Eidevall open to Arsenal WSL aces playing in-house matches against Gunners boys’ Under-16s

JONAS EIDEVALL is mulling over the idea of involving Arsenal’s Under-16s boys’ team in training and practice games with his WSL side.

And the Gunners gaffer believes this may help his aces improve in foiling their opponents’ one-on-one marking. 

Eidevall’s team were pipped to this season’s title by Chelsea after they came from behind twice to defeat Marc Skinner’s Manchester United.

A slim one-point lead saw the Blues deny the Gunners the chance of their first WSL crown under their boss and a 15th league title for the club

And Eidevall, 39, believes in-house games against ‘more physical and faster’ players could give his side an edge against their opponents.

The Arsenal chief told The Athletic: “We have to have good cooperation with our boys’ academy to involve them in practices and internal games.

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"This is so we can play against something more physical and faster than we will ever play against in the Champions League, in order to set the benchmark.

“That’s an astonishing opportunity that most football teams around the world would give everything in order to do; to see if we can make our training harder than the games.

“That means if we’re successful in training, then we will for sure be successful in games as well.

"We’ll have a little bit more time and it will be a little bit easier.

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“That’s more something to speak to Per Mertesacker (Arsenal boys’ academy manager) about.

“Under-15 or 16 is usually a good age group where the physicality hasn’t grown so much on all the players.

"They are a little faster than our players but it’s not impossible to play against.”

Earlier this year Arsenal, who lost just once the WSL term, saw their hopes of progressing beyond the Champions League quarters ended by Wolfsburg.

The Gunners remain the only club in England to have triumphed in the competition.

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And Eidevall wants his side to get the upper hand on their opponents by improving how they impose their brand of football.

The Arsenal boss added: “We need to impose our style better when playing against better teams, both domestically and internationally.

“We need to start by trying to do that.

"I was disappointed with our performance in the FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea because I didn’t feel like we went out and tried to play the way we can.

“That mindset (is what) we need to get to. There are no reasons why we can’t apply the same way of playing against Everton, Chelsea or Wolfsburg.

“If we want to be the team we want to be, we need to find a way to get there. That’s one thing.

“Secondly, we need to improve playing against man-marking. We saw that very, very clearly in Europe.”

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