Arsenal boss Jonas Eidevall says it is important not to create a culture of fear around errors because he wants the team to feel the upside of being a proactive team that tries to solve problems.
According to FBRef data, Manu Zinsberger is catching three times the number of crosses per game that she was last season, which illustrates that this has been seen as a development point for her and the team.
Zinsberger leads the WSL for crosses claimed by some distance (she has claimed 14.3% of the crosses that have come into the Arsenal area, the second most prolific keeper in the WSL is on 8%). However, the Austrian was at fault for West Ham’s winning goal last Sunday when she opted to punch a free-kick into the area and miscued.
Arseblog News asked Jonas Eidevall what the response of him and his coaching staff has been to that error in the days since the West Ham defeat. ‘Support. We work with athletes that try their best in every situation in the game and we see at all levels of the game that sometimes mistakes happen.
‘The worst thing you can do when those mistakes happen is react in a way where you say it is not acceptable. Because what you create is a culture of fear and fear of making mistakes and that is not the football that we want to play.’
Eidevall said encouraging Zinsberger to be proactive from her line has had strong benefits this season and that he wants that to continue. ‘We want to be a brave team that takes initiative and we want to be a team to dares to play out against pressure, that dares to solve situations.
‘If you are going to have a chance of being that team you have to have a culture of bravery. That means mistakes are going to be a part of it. The player that never does anything will never commit clear mistakes but the biggest mistake you can make is to be passive and not to take initiative.
‘So we keep going and keep doing our best and as long as everyone is doing their very best, that is all I ask.’ Eidevall also revealed that Arsenal held a training session at London Colney on Wednesday afternoon in response to their Conti Cup quarter-final tie at London City Lionesses being postponed due to a waterlogged pitch on Wednesday afternoon.
‘I am adaptable, when you have no game you have more time to work on things with the squad, it is not about what you want or what you prefer but making the best of the situation. We switched our mindset very quickly, there is no point in dwelling.
‘We changed the whole operation in about ten minutes time, to make sure we changed the nutrition time for players. We were able to have a good training session here, obviously we had to respect the natural light because we don’t have floodlights here and making sure the players got nutrition after.
‘In the circumstances the players did a splendid job and so did the staff, making sure we turned that around and it really showed how far we have come as an organisation to still be able to get something out of the day. It was not what we wanted but it was something and that is much better than nothing!’
Arsenal play at home to Manchester City in the FA Cup 5th round on Sunday at 12.30pm.