Thursday, June 13, 2024

Jonas Eidevall admits allowing Watford youngsters to face Arsenal was a tough decision

Arsenal Women boss Jonas Eidevall says it was a tough decision to allow Michelle Agyemang, Katie Reid and Laila Harbert to face Arsenal in the Women’s FA Cup Fourth Round on Sunday.

The three Arsenal academy players are on loan at Watford from Arsenal and the Gunners have given them permission to face their parent club at Meadow Park on Sunday. Arseblog News asked Jonas Eidevall about his thinking behind the decision.

‘No, it wasn’t (an easy decision to make). It is two decisions and two mindsets going against each other. My first thought in a competitive game is that you should do everything in your power to get every inch to do that, otherwise you are not respecting the opposition and that is the worst mistake you can do going into a game.

‘Then comes the other part, these are three players who I believe so much can be first team players for Arsenal in the future. And the sole reason we have them on loan at Watford is to get first team experience.

‘From their perspective, to be able to play in the FA Cup at, hopefully, a sold out Boreham Wood, that is probably as good an experience as it can be. If I denied them that experience do I also deny them their potential development.

‘When I think about those two things, short term and long term, one of the few times in my career I am willing to give up a competitive advantage in order to invest in the future for Arsenal.

‘In short I am not happy with the decision in the short term but long-term, given that I really see the potential in them, I think it’s the right decision because it’s going to develop them the most.’

Arsenal Women will wear the all-white ‘No More Red’ kit for Sunday’s game, a joint campaign with adidas based around community initiatives aimed at stamping out knife crime in London.

In the past, the women’s team have not been able to wear the kits due to WSL rules about maximum numbers of kits permitted for the season. But given Sunday’s match is in the FA Cup, they are not bound by that constraint this year.

Jonas Eidevall said the women’s team wearing the kit will reinforce the campaign message. ‘It’s the third season that we are running the campaign but it’s the first time that we have been able for the women’s team to wear the No More Red jersey and I think that is a really powerful message because it’s such a visual campaign.

‘A lot of the message is in the match jersey. That is one part that we can have both first teams wearing it this year. But the second part it is not a one pff campaign, that it is the third season.

‘In order to change things, you need to invest long-term and it’s been really pleasing to see the club and adidas willing to do that.’

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Fun Gunner

I think it’s the right decision. It’s making good on a promise to help them develop. Other young players will take note. Watford will not face many WSL teams so this is a great opportunity for the girls. I hope they are selected, and do really well – but on the losing side. Just want to add that I originally thought that Agyemang should be loaned to a team in the WSL so that she would have to fight really hard for her place, but seeing that she has been injured for most of the first half of the season,… Read more »

Gunner H

Agree 100% Ms Fun Gunner.

Peter Story Teller

I’ll be looking out for them to see how they get on against what sounds like is going to be a very strong team that Jonas fields.

Nzini

At first I thought he allowed Watford youngsters (men) to play the woman’s team

pahtotheworld

Is it allowed?

looking at the rules pdf just now it includes:

“The Association will not give permission for players on loan to play against the lending Club. “

Pops

We better win then.

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