Sunday, June 16, 2024

Jonas Eidevall reacts to 4-0 victory over Brighton

Arsenal opened their WSL season with a resounding 4-0 home win over Brighton thanks to goals from Kim Little, Stina Blackstenius and a brace from Beth Mead. Gunners boss Jonas Eidevall spoke to the press post-match, the first two questions are from Arseblog News.

On the team performances since February looking very familiar…
I think the only period in that time was the second half of the FA Cup semi-final which I didn’t like, apart from that, from February onwards, maybe Manchester City away onwards, I feel like we have stability in our performances which comes from stability in the way that we play.

Maybe that makes us predictable but i think it also makes it easier for us to execute in a good way and to move the ball in the right way, so we are very happy with that.

On players like Caitlin Foord also breaking team’s defensive structures with her dribbling…
It’s key, because you can pass the ball, of course and try combination play but when you come down the sides if you can dribble as well, that means that teams have to cover all the time. When they have to cover, that’s when you get the free player.

That’s so important, whenever the defending team doesn’t give that cover, we need to take her on one v one all the time because that forces them next time to cover more and that leaves us a free player to pass to. A team that never dribbles in those situations just tells the defending team that they don’t need to give cover, their central defender doesn’t need to come out and the midfielder doesn’t need to come back and that means that it’s easy for teams to resist pressure. To me that’s key.

On the importance of training against the U-15 boys this summer in developing the counter press…
It’s all about reactions but it’s also about being really, really good in your positioning. That is what is recognisable about the way we play, we are so much better for always having players behind the ball when we play forward so that if the play breaks down, we can close down quickly. It’s about practicing to get the reactions right but it’s also about getting the positioning right.

For example, when we play against boys, our positioning needs to be better because we don’t have as much time to react so that drives the positioning more. Some teams maybe we could just beat on pure talent but for us to develop as a team, our positioning needs to be spot on every time so that we build that foundation. We have done that much more since the spring so we can have that in combination with the big talent that we have.

On forming more of a relationship with the boys’ academy teams…
We managed to play a game behind closed doors against our U15s which was very beneficial for us. It was also very good to connect with our academy coaches on the men’s side and that is where we are now looking to see whether we can do it more often, whether it is a game or just a practice. For us that will decrease the time and space we have to improve our positioning and decision making.

On how often Jonas trains with 11 v 10 in training…
A lot because we don’t have 22 players ahead of this game. When I want to practice attack, I want to practice with 10 players because I find it is really hard to practice with eight and you start having really odd positioning and then we don’t have recognisability on the pitch. Then I would rather train 10 v 7 because in the low block we need to be so good so we should be able to defend with seven players and have it feel like we are defending with 10 if we move quick enough with the ball. We do that often in training, for the attack to be a full-sized team, not because we think we are going to play against teams with players sent off but we do it often.

On overcoming the challenge of an organised Brighton team…
That comes down to keeping belief in your model. I don’t mind teams playing like this against us for me, I like to play the same game over and over again because we are prepared for it. I think the consequence of the way that we play is that it will look like this a lot. When teams have a higher defensive line than us then we play the ball in behind, like we did with Stina in the beginning, that was a one-on-one and forced the red card. We have a lot of pace against a higher line so most teams will play in a lower block because that’s how teams try to handle our strengths.

1.Zinsberger; 26.Wienroither, 6.Williamson (3.Wubben-Moy ‘81), 2.Rafaelle, 15.McCabe; 13.Walti (12.Maanum ‘76), 10.Little(c), 11.Miedema (8.Nobbs ‘76); 9.Mead, 19.Foord (7.Catley ‘63); 25.Blackstenius (17.Hurtig ‘63).

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Noddy 81

Good match. Great result. Weinroither looks good. Hurtig looks an absolute handful (loved the flick second half). Nobbs looks healthy & hungry.

My own quibble with the evening was the catering….how can anyone be that slow? It’s honestly one of life’s last remaining mysteries!

Mike Murphy

Game was great, BUT I waited for 61 minutes for a hot dog and coffee –
That just isn’t right


Great start to the season. Confident performances all over the pitch. Lovely to see Jordan really looking like her old self.


Great performance, could’ve had 7 or 8. On a side note, how fucking bad is The FA Player? Opening day on a streaming site with a 5-10 second commentary delay & a seemingly fixed camera angle unless somebody got subbed off. I know extraordinary circumstances dictated this would be the opening game but do better, it felt like I was watching it on a dodgy site minus the viruses

Gunner H

Agree – whilst it was easy to get on, the focus was not clear and virtually no close ups – I got strained eyes.

Chuck Felsea

It is free to watch for me, so I won’t complain too much about the broadcasting quality, just happy I can watch that. On a side note, the WSL got picked up by a pay TV channel starting this season in my broadcasting area, so those TV games certainly need to have a better production value, otherwise people will think that it’s filmed by some dude with his 8 year old smartphone. But I guess that would be the games that are also selected by UK TV channels, so I must assume that they are produced more professionally. As for… Read more »


Mate that’s FA Player. The games are mostly at non league stadia. Meaning one camera.
I’ll say this best commentary we’ve had on it. Usually they get the players names wrong. They said Walti scored Viv’s record breaking goal.


One of my favourite FA Player moments, along with any game coverage that captures Matt Beard’s shouting (“Stengel! STENGEL! THERE! NO, THERE!! OK, THERE!”). Also that time the commentator couldn’t adjust to the idea that Lydia Williams and Leah Williamson were two different people.


The FA Player coverage from the Man U – Reading game today was better – more choice of camera locations there. Presumably also daylight is preferable to floodlights? I was hoping for some kind of upgrade this season (not that long ago there were no replays) but it doesn’t seem to have happened. Still, it’s on a par with other leagues’ streaming (and the standard of commentary, while not always ideal, is way better than the US, for example)..


I like what he said about playing boys sides that stretch them, means that they are in a good position come matchday if the opposition is easier to cope with.

Cooked Patino

It’s a nice one. I can imagine how beneficial it must be for the boys too.

Fun Gunner

Yes, I noticed that the players seemed a lot more proactive, aggressive and persistent when winning the ball back. And hallelujah lord they resisted pressure from opposition tacklers. I’m sure this is partly down to the game(s) they have played against the boys.


Much, much better second half


I wonder who wins a match between the women vs under 15s. I think that would be a close call. Its a great idea for both groups to use each other to develop their games. A positive start to the season!

Chuck Felsea

Those results rarely get out, probably for a good reason, but I can tell you about 2 occasions. In 2003, a youth team of VFB Stuttgart consisting of 14-16 year old boys playing in the German Youth Bundesliga beat the then reigning Women’s World Champion Germany 3-0. More recently about a year ago, an Under 16 of Gremio Porto Allegre in Brazil beat the Brazil National Team (including megastar Marta) 6-0 as part of the preparation for the olympics in Tokyo. Playing time was only 2×30 mins. Furthermore the US national team was beaten 2-5 by a youth team of… Read more »


Thanks for such a detailed reply. Yes I think it’s important in any profession to be able to admit/see areas of improvement. Playing these kind of games in training will allow the women’s game to continue its progression. Nice they can put aside any ego/arrogance to improve their level. Thumbs up.

Fun Gunner

Great stuff, should have been 8-1 o 9-1, though. I love how hungry we looked. The pace of the match was excellent for a first game of the season.
Terrific performances everywhere on the pitch, although Kim, Caitlin and Lia stood out. We are starting to have that look about us – the arrogance and laser focus of winners.
Lovely also to see Maria remembered at the start. The chants did not sound the same without her!

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