Monday, April 22, 2024

Jonas Eidevall reacts to 1-0 victory over Spurs

Arsenal were 1-0 winners over Tottenham at Emirates Stadium on Sunday thanks to a second half strike from Alessia Russo. Jonas Eidevall spoke to the press post-match, the first two questions are from Arseblog News.

On the first half and whether Arsenal fell into old habits against deep blocks after a bright start…
The first half we played a lot of good situations up to the final third but what we were missing there was to create a bit more of the clear cut chances. It is a tight, low block we play against, I don’t know exactly how many corners we created in the first half, which is a major part of that. When you are playing against a low block, it is important to understand that the reward seldom comes in the first half, it more often comes in the second half. We needed to keep the patience and keep the quality to make that happen and that was enough today.

On the halftime teamtalk, the goal and why it didn’t break the game open more…
You are right (about playing more diagonal balls to Beth Mead in the second half) we spoke about that a lot at half time. We wanted to change the point of attack to create 1 v 1 or 2 v 1 situations over on the other side, or we broke through wide overloads in the first half. We spoke about finding another way and that being about when we set the ball back and attack diagonally into the box because we could see their full-backs were struggling to stay switched on so it was nice to see that come off.

I think you are right that the international break was a factor, this was probably the most difficult conditions for us to play so far this season. We had an international break and a lot of question marks over player availability. The players have worked incredibly hard on an individual level to be ready to play this game. From a squad depth perspective this is as shallow as we have been because of players being at the Gold Cup. We knew that was going to be a factor against Spurs with a full squad.

We could have finished the game a little stronger but I think you could see all that work had taken its toll and I said to the players after, even if I am not happy with how we play in the last 15 minutes because we think too much about the score line, no one is going to remember those 15 minutes at the end of the season. You need to take smart decisions and we are not the only football team in the world who is going to have spells in a game where we are not dominant in every aspect of the game. You need to ride out those storms and we did today and that is really important, we keep the clean sheet, we get three points and that’s the main thing.

On how many players had questions marks over fitness…
I don’t want to provide that information but it was more than one.

On players who can switch the play and how important that was in the game…
Individual quality is really important and you see it in the goal we score but it’s also the connection and understanding between those players. Without that, the individual quality is not worth anything. The way Kim protects the ball, the way she can scan and see the opportunity to play that diagonal pass with pinpoint precision, without that the goal isn’t possible. But if Beth Mead doesn’t wait for that pass and position and attack that space and have that quality on the first touch, the goal is not possible. And still, the goal would not happen if Alessia does not stay central as a 9. If she would have been impatient and been somewhere else in that moment, that goal wouldn’t have happened. Potentially it would have been a penalty but with the number of penalties we get this season I don’t trust that too much. But those things all need to come together to score that goal.

On Russo scoring a six yard box poachers’ goal…
We spoke about that in the last block before the international break that that was an area to improve and she is doing that very, very well today and she gets her reward as well. It looks like an easy goal to score but it’s an impossible goal to score if you’re not in that position.

On back-to-back sellouts at the Emirates…
I was thinking about the quote from Dennis Bergkamp, that you do not support a football club because of an individual or for history or for a trophy you go and support a team because you found an environment where you feel that you belong. That is what makes me extremely proud of being able to say more than 60,000 people have found a place where they feel they belong. And they feel this is their home and where they want to come and support their team. That is very special and that is something we need to keep alive and building on. But that is a special feeling that we have been able to create that.

On whether he wants Russo to be more selfish as a striker…
As a 9, one of your main roles for the team is to score goals, for me that is not selfish. That is contributing what you need to do. Our forwards are point players, they need to contribute with points. That is for our 9, our 10 and our two wide forwards. I don’t look at that as selfless or selfish, I look at how well we perform the role that we have in the team and a really important role for our number 9 is to score goals.

On the progress of Spurs…
They signed a lot of players this year, they are really investing in their squad. But this game is the same, they defended, they have a very defensive mindset and they do that well. But nothing changed, it was the same game. The thing that changed was that we were able to be more effective with our goal scoring opportunities. The last game against them in the league I think we win the majority of the time and I think it’s the same as the game today but it was nice to get the win today.

