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Eidevall Reflects on the Gunners Conti Cup Exit

Jonas Eidevall says Arsenal’s performance against Manchester United was a “step in the right direction”.


Roland Krivec

20 January 2022

Jonas Eidevall says Arsenal’s performance against Manchester United was a “step in the right direction” despite losing 1-0 and exiting the Continental Cup.

Eidevall explained “It was a big step in the right direction, we pressed much better than we have done lately and we were much better with the ball in the build up phase. We attacked much better in the penalty area, unfortunately we didn’t convert the chances we created so we couldn’t win the game. For me, I have a totally different feeling than I did from the Birmingham game because we were the better team today and if we played this game again like this I think we’d win it, that wasn’t the case against Birmingham so it was a step in the right direction even though we are disappointed not to get the result. If there is any competition I can take a loss it would be the Conti Cup so we move on and try to build on this performance.”

Arsenal dominated for the majority of the game but didn’t create all that many clear-cut openings with the Swede saying “I think there were a lot of times when passes were going between the players legs and not resulting in a shot so we need to convert those situations, into shots on target, if we do they are high percentage opportunities. It all starts with getting into the positions, if you don’t do that it’s impossible to score. Today we did that so we just need to work on the final touch or the final pass.”

Arsenal looked to hit Manchester United in the wide areas instead of creating openings from centre midfield and on that the Gunners boss went on to add “I do think there are situations where we can do better especially in the second half,when we could have held onto the ball a bit more we got too transitional and the distances were too big. A team like United they work with a lot of their players central in the area and they overload in defence. If they are not moving then we need to attack on the sides but we can get better at moving central when their players move to the sides and try to create opportunities from there. It’s that balance and decision making and we try to perfect that and in the second half, we could’ve held onto the ball a little bit better because United get tired and we don’t need to force the decision making so much, especially when it just results in wide crosses.”

Eidevall also addressed a run of five defeats in six games as he said “We need to work on our game, today was a big step in the right direction and that is where our focus needs to be even if it wasn’t the result we wanted. We need to attack the next game against Manchester City we know it’s going to be a tough game.”

On preparing the side for the Manchester City game on Sunday he said “We need to remember who we are and not get carried away with the result today because we could have so easily won. Sometimes it doesn’t go your way but the performance was much better from us.”

Leah Williamson and Tobin Heath returned to the bench and on that he said “We knew the game could have gone into extra time, and that would have affected their loading in a not ideal way so we started them on the bench but it was excellent to have them back and it will help us a lot in the next games.”

Eidevall also went on to say about Williamson and her ability to play through the press “She is a great player because she has so many tools to play through these situations, she can dribble her way out but she also has the passing range to get out. Because of that she is a hard player to press.”

Vivianne Miedema was starved off service and on that aspect of the Gunners game he said “Generally strikers have fewer touches because they play in the most dangerous position to score so most teams are compact in that area. It’s about finding her at the right time and that is always the case for a forward player, it’s about quality of actions. Of course we would like to always attack centrally and play into feet but that depends on how well you move the ball. We need to open up that space and sometimes that means going over to the sides. If we are good on the sides, they have to go out there and press and it opens up the centre. I think that’s just part of the game.”

Lotte Wubben-Moy missed out and why that was Eidevall added “She had a minor injury. The weekend is a question mark, we don’t know yet if she will be available. It’s not certain either way.”

Arsenal’s game with Manchester City kicks off at 6.45 on Sunday and will be broadcast live on Sky Sports.


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