Press conference

Every word of Jonas’ pre-Brighton press conference

Jonas Eidevall held his final pre-match press conference of the season at Sobha Realty Training Centre on Friday morning.

He was asked about Vivianne Miedema's upcoming departure from the club, the progress of the team this season, what to expect from Brighton & Hove Albion and more.

Here is everything he had to say on the following subjects...

on if Lotte Wubben-Moy and Vivianne Miedema are available for the game:
Lotte Wubben-Moy is unfortunately not available for this game. Vivianne Miedema has reacted well. She's been training. We still have one more training to go but hopefully she's available for tomorrow.

on the rationale behind Viv’s departure:
Yeah, I understand the interest in that question and to your point, it's a unified club decision and we obviously took a lot of care into that decision. We have to weigh up a lot of different factors in that decision for what's best for the club. I don't think it would be worth sitting here and speak about reasons why or why not we would go in certain directions, because I think it would just be overshadowing what has been a truly remarkable story with Vivianne Miedema and Arsenal and I think that should be the headline. Her seven years with Arsenal, her contributions to the club. That is what should get all the light here at the moment.

on the connection between Viv and our supporters:
One part of what has been so special over this season and the previous seasons has been the connection between the team and the supporters, between the club and the supporters. Obviously, many supporters have connections to individual players. And I think that is natural that we will have players that will be very dear to our supporters. And I understand football is emotions and decisions like this leave a lot of raw emotions as well. My message would be that when we are working and when we are making decisions, it's to build Arsenal as strong as possible for the future. And we want nothing else than to be as successful as possible on the pitch and that's the direction we want to go in as a club. That's where the whole leadership team wants to bring the team as well. So, we will hopefully also have positive, encouraging news here in the coming weeks and how we're strengthening the squad and the setup around the team.

on how Viv has responded to the news:
She has been very professional. As always, Vivianne Miedema is a very professional football player. And she's been training very well. I think she's very focused on trying to do her best all the time where she's representing the club.

on the development of the team this season, specifically Lotte and Manuela Zinsberger:
I think the whole team has been developing. I think we were off to a very slow start this season, as I said before, but it has been a team that has been progressing and individual players like [Lotte and Manu] have absolutely been a big part of that. A common trend or commonality between players progressing is, many times, consistency. Being able to train well day-in, day-out, being available for selection. And Manuela and Lotte have been excellent on that, not only this season, but also seasons to come before and those things accumulate over time. There is a lot to gain in any form of life if you can improve only one percent each day, because that accumulates over time. And while it's not that linear in development or improvement anywhere, the concept of it is very true. And both players are great examples of doing that and seeing what development and growth that can lead to.

on plans for next season with Giovana Queiroz and Kathrine Kuhl:
Not all the players, I’ve been speaking to, but we have a good setup now in the club. We didn't have that two and a half seasons ago, but we have it now where we are in regular contact with our players that are out on loan, which I think is really important. So, we can feedback, but we can also listen to their experiences and possibly help them on what they need to be helped with. But I usually tried to stay away from being too detailed in my communication with them because I think they need to focus on their environment and not my ideas at the time. But when their seasons are finished, then that will be an excellent time to have communication, but obviously a player like Kathrine, she only has one game left. Whilst a player like Gio, because of how the Spanish League is run, they still have a couple of games left, so that has to wait a little bit longer.

on the progression of the team this season:
Like I said I think we started slow this season, I didn't think we played very well in the beginning of the season and it had various reasons. From a World Cup, having new players in, new relationships to be built with very limited time. I think as a team we have been progressing. I think our losses during the seasons have come quite unexpectedly, which is very annoying. Sometimes you see a trend in when losses come and then you probably can see a lot of factors going into those losses. But the reality is that we're coming off beating Chelsea at the Emirates, like you were mentioning, and the week after we lose against Tottenham. We're coming after playing a really good away game against Liverpool and then losing against West Ham. We're coming off a good and strong start after the international window in March, and then we have a really poor performance away against Chelsea and then we bounced back again and start winning games. So, it's that part where we can't really say that we can cluster together those performances. But there are things we need to learn. And as I said, we need to become more effective in both penalty areas, but we also need to to handle external factors better than we have been doing. I don't think it is a coincidence that the absolute majority of the points that we have been dropping has been away from home, where more factors are different than what we are used to at our two home grounds. Apart from our slow start of the season, which obviously Liverpool at home was a part of, I think we have been a very solid and good home team this season.

on if he feels there have been good foundations set for next season: 
I do. I think it's been a year of a lot of turmoil from an injury point of view. You will have that when you get as many long-term injuries as we had. First you lose players but then you also have to guide them back and doing that in a in a safe way and I always knew that that was going to be a challenge. I am very proud of the players and the whole staff team the way that we have been integrating and getting players back to full fitness from long term injuries and been doing that in a good and caring way. But that has been now two seasons where of course there is a lot of moving parts. But I think when we're looking at trying to be as successful as possible from a result perspective, we also need consistency and building relationships and hopefully I think we're at a good foundation to be able to do that next year. 

on how confident he is of Stina Blackstenius’ future at Arsenal:
Like I’ve said before, when we have concrete things to announce regarding contract extensions, we will do that. I’m aware I’ve been saying that line a lot of times and the concrete things that we have been releasing lately have all been that players have been leaving us, so hopefully next time we communicate concrete things it’s also about players extending and staying with us.

on the development of our academy players, some of whom could feature for England under-17s in the U17 Euros final:
I’m really happy for their contribution to the team. I went over with our academy manager James Honeyman and watched a group stage game against Sweden and was really impressed with the way that England played that game. I thought they played with really nice structure and have a lot of good individual players but also were working really well as a collective, so it comes as no surprise to me that they were able to reach the final and it’s just a really good experience for those players and that team to get that at an early age. To be able to both play for a major trophy but also, because they play the final, they qualify for the U17s World Cup and that’s another great experience for them later on in the year. Those experiences are really important when you want to be a top football player because you’re going to learn a lot. Sometimes you’re going to be successful and sometimes you’re going to fail, but the most important thing is that you learn and apply yourself 100 percent of the time. We’re confident that our players in that environment will do that so I’m wishing them all the very best of luck for the game tomorrow.

on what to expect from Brighton:
They’re a hard working team. They obviously changed details in the way that they play with a managerial change in the season, but they’re well organised, they’re hard working, they’re very good in their crossing game and you have to defend crosses very well against them.

on the announcement that Emirates Stadium will become our main stadium for next season:
I think it’s good news period that we’re going to play more games at the Emirates for a number of reasons but to name for me the biggest one is that we can have more games with bigger audiences and allow more people to come and watch and to support the team. It’s been great experiences at the Emirates this season and hopefully we can build on that and elevate that even further forward next season.

on Brighton winning more of their points away from home this season:
I think from a strength perspective, as a team and I said before, I think they’re very solid and an organised team. They’ve been very good in their crossing game. They’re quite a direct team but when you’re playing away you get a little bit more opportunities to be on the counter and you get a little bit more space in those moments when you are that quick as a team as Brighton are at getting forward. But, I can’t really see that I see a big difference in how they approach the games from home and away, so we know it’s going to be tough opponent and we need to be very good if we want to get a good result and that’s our plan to be.

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