Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Jonas Eidevall reacts to victory over Bayern Munich

Arsenal overturned a 1-0 first leg deficit and qualified for the Champions League semi-finals with a 2-0 win over Bayern Munich at Emirates Stadium on Wednesday evening. Jonas Eidevall spoke to the press post-match. The fourth and fifth questions are from Arseblog News.

On what the win meant to him…
A lot, it’s been a long term goal to reach the semi finals of the Champions League for me personally. I was lucky that my first ever game as a Head Coach was a Champions League quarter-final in 2013. We went to Lyon, I was confident we would win and we lost 5-0. From there I am very happy that ten years later we are in the semi finals. For the club it is a similar story because it is also a decade ago since Arsenal are in the semi finals. It is an incredible achievement that we are so proud of. I told the players that the second half against Bayern, the Conti Cup against Chelsea told me we have the potential when we hit everything to beat every team. That doesn’t mean we can do it always but we have that potential, so if we know we have it, we can bring that to one more stage in the competition to see how strong our wings are and how high we can fly together. We managed to do that today and that is a proud moment, not just for me but for the club.

On how convinced he is that Arsenal could win the competition…
If we hit things right, we can beat any team. But there is a lot of work going into performances like this and being consistent so we don’t take anything for granted. Every opponent will prepare even better and play even more voraciously, we need to deal with that.

On the injuries to Katie McCabe and Kim Little…
I don’t know, it is still too soon. We need to see this evening and tomorrow to get a clear understanding. When we have more information we will update.

On the tactical variety the team showed tonight…
I liked that, we knew we would have to defend a little lower against a team like Bayern. It is not our preference but we were forced to do it because we weren’t quite getting our positioning right in the second half so we dropped a little bit deeper. But the big difference between this game and last week, when we get into those moments, we don’t lose our discipline. In the first game, we opened up central areas and Bayern is skilful there. This time they could only switch the ball but on the outside of our organisation. It was rare they came inside our organisation and played. When you look at the whole game, they have very few goal scoring opportunities that Bayern create. They have one where they switch play and come inside our organisation at the beginning of the second half is probably the best chance they have. But over 90 minutes against a great attacking team like Bayern, that is a very impressive defensive display.

On Maanum and Blackstenius blocking the passing lanes for Zadrazil and Stanway…
And also how the whole team’s shape was affected by that. What you could see in the first game was that we were losing our shape and we left too big a space for Frida and Stina to pressure. But when we engaged our central midfield and wide forwards better and kept our shape better in pressing we limit the distances they had to cover. The players really got that right many times tonight. The first goal is one example of that- it is a great strike from Frida, so it is not just about pressing but without us pressing we don’t get the ball there in the first place.

On how the attack has improved since the turn of the year…
That didn’t get to the team or me too much. We know that we came from an autumn that was difficult when we dealt with injuries. Not many teams can lose Leah Williamson and Rafaelle for such a long time and still be able to display a strong performance. We know the squad is a strength and the spirit is not something we take for granted, it’s a special team. That is always important to have strong performances. Today was another story of that. We have a technical team with the players who work so hard to get these details right. We have the potential but we know it’s still small margins, we can’t be satisfied with anything yet. We need to push very hard and make the most of every opportunity.

On experiencing more of these big moments together to help the team to win in the future…
Process is important, process with results creates belief. It means that the things you are doing, you are more inclined to do it again when you see you win football matches from it. It helps create that story and the narrative. That is important, you can sustain a good process for medium term without results but in the end, you need results to back it up. That is what this month has given us, it has shown us we can create something. Hopefully that creates a lot of belief.

On how Arsenal have improved in the UWCL over the last 18 months…
Time is important, we can deal with more situations now together. I think it is huge what we have built together with the supporters. If i look back at my first game here against Chelsea and the game against Wolfsburg last year and we see the progress that the club and the team and supporters have made together to create the night we do tonight. That is part of making us successful. All those experiences helped us. We have managed to find ways to be better but we need to keep on doing that.

On whether he heard from Arteta or Edu after the match…
I got a very nice message from Edu after the game. The support from the whole club is magnificent. They talk a lot in Arsenal about acting with class but when you are inside the organisation you really understand the meaning of those words. It is not just something that is written on a wall. It is something ingrained in top management and it spreads down. That communication and belief from them is amazing.

On the improvement in Foord, Blackstenius and Maanum since the injuries to Mead and Miedema…
What is pleasing with the pressing and the goals is that it doesn’t come from randomness. Of course Frida can’t hit the ball like that every time she shoots but she is constantly staying after every practice to practice long distance shooting. She has been doing that for consecutive months. I am a big believer that those things pay off. Stina too works hard after each practice to work on her positioning. You see how well that off ball movement is for the second goal, when she works in the back of Kumagai and she doesn’t get dragged too much to the ball. That creates that finish. It’s that work that is very pleasing to be rewarded for. That is very tangible in our environment, now that can spread as culture that the work we do on the training pitch is rewarded in the game. The better the training culture becomes the better we will play, that is a fly wheel we want to create and moments like this will make it spin a little faster.

Whether that was the biggest night at the Emirates…
Probably, it was special when we beat Chelsea in my first game but we hadn’t worked together very long then. This feels like 20 months of work to perform here and to win deservedly against one of the best teams in Europe at the moment.

On Arsenal being used to playing at the Emirates due to the club policy of playing there often…
That is fundamental for creating these moments with our supporters but to give supporters the chance to experience the team live. It’s fundamental that we get to play here so often but also that the supporters get to experience it with us, it helps us to do this tonight. We want to continue to push and I get the sense that history is being created quickly in front of our eyes when I see how the attendance and the culture is here at the Emirates. Five years ago if someone had said that Arsenal’s long-term plan is to move to Emirates Stadium people would ask how that can happen, now I think people understand that that might be realistic for the future.

