Eidevall on leadership, player development, Pelova | press conference | News

We only have four games left of the Women’s Super League season, but Jonas Eidevall continues to focus on one game at a time.

Third-placed Manchester City are three points clear of us in the table, although we have an advantage of two games to play, starting with the trip to Brighton & Hove Albion on Wednesday night.

Our head coach spoke to the media on Tuesday and was asked about the latest news about the team, the leaders in our squad, the great form of Victoria Pelova and the development of Frida Maanum.

the latest information about the team:
We will go out for training today after the press conference and of course that will give us some answers as to who will be able to play tomorrow and who will not. I cannot provide more information on this. We are doing everything we can to get people back on the pitch and this day is another chance for some players to progress.

on Liverpool beating Manchester City at the weekend:
I do not care. We have four games left and we have to play one game at a time. We have to give our best in every game and if we do that we can finish as high as possible. It’s the only thing we can control. It’s boring, but that’s what we need to focus on.

on leadership in his team via Beattie and Taylor:
I am happy to be able to define in more detail what leadership means in such situations. For me, when you have external factors like pressure to get results, you’re looking at players who can lose focus on what we’re going to do as a team. Players with leadership and experience will be able to stick to the game plan and will often lead by example and how they communicate.

Both Jen and Jodie are great examples of such players. They have a really clear understanding of what the team needs to do and they understand their own roles in that regard and they execute them 100%. It’s so important.

on Kelly Smith rejoining our coaching team:
Kelly Smith embodies everything we want to be. As a player, she had this great technique, vision and intelligence of the game. But she also played with her heart on her shoulder in every situation. As a player, she embodied everything this team should have a vision for. It’s great to have her in our environment and culture to try to shape that and not have a coach who is just tactic or technical but can have a holistic view and anyone who knows their Arsenal history knows she lived that day and day on the pitch.

on recovering from the defeat to Wolfsburg:
I was very happy, I was watching the Leicester games against Liverpool and Reading and I knew it was a completely different Leicester team than the one we played away. Of course you’re starting to worry about coming back from Monday’s match against Wolfsburg with the app we showed you and all that it meant. We played against an opponent who really changed, so players could expect something different.

But I think we prepared really well and sold the narrative of what team we were playing against and what the game was going to be, the players were mentally there and capable of doing it. It was never an easy task, I’m glad we solved it. But now we have to move on to the next one because tomorrow is the same because again it will be a really tough match.

about the best position of Victoria Pelova:
You want Pelova to be on the ball, so if you put her on the team, it has to be a role where you’ll involve her a lot. Against Leicester you could tell how good he is with the ball, how good he is in 1-on-1 situations and how good he is at passing. Then, depending on how we play, whether it’s from a wider position where she drops in and enters more centrally, or if she starts from a central position, she can do both.

It’ll probably be like Frida [Maanum] where we’ll see in the coming periods when Victoria’s strengths really blossom in one position. That’s why it’s so interesting to work with players to see where those details can be refined. We all see her talent and qualities, and now we need to see where we can really translate that into the team’s best performance.

on the development of Frida Maanum:
She was amazing. Frida is a real success story this year. She started not to play as much. I remember when she walked into an away game in Ajax, the energy and determination with which she played. After that we talked and I told her: “if you keep playing like this, you will have fun, it’s impossible not to play with you”. When I see that in a player, I want to play him all the time. She proved it later, starting with Lyon.

She put a lot of hard work into it, it’s great to see a young competitor coming in and growing as an athlete and as a person. It also shows why it’s sometimes so hard to just look at the stats when you’re looking at young players. I think when you saw Frida in Sweden you saw that she had a great shot but she didn’t score many goals. When you look at it from a statistical point of view. That’s something we might have had against her when we looked at her in the number 10 position because you’re asking if that would get the team enough points.

This is where you have to look at the potential, when you work with young players, you have to see the qualities and now you can see that she brings a lot of points playing in this position. It’s very interesting to work with young players.

Copyright 2023 Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted provided www.arsenal.com is credited as the source.

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