Saturday, June 15, 2024

Jonas Eidevall reacts to defeat to Aston Villa as Arsenal confirm UWCL qualification spot

A leggy Arsenal side were beaten 2-0 at home by Aston Villa on the final day of the WSL season but still secured the final UWCL qualification spot ahead of Manchester City on goal difference. Jonas Eidevall spoke to the press post-match. The first three questions are from Arseblog News.

On whether this was a game too far for a tired team with 3rd place all but wrapped up pre-match…
We all wanted to win so badly today but there is no doubt when we see our performance today, especially when we go a goal down, we are not mentally there. All the second ball situations, they pick them up they react quicker we make a lot of mistakes playing out from the back, which is uncharacteristic. We are very disappointed with our performance today. But it doesn’t take away what the players and the staff have done for the whole season, they have been above and beyond what was expected.

To win a trophy, to get into the Champions League spot, to get to a Champions League semi-final, realistically I don’t think we could have asked them for anything more. I think you could see at Everton away, even though we win that game, you can see spells, even at Brighton away, that we dropped our standards. I don’t think the Chelsea game was particularly good either. You could see that it comes at a good time to not play anymore games now so we can regroup, recover and this was probably everything we could get out of this season. In the end it was enough to achieve what we wanted but today was disappointing.

On the importance of winning a trophy and getting into the UWCL semi-finals this season…
It was nice to come to the semi-final of the Champions League but, for me, it was really about seeing ‘are we really competing with the top teams in Europe?’ When everything is on the line, are we a good enough team? When we play Chelsea in a final, can we beat them? It’s not a league game when things can happen afterwards. When we play Lyon away, can we beat them in a game that is going to determine winning or finishing second in a group? What about Bayern Munich to turn that around? That was really important because I had a sense we were in that balance are we the team that says we can compete but when it is on the line, we don’t? That becomes a problem over time if you can’t deliver so that was nice to see. We had some foundations but we had to do it when it mattered.

On the ovation the fans gave to Rafaelle today…
She has been an incredible athlete and player but as well as a person and she has fitted in so well with what it means to be an Arsenal player in the way she plays the game and expresses herself. It is a sad one, it is not common that we lose players we would like to keep. I think that’s the first one since i have been here that we lose a player we really don’t want to. But it was beyond our control. We wish her the very best and we have to be very good with our recruitment.

On Frida Maanum being voted as Player of the Season…
Frida has been very good, I think Katie McCabe from March onwards hit another level and really contributed to the team. Noelle Maritz in the spring has been very strong, I think maybe today both of them are a little tired, Frida as well because they just play 90, 90, 90 and don’t get any rest. There have been a lot of players stepping up, someone like Jen Beattie to be prepared to step in in a period like this. In the end, it was what we needed to get results.

On trying to find room for improvement next season…
It is always what you need to see, what is the next step, what is the gap for us to deliver? I think there are three components to it. Recruitment, our last two transfer windows have not been particularly good. This one is a very important one to us to meet our targets. Player availability is a very important one too and those two are a little interlinked but they are also separate entities. The third one, last year I spoke about us being better to play out from high pressure and man-to-man marking systems and we have really mastered that much more.

For our next challenge is something I would call game craft. How can you control a game? During a season there are going to be lots of different types of games, maybe away games on bad pitches where referees don’t see anything that happens to Arsenal. But nobody remembers that, you still need to come away with three points. For us as a group for one more year to mature it is about learning to control even more situations like that. This year, we have had some really good scenarios doing that but I still think that’s another level for us to close the gap even more to the absolute top teams. I am usually humble but I know what I am good at, I know I am good at finding solutions.

14.D’Angelo; 3.Wubben-Moy, 5.Beattie, 2.Rafaelle; 16.Maritz, 21.Pelova, 12.Maanum, 7.Catley; 15.McCabe, 27.Taylor (20.Gio ‘81); 25.Blackstenius (22.Kuhl H/T).

Unused: 1.Zinsberger, 18.Marckese, 29.Goldie, 56.Godfrey, 59.Agyemang, 62.Reid.

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Michael

Just want to say thanks to you for your coverage this season Tim. I crossed over from the men’s team at the beginning of the season and your coverage has made the transition much easier. I read all of your articles and listened to the podcasts to get to know the team. I particularly enjoy the tactical pieces and you do a great job of making them feel more accessible then stuff I see on twitter for example. I’m not sure if other clubs have this level of coverage for their women’s teams its made me feel greater connection and… Read more »

Peter Story Teller

Agreed, excellent coverage, thanks Tim. It is so useful to have someone who is trusted and encouraged by the club to publicise their news in such a professional and timely manner.
Tim’s articles on this blog are considerably better at conveying insights into the women’s team than is available anywhere else including the official Arsenal website!
Looking forward to finding out who Jonas’ targets are for this transfer window as we now need some serious recruitment and I suspect Tim already has an inkling he is dying to share with us!

Fun Gunner

What a lovely comment Michael! Seconded,

PaulM

Hear hear! Outstanding coverage.

Fun Gunner

Another good summary by JE. Yes, we were awful yesterday – technically poor and generally not “on it” and an effervescent and determined Aston Villa deserved their win. But having said that, a trophy and a CL semifinal would be a decent haul for any season, so in these circumstances we can be proud. And when I was voting for player of the season, I was genuinely stumped. I could have added a couple of names, as well. That’s how well we’ve risen to the challenges faced. We can compete with the best European teams. And we have grown up… Read more »

Adrian Scott

This has been a very tough season for us. Losing too many players to injury and not being able to give the players we have left enough recovery time between matches. In spite of this it has been a good season for us; we have silverware and a place in Europe. The sheer guts of our players is something that we can all admire and thank them for efforts in what has been a very challenging season. Frida fully deserves Player of the Season but to be honest the way that our women stepped up it could be all of… Read more »

Henkamp

Sad to see Rafa leave. She had become one of my favourites. Any idea why she’s leaving?

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