Jonas Eidevall full of praise for Arsenal debutants in Champions League clash

Arsenal's manager Jonas Eidevall during The Mind Series match at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Lond

Arsenal's manager Jonas Eidevall during The Mind Series match at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London. Picture date: Sunday August 8, 2021. - Credit: PA

Jonas Eidevall was full of praise for Arsenal's debutants on Wednesday as they beat Okzhetpes 4-0 in the Champions League. 

Nikita Parris, Mana Iwabuchi, Frida Maanum and Simone Boye Sorensen made their competitive Gunners debuts in Russia. 

Parris and Iwabuchi started the game and on the performance of Parris, Eidevall explained: "It was great for her to finish off her performance with a goal.

"It was one of those opponents where you wanted to have movement from your forward players but they were denying you space and you have to make run after run after run to keep asking questions of them, she kept doing that, which was great and it was great that she was rewarded with the goal in the end."

He then went on to add on Iwabuchi's performance: "Mana is useful in many ways but she is so fast in the way that she thinks and the way she disguises passes.

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"I was talking to some of the staff the other day and we talked about the passes she makes in training and usually I think I am good at seeing what the next pass will be but she surprises me when I am watching.

"The way she scans and plays those passes is great for us, she has those fundamental skills to break down low blocks.

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"The first goal was a very good example of that, a lot of people are expecting her to make a wall pass and instead she takes the initiative and shoots, which surprises everybody,It’s just an example of her game intelligence."

Arsenal had plenty of chances to score more and if Arsenal should have won by more goals.

"There were some circumstances that made it a little more difficult than maybe it looked on the TV.

"They were very hot conditions and it was on artificial turf, which gets a little bit dry so it can be hard to move the ball with pace, but like I told the players, we scored the hard goals and we were using established play against 11 of their players where we needed lots of passes in a row to come off, but we didn’t score from any corners, or wide free-kicks, or from crosses or counter-attacks.

"We need to be better in those situations as well and we need to do better with that on Saturday, no matter which opponent we play."

Lotte Wubben-Moy came off with a head injury in the win with Eidevall giving an update saying: "We had to stitch her forehead, we had to take her off because the stitching would take about ten minutes and we didn’t want to be down to ten players for that length of time." 

Anna Patten replaced Wubben-Moy and on her performance in midfield during the second half.

"Anna is versatile and she has played very well there, she played really well in midfield.

"She was involved in almost all of our good combination plays in the second half.

"In the long-term we still see Anna as a right-back or a right-sided central defender but she has qualities to help us in midfield as well.

"An opportunity opened up for her because of the squad situation in midfield and I am delighted to see that she can come in and perform at that level."

There was some very good link-up play in the game, and the boss said: "That’s obviously one element that is very, very important and it is part of our core identity as a team and that was nice to see us express ourselves, we just need to add the other things I mentioned before."

Eidevall now turns his full attention to Saturday as the Gunners take on either PSV Eindhoven or Lokomotiv Moscow in the round one final.

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