Sunday, May 19, 2024

Jonas Eidevall reacts to 4-1 victory over Chelsea

Arsenal were 4-1 winners over Chelsea at Emirates Stadium in front of a record WSL crowd. Beth Mead, Amanda Ilestedt and an Alessia Russo brace won the day for the Gunners. Jonas Eidevall spoke to the press post-match. The first two questions are from Arseblog News.

On whether Arsenal planned to press Chelsea’s right-footed left-back and left centre-back onto their left feet…
I think your tactical eye is good.

On the quality of Arsenal’s counterattacking…
The way Chelsea defend it’s important not to be stuck on the ball in your own half. What I was really pleased about, especially in the first half, we had a good mixture in those moments of being able to create goal scoring opportunities but also to put our foot on the ball and manage. It’s a totally different game to manage the ball in their half. The way we managed the ball against Chelsea, I have only seen Barcelona doing that that well against them for such long spells in the game, that was very pleasing.

On how complete the performance was…
Against Manchester City the first 15 minutes were poor from us. It is easy to forget because of the result. We turned the ball over so many times and on another day City would have scored and we would have been off to a completely different start. So that was a lesson from that game, how do we go into a game not only to not be surprised by the intensity of the opponent but trying to surprise them with our intensity. That has been our training culture, that has been our most important mark, how do we get our training culture to a point where we can apply our principles to a high enough intensity level? So we feel prepped going in and everyone understands that responsibility of ‘what do I need to bring to training in order to make the team prepared to do that?’ It has been great, it was great before the West Ham game and these two days leading up to this game, the players have been phenomenal in the way they have trained. Then it was extra pleasing to see them reap their rewards from that.

On Lauren James’ stamp on Lia Walti…
I saw it but, I don’t think I can really comment. I think we had six yellow cards and they had one yellow card in a game that was very even from a fouls perspective. It is what it is.

On whether this performance shows Arsenal are capable of winning the WSL…
It is our strongest performance so far this season but in football if you want to win things you have to be consistent. It’s great that we have this high but now we ask ‘what is our baseline? What is our standard?’ This is the hard thing, we need to recover, refresh mentally and physically and be ready on Wednesday again. What is telling for me is I see the reaction today and we are happy but at the end of the day it is our finishing position in the league that will matter. Nothing was won or lost today. So stay focused, keep developing, we need to have consistently good performance, then this can be very valuable but that will only be determined by future performances.

On the positive psychological impact of the result…
When you are aware of what you are doing leads you to success it increases the likelihood of you doing it again. Our training culture has been really strong and that’s a key, to keep hold of that. I can feel how we are using the competitiveness in our squad in a really good way of preparing us and taking us to new heights. But it’s about doing that day in and day out.

On the energy of the crowd…
The crowd were great, there was a clear synergy between the team today. The crowd started off great and so did the team and that took us to new heights. You could see that momentum, we score to make it 2-1 but then it is 3-1 really quickly that’s something that helps with the crowd. You could see the players interacting with the crowd and getting the energy levels high. If you compare that to two and a half seasons ago it happens so much more frequently and that is so good for our performance and for the atmosphere. Now we just need to keep on pushing and having more experiences like this at the Emirates. This was a great day for the football club.

On Emma Hayes admitting Chelsea were bullied by Arsenal today…
I wouldn’t use that word, what we do is we pass the ball nice and we position really well and that gives them less time and space. That is our quality on the ball, she might refer to they feel a little suffocated because the time and space is too little. I’m not a native speaker of English, I am not sure we bullied, I think we played some high quality football. I don’t really believe in these 50-50 balls, if one comes out winning the ball it is not 50-50, it was 51-49 maybe. And why it is 51-49? Because you have a better starting position and maybe you are more intelligent than the opponent, maybe you are stronger. We turned a lot of those situations into 51-49s and that is really important.

On Victoria Pelova’s performance…
Look at the first goal and look at Pelova’s run in that transition moment. You tell me that run is not an investment from a team that wants to win a football match. That is the whole difference, that is how we get Beth Mead on the ball and she can show all her skill and all her composure and finishing to score. But to have a central midfielder who can invest that run, that is why Pelova has been so great for us. She is a great technical player, she is street smart on the pitch but my god she runs now, also. And that is important and we need that and that is why she is such a big player for us recently.

On Kim Little going off with a knock…
I spoke to Kim after, I don’t have a clear update but I don’t think there is a major concern. It is a matter of the competition we have in the squad. When you feel you can’t quite go at 100% there is no need for anyone to go 90% in our squad. The players know that. The bench is so strong, filled with game changers who are ready to come on. It’s wise decision making and another example of Kim Little’s leadership and putting the team first.

