Arsenal Women’s Eidevall talks big table tactics ahead of final 2 WSL games of the season by Michelle
A few days ago, we labelled Jonas Eidevall a tactical genius for how he has kept the Arsenal women going even with such a significant list of injuries. Interestingly, the Swede has given us a hint of how he has been performing this season. Speaking to the media on Friday, the Arsenal boss spoke of how a Germany training camp inspired him to request a tactical table so that he, his technical bench, and his girls could sit down and discuss their tactics in depth. Something that has helped his team grow tactically as it is, as he says via Arsenal.com.
“When we went to the Adidas training camp in Germany, they had a really good setup there with a big table that everyone could fit around. So when we built our new building for the women’s team at Colney, we said, ‘Let’s make this more like the Adidas setup.’
“We have generated a lot of ideas from the whole technical team around that big table. It has been really, really nice working with a group of people that can have that input. We can have that dialogue. It helps a lot when you build that feeling that we’re in this together.”
Injuries have been a major nuisance for Arsenal Women, and Eidevall has discussed how he has dealt with them, speaking of the tweaking of players positions, like we noted, and the ability to switch formation with the use of a back three opted for in some games. About tweaking players playing positions to remedy the injury problems, Eidevall said:
“There is a person behind every injury, and we need to take care and support that person as excellently as we can.
“We also need to find solutions and be flexible in the way that we think about the best solution for the team. Do we need to try another formation? If this player comes into play, how do we best adapt to that player’s qualities?
“I think that has been the challenge: to constantly generate—not necessarily new ideas, but new ways of thinking. To find new ways to optimise the way we play in order to win football matches.”
And on how it has been easy to switch formations, he said: “I think one of the most important times for us this season was in January when the Brighton game got called off. We got quite a good time between games, and we used our time to say, ‘Okay, let’s train in a different formation. Let’s play with a back three.’
“We weren’t going to use it in the next game, but we needed to understand the main principles. The reason why we would like to play with another formation is so we can change between games or during games, and so on. I think investing that time has now got us to a point where we can change formations much easier.”
Arsenal still have two games to go before they can call this season a wrap; they play Chelsea this weekend and Aston Villa next weekend. Winning these two games should be their top priority. After which, we will look at this season and ask ourselves, “How did they manage all those achievements?”
Finishing third (hopefully as a minimum!), winning the continental cup, and almost going to Eindhoven to play Barcelona in the Women’s Champions League final..
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