Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Jonas Eidevall reacts to 5-1 victory over Watford

Arsenal were 5-1 winners against Watford in the fourth round of the FA Cup thanks to goals from Alessia Russo, Lia Walti, Stina Blackstenius, Amanda Ilestedt and Frida Maanum. Jonas Eidevall spoke to the press post-match, the first three questions are from Arseblog News. You can read the on the whistle match report, with the goals included, here.

On the overall performance…
We have started the year well, with the game against Feeyenoord. The discussion you and I had in the press conference on Friday about how we can improve playing against a low block like we did today. I think we had a better variety and fluidity in our positions, especially in the first half when Watford don’t get out of their half for 45 minutes. I said to the players that my only real compliant was that we should have scored more goals sooner and made the game easier for us. But it was good to see and we can see from a squad perspective, players coming off the bench and doing really well, which was nice to see and keeps those combinations very high.

On the combination between Miedema and Russo…
What we need to do is between our 9s and 10s- and there is no doubt that Viv can play as a 9 as well- we need to invest time in these relationships. We can see today that Viv and Lessi have invested time in this in training and it starts to look better. But you can also see that when Stina and Frida come on, that is a working relationship and I am not rigid about which relationship should be the one we use. We should be able to use other ways, we just need to be able to spend the time on them.

On Emily Fox’s debut and her ability to ‘invert’ and play inside…
Foe me it is not about being rigid in that, it is about keeping the balance underneath. You don’t really want two wide players at the same time. Instead of our only dynamic being that we keep the full-back high and the wide forward coming inside, we can have moments when we can keep our wide player wide and be a really good one v one player and it allows us to push a 6 or an 8 higher up the pitch and someone like Emily can go wide. Or the full-back can come inside and the 6 or the 8 can go wider. It is about fluidity and having the ability to be able to do that and play more often to play to player’s individual strengths or we can take positions where teams don’t know what we’re going to do. Especially against a team like Watford who does a lot of individual marking in the way they defend. Those rotations become even more important because if you’re standing still, you’re never going to move them. The ball doesn’t move them that much but the players movement will do that more.

On Victoria Pelova pushing higher up the pitch today…
We talk about strengths the players have, if you look at our right side today, Victoria is very strong when she comes into the pocket, she is a very creative player, Beth Mead is a very strong one v one player. It doesn’t mean that Beth can’t come inside as well, it doesn’t mean Emily can’t go wide, she is really good at that as well. It just means we don’t have to do the same thing every time, these players can have that autonomy and problem solve more often. That is what I like about having players who can play on the outside and the inside.

On the decision to allow Arsenal’s three loanees to play for Watford today…
It was my decision so it became the club’s decision but there was no objection on that, we were very aligned on saying we believe so much in these three players long term that that over rides every other perspective. We wish them every bit of success and it was important for us to see that they were brave on the ball today and they can express themselves, that is why we wanted to invest first team minutes in them. I think we saw that and you can see the potential in all three of them. This was probably more of a stressful game for them but they need that to develop.

On the relationship with Watford to loan young them players…
It’s a big benefit because they are so close, these players are still in school and are not in a position where they can move. All three of these players are very good so they get a lot of attention in England and abroad but it doesn’t make sense for us to move them away from where they are now so this is the perfect combination for us for them to be able to stay at home, focus on school and play good football.

On Steph Catley not being in the squad…
That is for personal reasons and she will be back next week.

On trying to make Arsenal more varied…
The players have been really good in trying to implement that, the players and staff are working really well together to develop together and how we train and how we feedback and problem solve together. That is necessary for us to take the next step, to get that total involvement. It is not a huge change but it’s about tweaking details and I am excited to see that.

1.Zinsberger; 2.Fox, 28.Ilestedt, 3.Wubben-Moy (27.Codina ‘89), 15.McCabe(c); 21.Pelova, 13.Walti (32.Cooney-Cross ‘64); 9.Mead, 11.Miedema (12.Maanum ‘63), 19.Foord (24.Lacasse ‘64); 23.Russo (25.Blackstenius ‘64).

Unused: 5.Beattie, 14.D’Angelo, 40.Williams.

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Fun Gunner

Definitely an improvement in the variety of our build-up.


Really pleasing to see our younsters playing today. They all performed really well. So much promise.

Peter Story Teller

Especially Michelle, put herself about a bit with virtually no support from her team mates but one chance and she scores! Definitely a player for the future.


Hope that Beth was OK.

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