Monday, May 20, 2024

Jonas Eidevall reacts to 1-1 draw with Chelsea (inc. goals)

Chelsea snatched a 1-1 draw with Arsenal as Sam Kerr’s late header cancelled out Kim Little’s second half penalty.

The Gunners were the better side for the majority of the match – played in front of more than 46,500 fans at the Emirates – but were left to rue missed chances as the visitors struck in the final minute to retain their place at the top of the WSL table.

Here’s what Jonas Eidevall had to say in his post-game press conference.

On what he made of Arsenal’s performance…

I think even in the first half we were the better team. We created more goalscoring opportunities than Chelsea did. All in all, if I look at the whole game, I’m happy with the performance, both subjectively with how we played football but also objectively in the goalscoring opportunities that we created. That means I’m obviously disappointed with the result because it’s a draw. It’s one of those games that when you’re retrospectively looking at it, could we have been even more active in the last 15 minutes of the game? I don’t think they created a lot, Chelsea. Normally, we would have defended that game to a victory but they had a moment of brilliance; it’s a very good pass, it’s a very good run, a good finish. Yes, we could have done better but that’s what happens when you’re playing top opposition.

On Arsenal being ready for Chelsea’s high press…

I think we executed the game plan very well today; both in build-up and in the way that we pressed. The players did that very well but I also did it well with the way I set it up.

On Chelsea claiming the foul for Arsenal’s penalty was outside the box…

When I see it back, the referee is in a very good position to spot it. I haven’t seen it that much in detail but what’s important with the rules to understand is it’s not where the first contact is made on a foul, it’s where the foul ends that the foul should be given. If that’s in any part touching the penalty area line then that’s a part of the penalty area and it should be a penalty kick. The referee is in an excellent position so it’s one of those where you have to trust her decision.

On the more than 46,000 watching at the Emirates and the atmosphere created…

It’s also impressive that it’s the third consecutive WSL game that has drawn these big attendances, it’s my hope going into this game that we can start playing better with the crowd. The more we experience it, the more come here and do that, the more we can turn this into our fortress and to create this great Arsenal atmosphere around it. You can also see where the players are getting more comfortable with engaging with the crowd. We will need to create that bond together in order to make the Emirates as difficult as possible for opponents to come and play at.

On whether he’ll be even more animated on the touchline (to engage the crowd)…

I think I was very calm today, to be honest. I was composed. If I did say say something, it was because I had an idea. It wasn’t my emotional response. I was happy with that.

On how this game compares to the level in other European leagues and big tournaments…

You have two teams who won their groups in the Champions League, there are only four teams in Europe that did that and they played against each other, here now. I think both teams have the potential to reach the semi-finals in the Champions League, so potentially this is two top four teams in European club football and because European club football is the best, it’s two top four teams in a global perspective as well. The level is very high on [the] playing [front] and that’s why every situation can be decisive. That’s what I think when you see our performance today against Chelsea, it’s a strong performance. I know I got asked about the record before the game – someone said something about seven – but for me, I see that we’ve played against them three times in the WSL, since I came as coach, and we’re undefeated in the WSL against Chelsea. I think that is strong when you see for the last five years in the league not many other teams that played them three times and are undefeated in the league. Maybe there is, I don’t know. From our perspective, it’s strong and in each one of those games, we could have won the game. Those performances and the way we are developing gives me a lot of confidence, hope and belief for the future.

On how the dressing room is coping with the disappointment of conceding so late…

Listen, you have to be able to keep two thoughts in your head at the same time. You can be happy with the performance and disappointed with the result. But, long-term, it’s more important to get the performance part right because that’s what is going to drive the results. We know it’s a league with small margins and we know that everything can be decisive about it. That part there, we’re disappointed with but going forward we need to draw strength from the performance.

On not using the new faces on his bench…

You have to look at it very realistically. The way it works with registrations and work permits and so on, these players have not had a lot of training with us. These players were only registered here as a last minute thing for the game here today. Like I said, it’s always easy to be thinking about the game in retrospect and being the Monday morning quarter-back for it. I thought we had control of the game, I was confident that we were going to defend the game home to a victory and I didn’t feel then that there was any need to change. I told the players after in the huddle, this will be really good for us, we get another week of working together, it will prepare the new players even more and hopefully then they can come on and make a difference.


