Less is more for Jonas Eidevall as Arsenal gear up for big game at Bayern Munich

Jonas Eidevall's Arsenal have won their last three fixtures (Bradley Collyer/PA)
David Charlesworth, PA

Jonas Eidevall believes his Arsenal side have responded well to fewer instructions from him recently as they look to continue their winning streak at Bayern Munich.

The Swede collected his first major piece of silverware earlier this month with the Gunners, who ended a near four-year trophy drought by coming from behind to beat Chelsea in the Continental Cup final.

Arsenal have also seen off Liverpool and Reading in the Women’s Super League this month and Eidevall senses that not overburdening his players with too much detail has been beneficial.

Arsenal won the Continental Cup earlier this month (Zac Goodwin/PA)
Arsenal won the Continental Cup earlier this month (Zac Goodwin/PA)

A big test of that philosophy will be in the first leg of their Women’s Champions League quarter-final at the Allianz Arena, with Bayern winning every competitive fixture in their own backyard since April 17 last year.

“We’re a team that is in a good place right now,” Eidevall said.

“I don’t know if this is good or bad but I felt with the preparation lately, I have had a feeling of sharing less information with the players because I’m more sure that we know what to do in situations.

“Let’s hope it’s a good sign and not a sign of false security. I choose to believe in the first one.

“The only way to develop quality is by spending time on something. If you’re going to have shared understanding and experiences, you have to live through things together. I can’t see any shortcuts for that.”

Bayern have won 12 of their last 13 Champions League fixtures on home soil but Eidevall takes comfort from Arsenal’s record on the road this season.

Arsenal caught the eye by drubbing eight-time and defending champions Lyon 5-1 in France although they will continue to be without forwards Beth Mead and Vivianne Miedema because of ACL injuries.

“We have respect for (Bayern’s home record) but we shouldn’t fear it,” Eidevall added. “We’ve been playing against teams that have had great home records this year in the Champions League.

“Both Lyon and Juventus are two teams that have excellent home records in the Champions League and we managed to draw in Turin and won at Lyon.

“We know we’re going to play against a good team but we’re also a good team. There is a lot of similarities in the way both teams play. It’s an exciting match-up.”

Manuela Zinsberger will remain at Arsenal until at least the end of next season (John Walton/PA)
Manuela Zinsberger will remain at Arsenal until at least the end of next season (John Walton/PA)

On the eve of the game, Arsenal announced they had triggered the one-year option on Manuela Zinsberger’s contract, keeping the former Bayern goalkeeper at the north London club until the end of next season.

The Austrian left the Bavarian club on a free transfer in May 2019 after five years to sign with Arsenal and her existing deal was due to expire at the end of this campaign.

But last season’s WSL Golden Glove winner had no doubt in extending her stay in the capital.

“It wasn’t a tough decision at all,” she said. “I’m happy I’m staying for another season and I’m looking forward to the game here.

“I love Bayern Munich and Munich itself – it’s close to my family. Looking back, I’m grateful and happy with what I’ve achieved with Bayern but I’m wearing another jersey here and I’m also happy with that.”