During Jonas Eidevall’s first season in charge of Arsenal, he had a large squad but, in truth, it probably had several players that he didn’t really want.
In his second season, an injury crisis took hold of the squad which dramatically shrunk the squad. This season, at least at the moment, Eidevall has a large squad to choose from full of his players.
Arseblog News asked Eidevall about the balance between squad rotation and team chemistry in the build up to Sunday’s crunch clash at home to Manchester City at Meadow Park.
“The starting point, which is really important for any manager, the starting point has to be what is best for the team,” Eidevall stressed. “If the starting point is to try to please all the players in the squad, that is never going to work. It’s not possible.”
This calls to mind some comments Chelsea boss Emma Hayes made about her own sizeable squad back in 2019 when she pointed out, “My job is not to make players happy, it is to win games.”
Eidevall continued, “That is one of the things you will ask any manager with a big squad, the challenge is how you keep everyone motivated for all performances. We work really well with that, the players work really well with that.
“The benefits are that we have lots of options, lots of competition in the squad. But the decision on who gets to play can never be based on niceness or to please anyone. It has to be based on what is best for the team.”
Eidevall implied that there would be far more rotation in this upcoming block of games ahead of the next international break in early December, not least with the Gunners having a couple of Conti Cup group games in that period where the side is likely to be heavily rotated.
“We have a block in front of us now where we will play a lot of matches, with tighter turnaround times than it was in the previous block, that will mean we will need to use the squad in a deeper way than we did in the first block.
“I am very excited by that because we have a lot of qualities in the squad that I am really looking forward to seeing.”
Meanwhile, Eidevall also told Arseblog News that Amanda Ilestedt and Lina Hurtig, who were unable to play for Sweden during the international break, are in contention for Sunday.
“Lina couldn’t travel because she had an injury that made it impossible for her to play in their two games so it didn’t make sense for her to go but it doesn’t rule her out for this weekend.
“Amanda did travel but the game on Tuesday just came a bit too soon but it still doesn’t rule her out for the weekend, that is why she travelled back.”
Eidevall also said that Lia Walti will be fit despite coming off during Switzerland’s defeat to Spain on Tuesday clutching her thigh. “Lia Walti needed to come off in the moment but that isn’t anything that concerns us.”