Arsenal boss Jonas Eidevall says that he is confident that Mana Iwabuchi’s chance to shine will come this season. The Japanese international has been an unused sub in all Arsenal’s games so far.
Asked by Arseblog News about Iwabuchi’s lack of game time, Eidevall pointed to the examples of Lotte Wubben-Moy and Frida Maanum, who had both struggled for minutes prior to playing starring roles in Champions League matches when called upon.
“Mana is not carrying an injury, she is free for selection,” Jonas told Arseblog News. “She has been very hard done by the competition in her position- or positions- in the team where I have chosen other players.
“When I have spoken after Lotte came in against Ajax and when Frida came in against Lyon, I talked about how hard they have practiced and how happy I am for them to take their chances, Mana Iwabuchi is no different.
“She works really, really hard and is one of those players I wish every bit of success. Football is fast, when the opportunity arrives for Mana I am very confident she will take it.
“To see her character going through a difficult time like this- and it is difficult when you are not playing- she carries herself with enormous character, she puts the team first and has a great application in training, she should be so proud of herself because I am sure she will benefit from that in the future.”
Arseblog News asked whether Frida Maanum’s first start of the season, which saw her produce a player of the match performance in Lyon, has given him a headache with his midfield selection.
Analysis piece on Frida Maanum's performance against Lyon on Wednesday
⚫️ Marked Sombath AND Amandine Henry out of possession
⚫️ Powerful running with and without ball allowed Arsenal to flow between 4231 & 442
⚫️ Lyon couldn't deal with her driving runs into left half-space https://t.co/4440RkKBNQ
— Tim Stillman (@Stillberto) October 21, 2022
The trio of Wälti, Little and Miedema have started every WSL game together in midfield dating back to February. Maanum was picked ahead of Miedema for a specific role against Lyon which produced excellent results.
“You have an obligation as a manager to always look at performances, both when we are practicing and when we are playing games, there is team that picks itself, there is no player who is guaranteed,” Eidevall explained.
“It is a nice headache when we have a lot of players who perform well, I would much rather have it that way than the other way around!”