Friday, February 23, 2024

Jonas Eidevall reacts to 2-1 victory over Manchester City

Arsenal were 2-1 winners over Manchester City at Meadow Park on Sunday thanks to goals from Steph Catley and Stina Blackstenius. Jonas Eidevall spoke to the press post-match, the first two questions are from Arseblog News.

On why he selected Katie McCabe at right-back today…
When we have played City before we have been tricked into playing into wide areas too quickly and they are really strong there and use the sides so well. By playing Katie on her other side, naturally, we get more central passes. That means we connect better and the longer we can stay central against City and play the ball out wide later, that creates better situations. There were a couple of situations in the first half where we play to Alessia and she holds it up and plays the ball out wide to Cloe Lacasse and we created good situations and I was very pleased with that. It wasn’t so much on the defending side we did that, more the attacking side.

On how much playing City is about territory and playing in areas away from their pressure…
In the second half I felt we became too passive but I was quite pleased about how we defended crosses. We let them have too many crosses but we defended them much better today. We did that because we got too low in our positioning in the second half. In the first half, we did that much better. Players were a little bit tired as well, they are coming back from international break, instead of trying to change that in the second half, I brought on Stina because I thought ‘if that is the way we are going to do it, instead of trying to be too hollow and playing inside, let’s stay compact and then when we do win the ball we have one of the best players at attacking the channels in the world and that proved to be a good choice.

On the importance of winning this game…
It’s a boring answer but, for me, any game is about getting the three points, and that is where we need to be really consistent in this league, we have to stay at that level. There were areas I was really pleased with and there are areas to improve and we improved on the game with Bristol. That it what is really pleasing is that we are developing game by game. But we need to keep doing it, we are far from the finished product.

On the psychological importance of beating Manchester City…
I was a bit surprised before the game that, it felt like we were portrayed as the underdog here but since I have been here, we have won three times here against Manchester City, four if you include the Conti Cup game last season, that is a very strong record against Manchester City.

On the first 15 minutes of the game…
The first 15 minutes stressed me out! I don’t think anyone planned to lose the ball in the way we did. It didn’t surprise us the way they played but our decision-making was a little bit slow and they had some touches which could have ended really badly for us. So no, it didn’t go to plan! I’m happy the players could cope and we changed a few things to play much better out of their press.

On how much the game was about bite as much as technicality…
Yeah we spoke a lot about having a holistic performance. When you are playing against low blocks it becomes very much about tactic boards. We said that was one part of football but it is also running, dueling, fighting for inches and football is about having mental strength when you fail once to try again next time. We spoke about those qualities and they are equally important. This game is easier to portray those things. They can also be done against a low block but today it’s easier as a team. We had to do both. In order to beat a team like Manchester City you need to do both and we did. We weren’t perfect in any of them but I think we were good enough in both of them. The combination of that allowed us to win.

On the similarities between today and the victory at home to City in April…
It was [something we spoke about]. We had a clip of some moments that were good when we beat Manchester City here at Meadow Park. Some of them were technical but it was also physical attributes. It was a completely holistic view on the performance.

On the unusual finish with a long delay due to a medical emergency in the crowd…
Yeah it was but we changed formation so we clarified the roles on how that would look. Man City also changed formations but we saw that before the break so we could start to speak about that. We could clarify the roles again and that’s so important when you bring people in. I think we managed the game the last 10 minutes.

On Emma Hayes leaving Chelsea at the end of the season…
I don’t know the reason why she’s leaving but there’s no doubt that she will leave a legacy at Chelsea. I think it’s a legacy that all football managers would be very proud of leaving. She should be very proud of that. One, I think me and all other managers are going to try and make life in the WSL as difficult and unpleasant for her as possible before she leaves, and after that, she’s going to be one of the first ones after the season that I might pick up the phone and give a call to, because I do think she has some really interesting ideas about football and how to build a football team and so on, and when you’re not direct rivals, I would love to spend a little bit of time with her, listening to her experiences at Chelsea and so on. But that phonecall has to wait and we have to remain competitors and hopefully she ends in a really bad way at Chelsea! But that’s not going to ruin her legacy anyway for that. But then best of luck for everything.

1.Zinsberger; 15.McCabe, 28.Ilestedt, 3.Wubben-Moy, 7.Catley (5.Beattie ‘88); 24.Lacasse (9.Mead ‘59), 10.Little(c), 13.Walti, 21.Pelova (12.Maanum ‘59), 19.Foord (16.Maritz ‘88); 23.Russo (25.Blackstenius ‘73).