On the partnership between Mead and Russo…
Key relationships take time to develop but one aspect that is overlooked in professional football, when players are able to keep that relationship when they go away with the national team, that makes it a little bit easier. They can keep building on that and Beth and Alessia are a prime example of that to work on their relationship at club and national level. That makes it easier especially when you only have a couple of days preparation after the international break.

On the importance of the high press against Spurs…
We want to have the ball, we want to be dominant both in the way we have the ball ourselves but also with the spaces and time we allow the opponent. We know that Tottenham is looking to play out from the back and we didn’t want that to happen. We needed to be aggressive and bring them to a place where we force them to turnover. Most of the time we were successful, some of the time you could see what they were trying to accomplish. It was a game of margins and angles where we needed to be brave and put enough pressure on the ball so they couldn’t get behind us or out on the other side.

On whether the Emirates factor could be a marginal gain in the title race…
I definitely think the culture we have here at the Emirates is a big factor that can be even more important long term. It should be able to drive sporting success and to generate revenue and investing in the team to generate more sporting success. I am so happy they put one more game at the Emirates. It would have been really sad to sit here and have this as the last time we were going to the Emirates this season. We are looking forward to the Leicester game very much, I hope our fans are too and there is a lot of time until that game now so I hope the ticket sales stay fast and many.

On the ingredients that lead to consistent big crowds…
I got that question on Friday and one thing that is really important is the one club mentality, it is the investment in both the men’s and women’s team across the board and the executives and that drips down through the whole organisation. That means that we take good and ambitious decisions and we have that backing. Without that it is not possible without the whole club behind it.

1.Zinsberger; 15.McCabe, 27.Codina (6.Williamson ‘72), 3.Wubben-Moy, 7.Catley; 21.Pelova (32.Cooney-Cross ‘72), 13.Walti; 9.Mead, 10.Little(c), 19.Foord (12.Maanum ‘83); 23.Russo (25.Blackstenius ‘72)

Unused: 40.Williams, 53.Lia, 61.Earl, 62.Reid, 86.Bouhaddi.

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Well done girls


Important win. Wouldn’t describe it as good. But it was vital for us to stay in the picture. I, for one, am tired of this constant low block talk. We are not the only big team in the league to come up against low block yet it is always a major point of discussion during pressers. City have played Spurs about a million times this season and won them all. We’ve had months and months to perfect a system to break it down. Actually think today was a pretty average game. The international break and health of players might be… Read more »

Jeremy Cunnington

Well that was hard work to watch, but it’s the result is all that counts.

Just too slow and ponderous in the final third and you can see the players are still trying to build that understanding between each other so they feel confident enough just to put the ball in to a place they know their team mate will be without thinking / looking.


A tough first half to watch, a nervous last 15 or so, not a massive amount to enjoy from this game except the 3 points . On another day this is 1-1. Again the low block is going to prove Eidevall’s downfall, he doesn’t show enough in game management ability to overcome this. Got to wonder what they do in training all week every week. Pelova you think should be the player to have the keys, have to give her more freedom and confidence to be more effective in the final third. Don’t buy the player cohesive reasoning, the team… Read more »

Fun Gunner

Agree particularly with your last couple of paragraphs.
I was dying for JE to bring on Stina, but for Foord, not Russo! Stusso/RussStenius would have made me very happy. Foord needs a proper rest and Catley hasn’t been the same (defensively) since her trip back to Oz for personal reasons.

Peter Story Teller

I’d noticed that too. Considering Steph was billed as the best left back in the world her defending leaves a lot to be desired at times. On more than one occasion she has been caught wrong side of the attacker and committed a foul just outside our area which has proven costly. She did the same today pulling the player back when she was beaten but luckily got away with it today.


Well said. I think Cately is overrated! She’s a suspect defensively. Hope we sign a left back in the summer.

