Arsenal Women lifted the Continental Tyres Cup for the sixth time since its inception, the last one being in 2018.
It’s the first trophy for Jonas Eidevall as Arsenal head-coach and the first trophy for the club since the league win in 2019 – four years ago.
Contrarily to what a bitter Emma Hayes said during the post-game press conference, it was not a simple matter of desire: we outperformed them, Jonas Eidevall prepared the game so well tactically that Chelsea had no response to our dominance down their right-hand side, beside changing personnel three times in the first half, and the players stuck to the game plan regardless of the early setback.
At Selhurst Park we witnessed a very mature performance from a team that has been under pressure for quite some time and could have crumbled when the inevitable Sam Kerr headed Chelsea on front in the first minute. Instead, they reacted immediately and closed Chelsea in their own half from the restart, eventually being rewarded with three unanswered goals in 30 minutes, putting the game to bed.
This league cup is Jonas Eidevall’s for all of his calls for patience and perspective, when the results were not coming; it is Caitlin Foord’s for her majestic display on the left wing, where she was simply untouchable for any of the opponents Emma Hayes’ threw in to contain her fury; it is Stina Blackstenius’ for her relentless work upfront and her ability to remain calm and collected amid a sea of criticism for her finishing skills. Ultimately, this league cup win is the players’, the staff’s and Jonas Eidevall’s because we owed Chelsea a good spanking after the last results and a comprehensive win as a reward for their efforts and dedication.
Back in 2018, the league cup win was the catalyst for the league title, a few months later, and a huge boost for the then-coach Joe Montemurro and his players so let’s hope that this win will result in a change of fate for this season, a bit underwhelming so far. Back then, we defeated Manchester City in the penalty shoot-out before beating them to the league title and, although the challenge looks extremely complicated this year, one can always dream about a swift change of trajectory for both clubs.
With a renewed belief and mindfulness, this team might well be able to close the gap on the league leaders before the big showdown, scheduled on May, 21st at Kingsmeadow. To do that, though, Jonas Eidevall and the players will have to surpass themselves as we will play Tottenham (A), Manchester City (H) and Manchester United (A) between March 25th and April 23rd, not to mention the European tie against Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
Truth is, when the team plays with such focus, togetherness, clarity and determination, there is a valid point for a remarkable remontada. Hopefully they will be able to pick-up the three points against Liverpool, on Wednesday night, and ride the monumental momentum built by the well-deserved, hard-earned, sweet league cup triumph over Chelsea.
To believe is the first step towards achieving the unthinkable, let’s keep the faith.
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.
Enjoyable post-match review. Your articles on Arsenal Women are always well written interesting and always worth reading. I hope your future articles and analysis attract the wider readership in the “Goonersville” they thoroughly deserve. I always enjoy your work because even though you are an Arsenal supporter there is always an element of objectivity also. Be good to see you write more on the men’s team as well as your writing as mentioned deserves a wider reader base and comparatively your writing and reading of the game(s) is far better than many of the popular or more established arsenal blog/review sites out there.
Thank you very much, it’s very much appreciated. I am glad to hear that you find my reading enjoyable, I’ll do my best to keep it up. As for writing more, I wish I had more time to do that but fellow writers on this platform are pretty talented and make new content available everyday. Next AWFC journal will be out on Thursday 😉