Arsenal defender Jen Beattie says she is more than happy with her role coming on from the bench to create a back three formation.
For the first 19 months of Jonas Eidevall’s reign, his team always played in a 4231 shape, until February when he adopted a 343 formation in a double header against Manchester City.
Since then, the Gunners have moved to it in game in matches against Manchester United and Manchester City again and, on each occasion, Beattie has come off the bench to play as a third centre-half.
Ahead of Arsenal’s Champions League semi-final first leg against Wolfsburg on Sunday, Beattie says she is happy to help the team in any way she can.
“We have used it in different ways depending on the situation in the game,” she told Arseblog News in Germany. “I will take any role, I will take any opportunity to be on the pitch.
“If there is a value in that I will do it to the best of my ability and give everything i can to the team. It is good for us to have a different dynamic otherwise we could become predictable and we have players across the whole pitch to be able to do that. I am more than happy to be given any role that is needed for the team.”
— Tim Stillman (@Stillmanator) April 20, 2023
On Wednesday evening, Eidevall told Arseblog News he wanted to change the formation but that he also wanted Beattie’s leadership on the pitch with the three first-choice captains, Kim Little, Leah Williamson and Katie McCabe not on the field.
Arseblog News asks Beattie what the mood was in the dressing room at Manchester United on Wednesday night when the coach made the change to three at the back and brought Beattie into the fray.
“We were still very optimistic, we conceded at a very unfortunate time but we knew we were still in the game. Within the dressing room there is a real trust that no matter who is on the pitch, we can get a result. That was no different on Wednesday night and it will be no different on Sunday.”
Beattie admitted that her teammates had to adjust after seeing Leah Williamson go off in pain in the 14th minute with what turned out to be an ACL injury, the third that has occurred in the squad this season.
“It’s horrible. It always is but at least if it happens in training there is an opportunity to stop and check in. In a match situation it is difficult because you have to keep going and fighting for the result.
“I was still warming up at the time and I was aware of what was going on so I went back into the dressing room to see if she was ok. From a human perspective it is never nice to see anyone in pain or see a stretcher come onto the pitch.
“It’s the human instinct that kicks in first. You want the player to be ok. The team all rallied around her straight away.”