Arsenal were beaten 2-1 at Manchester City in the WSL on Saturday lunchtime. Lauren Hemp and Chloe Kelly gave City a 2-0 first half lead, Rafaelle pulled a goal back in the second half but it wasn’t enough to prevent a second WSL defeat of the season. Jonas Eidevall spoke to the press post match. The first two questions are from Arseblog News.
On what the factors were for the poor first half…
When you look at the game we were not good in possession in two respects, one is that we gave the ball away in very dangerous positions that they convert into goal scoring opportunities. The second is that we didn’t use the ball well. It means we cannot sustain attacks which means, from a control perspective we have to defend for long periods.
They are very aggressive with their front three and that limits the time and space that the players have to build from the back. It is my responsibility, I have to look and see ‘can we find players earlier and find their positions earlier?’ Can we play through to the free player? We end up having one touch too much on the ball and it eats the time and the space which then results in a mistake. But that is my responsibility to find out how we can position earlier and take up better positions and play away from pressure and turn that into strength?
On whether Wednesday’s game gave City a better idea of how to press Arsenal’s back three…
They still press from out to in with their wide players and get your centre-halves onto their weak foot. We do the same thing. What they did today to deal with our wide players was to flatten out their midfield, they changed during the game on Wednesday to do this too. Instead of just playing Hasegawa as a lone 6, they drop one of their 8s. They do a little like Liverpool men when they won the league and flatten their midfield.
That is why they used Angeldahl and Coombs today because they can run. But when we play the ball out to our wide players the difference from Wednesday was that no player was coming onto the ball because their full-back is occupied with another one of our other players. We couldn’t take our first touch forward and build our attacks from that.
Today one player from their central midfield leaves that area and we have a midfielder and a full-back on our wide player so now we need additional passes from the spaces they are leaving. We need to play the ball to our six and play diagonally to the 10. We didn’t get our 6s into that position so the only option our wide player has is to play the ball to our 10 and into a one v one situation.
We lose that situation a lot of times today. For us structurally, we needed to have more players inside centrally to move and open up City’s organisation. We could not do it because we lacked the positioning.
Directing the ball right in the corner, @Rafaelleleone!#BarclaysWSL @ArsenalWFC pic.twitter.com/0yOCf98WRw
— Barclays Women's Super League (@BarclaysWSL) February 11, 2023
On Arsenal spurning possession so often…
They pressed us with high intensity and we were not getting quickly enough into our positions in order to play away from their pressure. Once you get under that stress you make mistakes, it was the positioning that I need to improve on.
On whether he regrets going with the back three again today…
There are a lot of things we have to consider when we do that and a lot of things you guys don’t know either, like how many minutes we have certain players available for and what does that do to team selection. I understand that, I am probably the only one in the room with the full picture in my choices. I don’t regret it given all the information I had beforehand.
I think there were things we could have done better but the way we control the ball and not sustaining attacks was a problem in the second half still. Something that disappoints me is that we didn’t give that a better chance. I felt when we scored, for the five minutes after that, I felt City looked tired and collapsed a bit in their organisation and we could have used that and moved the ball better and used the wings better and built momentum into the game but we didn’t. There we let the game slip a little bit.
On Arsenal’s title chances…
We go game by game, it is always the same, we focus on the next game, that never changes.
1.Zinsberger; 16.Maritz (26.Wienroither ‘80), 3.Wubben-Moy (13.Walti H/T), 2.Rafaelle, 7.Catley; 6.Williamson, 10.Little(c), 12.Maanum; 19.Foord (15.McCabe H/T), 21.Pelova (22.Kuhl ‘68); 25.Blackstenius (20.Gio ‘80).
