Saturday, May 25, 2024

‘They kept their belief in their players and their coach’ Eidevall on Manchester City improvement

Arsenal Women travel to Manchester on Sunday to take on WSL leaders Manchester City. City took a giant step towards the title on Wednesday night without even playing, as Chelsea were beaten 4-3 away at Liverpool, meaning City need four points from their final two games to guarantee their first title since 2016.

Gareth Taylor’s side finished 4th in the WSL in 2022-23 but Gunners boss Jonas Eidevall says the signs were there last season that City could push for the title. ‘When you look at the underlying numbers from last season, they were the team with the best expected goal difference in the whole league but they finished 4th.

‘This was a problem for people because they look at the points and draw all conclusions from that. But when you look at the underlying numbers you see a team that had a really strong season and has kept that same core, adding on some really good additions, like Khiara Keating who has had a brilliant season.’

Eidevall highlighted their improvement from setpieces as one of the factors in their progression. ‘They changed one detail which is often overlooked and that’s their record from setpieces. They really turned that around from last season to this season and that’s the big difference.

‘They had the foundation to have a season like this, so to me it didn’t come as a surprise. From others who only look at the points I can see why it would come as a surprise but for us it does not come as a surprise.’ Arseblog News asked Eidevall whether City not having Champions League qualifiers during the summer was a factor in their strong domestic campaign.

‘Yes but it is such a loser mentality to say I see it as an advantage not being in Europe. I don’t think that’s how you build a successful football club or football team. The end goal needs to be success domestically and internationally. But consistency is a really important success factor and they have had a consistent core and keep the majority and build some strong relationships.’

Arsenal will play in Champions League qualifiers again in September but Eidevall hinted that Arsenal can go on a similar trajectory to City in 2024-25. ‘When I see the season, others might see it differently, but when I see our underlying numbers they are very strong. From my three seasons here this is the season where we have the strongest underlying numbers but we haven’t been effective enough and that has hurt our results. But if we look forward, I think if we keep having the best underlying numbers I think we will be successful.

‘That is where we need to keep our belief in what we are trying to achieve. That is what City have been doing very well, at times when they didn’t get the results, like last season which was, of course, disappointing for them to finish 4th, they kept their belief in the players, in the coach and that was the right decision for them. Everything underlying showed them they were on the right path and that has given them success this season.

‘They have been by far the most effective team, in terms of scoring much more than their expected goals and conceding a lot fewer than their expected goals against. By far the most efficient team in the league and that is the best thing to have if you want results.’

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He’s starting to sound like those rival Prem managers who go through a bad period and point to Arteta and Arsenal as an example to follow.

I no longer think he is the right person to lead this team, but I’ll still hope he proves me wrong.


I actually think Jonas is a really good coach! Fair enough if others disagree, but I have seen enough from him in certain games to know that he has the minerals. So what’s wrong? I just think a good number of our players are not as good as we make them out to be and we are too sentimental to let them go. Imo, practically every position, bar 3/4 can be vastly improved on. Even when City finished behind us and Chelsea and didn’t make it to the UWCL, I always thought they had better players, as a collective, than… Read more »

Amor pelo futebol feminino

Lyon’s attack, my God! It scared me, Dumornay is robust, fast, skilled, I think of a striker like that at Arsenal


I can understand that this is an unpopular opinion but probably is the type of thing that will be discussed in the coming years if our ambition really is to win everything.

We’ll probably have to get used to ruthless decision making, similar to the goalkeeping situation this year with the men’s team.

Fun Gunner

All I can say is that I hope he is right.
As for Man City, I know Shaw has always been good, but she’s gone up a level this last season. Fowler coming good was huge as well, as was Khiara Keating’s emergence. For the Lionesses, I think she is better than Hampton because her mentality is stronger.

Amor pelo futebol feminino

Gareth himself said in an interview that he was being guided by Pep Guardiola’s team and being accompanied by him, especially in set pieces as a whole. City coach has all the credit for what he is doing with the group he looked for ways to have this success


Happy that Chelsea and Hayes look like winning nothing after her histrionics after the Conti Cup final and the Barceona tie. As for Manchester City I have no real issue with them winning the WSL but I simply do not like the arrogant manager. I think AWFC can beat Manchester City
What I think of Jonas is that he is adequate but if the club are going to replace him I just hope they justify it with the right candidate: Casey Stoney for instance.

Peter Story Teller

Whilst I appreciate the qualities of Viv, Stina and Lessi we still need an instinctive goalscorer like a Shaw or a Kerr. The best we have I always believed is Meado. She finishes the season with better stats that the others despite starting from a serious injury and playing out wide where I feel her talents are wasted a lot of the time and simply makes her a target to get hacked out of the game. Perhaps we should have grabbed Beth England rather than letting her go to you know who? We could do worse than giving young Michelle… Read more »

Gunner H

How about playing Mead as Centre Forward along with Russo / Blackstenius alternating & Lacasse as our (very) dynamic winger. Are we bold enough?

Peter Story Teller

I’d give it a go! There are two games coming up where we could experiment since there’s nothing riding on them but I bet we don’t!


Just ask yourself, “Who was the Lionesses’ top scorer when they won the Euros?”

Peter Story Teller

Precisely! She’s always been our best finisher but her tally has been limited by playing wide. This, apparently, was to accommodate Viv in the centre and because Beth was happy to play there it stuck! I know doubters always say that she was playing against poor Championship teams when her Sunderland scoring record is mentioned but regardless of the level you have to have the skill and composure to put the ball into the net to average a goal a game which is the area that has let us down for the past few seasons.

Fun Gunner

Exactly. She has a nose for goal like no other Arsenal player. My only worry would be that she has played on the wing for so long, she might find it difficult to adapt. But I guess all those years of playing as a central striker before she came to Arsenal will have left their mark – like riding a bicycle!

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