Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Jonas Eidevall reacts to 3-1 Conti Cup Final victory over Chelsea

Arsenal are the 2023 Conti Cup winners after defeating Chelsea 3-1 in the final at Selhurst Park on Sunday. Sam Kerr gave Chelsea an early lead but Arsenal hit back with goals from Stina Blackstenius, a Kim Little penalty and a Rafaelle header. Jonas Eidevall spoke to the press post-match, the seventh and eighth questions are from Arseblog News.

On his emotions after winning a first trophy for the club in four years…
Very happy and very proud of the team’s display. We got off to a difficult start, conceding a goal early on. It was a real test of character that we handled brilliantly.

On the players responding well to conceding inside two minutes…
If you drop your heads then you’re never going to have a chance. It is not an easy moment but you need to have belief to stick to the game plan, to stick together. Any team that wins things has to handle difficult moments and this was the difficult moment in this competition which we handled very well.

On whether he agrees with Emma Hayes’ assessment that Arsenal wanted it more…
Three games in a row we have been the team that has created more. That doesn’t mean we have won all these games but for me this was about quality, not only desire. That is the holistic view. Last Sunday I was happy with our display in many parts, there were things we needed to do better but I also know my players and the quality they have. If we continue to create more goal scoring opportunities, we are going to win. I am pleased we could prove that today.

On what it means to the staff and the players…
You can see the happiness. It was very nice to see that for the staff and players to see a club legend like Ian Wright coming down to the dressing room and sharing that moment with him, with Lord Harris from the board coming down to share the moment. It shows the connection we have and I am very happy we could share that moment together today.

On what it means to Eidevall personally…
That’s not really the way I think about things. I think a lot about how we play and to get in the best way possible to win. A consequence of that throughout my coaching career has been winning titles and trophies. I am glad to do it on British soil now and not just on Swedish soil.

Whether he was conscious of the four year trophy drought going into the game…
When you look at the last decade, we have not been the leading club in women’s football in England and historically we have been. It is, of course, the ambition of the club to go back and regain that position in women’s football again. With the number of trophies we have won in the last ten years it’s difficult, we know it’s really, really difficult. But the ambition is to come back and compete for any trophy. It was nice to go the whole way because that can fill us with belief when we see the way we work can result in trophies.

On whether Arsenal targeted Chelsea’s right side…
We spoke about a lot of things before the game but when you look at how we found free players, when you watch the game back it’s about the free player and those were some of the lessons we learned from last week. ‘How do we find a free player and who is that free player?’ The recognition of that was really, really strong and we had much, much better intent with our off the ball runs. We played into a lot of good situations last Sunday but we ended up standing still, this time we had the initiative of players making the first action off the ball and that creates a lot of things. The second goal, it comes from a penalty but the situation that wins the penalty, we show lots of intent off the ball actions, it created a lot of difficulties for Chelsea.

On pulling Lia Walti right over to the left side…
We don’t change the sixes so much due to personnel in offence for the other team. Walti is very comfortable on the left and Kim is comfortable on the right. We handled Lauren James well. We had a lot of players around her in that area so we didn’t have to defend those situations one v one. That was a good starting point. But they were posing us difficult questions with their crossing, like with their goal. You can clearly see where we need to connect better between the full-back and central defender and we learned from it and, in the end, we defended those situations well.

On Arsenal having a positive attitude today…
The players have a good attitude last Sunday as well. Those things become clearer when you win because it fits the narrative but I see those traits in the players when we lose too. It is a great team with a great attitude, that’s why I am so happy we could win something together.

On Kim Little’s performance…
When you thought she couldn’t get better, she puts on that performance. I told Kim after the game, I wasn’t sure it was possible but ‘this is the best you’ve been since I have been the coach.’ I think she was phenomenal the whole game. The way she connects the team, the duels, the work rate, her decision making on the ball. She plays close to a perfect match, I am so happy for her. It is a trait for a great player to have a performance like that when it matters most.

On manipulating Chelsea’s press..
I think we did it quite well last Sunday too but we know that when we position in certain ways, it leaves Chelsea with certain choices and they need to decide whether to break out of their organisation. That is the clarity of playing a team twice, when you get that repetition and when this player breaks out, this player becomes free and you become more decisive in those moments. I was quite happy when I saw they played the same team again, it’s a great team they fielded but I just knew they would repeat a lot of the things we talked about this week.

