What a Sunday, Gooners!
The men’s team thrashing Tottenham was just the beginning of a perfect day, as Jonas Eidevall’s team annihilated Manchester City with a five-nil win at Meadow Park.
Second big game of the season and second win: so much for a team that struggled to come on top of their rivals!
I wasn’t overly confident before the game because I was worried that the recent international break could have disrupted the flow and, despite Manchester City’s struggles with injuries, I was expecting a very close contest – which it was, until Beth Mead made the most of a misplaced back-pass from Alanna Kennedy: many have reported that a a “gift” from Manchester City but our forward had lots to do to convert this mistake into a goal-scoring chance; her tenacity to win the ball from Manchester City’s onrushing goalkeeper and her vision to pick-up Vivianne Miedema in the middle of the box deserve great credit.
Minutes later we added a second through a work of magic from Kim Little, who waltzed her way around the visitors’ defensive line after a nice flick from Vivianne Miedema, and the game changed completely: Manchester City had most of the ball but couldn’t create much, while we kept spraying long-balls behind either one of their full-backs and find acres of spaces to exploit.
The third goal came exaclty from there, with Katie McCabe running in behind and connecting beautifully with a long-ball played by Noëlle Martiz, before hitting the roof of the net with a powerful strike.
It was game over well before Kim Little added a fourth from the spot and Leah Williamson a fifth, in the last minutes.
Everything from last night was highly impressive, from the scorline to the performance and the tactics, but shortly after the final whistle, when I was reviewing my notes, I found myself chuckling when I read the substitutions made by Jonas Eidevall: for a team that was already winning against a top rival, to be able to send in Mana Iwabuchi, Nikita Parris and Tobin Heath is sensational, almost surreal.
Something has changed, deep down, and everyone could see it: we conceded possession to Manchester City by choice, not because we couldn’t keep the ball. There was a plan and it was spot-on, once again.
I don’t want to be carried away because it early on but the influence that Jonas Eidevall is having is massive, both in the way the team is setup and the mentality that the girls are showing.
This is not meant to drag down Joe Montemurro, who has been a fantastic coach for us, but this looks more and more like the fresh start that we needed.
Next stop is the North London Derby at Meadow Park, on Wednesday night.
Our perfect start continues as we now have seven wins from seven games: it will not last forever but it feels so good!
Thirty-something Italian, currently in Switzerland. Gooner since mid-ninties, when the Gunners defeated my hometown team, in Copenhagen. Twelve years ago I started my own blog (www.clockenditalia.com) after after some experiences with Italian websites and football magazines. Debate, don’t insult or you’re out.