Arsenal Women’s Eidevall will need rotation skills to keep Miedema and Maanum happy

Arsenal Women’s Eidevall will need rotation skills to keep Miedema and Maanum happy by Michelle

Last season, with the team experiencing injury struggles, available Arsenal Women had to step up. Fortunately, they did, and Frida Maanum was one player who did so very well. The Norwegian must have been brought in as a defensive midfielder in 2021, but a year after becoming familiar with her quality on the training pitch, Jonas Eidevall saw her as perfect for the playmaker role.

The Swede wasn’t wrong that the 23-year-old can attack; in fact, it is like that was her calling in football with her direct and aggressive play and ability to drive into the space with or without the ball ripping open the opponent’s defence. After breaking on to the scene as a playmaker in Arsenal’s 5-1 win over Lyon in the Champions League, by benching Vivianne Miedema, and being voted Arsenal Women’s October Player of the Month, she hasn’t looked back. She’s stayed fit and greatly contributed to Arsenal’s attacking play with 16 goals and 10 assists in all competitions, making Gooners love her and rightfully agree she was Arsenal Women’s Player of the Season.

One might feel that come next season in Eidevall’s team, Maanum is one person who’s assured of her starting spot, but is it so with Miedema (Eidevall’s default playmaker after dropping her from striking) returning? Don’t you think Maanum’s sure-starting role may be jeopardised? Miedema’s unavailability due to injury has been considered one of the main reasons Arsenal weren’t as strong as they ought to be this season; in a game like the semi-finals against Wolfsburg, many would have thought she could have given our Gunners an extra edge to beat the giants of the German Bundesliga Frauen.

We know Viv’s partner & teammate Beth Mead should be returning to the pitch for pre-season training with the team, but Viv’s ACL injury occurred one month after Beth’s. Upon her return next season, Miedema will need to be eased in slowly, which may afford Maanum plenty of time as the playmaker. But what happens after Viv regains her match fitness? Not playing a fit Miedema would be criminal. Eidevall may have to be good at rotating to keep both Miedema and Maanum satisfied, or he may have to once and for all settle on the 3-4-2-1 as his default line-up, playing the 2 as double 10s.

Ultimately, the Maanum and Miedema battle is one we can look forward to next season. The beauty of that battle is that it makes the team stronger, and if Arsenal Women are to achieve more in the WSL and UWCL next season, they will need a fully fit squad and player-rotation will be key..


Michelle Maxwell

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

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Tags Frida Maaunum Vivianne Miedema
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