'Eidevall has turned Arsenal from believers into contenders'
- Credit: Tess Derry/PA
Jonas Eidevall has turned Arsenal from believers to title contenders in just a short space of time.
Eidevall, who is 38 and from Sweden, was appointed as Gunners boss from Rosengard in June.
Eidevall has got off to the perfect start as Arsenal manager in the Women's Super League – sitting top of the table with a 100 per cent win record.
There are many factors behind the improvement since Joe Montemurro left the club in the summer, before being appointed as Juventus boss.
The Gunners are playing with a higher press, with a good intensity from the start, and they have managed to maintain that level throughout the games to date.
Eidevall picked up the September WSL manager of the month and has been nominated for October’s award.
Arsenal have tasted defeat just once this season, in the Champions League against Barcelona, who are the defending champions of Europe. But they did respond well on match-day two in the group beating Hoffenheim 4-0.
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Eidevall has had a tough start to the season, beating both Chelsea and Manchester City in the course of his first three league games in charge.
Arsenal previously played a possession-based game but under Eidevall they’ve been much more aggressive and direct.
They have scored 19 goals so far and conceded just twice, those two goals coming in the opening day 3-2 win over defending champions Chelsea.
It is clear Eidevall has a happier camp than last season.
Arsenal’s summer recruitment has proven to be strong, with Frida Maanum settling in so well in the heart of the midfield.
Maanum is the perfect player for what Eidevall requires, as she can defend and attack and transitions very quickly between the two roles.
The team managed to keep a good number of their core squad players from last season, with Leah Williamson extending her contract by a further year over the summer.
Manuela Zinsberger's improvement has been evident. The Austrian stopper has been much more commanding and has dominated her box far more than in the last couple of seasons.
Eidevall has instilled confidence and belief into his players, with Zinsberger the most improved.
Arsenal have won the ball higher up the pitch due to their new aggressive, high pressing system and that has been the major difference to their play so far this season.
Williamson has been allowed to play more long balls in behind the opposition defence, making them less predictable.
Eidevall is never satisfied, demanding more from his players, giving them that drive and determination, and always looking for improvement.
But the Swede always shows signs of support for and faith in his players, saying that they shouldn’t fear any game.
He has inherit a good side but has added quality to it.