Eidevall looking for “team maturity” to overcome Leicester Women’s new-manager bounce

Arsenal Women’s boss Eidevall Pre-Leicester Presser By Michelle 

As our Gunners get ready for an away trip to King Power Stadium  to face Leicester City, in the Women’s Super League,tomorrow afternoon.  Manager Jonas Eidevall held his usual press conference ahead of the fixture. 

Our Gunners will be vying to extend their winning streak to 14 consecutive WSL games, as they face bottom-of-the-table Leicester tomorrow.  

Eidevall´s reaction to breaking records in the WSL… 

It’s very much one game at a time. We need to prepare very well now for Leicester and if you want to win something in football, if that’s a trophy or if that’s beating a record, it all starts with performances and that’s what we need to focus on. 

When Arsenal met Leicester in the previous 2021/22 season they won both games easily with a 4-0 win for Arsenal in December 2021 and a 5-0 win for Arsenal in April 2022.  Jonas lets us know what he´s expecting from Leicester this weekend… 

What I have seen from Leicester before was a very, very organised and structured team who are very hard working. When we look at underlying numbers, it’s one of the best defensive teams in the whole league. 

We’ve seen that in the recent games against Manchester United and Reading that they are a very hard team to break down. So we’re prepared to have to be very good on the ball to be able to create enough scoring opportunities to win. 

The BBC reported on Wednesday that Leicester manager Lydia Bedford has stepped down as manager, with director of women’s football Willie Kirk taking over the Women’s Super League side. 

Here are Jonas’ thoughts on how Leicester’s sudden managerial change may affect our tactics… 

I was surprised to see that they changed manager. From the outside, when you just purely look at the results… I think we all know it’s a result-based business, so it’s not a surprise if you don’t win any games that you might change the coach. But I was surprised, given when you prep for playing them, I think Leicester were one of the better coached teams in the league. I think they look very well structured, with all players trying to make the most of that. So when we have been preparing for them, I think that I’ve seen a lot of development in that Leicester side.  

So for me, I was very surprised when I got the news yesterday about it, and I I hope that Lydia, as a fellow coach, she can see that progress even if she didn’t get the reward from it, in terms of points. I think she has improved them performance wise. 

I think that’s the nature of the game. If I were giving any young coaches any advice, it would be to say that when your boss is also a head coach, that never usually leaves you a lot of margins in this game. So that’s something I would always be watching out for a little bit, being a head coach myself. 

Jonas on how our players prepare for that unknown quantity… 

That for us, is what we’re trying to build. I think one of the most underrated things when you speak about a team sport like football is the concept of team maturity. And team maturity is how many different situations can you deal with as a team, and you need to have time together to build that experience, but you also, of course, have to be effective with the time. 

So for us, we’re building that all the time; all the experience that we have either in games or what we try to recreate in training, it goes towards games like this. We can’t say what we are going to expect, so we have to trust the team maturity here to say ‘how many different situations and formations can we deal with?’ and hopefully that’s enough. But we need to be good.  

Jonas on whether he will research Willie Kirk to see how Leicester might play… 

You’re thinking like a good coach right now! That’s what you do. You try to get all the information and you try to apply it for what his current environment, but that still doesn’t mean that you can predict the future, but you can have a good idea of what has been happening before. 

Are Arsenal considering goal difference or just purely focused on the win… 

I would never start with goal difference. Our mindset is that we need to be 100%, and we need to do that in every situation in every game. We should not let the score affect our effort, so that means even if we are losing, we should never give up. And if we are winning, we should always try and push and do our our very best. 

So by doing so, and by doing our best in every moment, that will ultimately leave us with the best possible outcome. So that’s the challenge. But each game starts nil-nil and we have to live from that moment and don’t think that we can jump ahead in our thoughts. 

Could Leicester have a ‘new manager bounce’… 

I don’t know to be honest, I think what the answer will be, and it’s a boring answer, is that when you’re playing against a team that is not that predictable, the maturity of the team will play a big role. That’s our ability to handle a lot of different situations and our processes during the game in order to deal with things if they need to change. 

So, I think if we’re comparing this game to, for example, Birmingham away, I’ll say something – it’s a measurement of our team maturity and how far we have come. And I trust our team that we are taking steps and we are developing. But we need to put all that into action in Sunday’s game. 

Leicester are currently bottom of the Women’s Super League table, having lost 5 out of 5 games this season and they finished one from the bottom of the league in the 2021/22 season.  So last season and current season form would predict a score of 4/5-0 to Arsenal. 

What are your predictions? 

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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