Fun Gunner

I agree with quite a lot of JE’s remarks, and I think maybe he has a point that the first half softened Spurs up for the second half – they definitely did seem more tired than us as the second half started. However while not seeing this as a lucky win, I don’t think we’re doing enough differently to win all the games against sides who will low block us from now until the end of the season, as we have to do. I saw some good signs, but we need to learn quickly. The first half seemed to be… Read more »

Fun Gunner

And what is our setpiece coach doing? He’s been here over a year and I’m seeing no improvements in the results of free kicks and million+ corners we get. Feels like we’ve got worse, if anything, It’s not like we don’t have the talent – LWM, Ilestedt, Russo, all great at headers and score for their national teams.

Peter Story Teller

I’ve stated that several times already but it only seems to be you and me that are concerned!

Fun Gunner

What makes it even more galling is that the men’s setpiece coach is having such a positive effect!


I very much agree with the comments here. Praise is due to Manu; she’s come under a lot of criticism recently but I think you could say that her saves won us two points. A nervy last 15 to 20 minutes when Grace Clinton was beginning to run the midfield. It reminded me of the home match against City when, during the same period of the match (with the score at 1-1), Yui Hasagawa was dominating play. We were lucky on that day to come away with a win. On to Meadow Park on Wednesday!

Gunner H

A decent performance – but we must take into account that the game was played not long after the international break, hence the obvious tiredness in some of our players, especially the wizards from Oz. Most of the opposition were not involved in internationals. Also, a few Arsenal players are still overseas on international duty. It proved a wise decision by JE to deploy Kim up front today, whilst Vicky looked pretty good in Kim’s “normal” position. By the way, has anyone noticed how well KK is playing for Everton? She made their goal today & excelled in their midweek… Read more »

Fun Gunner

Yes, I have noticed!

Peter Story Teller

Yes she is. If we qualify for Champions League next season we shall need KK back fit and healthy.


Good win. That’s about it. Performance was not great. Spencer made only 3 saves across the entire match. Really tired of hearing about this low block thing. Not the only big team that encounters it. City have played Spurs about a billion times recently and won all. Problem with Jonas is he always has all the learnings but the application is never really visible. Someone described Foord as playing with the end goal being to win a corner instead of assisting a goal and it kinda sums her up. How can one player have so many mediocre final balls every… Read more »

Peter Story Teller

I know the excuse will come out that Caitlin has been to the other side of the planet but after a promising season last time around this season she has gone backwards. She does try and run into the box but some of those balls, are they aimed at anyone in particular? Sometimes she was getting right on top of the near post and instead of lacing it into the net tries to cross it to who exactly? At least she did win a fair number of corners but then they don’t do us much good, do they?


I guess the question is to what extent is it the player sending the cross in to make sure there’s someone there to receive it and to what extent is it the responsibility of another player to get in and receive crosses. Did a player send in a pointless cross or did their team mate not get there in time? Its got to be a bit of both. I always see after games that people search for a single player to blame for whatever they thought was wrong, but the hesitancy, recycling of the ball and excessive amount of touches… Read more »

Fun Gunner

My theory is this – Foord’s engine is extraordinary but her mental stamina lags behind it. She can keep running but her fatigue shows in her decision making. She gets very predictable, takes on players unnecessarily instead of playing a teammate in, takes shots that don’t have a hope of troubling the keeper, etc, etc. Even though her loading numbers might seem ok, she is not. After a bit of R&R, she comes back with goals and assists. But JE plays her too much. As an opposition player or manager, you know what she will do, but when she is… Read more »


I very much agree with the points people are making. We’re all a bit frustrated, but I do want to give Manu some deserved praise. She looked much more confident and the save she made from Naz in effect won us two points.

Peter Story Teller

Yes I am not Manu’s biggest fan but she looked more like a goal keeper in this game. If only she could distribute a little more quickly after collecting the ball like Becky Spencer was doing. Perhaps bringing in Sarah was a good move even if she doesn’t play a game with some of her experience rubbing off onto Manu?

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