The reality is this team is not good enough. When we come up against big teams we crumble. We have players who we think are world class but average at best. This team needs to match the enthusiasm and ambition of its growing fan base, but unfortunately the players are not there. Jonas doesn’t seem to know what he’s doing; has an opportunity to sign a top scorer like Ebony Salmon but his obsession to pluck players from inferior leagues just because they’re internationals for their countries when he could get good players from this league, just shows how inept… Read more »
Don’t usually catch these games but had time for the second half of the 1st half. And omg Wubben-Moy was diabolical! Gifted MC at least a hat trick or gilt-edged chances. Lucky not to concede penalty. Did everything but stick it in her own net. Not surprised at all she was hooked at halftime. She was lucky to make it to intermission. It’s like she had money on MC winning. Never seen such a bad performance from a center back.
This is on Eidevall. He brought those forwards into the team. He brought in Hurtig and Blackstenius was supposed to be a replacement for Miedema as a 9. Well it’s embarrassing to look at where we are in the league. Can Jonas Eidevall attracts top world class talent to this team? Because his transfer targets are elsewhere and United are probably very happy Blackstenius is at Arsenal and doing them a favour. Terrible result today and if the coaching staff at the club don’t turn this around there will be no champions league for us next season and Jonas will… Read more »
Where are all the fans who were sure moving Miedema to the 10 and Stinius to the 9 was a brilliant move designed to win titles? Blackstinius is a good player but she can’t hold a candle to Miedema as a center forward. Hurtig is nice player but certainly nowhere near world class. I like Wubben-Moy but she was dire in the first half. The Gunners did not handle their press at all–so many bad giveaways.
I remember Miedema had a run of games in November and December 2021 in which she looked miserable playing the 9 role. Having not signed a new contract with her then contract expiring 6 months later they would have let her play wherever she wanted. She wanted to be a 10 to be more involved in linkup play and touch the ball more so they allowed her and she did end up signing a new contract last summer. I suspect they decided to go for Blackstenius so suddenly that January to allow this solution because Blackstenius was heavily linked with… Read more »
‘we do that and a lot of things you guys don’t know either, like how many minutes we have certain players available for and what does that do to team selection. I understand that, I am probably the only one in the room with the full picture in my choices’ – Jonas What he isn’t saying is that he had the players on the pitch at the start of the game to play a back 4. He chose not to and City players pressured LWM from the start of the game and confusion between Manu and LWM not dealing with… Read more »
So we are past Bayern, in second place with a game in hand and won a cup….. where you been on the boards with your brilliant insights over the last few weeks buddy? LOL
I think that 1st half was one of the worst I’ve seen from the team.
Outfought, outthought, passing and possession woeful.
Even the most reliable players were so far away from their usual standard. I had a little hope when Rafa scored but this is where Chelsea have an edge – they find a way to get something from a game even when they play poorly.
Not having Lia Walti available for a full match makes a huge difference.
I have only listened to the commentary, not watched the match yet, but I did think the last couple of games have shown that Lia Walti is in fact the most important player in the squad.
Brace yourself for the first half if you are going to watch it….We were lucky not to be losing 0-4 at halftime
Should I have my eye’s closed for it,or maybe I’ll just hide behind the sofa 😁
We all know since the beginning of last season, we don’t have back up for Lia, if she’s not there we lost the positioning and the last third are not receiving balls and we don’t create opportunities, Miedema and Mead can be on the field but without Lia we are toothless, is not a matter of strikers, we need another natural 6, to alternate with Lia.
The 500 grand offer should be for Ladd instead of Russo.
Yeah it wasn’t pretty. City had totally adapted to Arsenal playing a back three and they missed that extra midfielder. Had Wally been fit for either of these games I don’t think the back three would’ve happened but, alas…
So we lost the game against City thus pretty much ending our chances of winning the WSL. However, I can’t believe the criticism of Jonas – don’t forget we managed to beat, outfox and outplay, City only 3 days ago – personally, I think it’s insignificant that we didn’t sign a striker in January. We signed 3 very promising players including, crucially, our new Number 1 Goalkeeper. And we got the dynamic young Gio, who is an exciting prospect, back too. There is also the recovery and fatigue factor to consider, which whilst City obviously had that too, the critics… Read more »
Was Arsenal not going to offer Zinsberger a new contract or has she signaled that she aims to move on after this season? I’m not getting the GK singing as Zinsberger is a very good keeper. Whatever problems Arsenal have, I’d put her at the bottom of the list.
