Quotes

Eidevall on the win, Miedema and applying pressure

Jonas Eidevall

We progressed through to the last-16 of the Women's FA Cup on Sunday after a 1-0 victory against London City Lionesses.

After the match Jonas Eidevall discussed the performance, Vivianne Miedema, the importance of pressurising our opponents and more.

Read on for a full transcript:

on whether that was the type of game he expected…
I think so, yes. I saw their games against West Ham and Brighton in the Conti Cup, I am quite pleased with the control we had of the game. We could have scored more and had a bit more intent in the final third it would have made the journey a little easier. But control is important, particularly with the number of players we had unavailable I think we managed the game well.

on Vivianne Miedema going off during the second half with illness…
Yes, she has a migraine. It was manageable but it came to a point where it wasn’t worth keeping her on any longer.

on the absences of Leah Williamson, Rafaelle, Tobin Heath and Lia Walti…
A variation of resting and illness, it’s been a complicated week going into these two games with the number of players available but we play the game, we play with the players we had. But it has been complicated so I am very happy with the players’ performance. We think we will get these players back for Man United (on Saturday).

on whether he would have liked to rest more first-team players today…
Yes I think so. We have really good academy players but what I am looking for in a game like this is that if we change too much and play players that are not used to playing together, the communication is not as good and it leads to turnovers and transitions and everyone has to run more. For me managing this game physically was more about playing with a consistent 11 for as long as possible and if we do that well, then everyone runs a little less. Everyone was managed by being in control of the ball, it still worked well. Of course we have players we have been almost forced to play a lot during this period but it worked well.

on the goal coming about as a result of high pressure…
It’s so important to do, it can come from a controlled situation, like today, where it comes from their keeper playing out. But it can also come in open play and you saw that on Thursday in the build up to our second gaol. We lose the ball but then we counterpress and find Beth and she gets the free-kick. It’s both and they’re both really important, it adds an element of creating opportunities. It’s not just about disruption it’s also about preparation for the attack. I think we are developing, we can be better though.

on using pressure to stop opponents as well as creating chances…
Football is a lot about repetition, I read a very interesting article today on the stats about three man defences in the Premier League (by Michael Cox in the Athletic) from 2015 onwards. You want to play all the time in a way that you are very used to but that surprises your opponent. In essence, that is what everyone tries to create. To build a way of playing that you are comfortable with but it’s almost like the first time the opponent gets exposed to it. After the Barcelona game I said that the solutions are there, all the time. If you watch the game back and pause it, you can see solutions. But we never play against a team that presses like that. They play it so well but we are not used to it, if we played teams that press like that week in and week out, I think we would have a much better chance of beating that. The big thing is that you apply something that not a lot of other teams do, then other teams are not used to it. Pressing is not just about intensity, it’s about creating different problems for opponents that they are not used to so you can take away their most common passing patterns. It’s about forcing them into situations that they are not used to, that is an underestimated aspect of football tactics. That article about three man defences really showed that and why it’s not used so much anymore.

on Viki Schnaderbeck going on loan to Spurs and whether he knows what the defence looks like next season…
Not really. It’s still up for performances during the spring. Viki is a great person and great player and very unfortunate with injuries. When we had so many central defenders, I offered her the possibility to go on loan somewhere because there was no guarantee for minutes at Arsenal and her deal is expiring in the summer. So I had to be totally honest with her about how it might turn out if she stayed. I wish her all the best, she is a great person and a great professional.

on the upcoming Manchester United and Chelsea games…
They are two great teams and we will have to be at our best in both of those games, that is what gets me excited as a coach because it will bring the best out of us and make us a better team. I hope we have lots of Arsenal fans cheering us on like today at both games and helping us because these are going to be really tough games.

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