1.Zinsberger; 15.McCabe, 28.Ilestedt, 3.Wubben-Moy, 7.Catley (16.Maritz ‘75); 21.Pelova (32.Cooney-Cross ‘92), 13.Walti; 9.Mead (24.Lacasse ‘75), 10.Little(c) (12.Maanum ‘61), 19.Foord; 23.Russo (25.Blackstenius ‘75).

Unused: 5.Beattie, 11.Miedema, 14.D’Angelo, 27.Codina.

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That could easily have been 6 or 7 to us! Such a brilliant performance with a great atmosphere to boot. Well done to everyone involved there. Victoria Pelova is such a beautiful, beautiful player, isn’t she? She has impressed so much this season. Glad to have her in this team. Think we REALLY have a chance this season. If Chelsea do a deep run in the UWCL, then fatigue may set in which plays into our hand with.a DEEP squad this year. Finally, say whatever you want about Eidevall, but he is absolutely great at these big games. I mean,… Read more »


Agree about the performance but only wish we had put some of those easier chances away in the last 30 minutes. Could have finished today top of the table.

Peter Story Teller

Could have, and should have been 7! The post match interviews remind me why I dislike Emma Hayes so much. No well done Gunners you were simply the better team today, no! It’s because we are big bullies and her team were not up to her standards and if they had followed her plan they would have won. Personally I am glad that the sorest loser in WSL is going off to the States next season. She’ll not be missed!


You see her reaction to Mandy’s goal? Just sheer arrogance in the eye roll from her. Could be wrong but don’t think I am but she’s ending her WSL stint without a win @ Emirates isn’t she?


Ehhh. The full quote was “the best team by a country mile won today. They dominated us in every aspect. We were bullied.” Seems like she knows she got outclassed today.

Little Cubby

Haha, totally agree. I still say she’s so anti Arsenal because she wanted the big job when Vic retired


Completely agree about Victoria Pelova, absolutely outstanding. There were excellent performances all over the pitch. Again, I’d give a shout-out to Lotte. She’s been up against Rachel Daley, Bunny Shaw and Sam Kerr and not given them a look-in. Sarina Wiegman has a great record, but does she really believe Jess Carter is a better CB than Lotte?

Fun Gunner

Lotte was outstanding again, and no I don’t know why Wiegman sees her as a last resort, either. I mean, she has decent pace, she is a good all-round defender, can play left or right sided, in a two or in a three. Good with the head, good with her feet. Good 1v1, good at reading the game, positioning excellent. She scores goals. She can start and support attacks as well as snuff them out. And to top it all, she is showing that she has learnt from her mistakes of last season. What does Sarina want????


Lotte is a decent defender, but an even better ball-player. Once Leah is back and up to speed, I’d love to see Lotte further forward.

Peter Story Teller

Wiegman suffers from the same blinkered outlook that all England managers have. I think it must be written into their contracts! They consistently pick players based on reputation and not on current form. I have really been impressed by LWM recently. She still has a glaring mistake in her once or twice per game but for an all round 90+ minutes she is now pretty dependable.

Fun Gunner

I’m going to put an alternative viewpoint – I don’t think Wiegman picks players on reputation. I think she has a very particular idea of how each player fits into her scheme. She probably has a specific scenario in mind for when she would use Lotte. (It may be that that scenario is, every other CB is injured! Certainly feels like it…) Point is, I suspect that it is not that Sarina doesn’t rate LWM as highly as Morgan or Carter, but that she wants some specific quality from one of those two and in *that quality* (1v1 defending? speed?)… Read more »

Peter Story Teller

I was thinking more of Stanway and Walsh who appear to be the first names on the team sheet and have offered virtually nothing for a couple of years. We won the Euros by Millie Bright and Leah bypassing midfield altogether and playing through balls straight from defence to attack Then there is Lucy Bronze! A couple of years ago arguably the best right back in the world but at the moment she has forgotten how to defend and just wants to bomb forward regardless of what the tactical plan is. Her upfield givaways leaving the team exposed at the… Read more »

Gunner H

Ms Fun Gunner & Mr Peter Story Teller – whilst your comments are interesting (as always) this is the Arsenal, not England, site.

By the way, I do very much like both of your intelligent and pointed comments most of the time, as I think you know.