On the importance of the win mentally…
I don’t know, we will have to wait and see. But what was important was to show we could come back from a goal down, we showed we could come back from losing a game, we showed that we could win a final against Chelsea. Hopefully that fills us with belief going forward.

On the Arsenal fans today…
If anyone competed with Kim Little for player of the match, it’s the fans. Again, I am lost for words talking about our fans and the atmosphere they create and the support they give the whole team. It is special, I don’t take it for granted. Special people support our club and it feels even better to give that back to them with a trophy.

1.Zinsberger; 16.Maritz (26.Wienroither ‘70), 6.Williamson, 2.Rafaelle, 7.Catley; 13.Walti, 10.Little(c), 12.Maanum; 19.Foord, 15.McCabe (21.Pelova ‘56); 25.Blackstenius (5.Beattie ‘86).

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Daveo

Well done champs!! Riding the waves of emotion with the gooners right now! COYG!!

VAR will solve all the problems

And to do that without Mead-iemma is quite an achievement! Congratulations, ladies!

Daveo

Vivibeth Meadema is a heck of a player!

Jeremy

Well done Jonas and the team, didn’t think you had it in you to lead the team to a trophy against Chelsea but I’m delighted to munch humble pie. Good weekend to be a gooner.

Verstellung

Crow Pie…mmmm

Glad you are happy !

Chris

Yes Arsenal!!!

Bongogooner

Congratulations
Well deserved win and great comeback
COYG

Heavenly Chapecoense

We were already drunk of happiness this weekend. Did our girls need to make it worse? So proud of you, ladies.

OmoOba

I had looked forward to the game but was unable to watch it. I’m SO joyous that we won this trophy and that it came at the expense of Chelsea (yes!!). Onwards and upwards🎊🎉!

Bertieme

Great win and well deserved. Excellent team perfomance, especially to come back after giving on a soft goal early on. Kim Little was absolutely world class. Hopefully this can continue in the league

kazoo

Outstanding team effort. The work rate, the positioning, the passing and the press: Arsenal bossed Chelsea for a good part of this match–dominated the first half after the 2′ mark. IMO Little and Foord were immense today–and literally everybody else was very good. The Gunners probably have more talent than Chelsea, in my view, especially when Mead and Miedema are playing–but you have to put the ball in the net, and that happened today. The ref today was a bit iffy: She missed an obvious Chelsea penalty foul on Foord in the box in the 2nd half–and I’d like to… Read more »

Crash Fistfight

She’s vile. And overrated. Apparently you aren’t allowed to say such things about people involved in the women’s game, though.

Fun Gunner

Kim Little, I salute you. Brilliantly as the team played, for all the character they showed, we would not have won that final without her calm and determined leadership, her industry and intelligence, Fantastic penalty as well – even if she ad guessed right, Berger would not have saved that strike. It is so good to see Kim and Lia in tandem again. What a wonderful day to be an Arsenal fan. Congratulations to Stina on her goal. She has kept faith with yourself, and showed the courage and strength of mind to just keep playing her way in difficult… Read more »

Little Cubby

Perfect summary 👍

Gunner H

A joyous win from a brilliant group of players who play for each other!

Kim is the absolute best player in the world, and has been for years – primarily a defensive midfielder, her attacking skills are outrageous, she is invariably the last line of the Arsenal defence in “emergencies” & she takes a penalty like she’s Maradona. Putellas, Bronze, Morgan, Renard & Kerr ain’t at Little’s level.

Next best Arsenal players today were Maritz, who had the measure of James, and Stina, who as I’ve said all along, is a major “contributor to the cause.”

NorthernGooner

Perfect way to round off this amazing week end! Congratulations!

Naked Cygan

Congrats! Great win 😊👍⚽🍻.

Verstellung

To the referee crew…..wtf ?
Im not saying they were biased, just not very good.
They let two “professional fouls” that always get yellow cards to just drift away. McCabe yellow was quite arguably a 50/50 ball and that missed penalty from Buchanan on Foord ?

