Jonas Eidevall says Arsenal are working to preserve their “proud history” of playing staff being more representative of the “diverse north London community”.
Last month, the club acknowledged the urgent need to address the lack of diversity within the women’s team. This came after they shared a photo on social media featuring the 27-player lineup for the 2023-24 season, which did not include any black or ethnic minority players.
Eidevall stated that a complete overhaul is necessary to address a “issue” that goes beyond just Arsenal. The manager emphasized the importance of their diverse community in north London, and highlighted the proud history of the club’s men’s and women’s teams, which have included players from diverse backgrounds.
The lack of diversity is a significant issue. There is a diversity problem in women’s football regarding the involvement of people of color. This problem exists not only at the professional level but also in grassroots organizations. It is essential for both the FA and other clubs to address and improve this issue.
On Sunday, Arsenal will face Manchester City at Meadow Park for the first time since their 2-0 loss to Aston Villa in May. Eidevall is excited to return to the venue where his team has had positive experiences, having previously played at Emirates Stadium.
He expressed that the atmosphere is very intimate. They are currently facing a decision as they have been having wonderful experiences at the Emirates. He acknowledged that due to logistical reasons, it may be difficult for the club to transfer their games to the Emirates. However, he believes that this is a natural process that will take some time and they are excited to continue playing in front of a full crowd.
The city of Brighton has successfully passed a motion to find a location for the development of the nation’s inaugural women’s football stadium for a professional club. However, Eidevall believes it is challenging to envision Arsenal following suit, as what may seem like a suitable stadium size now may not be suitable in the future.
“In the future, some may argue that the Emirates is the perfect size, while others may find it too small. Ultimately, the success of a club will determine this. However, the ability to fill stadiums is crucial, as it creates a unique atmosphere in a sold-out venue.”
According to Eidevall, it will be crucial to prevent City from dominating in the air. He considers them, along with Chelsea, to be one of the most formidable teams when it comes to aerial play in the league. He believes their skill and ability will make them a tough opponent to defeat. Eidevall also notes that City has been performing consistently well since spring, which is understandable given their stable playing style and familiar players.
Vivianne Miedema and Beth Mead are still making progress in their recoveries from long-term injuries, while the rest of Eidevall’s team are eligible for selection after returning from their international duties.