Sunday, May 19, 2024

Jonas Eidevall has concerns on player loading in light of Nations League announcement

Arsenal boss Jonas Eidevall wants UEFA and FIFA to consider the question of player development as a matter of urgency following the announcement earlier this week that the women’s calendar will follow the men with a UEFA Nations League.

It will lift the number of international games in the calendar and while Eidevall sees the benefit of having more competitive games, he is concerned that the player pool is not yet large enough to meet the demand.

“I’m not fully read up on the Nations League and what it will mean yet, hopefully it will lead to more games with teams at a similar level which I can see the benefits of in terms of marketing the game and making it more exciting,” the Swede said in his Friday press conference.

“I think it’s the right way to go to not have games that finish 7-0, 8-0 and 10-0 and so on. We see that now in the World Cup qualifiers.

“But now comes the question, not only are we increasing the games, we are increasing the number of tougher games. We are doing it at the club level with the Champions League group stage and now we are doing it in the international calendar.

“So now the question comes, who is going to play all the games? It is great we are creating more meaningful games but now we need to ask ‘how are we developing more players to play those games?'”

Arsenal have given Vivianne Miedema some time off for the second winter in a row, partially due to fears of burnout for the Dutch attacker, who broke into the Heerenveen team at the age of 15 and the Netherlands team aged 16. Eidevall wants a more developed under-age calendar to support the Nations League concept.

“There are some questions that need to be raised at the clubs and academy level. At international level it’s great that the teams play more competitive games but there still aren’t competitive U-23 games.

“At UEFA and FIFA level, the question still hasn’t been answered about how we bridge the gap between U-19 level and the full national team level. These are questions that are now even more important and we need answers because the load on the individual player at the moment is increasing all the time so we need more players that share that load.

“Otherwise we are going to end up injuring players. I don’t have the statistics on it but I have a feeling now when I see women’s football, I have a bad gut feeling about what I see because there are so many high-profile players in the game right now that are out with long-term injuries.

“I think that these things are linked together, I think it is really important that we are striking the right balance.”

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Blimey, the women have to play that too.

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

They do want to be treated equally

Fun Gunner

Equally does not mean identically.

Fun Gunner

JE makes excellent points. Another example of how, in their rush to make money out of women’s football, the football authorities are trying to make the women’s game run before it can walk. Develop the players, then we can talk.
Or how about improving the standard of match officials? Far more urgent, IMO.


I don’t think there is much controversial in Eidevalls point here. More games will necessitate bigger squads in line with the men’s game, but already it seems the pool of top talent isn’t enough to supply all the big clubs… On the other hand where is his call for ‘top players to play 50, 60 or 70 games’ in a season. If the boys can manage sure the girls can too (given the right support).

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