Unused: 11.Miedema, 14.D’Angelo, 17.Hurtig, 32.Cooney-Cross.

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MrNobody

Great win, not so great performance. But in these sorta games, the result is more important than the performance and that’s two games against 2 rivals and 4pts secured. Not too shabby at all. That said, permit me to touch on a few things: 1. If anyone can explain why our passing game becomes basically nonexistent in the big games, I’d appreciate it. We clocked 70% for passing accuracy today. So low but no, it’s not strange. In the big games, we typically just forget how to keep and pass the ball and it is characterised by giveaways upon giveaways.… Read more »

Tim Stillman

On the passing stats, today I think was about territory. If it becomes too technical a game that plays into City’s hands because they are probably the best passing team in the league. You also don’t want to play around the back too much because City are strong at pressing and that’s where all their talent is, they are a very top heavy team. It made a lot more sense to be a bit direct and challenge Kennedy, Morgan, Blakstad and Keating than it did to try to play around Shaw, Hemp and Kelly. Especially when you have forwards like… Read more »

MrNobody

Would appreciate this explanation if it was a one off. Also doubt it was tactics responsible for the number of giveaways we had in the first 15mins.
We just tend to lose our marbles a lot in the big game and we forget to do the basics. Against United, we had 77% accuracy. Like I said, it has been a theme since well before Eidevall.
I don’t doubt your explanation at all. Just saying it isn’t the main reason.

Michael (1)

Really happy with how we approached this game, I think the back four allowed us to commit more bodies and be aggressive with our press and it paid off. I’m not crazy about our ability to play through the thirds especially in the first phase of build up but that can get better with time. We were slightly fortunate to have only conceded 1 given how sloppy we were at moments, in possession. Game should have been wrapped up if we scored the penalty but it wasnt to be. Interestingly in the last year I think we’ve missed half the… Read more »

Michael (1)

Forgot to mention how good we were in duels today , particularly in midfield at points it felt like we were winning every second ball and when playing a transitional game it gave us the upper hand.

kazoo

Arsenal were lucky to win this game, let’s be honest. ManCity were decidedly the better team in the 2nd half but didn’t finish their chances and it was only a howler by their keeper that gave the Gunners the win. Why ManCity, with all its talent, goes with a teenage keeper is a mystery—not smart at all. However promising she may be, she’s 19–and that showed in that big mistake. Experience matters in goal. A good game all-around and Arsenal have to be happy to have stolen a win late.

Fun Gunner

Great performances from Wubben-Moy and Ilestedt, actually. They both relish defending. I love Ilstedt’s decision-making and unflappability. And Lotte contributed a lot to our forward play as well. (Except if you insist on dribbling into midfield again, don’t lose the ball, Lotte.) After the first 15 minutes, when I feared an absolute tonking, we started to play a bit and hustle as well. This showing made me think of what JE said about inculcating football values – they chose to be brave, they chose to be tenacious and opportunistic and work hard for each other – so even though (IMO)… Read more »

Fun Gunner

*chose to be brave and intelligent

Gunner H

I too feared a tonking until Stephs perfectly placed goal, aimed like one of her crosses, but thereafter we had the upper hand except for a brief spell after the equaliser. Lotte & Amanda were outstanding and key to the win, and I thought Caitlyn contributed hugely to the cause – she doesn’t seem to suffer from jet lag. Kim was wasted up front chasing after players but once she reverted to defensive midfield she was sensational. Jill Roord has been in the form of her life recently but she was ineffective today – I always thought it was a… Read more »

Fun Gunner

Kim was wasted up front chasing after players but once she reverted to defensive midfield she was sensational. 100%! I also wonder why JE is breaking up the solid midfield partnership of Little and Walti since quite a few other players can play at no 10 and no other players can play in that deep position as well as Kim and Lia (haven’t seen KCC there for us yet, admittedly.) Jill Roord has been in the form of her life recently but she was ineffective today – I always thought it was a pity she didn’t fit in whilst at… Read more »

chig

World Cup hangover still affecting all the top WSL teams. Still haven’t seen a top 4 team this season play at their best.

Michael (1)

Players also always look pretty fatigued after about 60 minutes. Deepest squad might win this season as opposed to team that plays the best football.

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