Arsenal boss Jonas Eidevall is pleased with the way Noelle Maritz has fought her way back into the team in recent weeks after playing second fiddle to Laura Wienroither in the early part of the season.
Maritz was the first choice right-back for most of last season but Wienroither, who joined the club last January, muscled her way into the first choice role during the first half of the campaign.
Since then, Maritz has started the Conti Cup Final against Chelsea, both legs of the Champions League quarter-final against Bayern Munich and the North London derby.
“When we talk about creating a culture, we talk about how you use training and how you use your time to prepare when you get the chance, that is fundamental to build something successful,” Eidevall told Arseblog News. “Noelle is a good example of that now.”
Eidevall pointed to Norwegian midfielder Frida Maanum as a further example of a player who worked hard and clawed her way into the team after a period of limited playing time.
“I could use Frida Maanum as an example, she got limited playing time last spring but one year later, where she is at and what she has produced since then, that is all due to the way she applied herself on the training pitch.
“It is the same with Noelle. The more examples we have of that, the better the training culture is and the more people see that this is the way we work at Arsenal.
“If you don’t get selected, you get your head down, you work even harder, you apply yourself even better and take the time to develop and when you come back, you will help your team even more than before. If everyone can think like that you become unstoppable.”
During Maritz’s last four appearances at right-back, Victoria Pelova has played ahead of her on the right-wing. Arseblog News asked Jonas Eidevall whether that was a deliberate pairing.
“I think Victoria and Noelle play very well together but sometimes when that is the case, it can be a coincidence from other factors. If we talk about our right full-backs, Laura (Wienroither) can play with Victoria as well.
“There is nothing in Laura’s game that says she cannot play with Victoria, that is also a very good fit for us. It is more a coincidence that is has been that strict. But they definitely have attributes that fit together well when they play.”
Noelle Maritz tonight 😤 pic.twitter.com/JrkW5vntPU
— Arsenal Women (@ArsenalWFC) March 29, 2023
The Gunners take on Manchester City at Meadow Park on Sunday lunchtime following Wednesday night’s outstanding Champions League victory over Bayern Munich.
Manchester City have had a week off while Arsenal were expending energy on beating Bayern Munich but Jonas Eidevall insists he would not have had it any other way.
“We need to make it the perfect time to play them with the way we handle the situation. If you have a mindset that frames it in a positive way that starts that process. We wouldn’t have wanted it any other way, to choose to have Manchester City but not have Champions League and train all week, we would much prefer the experience we had at the Emirates qualifying for the semi-finals but having a shorter lead-in time, we choose that.”
Eidevall was also happy with the way his team have played in light of injuries to Rafaelle and Leah Williamson in the first half of the season and Beth Mead and Vivianne Miedema in the second. Katie McCabe could be back after bruising her foot against Bayern Munich on Wednesday but Kim Little, who hobbled off earlier in the game, is set for a more extended spell on the sidelines.
“It is part of the season that you are not always in perfect situations all the time,” Eidevall said. “Handling adversity and changing situations is all part of being a successful team and so far we have been doing that very well this season. If that can be a part of our culture, that is important.”