Interview

Eidevall - I'm working for the club that I love

Jonas Eidevall is here to stay in north London. 

Our head coach joined us back in June 2021, and has since taken charge of 40 matches across all competitions, scoring 109 goals along the way. 

There's still a chance for silverware during his debut season too, as we head into the final game of the Women's Super League season just one point behind Chelsea. 

We spoke to Eidevall after putting pen to paper alongside Mikel Arteta - and this is what he had to say: 

on how it feels to sign a new contract…
Obviously, it’s a great thing, it allows me to continue to work for a club that I love so much and be around people that I really, really like, and to be able to achieve things together, so I’m really looking forward to that.

on the factors he had to consider…
I think it’s mainly two, it’s professional and it’s private. Professional, you want to see that the club have the same ambitions that you have, and that the players, the staff and the fans are invested into that vision. Privately, you want your family to live a good life that they enjoy, and I think here we can find both and I’m really looking forward to it.

on signing alongside Mikel Arteta and whether he’s spoken to him much…
Yes, I have! He’s a great manager and someone I always enjoy speaking to when I have the occasion for it.

on whether he's watched Arteta’s side in action…
Yeah, a fair bit of course! I think what really stands out for me is his bravery and consistency. He really proves himself even in difficult times and that’s really inspirational to see how he handles those situations.

on whether the men’s and women’s teams are on a similar journey…
I can see that, and I can also see similarities in the way that we approach the game, and how detailed we are in trying to prepare the team for every game, so I can absolutely see those similarities.

on the sense of unity growing at Arsenal…
For me, I can’t compare it to anything else of course, but for me, I feel so integrated in the club whenever I speak to any person, and that goes for Mikel, Edu, Richard Garlick, Clare, Vinai, and that’s just a great feeling.

on how he reflects on his first season in north London…
Hectic and lovely, to be honest! I came here to experience and to learn new things also, and of course wanting to try and help Arsenal as much as possible. I think I’ve done both. I’ve learnt so much during this year, but I also think that I’ve played a little part in helping the team become a little bit better and that means we’ve been able to push for the title this year into the last game.

on the biggest challenge he’s faced so far…
The playing schedule! Of course, I’ve experienced before when you’re playing three games in one week, but not every week, so that really impacts what you can do on the pitch and off the pitch, and together with the covid-19 restrictions that were in place before, that was a really, really tough challenge coming in as a new coach, but it also has developed me and the staff and the team so much, so I think when we know that and we have hopefully not so many covid-19 restrictions next season, I think we have so many possibilities in how we can develop this team even further.

on what he enjoys most about his job…
Meeting people! I really, really like that with this job and that goes, of course, for the players and for the staff, but also the fans and everybody else that is invested into this beautiful football club. That’s the impression that lasts with you and that’s my motivation, going to work, trying to create good memories and a better life for the people that are surrounded and affected by Arsenal.

on whether he’s settled in London…
Of course, we’ve been here for almost less than a year and it takes time to move with a family, but people are so welcoming and it’s a really, really nice area to live in in the world. We are really happy and grateful to be here and to be a part of the community here, and I hope we can stay here for a longer time.

on whether he’s seen much of life in London…
I’ve tried! Because I think it’s really important with perspective. I think it’s almost impossible to take good decisions and to look at things from a good perspective if you’re only looking at it through a thin lens of what is football. Sometimes even if you have a hectic schedule it’s better to have a day off and it’s better to go to a museum in London and think about other things because then even for work, you come home at night and all of a sudden you have so many good ideas on how to approach things in the next game. Allowing yourself to switch off is a really important part of being successful in this job.

on his excitement at seeing our investments come to fruition next season…
Yeah, of course, then it goes from what we talked about coming into action and reality. We will have the new hub for the women’s team which I think will be an amazing improvement for us. Already this season we’ve seen the women’s team have been playing much more games at the Emirates and that has been great, and we have really, really enjoyed those moments, and hopefully we can create many more of them next season.

on whether plans are already underway for next season…
Yes, they are, and of course, we want to do everything in our control to try and push for the title as much as possible. Still, the objective is the same for next season, it’s to improve, it’s to develop, it’s to push for trophies and that work is obviously always ongoing.

on how he will measure ‘success’ over the coming years…
I think in the end, you want results as a football team, so that’s one part, but I also think the way that you play and affect people, that’s also something that is harder to measure, but you can feel it inside when you see the team to play, and I hope people will remember this team and will remember these players, and will remember what they stood for, for many years to come. I think we really have the foundations to do it.

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