Sunday, June 4, 2023

Jonas Eidevall reacts to 4-1 victory over Aston Villa

Arsenal were 4-1 winners at Aston Villa in the WSL on Sunday afternoon, they trailed to an early Kirsty Hanson goal but hit back with a Rachel Corsie own goal and goals from Vivianne Miedema, Katie McCabe and Jordan Nobbs. Jonas Eidevall spoke to Arseblog News post-match, all of the questions are from us.

On why Arsenal started with Caitlin Foord on the right wing today…
We knew width was going to be an important component, especially in the final third. That means that the way we positioned, sometimes we keep our full-backs a little higher, in this game we felt there was a lot of opportunity to keep the wide forwards higher. Because of the situations we anticipated going into we thought that was going to be favourable to expose them.

On three of the goals coming from cutbacks…
From the goals you see it but also the setpiece (that leads to Miedema’s goal) they came from situations we talked about before the game. The players worked that well and it’s pleasing to see when we have so little time between games that we can still make some tactical adjustments and look at which spaces to attack a little bit more. Of course, these are spaces we often attack anyway but balancing where we want to attack changes from game to game.

On building new relationships in the team due to the injury situation…
We have been working on some of those partnerships again, with wide forwards working with different full-backs, a 9 and a 10 working together, we have two 6s working together. One of the things I am really pleased to see is how much we are switching defensively in this block of games and we still look very consistent. That’s very difficult to do as a team, that shows that the players are very intelligent and switched on and they work very hard to make those relationships work. I have been switching the defence constantly to manage minutes and during games and if the players were not so talented it would not be possible, it’s possible because they are so good.

On Villa pressing from the front…
It was something we expected, we knew they would vary in their press but it’s one of the things we know they do. It is a Villa team that has been good and entertaining this season, we saw the game that City played here on the opening game, it is a very capable team and they keep on attacking, they have a lot of attacking talent. I hope it was an entertaining game to watch.

On Villa opening the scoring…
I felt exactly the same (that they scored a good goal from a low XG chance where Arsenal weren’t really cut open). I thought, this is a good goal for them. Would we do anything different? Maybe a little in execution but not much, it was not a structural problem. Over a season we are going to concede goals like that, we did today but the most important thing was not to panic, or change things or stress. That’s when things can go badly, when you try to force things and maybe you concede a counter attack and a second goal, then you’ve got a mountain to climb. We didn’t do that today. We kept to the plan and that was the most pleasing thing about today.

On whether Arsenal have just needed to go through this run of fixtures due to injuries…
As a coach, you think about things two ways. Where you want to take the team long-term but it’s equally important to live game-by-game and try to prepare in the best way possible. The easy thing about this period is that it has been impossible to start thinking about the next game before the one we are playing is finished. Every game has posed its challenges and difficulties and we have had to work so hard during each game.

The only thing I don’t want to do is to relax. I don’t want us to say ‘we have players back’ that doesn’t mean things will take care of themselves. We need to keep this spirit and focus in preparing for every game like it’s the most important thing, even if we have more players available. So far, I really think the team has done very well in tough circumstances, we are in a great position in the Champions League but we need to finish that work to get the points we need to qualify and hopefully win the group.

1.Zinsberger; 16.Maritz (26.Wienroither ‘71), 3.Wubben-Moy, 2.Rafaelle (6.Williamson ‘59), 7.Catley; 13.Walti, 12.Maanum, 11.Miedema (8.Nobbs ‘71); 15.McCabe(c), 19.Foord (23.Iwabuchi ‘85); 25.Blackstenius.

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Congratulations to the whole squad, manager and staff. A magnificent effort overcoming loss of so many key players to finish the year vying for top spot in WSL and (probably) top of CL group.
Also, a big cheer for the fanatical fans who follow the team home and abroad. Well done.

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