Jonas Eidevall insists ‘fighting for inches is the foundation to success’ as Arsenal aim to start a winning streak

Ask Gunners gaffer Jonas Eidevall if he was impressed with new signing Cloé Lacasse’s goal to salvage them a point against Manchester United, and he will talk about what it says of his whole team. Lacasse’s individual brilliance gets a mention, but the determination of the Arsenal players to keep fighting till the death – and to not launch balls towards the other end at will, but to patiently create – is what he highlights.

Arsenal, Eidevall explains, have a mentality. They’re going to fight for a comeback this year. At the end of last season, they limped over the finish line, looking a little bit sorry for themselves – and last month they saw themselves evicted from the UEFA Women’s Champions League. With his players having had the least amount of time after the latter stages of the summer’s FIFA Women’s World Cup to get back to club football before the knockout, he takes the loss as lessons learnt.

There’s not much he won’t take as a learning experience, it seems, and he assures it is the same for his players – goalkeeper Sabrina D’Angelo’s mistake in the Manchester United match is not something she will dwell on. Dwelling is not a winning attitude, says Eidevall, but she will learn for next time.

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When that next time may be is another question, and seemingly a perennial one in North London. Arsenal’s choice of starter between the posts is something of debate, but Eidevall is coy to say there is no number 1, with the club instead appointing whomever is most tactically appropriate for any given game. Having been unsuccessful in prising Mary Earps away from the Red Devils, perhaps Eidevall’s confidence in all three of his team’s ‘keepers is really fighting talk.

But he’s also the first to admit that the team, for all their patience and tactical interchangeability, is ‘not a finished product’. And he’s quick to point out what he sees has holding them back at the dawn of this season in weak counter-pressing and lack of dynamism. His vision, presumably, has yet to come to fruition, but no doubt he expects it will take form soon.

That may come in the shape of Beth Mead, whose return is imminent, or Vivianne Miedema, who is about to start playing games in some not-quite-returned capacity. Leah Williamson won’t be back until the year ends in a ‘4′, but her presence around the team training is appreciated.

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Or perhaps it will come in the shape of something new. There are the new signings coming aboard, and Eidevall will hope for a swift adaptation period. He acknowledges that having managed every World Cup player’s time individually upon their return, trying to account for the quick turnaround, may have affected team integration and those dynamics – though he doesn’t think it did in a negative way.

Eidevall’s mission is clear either way. He’s a coach who doesn’t accept less than 100% all the time, after all. His goal is not just for Arsenal to train and play to their best, but to do so in the best environment. The Emirates should become their fortress, he says, but this requires the best from his team and their fans. Proud of playing back-to-back games in the stadium, he seeks more – both in terms of games, with the aim of moving there on a full-time basis, and energy, to match that of the loyal home crowd at Borehamwood’s Meadow Park.