'Surreal' feeling as Arsenal reach Women's FA Cup final

Brighton and Hove Albion goalkeeper Megan Walsh (left) claims the ball from Arsenal's Caitlin Foord

Brighton and Hove Albion goalkeeper Megan Walsh (left) claims the ball from Arsenal's Caitlin Foord during the Vitality Women's FA Cup semi-final - Credit: PA

Jonas Eidevall says it feels “surreal” that Arsenal have reached the FA Cup final following their 3-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday. 

Kim Little, Beth Mead and Leah Williamson scored the goals as the Gunners set up a date with Chelsea on December 5. 

Eidevall said: “It feels a little bit surreal. We never imagined we would have the chance to achieve a trophy so quickly so it feels like a great opportunity to go to Wembley and really compete for this trophy.”

Vivianne Miedema, Lotte Wubben-Moy and Tobin Heath were rested for the game due to their involvement in the Olympics and missing out on the Gunners pre-season.

“It’s tough for the players who aren’t playing, not playing for Arsenal now doesn’t mean you are a bad player.

"Sometimes there might be a player who, for me, will fit a particular game plan a little better.

"The key is for players to keep their confidence even if they are not selected every time. But we all want this competition and this is the squad depth we need if we are going to compete for many trophies so I am just happy about it.

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"It shows we are doing well from a medical perspective and from a performance perspective.

"We had some players who really had a tough schedule with their national teams and I think a lot of national team coaches don’t really care that we had a semi final this weekend to put it mildly.

"It wasn’t easy. I am really proud of how strong we could be. This was a really strong performance.”

Arsenal's Beth Mead (left) and Arsenal's Leah Williamson battle for the ball during the Vitality Wom

Arsenal's Beth Mead (left) and Arsenal's Leah Williamson battle for the ball during the Vitality Women's FA Cup semi-final - Credit: PA

He also praised Joe Montemurro and the foundations that he laid, saying: “When you look at what happened in the spring, Arsenal had a lot of strong results and performances to secure that third place and the last Champions League spot.

"A lot of the things that they saw they started to implement last spring and it meant I inherited staff and players who had been through a lot together. There is a lot of knowledge and expertise here. 

"It was important for me not to try to change everything, and to look at things we were already doing well so we could build on.

"There are some differences. We are pressing differently we are doing some things different in build up, but we have kept the foundation and we are benefitting from the relationships and experiences that already exist in this group. We don’t put enough emphasis on that in football.

"Once you win something and you are not there anymore, you don’t feel a part of it.

"Rosengard won the league last week and I coached them for 12 of their games and took pre season and everything, but I don’t feel a part of it even though I know I am because I am not emotionally connected in the moment.

"We should put more emphasis on people making good long term decisions and leaving a club in a good shape and that Joe needs to get a lot of credit for that.

"He left the club in a really good shape, so well done to him and the staff that worked so hard with him.”

Williamson scored a third goal this season and Eidevall said: "She is brilliant, she plays to such a high standard offensively and defensively.

"Obviously she still has things that she needs to improve but I am really, really delighted with her performances this season.

"She has been a massive part of why we have been able to perform so well.”

When asked did he have any memories of Wembley he said: “I have never been as a coach or a fan. I had tickets to see Adele there a few years ago but my wife and I couldn’t make it. I am definitely going this time.”

Arsenal are back in action next Sunday against West Ham at home in the Women’s Super League at 6.45pm and will be broadcast on Sky Sports.

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