Fun Gunner

Good to point these issues out when we win, or people just say we’re bad losers. The officiating in the WSL still lags well behind the football.

verstellung

I get it, not being a full time job and all, and appreciate that they do their best but they need more support to make them successful. WSL is letting the referee crews and the teams down…

JMHO

Stonks

Great win! I installed tha fa player app just to watch the game.

Henkamp

Happy for them. Especially happy for Stina and Jonas because they have copped a lot of stick from a number of us over the last few weeks. Delighted to see them show their mettle today. Also, I have to say the standard of refeering in England needs a serious upheaval. How did Foord not get a pen when Buchanan took her out? And there was a point when Bright completely cleaned out Stina and even the commentator was expecting a yellow card, only for nothing to materialize. These (non) decisions can alter the state of a game and swing results… Read more »

GoonerSuz

For those criticising Jonas, I think it’s very telling how rattled Emma Hayes gets. She wouldn’t be like this if she didn’t see us as a threat.

Henkamp

True. I am beginning to think that the club needs to back him with the players. I now think he has it in him to do well.

Adrian Scott

Last night on another page I said that you could do it and you proved me right! Thank you and many congratulations to you all. It was wonderful to see the team work together so well. Keep it up!

Wilshiresaurus

Brilliant ladies!! Congrats

MartynJ

Love how quickly ‘Chelsea know how to win” has become “Chelsea have won too much”…. Also interested to see that some journalists/writers are coming very very close to criticising Emma Hayes.

Another thing – would Wiegman have sent Millie Bright up front and hoofed long balls forward if the opposition box contained Jen, Rafa and Leah?

Fun Gunner

I have nothing but respect for Emma Hayes for what she has achieved as a coach, but I think that she too often crosses the line between confidence and arrogance, especially in relation to Arsenal. There must be some personal reason for it, it would be fascinating to find out what it is.

Radio Telex

Her praise cloaked in the ‘[Arsenal] wanted it more’ was faint particularly her qualifying point that we hadn’t won a lot ‘domestically’ and that her Team shouldn’t ship three goals against us. Even her congratulations to Jonas was barely offered and I reckon it goes back to Jonas dropping to his knees in his first game as manager when Arsenal beat Hayes’s team c. Sept ’21

Fun Gunner

Emma Hayes’ animus against Arsenal goes back a lot further than that.

Peter Story Teller

I’m not sure what terms she left the Arsenal on perhaps there is still a grudge from those days?

Fun Gunner

I’d put money on it, but would love to know the details. And in fairness to EH, she may have been justified in feeling aggrieved at the time, but she needs to let it go now.

chig

Hayes cooked her players in the the press interview after the match. She said her players were so apathetic that she couldn’t influence the game with coaching tactics. Interesting to see how her players respond

verstellung

They certainly did NOT look apathetic.
They seemed down right pissed that they were losing and could not get back in it.

Poor Emma…. the WSL version of José Mourinho
Both quite successful and both ready to throw anyone under the bus as the situation requires.

verstellung

I was so impressed by the fan noise…both sides.. very fun and positive…

chig

A lot of intensity and passion. Lost count of how many times we were first to loose balls, reacted faster to second balls, or outfought and outsmarted the Chelsea players. Proud of the team

Xuan

This was Kim’s final- she willed it. What a performance, especially after going down so early and then needing to withstand the aerial bombardment.

TTIreland

It’s been about 24 hours and have yet to see a comment from the “Jonas out brigade” except for Jeremy, who in fairness responded right away. But the rest of them…… crickets. I guess they only enjoy trolling. Very sad.

verstellung

We’ll be hearing all too soon how Viv is not a ten, Stina isn’t good enough and Jonus sucks, etc…

This result just doesn’t fit their narrative…

Gunner H

Yes, that’s true, and at least a couple of the recent “Jonas out brigade” have been enthusing and enjoying our dominant Cup Final performance and victory – which is just fine 🙂

Wexford Gooner

Well deserved win by the ladies,awesome performance.There was more than a pinch of salt in Hayes’s comments after the match,she really showed her true colours.Who are Chelsea anyway and what right have they to show us so much disrespect?.Come back and talk to us when you’ve won the Champions League COYG!!!!

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