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.”
Dunno what Viv is talking about but I feel like that but for Mana. I feel deflated after seeing Mana sad.
Please let her start next match Jonas. pic.twitter.com/URj7JXH629
— AWFCLIPS (@awfclips) October 23, 2022
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.”