Friday, April 12, 2024

Jonas Eidevall reacts to 2-1 victory over Southampton

Arsenal came from a goal down to beat Southampton 2-1 in the Conti Cup on Thursday evening with second half goals from Frida Maanum and a stoppage time winner from Amanda Ilestedt. Jonas Eidevall spoke to the press post-match, the first four questions are from Arseblog News.

On how Southampton pressed aggressively during the game…
They are a very well coached side, they changed their formation and a lot of the way they pressed in their last game against Crystal Palace so we were prepared for that because they were successful. That really suits their players so I can understand why they made that change for these two games.

On the half time teamtalk and whether the subs were pre-planned or tactical…
We made the subs we made more for loading reasons. Our first half performance was not good enough, we connected really poorly off the ball and they made the game really expansive in second ball situations so we had to work a lot as a team to get into the right positions. Our reactions, for example, when we didn’t get refereeing decisions we thought we should was not great and we can’t be looking like that. We were far away from the team we want to be so we had to address that.

Then we looked at it from a tactical perspective, how do we position when they play long balls and we were much better balanced there. But also the spaces they leave when they press and we didn’t do well enough in exploiting that, there were really good three v three situations that we didn’t do well enough in.

On going to a back three for the last 20 minutes…
It was to work a bit better in our pressing I don’t think we got that right in the second half. But also to get better angles in our build up, there was too often in the second half when we were standing still. When you play with three central defenders, one of them can start to either drive the ball forward or to have a deep runner. I think we saw in the last 10 minutes how many times Amanda, for example, started to open up their organisation by having deep runs, coming out and playing the ball wide and that gave us a lot of movement and we needed that first move to try to open them up and that’s probably the detail that helps us to win the game.

On Ilestedt’s threat from setpieces…
We are pleased for her to contribute in that way, we know that is a strength of hers and it’s a really good delivery on the setpiece as well. I told the players afterwards that if you’re going to win seven games in a row, you will need to find different ways to win games. Sometimes it’s going to be tight in the end and you have to find a way. It’s about that mentality to never give up and always give your best. It won’t always happen but it can happen and the players did well to go for that.

On getting a quick fire equaliser after Southampton took the lead…
Our reaction when we conceded was good. That was really important, the first half is not the team we want to be. When we concede a goal we need to keep pushing so that was nice to see. I think I had a good picture of Southampton, they are one of the best teams in the Championship and I think there is not much difference between the top of the Championship and the bottom of the WSL, which is very competitive. I was talking to Marieanne Spacey before and I said when you see clubs like Southampton there is a real case to say the WSL can be bigger than 12 teams, there is a really strong argument for that. They have four players in the England U23 squad, maybe that is more than anyone else? So what if they play in the WSL? I was a big advocate of that in Sweden when we went from 12-16 teams so we could get more of those younger talents coming through. Southampton are a competitive side and it was a great event they put on tonight, great for women’s football.

On the Conti Cup and its value…
I have never been in the group stage before but we played in front of a lot of fans and that is great for us because we have a squad that is so competitive and this is much better than a training session. If it becomes like this where they are really big events, that’s even better. The atmosphere today was great, this would have been one of the top attendances in the Champions League this week, that’s great and shows the growth of the women’s game in England. Southampton have a really good process and they are building really well and it’s obvious when you see them play, it’s going to be very interesting to follow them because they are very competitive.

On avoiding a penalty shootout with the late goal…
I am not disappointed with that but that is a great idea to have penalty shootouts in the group stage because I have been critical of how we do things in England in preparing teams for international competitions and this here is a great example to have competitive penalty shootouts so teams can practice. If you want to win international competitions you probably need to win a penalty shootout so I think it is a great thing that this has been added to the competition.

14.D’Angelo; 16.Maritz, 5.Beattie, 27.Codina (28.Ilestedt HT), 7.Catley; 22.Kuhl, 13.Walti(c) (32.Cooney-Cross ‘60); 24.Lacasse (15.McCabe ‘77), 12.Maanum, 17.Hurtig (11.Miedema ‘60); 23.Russo (19.Foord HT).

