1-0 to Arsenal Women – how do we break the theme and score more goals?

1-0 to Arsenal Women – how do we break the theme and score more goals? by Michelle

After Arsenal suffered their first loss of the season to Manchester United at Emirates Stadium our Gunners have managed to get back to winning ways, with two 1-0 wins on the bounce, against both Everton in the WSL and mid-week against Juventus in the Champions League.

But.. early in the season, when Arsenal of course had a fully fit and uninjured squad, we were rolling out regular 4-0 wins against Brighton and even Tottenham, when Arsenal set a new WSL attendance record of 47,367.

Since those seemingly glory days Arsenal have suffered numerous injuries to highly valued players with Leah Williamson and Rafaelle Souza only just returning to the squad after being out with foot injuries for 2 months.  Captain Kim Little and summer-signing Lina Hurtig are still not available for selection though boss Eidevall is hopeful of their imminent return.  Perhaps the biggest blow to the squad was then losing Beth Mead to a serious ACL rupture which will likely keep her out for the rest of the season and has thrown her chances of playing for the Lionesses in next summer’s FIFA Women’s World Cup into serious doubt.

Arsenal boss Jonas Eidevall is of course happy with these wins as are we all, keeping us apace with Chelsea & Man United at the top of the WSL table and also keeping us at the top of our group in our UEFA Champions League campaign. But those wins really should have been a lot more pronounced, particularly where our Gunners had 33 shots which culminated in only one goal by back-on-form Miedema, against 8th place Everton.  Incidently, Miedema was the only goalscorer in both of those matches.. Hail the Miedema Magic!

In Eidevall’s post-match analysis of Arsenal’s 1-0 win over Everton he talked about scoring efficiency and drew attention to the chain of events leading up to a shot, rather than solely the shot itself.

There are a lot of parts to it. It’s, of course, the finish itself and it’s the decision-making on when to make the finish. But I also think – and people often overlook this – that it’s about how well we set up the scoring opportunities.

How is the pass before the assist? How is the assist? How can we fight for all the margins there in order to make the finish as easy as possible? That’s the goal of our whole attacking play: to make the finish as easy as possible.

There are so many components and that’s why I never say, it’s only the responsibility of the person who’s finishing, he continued. It’s a chain and we work on all aspects in that chain, and that’s what we continue to do in training as well.

In his pre-match Aston Villa Presser yesterday, when asked if he was frustrated the team didn’t take more opportunities in the two recent 1-0 wins Eidevall said Yes, I was. I think going forward we need to do that better. Now we sit here with two 1-0 victories, and we’re all happy about that, but in both of these games, in the final minutes, both [opposition] teams have had free-kicks on the side that they haven’t been successful with. But we all know that the more times you let that happen, they will also be successful with that. Then you will sit and question everything. In order for us not to be in that situation, we need to kill the games before. I’m never going to be the type of manager saying ‘we’re winning 1-0 and I don’t want to risk anything’. I want us to continue to play and continue to attack – and I know in the long run it’s better to score the second goal than to only think about defending your lead.

In Aston Villa’s most recent WSL outing last weekend they were defeated 5-0 by Man United at Old Trafford.  Can you imagine that Aston Villa are foreseeing a similar scoreline against Arsenal in their current 1-0 form?  It all remains to be seen.  Hopefully our Gunners will make the win a lot more pronounced this time round, with some on-target action by Blackstenius and Foord too..

All the action is live on Sky Sports tomorrow, Sunday 11th December with kick-off at 16:15 UK.


Michelle Maxwell

Follow Michelle on Just Gooner Women on Twitter for regular updates on the Arsenal Women’s Team!

Do you want to read more about the Arsenal Women’s Team? Click here….

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