Thursday, February 22, 2024

Jonas Eidevall reacts to 4-0 victory over Brighton (including goals)

Arsenal were 4-0 winners at Brighton in the WSL on Wednesday evening, with an early brace from Stina Blackstenius and further first half goals from Frida Maanum and Victoria Pelova. Jonas Eidevall spoke to the press post-match. The first four questions are from Arseblog News.

On exploiting space down the sides of the Brighton defence in the first half…
We spoke a lot about keeping hold of the ball better than we did against Leicester and Wolfsburg. There has been a trend where we are playing out of pressure ok but we needed to have even better decision making on when to go forward and when to step on the ball. The players were magnificent with that, especially in the first half, then second half we changed more, we changed formations it obviously becomes more messy. But first half we were very good in that and as a consequence of that, when we are swinging and changing the point of attack, we are coming into a lot of wide overloads. We had a lot of chance creation there.

On adapting to Lia Walti pulling out of the team before kickoff and Jodie Taylor playing as a right 10…
The technical staff I have, I think if people came to our meetings they would think we are crazy. Because we have these ‘what if?’ Meetings and we go through all these scenarios- scenarios that, 99% of the time, never happen in a game. But we go through and say ‘why would we do this? Why wouldn’t we do that?’ And looking at things from all angles.

Today was one of those days when it really worked for us because those decisions need to be made so quickly and if you haven’t done all the thinking and looked at all the angles in a calm state it’s easy to get those decisions wrong and you haven’t thought through the reasons why you’re doing it. That makes your communication to the players a little bit different. Now we know exactly why we are doing it. Jodie compared to Victoria are completely different players so the dynamic of the team is a little different.

But there are things we need to put more importance on when we are playing Jodie as a 10 compared to Victoria and when we are playing Victoria as a 6 compared to Wally. A lot of credit goes to Jodie and Victoria because they are so coachable during the game that even if not everything is perfect from the start, they can take on information during the game and make it better the longer the game goes.

On Rafaelle coming off at half-time…
It wasn’t tactical it was load management, there was no injury. It was pure load management to save some minutes for a really important player given that it was 4-0.

On Stina Blackstenius’ performance…
She has worked so hard on the training ground to be more dangerous and the period she comes from, her off the ball positioning has really improved. She works hard on the time of her runs. Today she constantly is this outlet when they are trying to step up and put pressure on us and we can find her in behind. It makes it tricky for their defending line to make that choice. She is very valuable. The header she has that hits the crossbar is very similar to her goal against Bayern Munich. That is what you can see the situations start to repeat. The third goal with Frida also has a lot of similarities with that goal against Bayern Munich where we have good positions and sustain an attack with a second ball in because we have good positions. Maybe as a supporter you don’t see that all the time but as a coach, that is really valuable, it means we can repeat.

On keeping the clean sheet…
I changed formations to put players on, we struggled a little to deal with their deeper threats with a back four because you have to move over more to be laterally compact, they were getting in behind us. We collapse a little from our structure so when we clear the ball we weren’t able to put pressure on the ball again. The effort and the commitment in the penalty area was faultless. For example, Lotte’s block is a huge defensive play, when you see the number of clean sheets we have, I put a lot of value on that. I love seeing that mentality.

On whether the injury situation has made his team more adaptable…
Unfortunately, yes. As a coach you have to think that is going to happen, you have to prepare for all the scenarios. It is like when you are driving and you nearly have an accident, the next time you become more aware. It is the same for a coach, when you have to make a habit of finding solutions, then you understand it is normal. It is not good but that part, if we can keep some of that culture, that will give us a really strong foundation with the processes we have and the adaptability that we have to deal with situations. Hopefully those things we can keep and keep players on the pitch.

On whether he was surprised to be 2-0 up in the first eight minutes…
I don’t look at football like that, I expect every game and every situation to be really, really hard. If you prepare the other way around, you will relax and not do your very best. I am always happily surprised when we score because I always expect everything to be so tough. In my mind, everything is tough, we need to be prepared to work every scenario through. It is a little bit of a curse!

1.Zinsberger; 3.Wubben-Moy, 5.Beattie, 2.Rafaelle (20.Gio H/T, 19.Foord ‘73); 16.Maritz, 12.Maanum, 21.Pelova, 15.McCabe; 27.Taylor, 22.Kuhl (56.Godfrey ‘88); 25.Blackstenius (29.Goldie ‘84).

Unused: 13.Walti, 14.D’Angelo, 18.Marckese, 50.Doe.

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Stonks

What about Gio? Is she injured?

MartynJ

Any chance of employing a specialist throw-in coach? No-one ever seems to know what to do.

TTIreland

The only goal against Leicester was off a well executed throw-in to Jodi. Katie and she seemed to know exactly what they were doing there.

MartynJ

Indeed – a well-executed quick throw, but doesn’t happen often enough.

Dan

It came up on one of the podcasts (cant remember if it was upfront, counterpressed or something else) – one of them mentioned that in general, not just arsenal, throw ins are an area everyone needs to work on as there seems to be lack of communication or something.

Prateek Sharma

Hi Tim, do you reckon the standard of the pitch was sub-par?

I do understand that from your experience over the years, you would have ‘….seen it all’.
However, on livestream, its appearance and how it affected play-making seemed, off – or am I reading too much into it?

Thanks again for your coverage and analysis (as always).

OmoOba

Wonderful team performance!! Of course, we could have/should have scored 2-3 more ‘effortlessly’ (no disrespect to BHA). Stina would be scoring loads if she improves on her decision making in the penalty area. COYG🎊🎉!!!

StefanPsy

Stina’s third goal was clearly onside. It was a shame she didn’t get a hat trick inside 20 minutes of play.

Gooner7190

I read somewhere that if she hadn’t been incorrectly ruled offside, she’d have scored the fastest hat-trick in WSL history(4 minutes from the moment of her opening goal). On another day, she could’ve had a double hat-trick, just absolutely tormented that Brighton defence

Fun Gunner

Oh, poor Stina! How infuriating.

Adrian Scott

Another good performance. The pitch was awful. It’s no wonder that players are getting injured when many of the pitches that they are plating on are sub standard. It is time that something positive is done about the pitches. The standard that the women’s game have to accept is far to low!

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