Saturday, May 25, 2024

Jonas Eidevall reacts to 2-1 victory over Manchester City (including goals)

Arsenal came back from a goal down to beat Manchester City 2-1 in the WSL on Sunday afternoon with goals from Frida Maanum and a rocket from Katie McCabe. Coach Jonas Eidevall spoke to the press post match. The first two questions are from Arseblog News.

On what they changed at half-time to limit the impact of City’s midfield overload…
The space they get into when they invert their full-backs is between our forward line and our midfield line. The bigger that space becomes the more they can create superiority. The way we managed that was with our positioning to make that space smaller.

On moving to a back three, with Maanum wide and Taylor upfront for the final 23 minutes…
There were a few reasons, one was to try to manage the crosses that City put into the box, we wanted to put a player against Bunny Shaw and there is probably no better player than Jen Beattie in the league in a central defensive position all the time.

In a back three and she is central you know she is always going to be in front of goal when there is a cross. Whenever they try to clip a ball into Shaw she is going to be there duelling for that. That was one part. The other part was Jen’s quality to play out from the back in order to give us a bit more composure on the ball. But we also wanted to change the dynamic of our pressing. I had the feeling that even if we managed it better at the beginning of the second half with pressing, I got the feeling City were beginning to find ways into the game.

When we changed formation we changed the pressing patterns and we changed the spaces for them. Usually it takes around ten minutes to settle and we wanted to thrive in a ten minute period to change our strategy. We knew if we scored, we could sit back a bit with a back three. It worked well. It worked better than I deserved but the players deserved it because of their application.

On the mental fortitude to fight back from a goal down against Bayern Munich and Manchester City in the space of four days…
I’m lost for words, this block, from my time as an Arsenal manager, has been by far the most competitive block. We played Chelsea twice, Bayern Munich twice, City, Tottenham away. The amount of games we have played and then you look at our injury situation and how it changed during the games and managing results not going our way, to be at times not having the greatest refereeing against us either, but we just kept putting left foot in front of the right foot and thinking next action, thinking of solutions, sticking in the game. These situations may have been a problem in the past but not it feels like we’re thriving in them instead. When we speak about creating culture and mentality, this team showed the world in this block here what they are made of.

On Katie McCabe playing the full game after being on crutches and in a boot on Wednesday night…
Those things make a team. She told me straight away she was going to play Sunday. Of course you don’t believe that. Then she went for the scans and they looked better than we thought. Me and her spoke a bit yesterday and she said ‘I’m here’. We didn’t even have her out kicking long balls yesterday just to save her foot. Then she manages to play 80 minutes on that yellow card, which was extremely harsh and then she tops it off with that goal. This period here is the best we’ve seen Katie McCabe since I’ve been a coach here. She has been a tremendous player during these months.

On adjusting to the absence of Kim Little in midfield…
It is also about relationships. Wally (Lia Walti) and Kim have played so many games together as our sixes, they are a really consistent part of the team and they have been playing really well this season. We know that when Leah Williamson plays as a six she has so many qualities but she is a different player to Kim, so we need to adapt to that. I am a believer in not just putting players into a system but trying to find roles for them that suits them.

When Kim plays we need to play to her strengths and when Leah plays we need to play to hers, that means tiny adjustments with players. When Leah plays in midfield, you wouldn’t think she has come from central defence she has so much energy and intensity that she is more like an eight. We need to balance around her, maybe we need to do that less with Kim.

On Frida Maanum scoring four goals in five games…
After the Bayern game, I had the question about Noelle (from Arseblog News) from a culture perspective to see how Frida managed the situation last spring, she trained and really claimed her spot in the team. That sets the culture. That is a massive credit to her and our staff to see how we can develop together, both players and staff. Frida is playing at a very, very high level this season and it’s been incredible to see. I still think she has another level in her and we will work hard to get it.

On Caitlin Foord’s injury…
Yes (it is still too early to tell). We will scan it and assess it and see if it is possible for her to join up with her national team. We learned from recent situations that we can’t send away players we are not sure about to their national teams. We need to make sure they are fit.

On whether there is a timeline on Kim Little’s injury…
Not yet.

14.D’Angelo; 16.Maritz (5.Beattie ‘67), 3.Wubben-Moy, 2.Rafaelle, 15.McCabe; 6.Williamson(c), 13.Walti, 12.Maanum; 21.Pelova (22.Kuhl ‘67), 19.Foord (26.Wienroither ‘35); 25.Blackstenius (27.Taylor ‘67).

Unused subs: 1.Zinsberger, 18.Marckese, 20.Gio, 62.Reid.

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Nervy game! Now let’s hope that Chelsea draws or even better, lose!


Why are people surprised that McCabe’s shot went like a bullet? She is a gunner…


Just amazing.
The girls looked exhausted in the first half. Just about managed to hang in there & then somehow found the energy to be the better team in 2nd half.
Most impressive win of the season imo in the circumstances.
And Katie….what is there to say ?? Warrior.

Sammy Nelsons Arse

Brilliant fight back and without Viv, Beth, Steph and Kim this squad is really strong.


What a squad! Adversity seems to be their best motivator. Everyone wants to lead…..not just to follow. Katie is just a beast! Naughty but magnificent.
Hoping Caitlin’s injury is just about enough to keep her resting during the international break.
Ps Thinking Oz. Steph has been out 4 weeks today. I haven’t seen any updates?

Little Cubby

I love your terminology and how accurate. Long live our beast 💪

Fun Gunner

Yes, we need to hear some news about Steph Catley.

Mike Stride

Great result but the officiating was abysmal. Seems like the bias extends to our Women’s team as well!

Little Cubby

Spot on


To have won those 3 massive games this week without key starting players is just special. Credit to the manager, his staff, and the players.


Thoughts and prayers for the Jonas haters. They haven’t been seen on these pages for weeks. I hope they are OK.


and Katie McCabe for President of Ireland please.

Bill Hall

Well done ladies, fantastic result, win our game in hand and we are level on top with Man U!


When you’ve watched football for years, you get a feel for how the arc of a game is going to play out. They take the lead. They seem to have more players on the pitch than us. It’s more likely that they’ll increase their lead than we’ll equalise……What do I know? That was a performance of heart and spirit. When the manager and the team believe in each other, anything is possible.

Adrian Scott

Katie’s early yellow card had me on edge for the whole match. Thankfully she stayed out of trouble and her winning goal could be the goal of the season. It was unfortunate that she allowed herself to be bothered by Kelly. She should have just stood back and let the ref deal with Kelly. I am so proud of this team; it fully deserves to win the league. Our players and staff are nothing short of magnificent!

Fun Gunner

To be fair, Katie plays on a yellow card most weeks!
But yes, it’s her only flaw, really – racking up silly cautions


Ground out a big win. Massive mentality to raise the performance in the 2nd half and see out the result.

Little Cubby

I can’t say anymore than has already been said here! I was at the game, also at the Emirates on Wednesday. this team has such spirit and with the tenacity of our Katie to add to that l think they deserve to win the WSL this season maybe even more than last season 🤞

Fun Gunner

14-match unbeaten run? Yeah, we ended a 22-match unbeaten run in midweek, so…

By the way, was that tall ginger girl on the substitutes bench Katie Reid? Huge if true.

Fun Gunner

Thanks, @Goonersince55!

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