Friday, May 24, 2024

Jonas Eidevall reacts to 2-1 victory over Manchester City

Arsenal managed a dramatic late 2-1 win over Manchester City at the Academy Stadium in the WSL on Sunday.

Lauren Hemp gave City a first half lead before Stina Blackstenius scored an 89th minute equaliser followed by a stoppage time winner. Jonas Eidevall spoke to the press post match, the first two questions are from Arseblog News.

You’ve spoken before about how City are really good at forcing turnovers out wide and it looked to me quite a lot like Arsenal were focusing on playing quite centrally today, which makes me wonder why Kim Little didn’t start the game, but also maybe what are some of the details you changed at half-time as well as bringing Kim into the game?

When you don’t start Kim Little, that bears a question. Sometimes you need to think about how your team needs to look at at the end of the game, and not only at the start of the game, also what’s going to fit the best for the team. And of course there are always considerations through the whole training week that comes into individual load and management that’s not known to you guys, but it’s known to me and that’s of course information I need to to deal with as well.

So it best for the team to have Kim coming from the from the bench today, I think us playing with the ball. I think it was some of the best build-up football that we have played this season. It’s very difficult to play away Manchester City’s pressure. I think we did it ever so well. What we lacked in the first half was what did we do after that. We had far too little off the ball movement at those times, especially when we sustained attack we looked quite static. But I think the way we played in build up gave us a lot of belief, and what tremendous character of the players in the second half.

And you can see they were believing 100% that we can turn that game around. We got braver, we got more offensive-minded as longer as the game went. And I loved the character of them with being like, let’s go for it when we tie the game. Not being happy with that, we know that wasn’t going to change anything for our league position. The only thing that could change our league position was a win. I think the players’ mentality was unbelievably good today.

The Arsenal fans at the end singing Stina Blackstern stays? What about her future?

I’m sitting here after a great win and a great goal from her, and being as boring as ever with saying that when we have something concrete to communicate, we will do that regarding our extensions with Stina or with any other players with expiring contract.

Is it a season of what-ifs based on the head to head record against City and Chelsea?

I think when we look at the season, and we have been speaking about that in length before, we’ve been lacking consistency, but we definitely have shown a really high potential. That’s where these results come from as well. But if we take our eyes away from the league table for a moment, for us coming here, getting a win, which if I’m correctly informed, I think it might be seven years, something like that, since Arsenal was able to beat Man City away.

So to come here and achieve that, that was not only about this season, that was about us setting a footprint for next season and being able to show that we have progressed, that we have developed. And we know we have things in order to start better next season than we did this year and so on, for example, but we need to learn from that. And the potential and the quality the players played with today, very, very high.

On learning re: Champions League qualifiers …

One thing we need to respect at any stage coming out and playing in Europe, and City knows that very well, given their European record, is that the qualifying stages are not easy. There are a lot of good teams out in Europe that will, most of the time, have the advantage of being able to have had better pre-season than WSL clubs will have had.

So it comes at a difficult time in the season and we need to be ready for that. And it’s going to be a big, big priority for us to go into the group stage next season, so we need to be ready for it.

What does it feel like to do Chelsea a massive favour?

Yeah, those are the things that we can’t really control. I think it shows what we are as a team, that we never give up, that we put in a really strong performance. Then it’s up to the other teams to put in strong performances and result. And yeah, that’s not really any of my business who is going to win the league at the moment.

Can a win like this instill belief for next season?

I totally think so, and I said that to the team before we hit into the really steep injury crisis last season, but when we were talking before our return quarter-final leg against Bayern Munich, that I truly feel we can beat any team in the world. If we get our things right, then we are that good. I’m in the same belief this season, and I think we’ve shown it this season as well. And I think we’ve shown it this season as well.

What we need to fix is some details around us being able to be more consistent, being able to be more effective with both goalscoring opportunities for us, but also against us. But if we do that, we have the foundation in order to be successful. Here comes a big thing though. Those small details, they’re not going to take care of itself. So even if you have the foundation, it’s going to require a massive amount of work to be able to get that right for next season. And we need to be prepared to do that.

On late goals …

What I’m really happy about with the performance is that you can find a way to win against City and we showed that in the game, for example, early in the league at home. But if you characterise that as a performance, there is a lot of things there where we sort of maybe is forced to change the way we play due to the opponent. Today, I feel it’s the other way around.

I feel that we can really enforce our way of playing. I think we can be really comfortable with the ball, giving our structure and the quality the players have to playing out of their pressure. I felt like that going into the 85th minute here to say, if we don’t win today, at least we can look at ourselves in the mirror and say, we’re acting like the team we want to be.

We’re acting like the team we’re speaking about being. And that’s always the starting point to being successful. And then, of course, it’s much nicer when you score a 2-1 goal in overtime. But in reality, it doesn’t change the 91 minutes before that moment. It doesn’t. But it is those 91 minutes that creates the belief that the players show and gives the goal.

So I think from a performance perspective, it’s so big difference in what we did today than what we did early autumn.

Thank you.

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Passive first half. Aggressive second. Great introduction of Kim to turn the game around.
If cutting her minutes keeps her involved for at least another season then we will reap the benefit with the development of Vic, Kyra, Ke, Maddy Earl and Laila Harbert to eventual step into her shoes.

