Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Jonas Eidevall calls on WSL to help clubs in European competition

Arsenal Women boss Jonas Eidevall has again called on the WSL to at least discuss the prospect of whether the league can do more to help clubs that compete in the Champions League.

The Gunners and Chelsea are England’s representatives in the tournament this season, with Manchester City having been knocked out in the qualifying round for the second consecutive season. Eidevall thinks more can be done with the domestic schedule to help English clubs to compete in the tournament, which has only been won by an English team- Arsenal in 2007- once.

Arsenal won away at Lyon last week while Chelsea took a 1-0 victory in Paris. “Those results were despite the system, not because of the system,” the Swede insisted. “You can see when we play other teams in Europe, when we played Ajax, they had no game at the weekend between the two legs. The Dutch association prioritised seeing whether they could get into the group stage because they know their players will get more competitive games, so they chose to do it like that.

“I think what I am looking for is to have that discussion with the clubs and the forces that run the league to see how we can give the clubs that compete in Europe the best possible conditions in order to achieve results that are good for the league in the short and long-term. But we don’t have those discussions and I think that is not good enough.”

Meanwhile, Eidevall was also asked about Mana Iwabuchi, who appeared to leave the field in tears on Sunday after making her first appearance of the season as a 92nd minute substitute at Liverpool. Asked why she was brought into the action so late, Eidevall suggested it was a question of risk management.

“That’s a management decision. I treat every game with the utmost respect. We saw when we made all of our subs against Ajax in the second game there, Beth Mead got a concussion and had to be carried off and we had to finish the game with ten players.

“We know that’s always a risk, using the last sub too early because you don’t know what’s going to happen. In hindsight it’s very easy to say you could have used that opportunity earlier because you know how it is going to play out.

“But if you use that opportunity 15 minutes before the end, you all of a sudden maybe have to replace your goalkeeper or you have to deal with something else and you risk turning a comfortable situation into a dangerous one. If that happens I am the only one to blame and I need to take responsibility for that. That is why I need to treat every second of the game with the utmost respect.”

Arseblog News asked whether the wide-forward role, where Caitlin Foord and Beth Mead are currently playing a lot of minutes with Katie McCabe needed at left-back, was an avenue into the team for the Japan international. “We played Mana there a few times last season, we can use her there as more of an inverted option rather than a really wide forward.

“Of course when we are missing players, it takes away alternatives for us to rotate the squad but I feel confident when I see the options available in front of me before the game tomorrow that we are in a position to put fresh minds and fresh legs on the pitch.”

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Sorry but am not buying Jonas excuse re Mana. The last sub vs Reading was made at 83 minutes and the last sub vs Lyon was made at 80 mins. Those are 2 games we played after Ajax. If the 90+ mins sub was a result of the Ajax game then it should have started at Reading. Also why not give those 90+ subs to the academy players especially if you’re already leading by 2+ goals.

Gunner H

It’s just his way of explaining his decisions; but I too would like to see much more of our Japanese star on the pitch, which I suspect will happen pretty soon.

Peter Story Teller

I think there is much more chance of Mana leaving as soon as her contract is up. She doesn’t appear to fit into the Jonas-ball system. Just look at the physique of the players he has signed. They are not tricky twisty turny types!


Oh, no doubt she’s leaving. But a total bush move by Eidevall–and a total nonsense explanation. Fairly disgraceful, really. Complete lack of awareness.


Putting Mana in at 92′–a good player who’s hardly played all season–was low class, a total bush move by Eidevall. Total lack of respect for the player. Astoundingly inconsiderate and very uncool.


I am a fan of Iwabuchi’s but if I try to understand Jonas I think he wasn’t sure if she was really game-fit — she hasn’t played for half a year — and wanted to confirm in a real match situation first. Iwabuchi looked good early last season in the CL qualifiers and in some earlier league matches she came in, good with dribbles and chasing the ball aggressively in transition as Jonas requires. Then later I can see she couldn’t do that any more looking lax in transition; and her style in possession is to sort of lure the… Read more »

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