Tuesday, February 7, 2023

‘Lotte has really proved herself’ Eidevall talks up Arsenal’s defensive improvement

Arsenal boss Jonas Eidevall has talked up the contribution of Lotte Wubben-Moy over the last ten games. Leah Williamson and Rafaelle started the season as the first choice centre-half pair and Wubben-Moy was peering in from the sidelines.

Injuries to Williamson and Rafaelle within a few days of one another changed the picture quickly and now Lotte has played every minute of the last ten games.

Speaking to Arseblog News ahead of Sunday’s trip to Aston Villa, Jonas Eidevall was keen to talk up how Wubben-Moy had risen to this challenge as she partnered Steph Catley, who usually plays at left-back, in the centre of defence.

“Lotte has shown that she has continued to develop as a player, not only for her individual skills but for her leadership skills and the way that she can function in the defensive unit,” Eidevall pointed out.

“That has been very pleasing to see, when she came on in the second leg against Ajax, I knew how hard she had been working before that game and therefore I knew she was ready.

“Now she is showing she can be consistent over a lot of games, where she has been able, almost forced, to re-focus, recover quickly between games and that is not easy to do.

“Every player can have a good game, the hard thing is to do it on a consistent basis. I think Lotte has really proved herself during this period and that has been really pleasing to see.”

Arseblog News asked Eidevall, in retrospect, whether there were any specific organisational tweaks he made when he knew that Williamson and Rafaelle would be missing for an extended period.

“You know what? As much as I always want Leah and Rafa available, what it forced us to do, during this period, was to focus on how the back four was working as a unit.

“Maybe there are times we have gotten away without working on things from a unit perspective optimally but we have had some individual skills on our defenders to solve situations that were not tactically perfect but they have solved them with their game intelligence or their physical abilities.

“This period for us, and I have been really pleased seeing it, is a lot of focus on seeing how the defence works together with our central midfield as units to solve different situations and not making it about individuals.

“That’s a really important part of our development and it’s important when we get more players coming in, like Leah and Rafa, that we keep on that foundation as a unit together and I think we will be stronger as a team.”

And while the Gunners have not conceded in their last two games since Williamson and Rafaelle have been slowly integrated back into the team, Eidevall still wants to focus on attack as the best form of defence.

“Now we sit here with two 1-0 victories and we are all happy about that but in both of these games, in the final minute both teams get free-kicks in good positions that they were not successful with.

“But we all know that at one point, the more you let that happen, the more they will be successful and then you sit and question everything and ask why we dropped points.

“In order for us not to be in that situation, we need to kill the games before. I will never be the type of manager that says ‘we are winning 1-0 so I don’t want to risk anything.’

“I want us to continue to play and to attack because, in the long run, it is better to score the second goal than think you can defend your lead.”

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Chrishgooner

Lotte has been immense. So pleasing to see “one of our own” come good.

Collibosher

The pass in the included video is straight out of the Leah Williamson playbook. Now Leah and Rafaelle are fit, maybe Lotte can pair with Rafaelle at the back and Leah can cover the Kim Little role for the time being.

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