Every word from Eidevall's pre-Lyon presser

Press conference

Every word from Eidevall's pre-Lyon presser

Jonas Eidevall spoke to the media ahead of our opening Champions League group match against Olympique Lyonnais on Wednesday evening. 

The boss held his pre-match press conference at the opposition's Groupama Stadium and fielded questions about the challenge of facing the reigning champions, team news, and Beth Mead's incredible performances for club and country.

Here is everything he had to say:

on how excited he is to face Olympique Lyonnais...

It's a very good reality check to see where we're at at the moment. That is always very exciting to see because no matter what, tomorrow you will know exactly where we are at, what we need to continue to improve on and what we are already good at. So I'm really looking forward to seeing where we're at.

on whether consistency in our midfield line-up has aided our defensive stability...

Since February, we have been adding a lot of consistency to our starting XI. I think if you take away that Birmingham game in the WSL where we conceded two goals, I think there were games before that game, where we kept a clean sheet. It's always important that you get those relationships working to have continuity and consistency are really important factors.

I think when you play in the Champions League, it is a little bit different playing really good teams like Lyon – you can't think you can play a game with complete control. So this game here will be very different to, for example, the game against Reading. We have to expect that we will be sold also will be. We need to deal with facing tougher opponents, facing more set pieces, so the game itself is very different

on whether there are any updates on team news...


on whether he plans to continue with the Steph Catley and Lotte Wubben-Moy partnership at centre-back...

It's a good try but I never reveal anything about my starting line-up the day before the game, so you and everyone else – except for the players – have to wait to see who is playing tomorrow.

on whether it's good to play such a tough opposition in our opening game...

I think we have a pretty good idea of what kind of opposition we're gonna play at the top level in Europe - both from playing some of those teams that are in our domestic league, but then also from our experience playing Barcelona and Wolfsburg last season. That being said, I still think it's always a really good opportunity to get that reality check to see where we are at this moment. So definitely look forward a lot to it.

on whether the pressure is on Lyon tomorrow...

Yeah, I don't really think about things in those terms. I always think that we have an obligation to represent Arsenal. We're gonna do our very best. To be honest, it doesn't change if we go here to Lyon or we are away at Reading in the league. It's the same for me personally. I was here in 2013 with the team I managed in Sweden, so it feels good to be back and hopefully achieve a better result.

on his reaction to Beth Mead's coming in second in the Ballon d'Or and the year she's been having...

Of course, we're looking back at a very, very strong season at club and international level. I think she has started the season in a very good way, which shows that it's not form, it's consistency. It's her ability to perform at this level, which is so important - to have players like that. For me – and this is of course maybe what happens when you look at things a little bit differently if you're a coach or if you're a journalist or a spectator – I know the goals and assists that Beth Mead provides, they're absolutely world-class.

But I also see other things in her as a person and a player that are so valuable to us. When you see her reactions when we are losing the ball, for me, she's the fastest player that I've ever had the privilege to coach, to come in and react in those situations. To be able to be first to those balls. I think you can see at least five times in the Reading game, where the ball is bouncing down to a Reading player, and Beth Mead comes in a split second and steals the ball in front of them. She turns that opportunity into an attack for us. That is so valuable for the game we want to play and for the team.

Another part of her as a person is the energy that she provides. It's one thing when you have success and you get carried away with your success - she does not. But for me, Beth Mead provides exactly the same energy and ambition and motivation into the squad as she did when I came in July last year and that is said the most positive way I can think of. Because for all that success he's had during that period, she hasn't changed anything. She's still as hard-working. She's still as much as humble, she's still as much of a great person to have in the squad as before. And that is a characteristic that I really put a lot of value on.

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