Peter Story Teller

Thanks for your support and point duly acknowledged. I am easily led astray! 🙂

Little Cubby

….. And whats wrong with dipping into England points? Arsenal are an English club after all and we do have some players in the England squad


Jess carter did save them on quite a few occasions yesterday

Only here to see Eboue

Pelova is such a star! Step aside Vieira.
Pe-loova ooooh,
Pelovaaa ooooh!

matt keeler

Tactical masterclass from Jonas that. Very impressive.
Even gave Emma Hayes an English vocabulary lesson


I think Emma Hayes is great at building a squad, but she is not as tactically brilliant as she is made out to be. She gets outfoxed tactically too many times.

Jeremy Cunnington

And developing players. Look at how good Niamh Charles and Lauren James have become.

Peter Story Teller

She relies very much on the skill level of her players and on an off day, like today to be fair, you could see how frustrated she was getting. There was still no praise for our team’s best performance so far though, we only won because her team were not good enough apparently!


Her bullying claims are hilarious when she’s got James & Cuthbert going around the pitch kicking anything that moves in an opposition shirt


“Of course, she doesn’t want to hurt anyone. She’s the sweetest person I know. Things happen like that; you can’t change it any more. It’s a huge lesson to learn but it’s not something she’s done on purpose.” – Sarina Wiegman


Sorry but I don’t buy it. I’ve seen a frustrated James rough up players too many times.


Is there no review by the FA or anyone ?
It was a blatant and malicious act.
James gets a yellow and Frida gets the same for kicking the ball 8yds past the offsides call for delay of game?

Credit to Walti and Jonas for playing it down as class acts but I think James should be held accountable.


Three players stand out from the excellent balance and they are Lotte, Pelova and Russo. They never stopped working, running, marking, scoring, ball winning. Russo showed the world class that made her move to Arsenal women a no brainer. Excellent performance.


Dittos! “”””””””” Vicky Pelova IS Kim Mark 2.

Bill Hall

Bloody brilliant performance with the icing on the cake, seeing that smug smile wiped off Emma Haye’s face 😉

Peter Story Teller

I’d give you 100 thumbs up for that comment, Bill, but I am only allowed 1! 🙂

Logan N

So pleased with the performance and work put in by the girls today. So many stand out performances today but Vic, Russo, Lotte and Katie were incredible.
Only complaint is the wasted chances after the triple substitution. Easily could have scored 6/7 today with how off it Chelsea were. NLD next. COYG!

Fun Gunner

Great job by the girls, but first I’m going to praise Jonas Eidevall for his selection and tactics. Katie McCabe up against Lauren James was a brilliant move. McCabe’s too canny to be suckered into obvious or silly fouls, and can draw fouls herself. Once again, his tactics nullified this dangerous player. I’m going to say a little word about Frida here. Frida has got going after a difficult start and I believe it is (partly) because she has found a Plan B game. She doesn’t have to star, or take all the chances – she supports the team play… Read more »


“Bullied” means Lauren James fell down every time she was touched ?

Fun Gunner

My main comment is still stuck in the waiting room (aargh) but I wanted to add that I can’t wait for the tactical breakdown on this one. Pressing and overloading will feature, I’m guessing. Taking time away from Chelsea and forcing turnovers. As an aside – I’d be interested to hear the views of others on this – it seems to me that a very transitional game isn’t a problem for us, at least not as much as it was playing in our previous manager’s style. We seem to keep our composure, as if we’ve trained on the high wire… Read more »


I’m also looking forward to the tactical analysis of this game. One thing I noticed was that, to me, Hayes took a big gamble in playing James against us. We always target the space James leaves behind and this game was no different. Hayes ultimately lost that bet. Her frustration with James was noticeable and later moved her centrally in order to plug up the holes she left in the flanks.

Canon fodder

Great to see Little back, she’ll add more grit to our midfield. With Viv working her way back to full fitness, hopefully we can sustain our charge and pip Chelsea to the title 👍🏿🙏🏿

Kampala gooner

oow that was one hell of a match certainly did enjoy watching and the atmosphere um um umm.


Best game i have seen us play in a while.


“When you feel you can’t quite go at 100% there is no need for anyone to go 90% in our squad.”

Asides from the absolutely fabulous and scoreline, this statement from JE makes me so happy. Coming from the days of having three keepers and academy players to fill up the bench. Thumbs up to he and his team for the structured team building.

Fun Gunner

Lia Walti said something similar – that when you know the squad is small/stretched, you unconsciously start to pace yourself rather than go all-out because you know you have to last the whole game or the whole season, because there is no-one to relieve you.

Gunner H

Absolutely spot on – as usual!

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