Arsenal And Eidevall Face First Massive Test After Consecutive Cup Losses

The WSL leaders have conceded seven goals in two games this week
08:55, 12 Dec 2021

This past week has taken a heavy toll on Arsenal and Jonas Eidevall. Until last Sunday, this season had been going perfectly, and it seemed as though the Gunners were invincible. But following consecutive defeats in the FA Cup final and now Women’s Champions League, the Swedish boss now faces his first real test in charge of the north London outfit.

The bad week started on Sunday at Wembley Stadium, where Arsenal were schooled by Emma Hayes’ Chelsea. They were beaten 3-0 and Eidevall lost his first chance of acquiring silverware with the Gunners. His side were outfought by the Blues as Hayes avenged her side’s defeat to Eidevall at the start of the Women’s Super League season. The Gunners beat the reigning champions 3-2 at the Emirates Stadium, and have still not tasted defeat in the league after eight matches. But following their most recent results, the Arsenal squad will be asked to prove that their confidence has not been hit, and Eidevall has to conjure up an instant response.

As the table currently stands Arsenal remain top, but Chelsea are only a point behind even if their loss to Reading on Saturday gave the Gunners a boost. But their title rivals’ form has taken a hit this week, with the 4-0 defeat to Barcelona in midweek leading Arsenal’s players having to quickly regroup ahead of their home clash against WSL strugglers Leicester City on Sunday, with new manager Lydia Bedford taking charge of her first game for the visitors.

The fixture will provide Arsenal with a great opportunity to build up some confidence again, to get back to winning ways and maintain their unbeaten run in the league. They face a side who have freshly appointed a new boss and will be in the early stages of taking on new instructions and executing the way the former England youth coach wants them to play. This should give the Gunners an extra advantage, especially as Leicester have lost all of their matches so far.

Eidevall should be wary, however. There is always the risk of a new manager bounce, and with a side in desperate need of a win they can be the toughest opponents to deal with. The 38-year-old will need to ensure defensive organisation amongst his backline after conceding seven in their last two fixtures, while also orchestrating a fluid and smooth transition into attack as his side look to get back into scoring form after the last couple of goalless games.

Football is never a simple game, and it isn’t beautiful without the obstacles, and Eidevall faces his first huge test since joining in the summer. More than anything, the match this weekend will be a test of his character and a real marker as to whether he and his side have what it takes to wrestle the WSL crown from Chelsea.

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