On whether he was surprised at how vulnerable Bayern were to Arsenal’s pressing…
Yes and no. When we got our pressing right against Chelsea it looked similar. I read Magdalena Eriksson a lot because she has a lot of sound ideas and she is an athlete and person I respect. She wrote before the quarter-finals about the way it felt to play against our pressure. If that is what it feels like, that is great, that is what we want to achieve and i think Bayern saw that. We need to do that even better but we have come a long way.

On whether that was the best performance under his management….
I don’t know, it was in the top ten for sure!

1.Zinsberger; 16.Maritz, 6.Williamson, 2.Rafaelle, 15.McCabe (17.Hurtig ‘89); 13.Walti, 10.Little(c) (3.Wubben-Moy ‘12), 12.Maanum; 21.Pelova (26.Wienroither ‘77), 19.Foord, 25.Blackstenius (5.Beattie ‘89).

Unused: 14.D’Angelo, 18.Marckese, 22.Kuhl, 29.Goldie, 59.Agyemang, 62.Reid.

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Well done great performance especially well deserved after tge first leg officiating shenanigans.
Hope yee go on and win it.


2nd leg officiating was not much better, but we prevailed 🙂


Yes. I wasn’t feeling optimistic when the foul that put Kim Little out of the game went totally unpunished, not even a free kick, then Lotte Wubben-Moy got booked for her first foul which was barely a tickle, let alone a tackle.

Despite being on a yellow card for most of the game, Lotte was imperious at the back, and we needed her to be in the second half, when, despite ceding the ball to Bayern, we still had the best chances. The only negative was the number we missed.


In the long term, i think it is Better to be creating many chances than relying on converting that only chance you get just because you have a world class striker


Very enjoyable football the girls displayed. I hope we get to to final!

Fun Gunner

Very interesting. “I read Magdalena Eriksson a lot because she has a lot of sound ideas and she is an athlete and person I respect.” How great that JE is humble enough and open-minded enough to take note of what a current player says. It reminds me of something I keep meaning to say – both Arteta and Eidevall seem to have been brought in as young managers to grow along with their teams. It could be a great long-term relationship. I hate changing managers every couple of years. Bayern started quite well but I was astonished at how easily… Read more »


I agree that winning the Conti Cup appears to have done wonders for the team’s self-belief. Long may it continue.


We lost Kim early in the game, plus Viv and Beth out with long-term injuries. You could make a case that we were missing our three best players……yet we outplayed and beat the best team in Germany!


I think the best team in Germany is Wolfsburg

Fun Gunner

I agree with Stonks, but of course Bayern are very close to them and did beat them at the weekend!

What impressed me today was that we didn’t miss a beat when Kim was forced off. JE readjusted and we just got on with it. Kim would be very proud of her “troops”.


Holy shit that first goal was incredible.


Maanum scores great goals almost every week.

Ray's ice cream Parlour

It sort of reminds me on the one Ramsey scored against Galetesray a few years back – like an arrow. It wasn’t going anywhere else but that top corner as soon as it was hit.


Fantastic evening girls. On a par with anything I’ve witnessed in my 60 years of supporting The Arsenal.


I was going to say exactly the same. This weekend is exactly 67 and 1/2 years since my first Arsenal match, and last night’s experience was up there with the very best. (Even if the price of a programme has gone up by a factor of 120!)


First half performance was stunning. Really should have been 4-0 but happy to save the goals for the semis..


How only six comments?
The disrespect. Stunnning goal and some great play overall.


Awesome victory. Congrats!! This team is hitting their stride at the critical part of the season.


Well done girls. I’m really proud, after a frustrating first leg, they came back and made Bayern quiet all game. In true Arsenal style, showed dominance and created milion chances. Bayern should be happy they didn’t left London with 5 in the net.


I have to hold my hand up and apologise to Jonas Eidevall. I was one of those who criticised him a few weeks ago… But watching us play the way we did in that first half made me reassess many things. The pressing, the combination play, the agression and tactical maturity on display.. oowf! That was just pure delight. Even with two of our best players out, something just seems to have clicked since before that superb Continetal cup win. I sincerely hope the decision makers supply him with all the players he needs… he can clearly take this club… Read more »


It’s equality with the men’s game, the football is just as enjoyable, the officiating just as awful 😥🤣

Fun Gunner

I’ve just remembered the Blackstenius incident about half an hour in – between the first and second goals, anyway. Stina was away and clear on the left wing, Stanway (natch) tripped her and the ref gave nothing. That should have been a foul and probably a yellow card as well


Fantastic and attractive football from the gunners ladies.A proud gunner.Lets keep going gunners.


Tremendous performance with a world class goal. To lose Kim Little so early and respond like that should make everyone involved very proud


For a few years we’ve said we have a team with potential to win everything. But we have this big team anxiety (or however you wanna call it) and we didn’t seem to get passed that. This is that same team (few players different) that did find a way to let go of that anxiety. The Conti cup showed a team that was not going to let that affect them anymore and it showed. Emma Hayes might see it as ‘They wanted it more’ but it’s just tapping into that potential. And now that we’ve tasted it, I hope we… Read more »

Gunner H

A sensational performance, and a professional response to the early loss of the Captain – when I saw her going off, I wondered what would happen but the team adjusted excellently, and then some! Pelova is becoming a key player with her twists and turns, which usually result in beating her opponent, and delivering a cross. And Frida certainly picked the right game to hit the net again, spectacularly too. Leah was magnificent throughout, and on her birthday too! I hope Kim and Katie are not seriously injured, though Katie’s looks concerning. The referee was not professional enough for such… Read more »

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