Arsenal Women’s pre-season concluded as shortly because it began with pleasant victories over Chelsea at Emirates Stadium and a 4-0 win at Sp*rs. The video games additionally represented a primary alternative for new coach Jonas Eidevall to see his new staff in a match scenario and it was additionally the gamers’ first probability to play underneath the newly appointed Swede. Here are three things I can be protecting a detailed eye on in 2021-22 for the Gunners.
More urgent and damaged play within the remaining thirdEidevall has spoken rather a lot about getting his staff to press intensely within the remaining third underneath his stewardship. Referencing Anna Patten’s aim in opposition to Sp*rs final weekend, Eidevall was clear on the explanations that the development of the aim actually happy him. “When you see the aim that Anna scored, Freya (Jupp) took on the keeper and missed.
“But she is the primary participant to counter-press and get the ball to Alex (Hennessy) who takes the shot and Anna scores. That’s what we would like to see, gamers pondering of the next motion.” Arsenal pressed underneath Joe Montemurro however not to the extent that I believe we’ll see underneath Jonas Eidevall. Joe’s play was constructed rather more on a “snake charming” model.
Arsenal usually went backwards to go forwards once more, they might hold the ball across the half-way line and even in their very own half so as to tempt deep defensive blocks to edge away from their very own space. Once Arsenal had efficiently tempted the defence up the sector, they might attempt to transfer shortly in behind them. It can be completely different underneath Eidevall, he needs the ball to go forwards shortly.
That will inevitably lead to decrease accuracy however in these moments, Arsenal can counterpress and win the ball again whereas defensive blocks are disorganised. This is rather more in keeping with how Emma Hayes’ Chelsea play, for instance. I believe Eidevall has attackers that swimsuit this model too. Nikita Parris is a “damaged play” ahead, she likes to run in behind groups and would profit from receiving the ball in these conditions.
Beth Mead’s superpower is urgent opposing full-backs and regaining the ball excessive up the pitch. It’s one of many causes that she remained a inventory choice underneath Joe Montemurro, as a result of she provided that capability to counterpress and create possibilities in a a lot completely different approach to the opposite attackers.
Mead made 18 interceptions within the WSL final season, the fourth highest within the squad, Lia Wälti made 22 and Lotte Wubben-Moy 17. Her interception numbers map extra in direction of the defensive gamers within the squad, it’s simply she does it within the opponent’s half. Jordan Nobbs is a wonderful presser and “damaged play” participant too. I believe she is going to profit from this model underneath Jonas, the place her propensity to make fast ahead actions will actually swimsuit this new method.
We know Caitlin Foord has glorious bodily properties as effectively, Katie McCabe, Steph Catley and Noelle Maritz are all entrance footed full-backs who like to make interceptions and Frida Maanum is a midfielder who enjoys breaking ahead late in strikes. Allied with the extra artistic edge that Mana Iwabuchi and Kim Little convey, I believe Arsenal have the components to adapt to this new model. Vivianne Miedema can be Vivianne Miedema no matter which model you play.
The Viv-Parris connectionLast season, Vivianne Miedema’s artistic numbers dropped. She went from eight WSL assists within the adumbrated 2019-20 season (the place she performed 14 video games) to 5 assists final season in 22 WSL video games. The greatest motive for this was the awkward try to match Jill Roord into the aspect as a quantity 10.
Put merely, Roord preferred to occupy the identical areas that Miedema would usually drop into when she comes away from the ahead line to knit play collectively. Nobbs and van de Donk are barely extra fluid of their interpretation of the quantity 10 position. They have a tendency to drift into attacking areas from deeper, whereas Roord’s beginning place was all the time extra paying homage to a second striker.
I believe, via no specific fault of Roord’s, this cramped Miedema’s artistic model final season. Arsenal’s 10s (Nobbs and Iwabuchi) don’t current this subject, so I see Miedema floating into that quantity 10 place much more readily. This is the place the addition of Nikita Parris could be very attention-grabbing certainly.
Parris is a wide-forward however she could be very a lot within the second striker mould of vast ahead. She doesn’t particularly need to drop deep and grow to be concerned within the build-up. She can be fairly joyful for Viv to go a wandering and she is going to fortunately wait to run in behind her full-back and profit from Miedema’s creativity.
Essentially, when Viv drifts, Keets is much extra possible to fill the striker spot and wait for the service. I’m actually enthusiastic about this link-up next season and with considered one of McCabe, Foord, Mead or Iwabuchi on the left to complement, I believe Miedema and Parris will successfully grow to be a unorthodox strike pairing.
What will the defence look like?Arsenal at present have Leah Williamson, Simone Boye, Jen Beattie, Viki Schnaderbeck, Lotte Wubben-Moy and Anna Patten who play principally at centre-half. Patten has performed extra of her soccer at right-back since re-joining the membership so may effectively be thought of the back-up to Noelle Maritz there.
Five centre-halves for two positions might be one too many. The signing of Simone Boye is an attention-grabbing one, she has performed underneath Jonas Eidevall earlier than and he clearly recognized one thing that she may convey to the staff. Boye is 29, Beattie and Schnaderbeck are 30. Williamson is 24 however will most likely attain 200 Arsenal appearances throughout this season.
They don’t lack expertise at centre-half however I additionally don’t assume Eidevall would convey Boye in except he sees her as an everyday starter. I’m wondering if, given their damage points during the last 18 months or so, we would see Beattie and Schnaderbeck phased out- I simply can’t see why else the coach would herald a 29-year-old defender when he has two 30-year-olds there.
At right-back, Arsenal have Maritz, Patten and Evans at time of writing, at left-back, we will even see a mouth-watering twin between Katie McCabe (who may play on the left-wing) and Steph Catley. If the membership doesn’t signal one other defensive midfielder to deputise Lia Wälti with Malin Gut at present injured, then Leah Williamson could be wanted in midfield, which eases the logjam barely.
Eidevall can be a coach who likes to transfer freely between formations and the choice of enjoying with three centre-halves could be very a lot in play. There will possible be at the least one departure from the squad earlier than the switch deadline passes due to this abundance however it will likely be fascinating to see who will get the lion’s share of the minutes alongside Leah Williamson at centre-half- my guess can be Simone Boye.