1.Zinsberger, 26.Wienroither, 6.Williamson, 2.Rafaelle, 7.Catley; 13.Walti, 10.Little(c), 12.Maanum; 17.Hurtig (15. McCabe ’80), 19.Foord; 25.Blackstenius.

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On paper we should have struggled with this game with no Mead and no Miedema but instead Chelsea will feel lucky they got away with a point. Good performance but we do need an answer to the absence of Mead and Miedema if we are serious about trophies this season


The fact that Eidevall takes a while to freshen things up is also such a big worry.


In retrospect some fresh legs to pressure the ball may have prevented that pinpoint pass to Kerr for their equalizer but I suppose it may have also disrupted defensive cohesion? Defending successfully requires a lot of connection and understanding between defenders but I agree we were looking very tired in the 89th minute. Williamson also could have done a bit better in staying close to Kerr to make the header more difficult

Zoe Waterfield

Absolutely spot on 👍


Have nothing against them, but I think we need upgrades on Stina and Hurtig. They have been far from convincing.

Conversely, what a find Laura has been. So committed and dogged. Lover her.


Maybe Hurtig needs more time as she was injured so much this season after signing for us but we need Blackstenius to have a bigger impact on games the rest of this season especially with Mead and Miedema unavailable.

Noddy 81

Completely agree. I want to be supportive of Stina…..but it does seem to breakdown every time it gets to her 🤷

Salvador Berzunza

she put at least 2 very passes to Lina inside the box, fist time Lina plays RW for Arsenal, all the girls gave a good effort considering the actual mood of the team with the sad news from the Mead family and seeing a good Fela having a crowdy (but sad) farewell, TBH they keep their minds very focused, very professional performance.


She’s just not good enough to start. She’s just lucky she has Jonas as a coach.

Zoe Waterfield

Totally agree with you too, lve been saying for a while Stina is not quite good enough. To be fair Hurtig hasn’t had much game time but she looked off the pace and was very ineffectual


I agree re Blackstenius. Often in good situations but is to slow in either thought or action and chance is gone

Adedeji A.

This is now 2 big home games that Eidevall has made the same mistake. Failed to make the appropriate subs to see out the game. Conceded in both games to headers (2 vs United and 1 vs Chelsea) and dropped points from winning positions. Those cost you the league. We were visibly getting deeper in the last 15mins and a Beattie sub would have made us better in the air. Just like we needed against United. Just see out the game and he’s cost us again. Less said about the other 2 Swedes in the team, the better. We may… Read more »


With all due respect, you don’t know what you’re talking about. The only thing that lacked in this game was converting our chances than the one goal wouldn’t have mattered.


Jonas just has to go. Arsenal WFC is too big for this man. It’s time started thinking big and Montemurro to Jonas was a big downgrade. No apologies.

His poor decisions making will only leave this fine team trophyless for another season.


What are you on about? We literally dominated for most parts of the game. We choked when we faced Chelsea before Jonas, today we pressing them in thier own box and forcing mistakes. Find something else to complain about, this ain’t it.


After all the chokings, pressings and forcing mistakes, how many points did you come out with? What’s your position on the table? Just keeping on deceiving yourself. Did you see Chelsea’s substitutions at the right times? That was because they have a reasonable coach with a winning mentality. Eidevall will keep on doing what he feels like, even favouring his compatriots ahead of the right people for the game. Just incase you forgot, the lady that assisted the Chelsea’s goal was a former player of Eidevall who embarrassingly rejected him in the transfer, and rather went to our biggest rival… Read more »

Salvador Berzunza

this was the best performance we have got against Chelsea in years, without the best English player (maybe the best European player in my humble opinion) with us. I am seeing improvement, there is not a reason to blame Jones for our injury circumstances.