Unused: 1.Zinsberger, 9.Mead, 21.Pelova, 53.Lia.

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‘The first half is not the team we want to be’ How many times has that been the case this season? Season started in September, we are in November and I am struggling to remember a game we’ve been good from start to finish. Just high quality performance for 90mins. It is pretty worrying. Chelsea just smashed Paris 4-1 and we were out there struggling against a Championship side that’s not even leading the way in their league. It was a harsh reminder of how subpar we’ve been a lot of times this season. 7 wins in a row reads… Read more »


Btw, I find it extremely embarrassing the way our fan base has been moving with the talk about attendance. I get bantering Chelsea from time to time. But talking about their low attendances whilst they are in the UWCL and winning trophies makes us look like clowns.

Some even said they’d take record attendances over trophies. Have we lost the plot? We are the biggest team in England. Let’s act like it please.


There were 9 changes from the team that Jonas put out in the league, so it’s not really a fair comparison to the Chelsea team that beat PSG. I seem to remember a less changed mens team being humbled by West Ham in the cup a few weeks back…


Chelsea rang the changes vs Liverpool and slapped them 5-1. At some point, we need to stop with these excuses and decide if we want to hold our team to the highest standards or if we want to give them multiple passes.

We have a good squad and the number of changes should not be why we struggled so bad against Southampton. Plus again, it has been a reoccurring theme this season.


It is worrying a bit with Chelsea coming up. Without wanting to be too dramatic, with the results Chelsea are getting & it being only a 22 game season, we simply can’t afford to lose that game v them. We need to come out playing from the first minute against them.

Peter Story Teller

Yes worrying that Chelsea put 4 past Paris FC the “unknown” team that knocked both us and Wolfsburg out of the WCL! Although to be fair we did score 3 against them but also let in 3. Our defence at present swings between ‘monumental’ and ‘rank amateur’ several times in each half of every game. We need to stop giving needless goals away if we are to win anything! Even the Spuds have a considerably better GD in the Conti than we do despite us winning both of our games so far.


To be fair, I don’t think you can compare our results against Paris FC to Chelsea’s. The timing of our game v them was ridiculous & completely screwed us over.

Peter Story Teller

True, but what was Wolfsburg’s excuse! They couldn’t even take their game to penalties!


I don’t know…and don’t care either to be honest 😀


Sadly, we can no longer use Jen in a back four. And we mustn’t underestimate teams like Southampton who have young, fast players.


It was a difficult watch for most of that game. On one side some players are getting minutes into their legs coming back from injury or just getting game time but on the other it shows another game of a leaky defence and a spluttering attack. This isn’t the team that will play at the weekend but whatever team goes out there they show the same frailties in defence and attack. It feels the opposition have our number. Are we missing Kim Little more than we thought. Also where does Hurtig go from here, I wouldn’t have her first choice,… Read more »

Peter Story Teller

For one match I thought I saw the reason why Jonas signed Hurtig but then she got injured again and begins yet another “recovery”. Even if you are the best player in the world you are no good to us if you spend most of the season indoors with the Physio!

Fun Gunner

She was brought in for her pace and heading ability. I assume. And she links very well with Stina. But apart from the link-up play, we haven’t seen any of that for over a year. She was brilliant against Chelsea at the Emirates in her first season. But since then…. I can’t really see why we haven’t moved her on.


Jen was supposed to be replaced in this game, she is sometimes very slow in defense, and I’m already apprehensive about the game against Chelse, they are in their best phase. If Arsenal maintains this resilience of never giving up, then it will be a positive factor and the result could be different.

Fun Gunner

This was infuriating, to be perfectly frank. More so because I was expecting a lot after our last two games, and Jonas’s remarks about decision-making from the last post-game presser. I liked the way we started against a confident and pugnacious Southampton. We seemed composed, passed the ball around them crisply, etc. For 5 minutes. Then it was butter fingers on the ball, passes going astray… And some desperate defending. It was as if we’d never experienced a high press before. It didn’t help that the ref was chilled about their fouls, but we have to be able to win… Read more »

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