…
We have so many good players that we know when we create those opportunities and we are solid in defence the likelihood of us scoring is very, very high.
On having two and a half weeks before the next game…
I don’t prepare for Reading (the next match) tonight, put it that way! We knew when we started the season we would be the team that spends the least time together. We gave the players extra time off over the summer because we knew we had a tough start. We look at this block of four games and we have qualified for the Champions League and we have won both our WSL games, that’s a nice start. Of course, we were tired tonight and Ajax rested this weekend but that shows how good the performance was.
On Lotte Wubben-Moy’s performance off the bench…
I spoke to Lotte through this whole period, she has been training extremely well. At the moment, Leah and Rafa is the best partnership we have but Lotte is the best she has ever been in my time here. That is hard, to continue to train well, we spoke about it today as well. I said, “football is so fast, maybe today is the day you come on and make a difference, you never know, you have to prepare for the opportunity.” She does that and i think you saw that today in her performance. It shows the strength she has.
On players like Nobbs, Iwabuchi and Maanum getting more minutes now Arsenal are in the group stage…
Absolutely, absolutely. When the games become so important, the rotation becomes a little less. Now we need to integrate more players on the pitch over the coming months, those players will get their chance.
1.Zinsberger; 26.Wienroither, 6.Williamson, 2.Rafaelle (3.Wubben-Moy ‘37), 7.Catley; 13.Walti, 10.Little(c), 11.Miedema (12.Maanum ‘83), 15.McCabe, 19.Foord, 25.Blackstenius (9.Mead ‘67).
In this banana peel knockout qualifier for the biggest competition in club football I only care about the result. Don’t care how ugly it was.
Also if Beth’s head injury is serious I don’t care about the result I just hope she will be ok
Thank God Ajax are out after that craic. And thank God for the 🐐
Well – would be.nice to have a few more stories about the youth squads or the men’s team. I get this has been an interlull, but 14 articles on the women’s team and only 6 on the other squads combined? Seems like some aggressive affirmative action. I also note the.comments from the 6 articles on the men’s squads total more than 3x the limited comments on the women’s squad articles. Tim’s has been busy, but how about at least a 50/50 split?
There has been an international break, if you hadn’t noticed. The coverage of the women’s team is reflective of the action they’ve been in – Champions League qualifiers and a North London derby.
The men have not played since Brentford, two weeks ago. They now have 9 games in October, there will be plenty of coverage of all those games, so please give the ‘affirmative action’ nonsense a rest.
As an addendum to this, the women now don’t play for over two weeks, so you might notice that balance redress in that time
Writing about football is not ‘affirmative action.’ I didn’t travel to Amsterdam to cover the game for ‘affirmative action.’ I did it to cover football, that’s what we do here 👍
Small goals? Roughhouse tactics? Was Pulis in charge of this outfit?
I know winning is everything, but for this kind of cheating the authorities should come down on them like a ton of bricks. For a club with the reputation of Ajax this is doubly shameful.
Not giving the ball back to Arsenal after Rafa received treatment was a pretty clear indication of how things were going, but it looked to me like Arsenal had been well-prepped in not responding to it. The constant low-level shithousery itself isn’t the main issue though, it’s the inability of part-time officials to recognise it and deal with it appropriately.
Exactly this. The players have professionalised at a much, much faster rate than the officiating.
Double thumbs up for this comment.
Ajax were pathetic.