Arsenal 'need to impose style on better teams' says Eidevall
- Credit: PA
Jonas Eidevall says Arsenal need to impose their style better on the more difficult teams ahead of next season.
The Gunners finished second in the Women’s Super League, a point behind Chelsea to miss out on the title, after ending their season with a 2-0 win at West Ham with Stina Blackstenius and Steph Catley scoring.
Chelsea’s 4-2 victory over Manchester United, coming from 2-1 down, was enough for the Blues to clinch a third consecutive title and Eidevall said: "We need to impose our style better against the better teams, domestically and internationally.
"We need to start by trying to do that, I was so disappointed with the Chelsea FA Cup semi-final because I don’t think we tried to impose our game on Chelsea.
"We need to get to that mindset, there are no reasons why we cannot play like that against Chelsea and Wolfsburg and Barcelona. If we want to be the team we want to be we need to get there.
"Secondly, we need to improve playing against man-marking, we saw that clearly in Europe. We need to have a good co-operation with the boys’ academy and involve them in our practices so we can play against something more physical and faster than our opponents in the Champions League. That is an astonishing opportunity for us.
"Can we make our training harder than the games? If we are successful in training there, then the games feel even easier. Those are two things, I have some others I keep secret, otherwise you guys will take my job! I will talk with Per Mertesacker about this.”
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Asked if there was any update on Vivianne Miedema’s future, with the striker out of contract next month and linked with a move to European champions Barcelona, he added: "No, I have had that question a lot, we will do our very best to make her stay.
"She was stellar in her performance, she moves the ball so well for us. When things got a little bit tough, she shows that self-confidence to say 'give me the ball, I can play out of this.” It was great to see'."
As to whether he had any regrets from the season just gone, the Swedish head coach said: "Of course you play out different details in your head. Maybe we had a goal against Chelsea at the Emirates that was offside but maybe they should have had a red card in that game.
"Maybe the referee had the best pass of the season away at Manchester City and they scored a goal. If we had won that game we would have won the league. It’s hurtful to say when you are standing on the losing side of it but it’s what makes football great.
"It’s the human factor, it’s why people are engaged and we love the unpredictability of it so much. I’ve come to a stage where I have to accept that. During the games I want to fight for every detail to go Arsenal’s way but now the season is over I can’t point to one single detail because there are so many, positive and negative.”
Blackstenius made the breakthrough with her first touch after coming on in the second half, with Eidevall adding: "You could see that we were getting a lot of balls played from deep to our nine and one of Stina’s strengths is the finish on the penetration pass, she doesn’t need many chances to score from those situations.
"When you rewatch you see we broke through a lot through the sides and we didn’t always have a striker in front of the goal. I know I get that from Stina in those situations.
"The hard part was just who to take off, whether it was Caitlin Foord or anybody else, but she had some physical issues coming into the game, so she was the most likely to not be able to go for 90 minutes."