Not sure rescuing a draw is a great example of a winning mentality. Hayes can put a positive spin on it but the hard fact is they, like us, have just dropped 2 points in the title race. The happiest manager last night will have been Marc Skinner. We rescued a draw 3 times last season but still lost out on the title. Also, that sounds like pure speculation about Cankovic. Both Chelsea and Arsenal wanted her supposedly. Both have excellent set – ups for their women’s teams. Ultimately she chose Chelsea. That doesn’t sound like a big deal to… Read more »


Hayes didn’t hold back on criticism of their performance. I believe she said it was a good point given how poor their performance was if that is the positive spin you are referring to.
On the transfer speculation we don’t know how much Chelsea were offering her in wages as well. Lately that club doesn’t exactly seem reluctant to spend money on new players.


Thanks for pointing that out about Hayes. The report I read yesterday didn’t print what she said in full so I was unaware of her more critical comments. To be fair to her I think she is usually pretty honest when assessing her team’s performance after a match.


I know we took 4 points off them last year but I’ve always thought they’ve got the psychological edge over us. Conceded quite.a few late goals against them

Peter Story Teller

You have to feel it was a better result for Chelsea than us but it is another 2 points they haven’t got! Up until 2 seasons ago we would have lost that game so there is improvement but we do need to be finishing chances that are created as they are the fine margins that determine if you bring the trophy home or not.

Salvador Berzunza

agree, the only player at the same level of Sam Kerr in Arsenal is Beth Mead and today she wasn’t here, for the first time we won the midfield battle, only a brilliant goal from Kerr took the game from us, they lost Harder but was not missed, James were everywhere, Laura pocketed Reiten, never seeing before.

Gunner H

Kim Little is a better all-round player than Kerr, easily.

Salvador Berzunza

I mean scoring goals, 🙂

Gunner H

The most reasonable & sensible comments on this story, Peter – once again!


Agreed Peter
This team is only going to get better. Jonas is doing a fine job for this short of time. The players are buying in and the signings, every period, are improving the squad.


No one else worried about dropped points and the lack of a gaol threat? With that dodgy pk decision United would be 3 points ahead of us! This wasn’t good enough. Had to rely on the ref for a point at home isn’t good however you want to dress it up. We have to play City twice, Chelsea and United again. Going on todays performance I’m worried. Jonas should be too.

Peter Story Teller

My main worry is playing these crunch games at the Emirates. I get it that it is good to attract a crowd of 40,000 and create that stadium atmosphere and raise the profile of the women’s game and all of that but we don’t seem to be getting results when we play there. It is as if we are playing away! In a league where one slip up effectively ends your chance of the title I’d rather play in front of a sell out 4,000 at Meadow Park and put 3 points on the board than put on a show… Read more »


Spot on, if they could find a 20,000 cap stadium for all home games right now, that might solve problem, I get the feeling that the Emirates is just too intimidating for the girls at present, 4,000 to 46,000 is a big jump.


This is a big topic. Commercialism seems to be the aim generally across the top leagues in the women’s game because as businesses the vast majority of teams operate with costs exceeding revenue. Investors invest in women’s football hoping that it will be so profitable in the future that it is worth taking losses in the present. On the positive side it will employ more women as footballers and on better wages as well as increase exposure to many new potential fans that will enjoy the game. Obviously it does have some negative effects as well so I guess the… Read more »

Peter Story Teller

Nail on the head there! Like many other sports (and services for that matter) that get turned into profit vehicles for investors. They lose sight of what the institutions were set up for in the first place whether that is running a railway or providing competitive games for sportswomen and entertainment for those of us who cheer them along.


Lovely to see Jordan at the match, class.


Its great to get 46K at the Emirates but the atmosphere didn’t really reflect that. Maybe a bit of seat organisation from club could help?

We played well and should have won comfortably but finishing didn’t match build up play. Really showed how much we miss M&M.


I too found the atmosphere rather flat. I’m happier at Meadow Park where there is a much closer connection with the fans around me and where we can hear each other singing! I do understand the need for a bigger stadium. The Emirates is too big a step-up and London land prices rule out an intermediate solution – no easy answers. On the football, I have to join in the praise for Laura. My worries before the match about the threat posed by Guro Reiten turned out to be unfounded!. I did feel we missed someone to provide defence-splitting passes… Read more »

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