Sunday, March 3, 2024

Jonas Eidevall says lack of width and too much conservatism on the ball learning points from West Ham defeat

Arsenal fell to their third WSL defeat of the season on Sunday at West Ham, having also lost to Liverpool and Spurs this season. The Gunners have experienced difficulties against teams that play in low defensive blocks.

The theme dominated Eidevall’s pre London City Lionesses press conference. ‘We have to look forward and acknowledge which things we need to do better and the things we need to continue doing,’ Eidevall told Sky Sports.

‘Of course we are very frustrated by the result, it doesn’t entirely mirror the performance in that game but we need to take ownership of all parts of that performance to help us get better results. There are plenty of things we need to improve and do better on so that is where we will put our focus.

‘Even if I think we created enough chances to win the game against West Ham and we need to be more efficient with the chances but there are things about how we position, how we use the field to make it difficult for them to defend in a low block and in that, we can definitely improve.

‘We learn from every game whether we win or lose and there were some crucial learning points from the West Ham game that we need to put into action.’ Arseblog News asks Jonas Eidevall whether he agrees with our assertion that Arsenal shied away from too many progressive passes in favour of a more conservative option in the West Ham game.

‘I don’t know if it is a good sign or a bad sign when you and I have the same idea when we see a game back! Maybe with so much time in press conferences I am thinking more like a journalist!

‘I totally agree on that, we try too few high risk high reward passes in the game. There is always a balance in that, how much of a direct, opportunistic team do you want to be? How much control are you looking for?

‘I think there were a handful of situations in the first and second half where I say, ‘I think we should go for that pass.’ And we opted to do safer passes. We have too much quality in our players on and off the ball so we should be able to look for those situations and look for them with determination.

‘In those situations we are so well balanced it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t come off all the time because that can just create another good counterpressing opportunity for example. For me that was one of the major findings from the game.

‘Another one, which is very basic, is that we play without width too many times in the West Ham game. We have been quite good with our structure in recent games, this was a real step back from us in a positional perspective. We didn’t figure out which players needed to provide width in the different phases of the game.

‘But we are going to learn from that. With our football things were looking good and sometimes you take a step back but that is a fundamental part of trying to break down a low block, to provide width to be able to stretch their defending line and ask them which spaces to defend.

‘I think our positioning made that a little too easy for West Ham on Sunday and our decision making on the ball meant we did not try to play passes forward more often and that made it a little too easy for them.’

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Peter Story Teller

The thing is to make high risk passes you need movement from someone to pass to. It appears that in too many games we are happy enough passing sideways and backwards to retain possession thinking that shall draw out the opposition. Spoiler alert it doesn’t! The other teams know that’s what we are trying to do and are more than happy for us to have 90% possession in our own half! Our attackers, not just forwards, need to be more dynamic to create the opportunity to make the risky pass and maybe create an opening. This is why we appear… Read more »

chig

The most worrying part of all this is that these problems have been apparent in multiple games this season and the problems weren’t fixed. How many times do you have to learn the lesson?

Peter Story Teller

You only have to learn it once! Our problem is that despite multiple examples Jonas still hasn’t!

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