Fun Gunner

Spot on! Stina did brilliantly but my POTM is Kim Little. Now and forever.


Mixed emotions, at the start a defeat meant that Chelsea would end up trophy less this season and who’s not for that happening. After the first half display I’m looking at it saying we can’t play that badly regardless of the bigger picture – we can’t allow that to happen and get swept aside so meekly. Thankfully Kim Little came on and showed Cross, Pelova and everyone else how to maintain and protect possession. She provided the base in midfield and was a springboard for our better offensive play second half. Need to wrap her in cotton wool this summer… Read more »

Fun Gunner

Fantastic post, sums it up, really. I would only add that I didn’t think the first half was as bad as it was made out to be by the commentators. We defended well and I never got the feeling we were going to concede a couple more, rather that we were never going to score. Although paradoxically, I did detect some of that freedom in the build-up play that JE has talked about.




After the very poor first half i was prepared to settle for a draw BUT they won and I am happy with their second half perfomance. Gareth Taylor is an arrogant bad sport who I wish all the bad luck yet to come his way. While I do not want Chelsea/Hayes (Another bad sport) to win the WSL, it is a preferred option to City and having to live with Taylor in the wake of that success. No thanks. Little was sublime, Stina scored two and Russo ran her socks off, again but there were others who seemed comatose and… Read more »


I wonder how long Kim Little can keep playing for? Swapping her for Frida Maanum at half time (and frankly it could have been for any of our midfielders), and the whole side moved to a different level. Kim can’t go on forever, and we do need to find a successor, which won’t be easy.

Gunner H

Kim Little is irreplaceable, but we have Vicky, KK & Kyra as excellent players in the same position, not to mention a certain Viviane Miedema; also, it seems like Kim has at least a couple more seasons yet 🙂

Gunner H

The first half exemplified why City’s defence is the best in the WSL – Alessia, who has been so good in recent games, couldn’t make a significant impact, nor could our Canadian dynamo Cloe Lacasse. Leah was fabulous really, including several pinpoint forward balls, whilst I like Codina more with every game – she is a class act. Let’s not forget Emily Fox made one absolutely crucial goal-stopping block. With Kim coming on at 45 minutes (60 may have been too late) it was a case of “when the going gets tough, the tough get going” The team seem to… Read more »

Salvador Berzunza

The first quality of every single player in this team is more than evident, maybe we are missing a winger due Lina’s injury, but we are all agree Jonas is not the field Mariscal the team needs, we have 2 problems (play against low block and scoring on set pieces)and the coaching staff didn’t find a solution in the whole season, on top of that we are going to start the next season without a solution for this. we need to be self-critical and speak up. If the club wants to support Jonas is ok but he need help because… Read more »

Fun Gunner

I hear you. I also have wondered at times if JE is up to the job. However, the club believes in him so I have had to make my peace with their choice. And there are now signs that we are starting to get to grips with the low block. I believe it’s linked to the players’ increasing familiarity with JE’s structure, in that they can be less predictable. Regarding the setpieces, we need a new coach, I agree. If Patrik was JE’s choice, someone else needs to pick the new coach. Or just beg Leanne Hall to come back!… Read more »

Peter Story Teller

Not convinced Lina is a winger even when fit but personally I hope she sorts out what ever her problems are as they are not all injury related. Perhaps she needs to move back home I don’t know. I have no ill feeling against her but I would rather she left the club on mutual terms to free up a registration place for next season. As for the coaching question we appear to follow a strange pattern where our level adjusts itself to that of the opposition. We play City or Chelsea and we can hold our own but come… Read more »

Salvador Berzunza

Thats exactly the duties of one coach, if the team is creating chances and they don’t score is because they are outnumbered for rival players, they don’t have enough time to take the right decisions, or they don’t have goo positioning to create spaces, and other team partners are not having good positioning, this is planned on the board but need to be constructed and rehearsed on the training field, the team perform very good the transitions but on set pieces and low block they can’t make spaces or find another mate in better position, so they shoot with low… Read more »

Fun Gunner

Fair comment.

Fun Gunner

Yup. And that lack of identity affects the players’ confidence.

Fun Gunner

* And the connections on the pitch.

Amor pelo futebol feminino

Liverpool are doing an excellent job, their victory over United was a goal from a set piece. In other words, whoever is responsible is seeing that there can make a big difference in achieving victory, and taking advantage of the fact that their defenders are tall, Clark is a player to watch

Bill Hall

Fantastic result of which the only downside is thanks to their battering of Bristol City (8:0) if Chelsea win their game in hand that dreadful Hayes woman will win the bloody title 😡 ugh

Bill Hall

I will say this though, my god we need Viv back to her pre ACL injury form. She was the best striker in the league no question!

James Graham

Bit ominous that there has been very little written about her contract expiring in the summer… seems as though it’s almost inevitable that she’ll be heading for pastures new.

Amor pelo futebol feminino

The girls overcame themselves and didn’t give up, I expect them to be like that in the CL qualifications, and I noticed that Gareth, a strange guy who doesn’t get angry, accepted the defeat in a good way, is he aware that the WSL trophy 🏆 is at stake? didn’t give a single orientation to the team or anything

Salvador Berzunza

my very personal opinion on Taylor is he is waiting for an opportunity to train a male team, and in the meantime, he is gaining coaching experience.

Fun Gunner

Do you know, I think you might be on to something there!

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