Jonas Eidevall joins Arsenal from Rosengard
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Arsenal Women have appointed Swedish manager Jonas Eidevall as their new head coach. The 38-year-old arrives in England after three-and-a-half years in charge of Swedish club Rosengard, whom he guided to the quarter-finals of last season’s Women’s Champions League.
He replaces Arsenal’s former head coach Joe Montemurro, who stepped down at the end of last season and is now in charge of Italian giants Juventus. Eidevall was described as the "standout candidate" for the role by Arsenal’s chief executive, Vinai Venkatesham, who added: "We think he’s going to be a great fit to be the head coach of Arsenal Women. It was important that we found the right person to represent our club, both on the pitch and off the pitch.
"As for his coaching style, he will bring the style of football that Arsenal fans want to see. He’s someone who likes to play on the front foot, high-tempo, attractive, attacking football. The thing that really came out in all of our interactions with Jonas is how much he wanted to join Arsenal and his desire to be part of this club, his desire to be part of our future and to help us deliver our ambitions going forward."
Eidevall has previously worked in the men’s game with Lunds BK, prior to a short spell working as former Celtic striker Henrik Larsson’s No 2 at Helsingborgs. He has had two stints in charge of Rosengard and led them to back-to-back Swedish women’s top-flight titles in 2013 and 2014, before lifting the 2019 title in his second spell at the club.
Last term his team were beaten 4-0 on aggregate by Bayern Munich in the last eight of the Champions League, after knocking out Austrian side St Polten and Georgian outfit Lanchkhuti in the earlier rounds.
"I feel honoured to be taking this role," Eidevall said. "Arsenal have a rich history, more successful than any other women’s team in England. I want to add to these honours. It’s super important that we win, and we will be very ambitious about that, but it’s even more important that we live the values and defend the club badge on a day-to-day basis. I cannot wait to do that at Arsenal."
One of the biggest jobs in women’s football, at a challenging time
Analysis by Tom Garry
The task awaiting Eidevall – primarily to try and get Arsenal back to seriously competing for the title with Chelsea and Manchester City after two seasons of finishing out of the running in third – will not be an easy one, as the north Londoners’ rivals continue to strengthen.
Yet the 2019 champions still have tremendous pedigree and the Swede is inheriting a strong squad, albeit reinforcements will be needed after the departure of stars including Holland midfielder Danielle van de Donk this summer to Lyon.
His appointment is something of a brave move from Arsenal, given his lack of experience in the English game, but the club have clearly been hugely impressed with him during their lengthy recruitment process, and he has a blossoming reputation in Scandinavia.
Rosengard repeatedly punched above their weight in Europe despite the size of their budget compared to English, French, German and Spanish sides – mixing it with the biggest names of the modern era on the continent. He has a track record of trying to play attractive football, which will please Arsenal fans who have been used to an aesthetically-pleasing style under Montemurro.
First, though, Eidevall has a busy in-tray, most notably with iconic striker Vivianne Miedema’s contract expiring next summer and French side Lyon keen to capitalise. Montemurro was on record last autumn saying the Holland star was "top of the list" for a new deal and arguably the most important thing Eidevall could ever do at the club would be to persuade the Women’s Super League’s all-time record goalscorer to extend her stay.