I believe she has yet to decide if she is staying. She is a very good shot stopper but struggles with commanding her area when crosses or free kicks come in. I imagine that is why they brought in other keepers that are a bit better in that area but maybe not as good at shot stopping.
Maybe is his personal life, she’s going to get married and maybe the new couple have plans, I respect the personal life of all players and workers.
Bayern has been very strong defensively in the German league and beat Barcelona in the group stages. Barcelona only finished ahead of them in the group based on head to head goal difference rather than points. As strong and physical as Bayern is though… Wolfsburg is better. Not only are they more dominant physically they also have a more potent attack. The German league goes under the radar but based on consistency this year Wolfsburg are favorites for Champions League title.
Finally someone said it. Beating Bayern and Wolfsburg is not guaranteed and I hate this talk of getting to the final, have fans not been watch or are they focused on the Leeds result? Two games against Bayern next month and I don’t see us winning either.
Agree. Don’t know if it’s optimism or just lack of knowledge about those teams, but I’ve even heard that once they beat Bayern the path to the final is easy!
I’ll be surprised if Arsenal can get a result off Bayern, tbh
Outplay and outfox City! Did you watch the match? We were very lucky and if not for Sabrina we wouldn’t have won that match.
I have seen enough of Jonas to believe that he’s not the right man for the job.
I certainly believe Jonas should go, he’s turned into one of those managers that talks a good game as witnessed with this latest disaster. For the players something is terribly wrong Wubben Moy either needs a rest or a different team her contribution was pitiful, strikers, now it is clear how much we need someone of Russo’s calibre, Blackstenius and co are others that should wear an Arsenal shirt no longer!
We also have no idea what level Mead and Mediema will come back with next season and that’s if their rehab goes well. If they don’t make it back for the start of next season new players will have to come in during the summer and that means players have to go out too. Jonas isn’t someone I trust to get that right after these failures.
we need to bring Hayley Ladd back. we got #10 Frida and Miedema, #8 Little and Kuhl, # only Lia, Pelova is also a #10.
Miedema’s contract ends with this season, yes? So it will be decision time again for her and the team…..
Stina Blackstenius 4 goals and Alessia Russo 5 goals in the league, they are very similar, the issue is about create opportunities, last night game Bunny Shaw the league scoring leader fail 3 clear opportunities and didn’t score at all, but they adjust the midfield to cut the arsenal exit, and the front 3 did the high press that cause the defenders mistakes, Yui Hasegawa and Angeldahl make the exit of Mancity very fluid we didn’t press at all, we still don’t have replacement for Lia, the Arsenal problem is not a striker, all strikers needs to fail a lot… Read more »
I take your point, but, imo Russo will score a lot more for us with the service she would get from Arsenal’s midfield, all goals from Blackstenius seem very laboured.
We certainly lost the midfield battle where City had the extra player. However, that doesn’t explain why so many of our players were way below their best. 120 minutes in midweek plus travelling for a Saturday lunchtime kickoff was a contributory factor but not enough in itself. Or is it a cumulative loss of confidence?
City players looked and played like they hadn’t played us on Wednesday night. Can’t see how we didn’t have the edge in the game, we certainly should have but they outplayed us the whole game. What does hooking LWM and Foord do to them? You say lack of confidence but players offered during the transfer window, Jonas wanting in another 9, sitting in 4th and commentators still point to Mead and Mediema being out as a factor in the poor run of form. Easy excuse for the coach but Jonas was outplayed by Taylor and even the subs did nothing.… Read more »
And imagine this City team lost the backbone of their team: Walsh, Weir, Stanway and Bronze. Not talk of Ellen White. Look at the way they played us. And the difference between these two teams, they have Lauren Hemp and Chloe Kelly taking on out defenders on the wing and putting in crosses while we have Foord who’s so predictable and can’t even put a decent cross in. I always judge this team against the top 4, not mid table or bottom teams. As good as Waiti is, what I have observed she struggles against a high pressing and physical… Read more »