The AWFC Journal – Where do we go from here? Eidevall’s limp Arsenal Women slump to City [MCI 2-1 ARS]

Where do we go from here?

The question has been doing rounds in my head since the final whistle went at the Academy Stadium of Manchester.

We deservedly lost to Manchester City and are now fourth in the table, five points behind Chelsea in first and three behind Manchester United in second. Manchester City leapfrogged us in third, but we still have a game in hand and a better goal difference, hence the third place is still within reach. It’s a very meagre consolation, if we consider that we had the chance to go level with Chelsea at the top with a game to spare, less than a month ago. Since Sam Kerr scored that last-minute header to rescue a point for Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium, things have gone sour for Jonas Eidevall and the team.


Kim Little running away with the ball (photo from

We lost Beth Mead and Vivianne Miedema, we didn’t win in three consecutive league games and we found it extremely difficult to score, finding the net only twice in three games. On top of that, we looked unusually shaky at the back and kept going back to our old, bad habit of squandering golden chances.

Where do we go from here?

The deflation around the Arsenal Women team is more apparent than ever and some winds of discontent are starting to rise, especially when it comes to assessing Jonas Eidevall’s actions and reactions. The Swede is under scrutiny for some of the choices he made recently, especially when it impacted some specific members of the team: as long as the team kept playing well and getting results, his treatment of Jordan Nobbs, Katie McCabe or Mana Iwabuchi was accepted as part of his revolution but now some bitterness is making it to the surface.

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Jonas Eidevall during the away game against Manchester City

The more this looks like Jonas Eidevall’s team, the less it looks convincing and equipped to give Chelsea a run for their money in the league, as well as having a real shot in Europe. As things stand today, I cannot see us winning against Bayern Munich, let alone Wolfsburg (assuming they go through) and, as much as I appreciate that no team would be able to cope easily with such heavy absences, I cannot see how things could change so much to propel us back into the mix for the WSL crown.

I am optimistic about getting back to the second place but I honestly don’t see how we could catch Chelsea, now, as they have a nice cushion and, most importantly, they look much better than us, in every department.

Jonas Eidevall went with the same 5-3-2 formation that helped going through the league cup semifinals against Manchester City, only to be let down by a dismal collective and individual performance, from the bottom to the top. From the outside, it appeared quite clear that Manchester City did their analysis following their extra-time capitulation at Meadow Park and arrived prepared to face an Arsenal team fielded with the same formation, while we didn’t.

Manchester City were smarter, quicker, stronger and more prepared than us, from the very first minute, and should have scored more, in the first half. We were lucky to get in the dressing room with a slim chance to turn it around and the final score is very flattering, all things considered, and I wish Jonas Eidevall was quicker to change our formation in the opening 45 minutes.

It is always harsh to make a substitution before half-time but sometimes it is necessary and, against Manchester City, that was the case. Switching earlier to the 4-3-3 formation would have helped the team to get some much needed stability and would have allowed the players to go back to the usual patterns of play, relieving some stress and anxiety. Instead, Jonas Eidevall waited until half-time and that perhaps costed us the result and, on the long-term, the title. I reckon that some players might not have been fully fit to play more minutes than they did, as mentioned by the head coach himself in the post-match press conference, but it is his job to have a squad built in accordance with his needs.

We went from thrashing Olympique Lyonnais to this in such little time that I don’t know what to make of our recent string of performances and results. I see how we probably deserved to win against Chelsea and West Ham in the league, but I also see how we keep being wasteful in attack.

Was the Lyon

result a fluke?
Was last season’s brilliant league campaign a blip?
Were Beth Mead and Vivianne Miedema carrying an otherwise average team?

I prefer to think that the team is going through a bad patch and are struggling to create new attacking patterns, given how Jonas Eidevall had to rebuild our forward line, and better times will come.

Fact is that, by then, our season might well be over already.

Where do we go from here? Honestly, I have no idea.

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