Arsenal Women

Press conference

Every word from Eidevall’s pre-Juventus presser

Jonas Eidevall spoke to the media ahead of our latest Women's Champions League test against Juventus at the Allianz Stadium on Thursday evening.

The boss fielded questions on our great start to the European group stage, what the team learnt from our loss against Manchester United and Beth Mead's ACL injury.

on whether the number of significant injuries in our squad will require a shift...

I think you can't take things for granted. I think one of my biggest reflections on the Man United game was that. When you change players, you're not only changing one player; you're basically putting out a new team. And that means that in everything you do, you have to start from the basics. You can't take for granted that just because we did something three weeks ago, that will automatically happen again.

So that's what we need to work on: to not forget the basics. So we're building block by block. I think I made a mistake before the United game with that, given that time was short. We will put that right.

on whether a lack of rotation contributed to Beth Mead's injury on Saturday...  
It’s a good question. It's hard to answer of course because you don't know all the variables. Player loading and fatigue are obviously things that we constantly monitor and we're concerned about, so if that had been obvious to us leading up to this game, we wouldn’t have played her.

But then it still can happen which makes it so difficult for us. When you see the player's schedule of games, especially for players playing tournaments, it doesn't help the injury situation.

on how the club is supporting Beth...

The team and all the people around the club have been so supportive. We will care for her and do the best for her during a tough time like this.

on whether Beth's injury adds more pressure to the rest of the squad...

The responsibility in the team is always shared. In a team sport, it's never an individual's output that is measured. It's always the team that will have an output. I obviously need to select the team that can create as good an output as possible together. That's the challenge that we have in front of us here

on the task of facing Juventus...

They’re a very competitive team. I think Juventus as a club in the Women's Champions League have consistently shown over the past few seasons that they can compete with any team in Europe. They've been doing very well so we have lots of respect for that. We understand and we're fully aware that it will take a very good performance from us tomorrow in order for us to get the result.

on how Serie A compares to the Women's Super League...

I see massive growth in Italian club football on the women's side. I think there are a lot of teams that are competitive. I see exciting games when I want to watch the Italian league. You can also see in the league table that it’s very competitive there now, with the top six teams that can qualify for the second round of the season. So it's definitely one of the leagues in Europe that is most rapidly improving.

on how important it is to maintain our momentum from the first two group games...

That's what we're here for. To do our very best to try and achieve that. Football is fast in both directions, both when you win and when you lose and we want to have a totally different performance as a team than we had against Manchester United last Saturday. So that's the most important thing for us and it's an excellent opportunity to get this right here tomorrow. 

on the Juventus player he's most excited to see...

I always like to see my old player play: Sara Gunnarsdottir. But I heard that she's not available to play tomorrow. I still hope I’ll meet her. But I also look forward to seeing her play again. I think she is a great competitive player who embodies that spirit and a lot of the things that I believe are important in football.

on Lina Hurtig missing the return to her former club...

Great talent, Lina. I think her injury came at a really bad time - if an injury ever can come at a good time. This was a really bad time because I felt like Lina consistently was starting to put together some really good performances in training. And when you see that, you know it's only a matter of time before you can see them shine through in matches as well.

So I felt that momentum was building and I was really looking forward to seeing her play more for us. Then the injury came and now we hope she can get back as quickly as possible again, to start building again.


Medical update: Beth Mead

Beth Mead

We can confirm that Beth Mead suffered a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in our match against Manchester United at Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

Unfortunately, this means that Beth is set for an extended period on the sidelines. She will see a surgeon in the coming days, after which further details on timescales will be established.

Everyone at the club will now be supporting Beth and working hard to get her back on the pitch as soon as possible.

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