Friday, December 1, 2023

Jonas Eidevall reacts to 4-0 victory over Spurs

Arsenal battered Tottenham 4-0 at Emirates Stadium in the WSL on Saturday afternoon with goals from Beth Mead, Rafaelle and a brace from Vivianne Miedema. The 47,000 attendance smashed the WSL record attendance in the process. Jonas Eidevall spoke to the press post-match, the first two questions are from Arseblog News.

On Spurs springing a surprise with their line-up- a common theme for Arsenal’s opponents recently…
Ashleigh Neville playing on the left we prepared for but we had prepared for a different formation but I knew they would probably change, that’s what I told the team when we met at London Colney this morning, I said that I am not going to give any speech about our formation and what to do, we will wait till we see their starting line-up. Then our analysts were very good at picking out the formation they were going to play with so we could prep before we went out for the game.

On playing Caitlin Foord at centre-forward and her creating superiority on the left with Katie McCabe and Steph Catley…
That wasn’t why we did it, though I think it’s a great point. For me it was about saying we have games with quick turnarounds so we need to use the depth of our squad. For us, it is really important that we go 100% every time that we play, we shouldn’t have different gears in the way that we play. That means we need to be able to change players and start with fresh legs at every game.

On the players using the energy of the crowd and the occasion…
I think we did that, yes, I don’t know what you guys thought. Especially coming from the Ajax game, we talked about having more patience on the ball being better in decisions in when to go forward and when not to go forward. We can do that on the training ground when we are not under that external pressure. The fearlessness that the players did it with today, I was so impressed and so proud of that. It was so important for us with this game today.

On his message to the players post-match…
I told them that I was proud of them. Our positioning made Spurs look not so aggressive because we made the distances so, so long for them. It meant they had to jump out of their formation, but when you look at the game we didn’t concede a single goal scoring chance in the whole game. It’s so impressive, Spurs are a very good team. That is very stable.

After the Ajax game I told the players we were poor defensively in that game and you can’t expect to win a team sport when you play poor defensively. Today we were great defensively, good teams learn from their mistakes. We have eight clean sheets in a row in the WSL and that’s very impressive. We talk about the good things we do with the ball, which we should, but the players in defence work so hard. Eight clean sheets is hard work!

On Kim Little and Lia Walti controlling the game in midfield…
Yes, they did. Kim Little, I thought she was phenomenal today… how well she worked in defence. And let’s not forget Katie McCabe with her controlled aggression, how important she is to balance off our midfield. Kim and Katie McCabe were phenomenal today with the way they made our defence work.

On Arsenal’s set piece threat so far this season…
Set-pieces are about keeping belief. We spoke about that after the game against Brighton, that there were so small margins in that game that kept us from scoring. We said ‘these (are) things we have to keep on doing to score in the next games.’ Then we scored one against Ajax, two today, so that’s important. But (with) set-pieces, you need to keep your belief and understand that goals don’t come at a steady rate. Sometimes you get rewarded with two goals, sometimes zero goals even if you’re still doing great things because the margins for success are so small.

On taking the WSL attendance record off Spurs…
I don’t want to sound arrogant but I don’t think we should compare attendance figures with giveaway tickets and sold tickets. I don’t think it’s fair when you’re doing that comparison. If you’re giving away tickets it’s something else. When you sell tickets, that’s how you run a football club.

On getting fans back for future games…
The game is the best advertisement there can be for people coming. That’s what it’s about. For people to come here and feel proud of the team and the players and wanting to support. We really felt that with the supporters here today. We really hope that as many of them come back and they bring a friend and then it’s a sell out.

On the work the club did to get such a big attendance…
It’s not only the work of the Euros being such a big success. The club has really been investing a lot of time and energy and commitment into that. That is so important because then you don’t leave things to chance. Then you are really trying to build the game, to increase the revenue then to increase the sporting success. That’s the way we want to operate.

On stepping out in front of a record WSL crowd with his players…
It’s very special, it was a very special moment for all of us. This is what we work for, being on stages like this, playing in front of crowds like that. We just hope that it will happen many, many more times.

1.Zinsberger, 26.Wienroither, 6.Williamson, 2.Rafaelle (3.Wubben-Moy ‘86), 7.Catley; 13.Walti, 10.Little (12.Maanum ‘85), 11.Miedema (8.Nobbs ‘68); 9.Mead (17.Hurtig ‘73), 15.McCabe, 19.Foord (25.Blackstenius ‘68).

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Good interview, except where he says “Sp*ds are a very good team”. He got that bit wrong!


Totally, Sp*rs women will be without a trophy this season, fitting with the norm.

Let’s hope we do similar next week at the Emirates.

In the meantime let’s celebrate a great win by an excellent team!


They seem to have taken several steps backwards since last November, from “let’s have ago” to “let’s try not to concede too many”.


And not mentioned: The applause for Beth Mead when she went off. That was just incredible, I’ve never seen that even at a men’s match!


I just thought how fantastic that must be for Beth to feel such love. And it’s as much for the person she is as well as being a wonderful football player.


The recognition for Beth was amazing. Lots of good performances today, Wienroither building on her fine Euro run.

Peter Story Teller

The reaction to Meado’s substitution was something else! Thoroughly deserved though.
Nice to see the supporters behind Jordan too even if Jonas struggles to find a use for her!
And just for the couple of regular contributors on here that keep whining about the mistake of playing Viv as a 10 that was two goals scored against a very resolute defence despite her being nominally a midfielder and she didn’t even look 100% today thigh strapping and all!


Mana, too. She’s hardly getting any minutes now. Very strange, that.


I think the ref deserves some credit for the reception when Beth went off, forcing her to go off the far side of the pitch and walk round rather than heading straight for the bench.

Gunner H

Agree with all of your points, Peter. I also feel that had we played Ajax on the expansive pitch at the Emirates, we would have beaten them convincingly.
I reckon Jordan should start the game ahead of Viv in Amsterdam on Wednesday, under the circumstances of last week’s performance and her possible injury.


I doubt that happens.


“ And just for the couple of regular contributors on here that keep whining about the mistake of playing Viv as a 10“ – lol
Who could you possibly be talking about ?


I’m happy she scored–but it’s not about games like this. It’s about how the team performs against big opponents, of which the Spurs are not one.


Resolute defense? Tottenham isn’t particularly good and they gave Viv her first goal with a major giveaway–but, mind, I’m happy to see her scoring goals again. Arsenal need her scoring goals.


Rafaelle is fast becoming my favorite player in this side. What a player!

Gunner H

Rafa is so classy, cool and very skilful too; the January signings of Stina & Rafa have proved to be very smart recruitment.


She’s the best signing of the last 3 years, I think, her and Foord.


battered everywhere they go!


But for ‘Mr Spock’ we’d have had six or seven today, easily.

Gunner H

Kim Little was especially phenomenal today, Player of the Match by a country mile. As Fara Williams said, she is the one player who always takes the game by the “scruff of the neck” at crucial times for Arsenal. Fara also opined that Kim is so good, she has run out of superlatives to use to describe her play.
Let’s all make a push for Kim to win the Ballon d’Or in 2023!

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