Press conference

Every word of Eidevall's pre-Liverpool presser

Following our incredible Conti Cup win at the weekend, Jonas Eidevall has held his pre-match press conference as our focus turns to Liverpool.  

The head coach fielded questions on our next WSL opponent, what it means to win a trophy and how our Gunners can sustain momentum. 

Here's everything he had to say:

On Noelle Maritz’s role on Sunday against Chelsea…

I think both of our full backs have qualities on the right, but I think Noelle had been training really well during the week and I felt she was ready. I mean, for example, the penalty we got in the first half was a very good example of how Noelle exploits that space with a very well-timed run. 

On Caitlin Foord’s recent performances…

Caitlin is a key player for us in all aspects of the game. Of course it's a team effort, but she very much has a big role to play in when we have been successful on our left side. I always that whenever the transfer window closes, there is no point in discussing what what you don't have. It's more about discussing what you have and Caitlin is definitely a player that deserves to be in the spotlight with the performances she's giving. 

On whether the build-up to Liverpool is similar to the last time we played…

Maybe there is. I think there are a lot of unknowns. No one knows what Liverpool has been doing for the last month because they haven't been playing any games. So that's a very strange situation. In the meantime, we've been playing a lot of games and they have not so they obviously have had a lot of time to think and prepare how to approach this game. We need to focus on the key details in the way we play and be prepared for a Liverpool team that we know are going to be very well organised and very physical. We need to do all those basics right in order to have any chance of getting the result we want. 

On managing the euphoria from Sunday to maintain team focus…

This win doesn't give us anything for free. It doesn't entitle us to anything in the next match we play. We don't get anything as an advantage on Wednesday night. If you talk about winning culture, that culture is about making sure that your focus is on the next game.

Hopefully winning a trophy can give us that sense of inner calm: we have shown people that we are capable of something that we already knew we were inside. Now others also know it, so we can maybe feel more relaxed about that. It's important in football during tense moments that we're still able to enjoy the game and still able to make really good decisions. So that 1% difference can be positive. But apart from that: we focus on the next training session and the next game.

On whether it will only be a successful season if we qualify for European football...

We need to prepare for every game. There are 10 games we have left to play in the league. That's a lot of football left to play. So for me, it's about preparing in the best way possible for Liverpool and after that, our focus will shift to Reading to do our very best there. It can't be done any other way.

On Liverpool's threats as a team...

Megan Campbell's long throws are one piece that they're very good at. They're a strong pressing side and they work very hard together. They're strong in transition moments and strong at other set pieces as well.

So I think they're a side that poses multiple threats. Something they've shown this calendar year as well is that when they put things together the right way like they did against Chelsea and in the Cup, they are a very hard and resilient side. We will need to be at our very best in order to beat them. 

On Kim Little's recent performances...

So Kim does something that is very tough for many central midfielders: she can control large areas of space. So you'll have some players who are excellent when they don't have to move so much, so they can make the most of very, very little space. That's one quality you can have as a central midfielder. Kim can control so much space both in defence and in offence. So when the space gets huge around her when she gets the ball, she has the possibility to dribble out of the situations. That's something that is very useful and she used that quality a lot of times on Sunday.

The other part is when you defend and when the game becomes a little bit more transitional, your central midfielders end up being the glue between the forward line and the defending line. Some midfielders can't run and cover a lot of space, so they're dependent on having an organisation around them, but Kim can cover so much space. This is both because of her physical ability and being able to run repeatedly, but more importantly, it's due to her game intelligence and intuition where she can read the ball very early on. This means she's able to better prioritise her movements.

On the supporters' reaction to our Conti Cup win...

Of course, there were a lot of positive reactions. We know Arsenal is a massive club and it affects a huge amount of people. We feel that responsibility and we feel that it's a great feeling to bring happiness to a lot of people when we're able to achieve things like we did on Sunday. So I'm truly happy about that. The response has been phenomenal and pushes both me and the team to try and achieve more good things in the future.

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