Tuesday, June 25, 2024

‘Being structured and being static is not the same thing’ Eidevall pleased with Arsenal attacking fluency

Arsenal’s performance against low block defences has been a theme of their season, with defeats against Liverpool, West Ham and Spurs preventing them from really competing for the WSL title. In recent games, this has been less of a problem, Arsenal put up an XG of 4.0 away at Aston Villa, 3.3 at home to Bristol City and 2.8 against Leicester, all of whom played low block defences.

During last week’s 3-0 win over Leicester, Arseblog News asked Jonas Eidevall about the freer role afforded to Caitlin Foord, who drifted from her post on the left wing throughout the game. ‘A lot of that is the decision making of the players, what they need to consider is that we need to attack with balance and making sure we see that players move and start to react.’

In his pre-Everton press conference, Arseblog News asked Eidevall whether that increased fluidity in attack was a compromise on his part or whether it just took time to develop over the season, ‘Being structured and being static is not the same thing. But it is sometimes the easiest thing to be static if you want structure.

‘If nobody moves, then everything can be the way you want it. But very seldom is that associated with good football. When we describe successful teams we use words like ‘dynamic’, ‘creative’, or ‘fluid.’ So how do you get structure with that? For me that is with the principles.

‘So if the principles provide the structure and the principles make sure we are balanced in offence and defence, then we can have fluidity in the way we move. The better you understand the principles, the better you understand how your position might impact someone else, the better you are able to be dynamic and fluid.

‘That requires some team maturity. We are in a much, much better way as a team right now in order to be able to adapt and express ourselves that way. Some of the attacking play against Leicester was a great example of that.

‘How other players are able to take up positions that someone else is leaving and providing a sense that teams need for balance and structure while the player herself can exploit the space that she sees in the moment.

‘That is not just for me that is for most football coaches who come to a point with a team and I think we have developed in that.’ Arseblog News asked how this fomented over the season.

‘When we see the season as a whole, we need to be more consistent to have more points than we have right now. That is one part. It is also true we have seen a lot of progression and development during the season. So then you would argue that our starting point this season was too low.

‘That was for different reasons, we had very little time going into the season at the start, we had new players coming in so we didn’t start with the same core group of players that finished last season.

‘That is also something we need to fix for next season to come in at a higher starting point because we can see we can progress and develop over the season. That is really important but it is also important to start at a higher level than we did this year.’

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Fun Gunner

Thanks, Tim. Interesting responses from Jonas Eidevall. The structure, or JE’s instructions about it, have seemed like a straitjacket on some of the players. Now it is sufficiently ingrained for them to take the structure and run with it. This was what was missing when JE bemoaned the lack of spark in the players. They were still getting to grips with all the information and the style and playing by numbers a bit. It’s coming together, but a bit too late. Our early CL exit exacted a very heavy toll on our preparation, quite apart from the disaster of not… Read more »

Fun Gunner

You have to wonder where we’d be if in the last 15 months we had NOT recruited Pelova and Fox. Injuries aside, even if everyone had stayed fit, having those two in the squad has fixed a range of issues in midfield and on the right hand side that I didn’t even realise we had! Their versatility has made them worth two players each. I may come to the same view about Russo, but she’s not quite there yet.

Peter Story Teller

I think Lessi has suffered from the hype of the silly transfer offer and then the insistance that it was either her or Stina as number 9. Play the pair together with Lessi given the freedom to roam a bit and bingo! We’re now starting to see what she is capable of. As you say a bit more flexibility has helped Caitlin too. For too long she ran along the touch line to the corner, then ran up the by line to try a shot at the near post. Just allowing her infield 10 or 15 yards and she is… Read more »

Colin Carey

Haven’t all the players got exceptional football skills but it’s just a matter of playing the front runners in the positions that not only suit them best but also achieve results. Lessi has said she’s prepared to play anywhere; she has shown that at 9 she’s capable of scoring but if played only as a highly successful play maker don’t critisise her if she’s not on the scoresheet.

Fun Gunner

She’s only 25, as well. Fantastic signing, give her a four-year contract this summer, I reckon.

Peter Story Teller

Not really thought of that before but I think you are correct, Tim. We used to wipe the floor with virtually every side under Joe but lose the WSL on our Chelse / City record. Now we are more capable of taking points from them but we slip up against lesser sides under Jonas. This is where the time factor comes in I believe. It’s not so much time for the players working together but more for Jonas to understand which players require more structure and those he can trust to go and play football without them doing anything stupid.… Read more »

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