Growth of WSL can help English teams in Europe, says Arsenal boss Eidevall

By Sports Desk March 28, 2023 472

Arsenal head coach Jonas Eidevall believes the continued growth of the Women's Super League should lead to an English team winning the Women's Champions League soon.

The Gunners won the UEFA Women's Cup in 2006-07, but no English side has lifted the trophy since the inception of the Champions League format in 2009, with Chelsea losing to Barcelona in the final in 2020-21.

Ahead of Arsenal's quarter-final second leg against Bayern Munich, with the German outfit leading 1-0 from the first leg, Eidevall expressed his optimism for WSL teams in Europe in future.

"It's natural that the clubs who have invested the most have also been the most successful ones," the Swedish coach said. "If you see how the WSL has grown this year with more games played at bigger stadiums, good attendances, but also great atmospheres.

"We also see the excitement and competition around all three things that matter in the league – competition to win the league, competition to qualify for the Champions League, [and] competition to not be relegated.

"That means that a lot of games here in the spring will have an important sporting outcome, which is great for the entertainment value. Maybe not for managers' hearts and ability to not have grey hair colour, but for everyone else, that's exciting.

"That's building a brand that no other European league has at the moment. That's also going to be reflected then in how you can build and grow the product.

"While I think other European clubs have been successful because they've had owners and the structure to invest, English clubs will be successful because of the product we build together, with the league being the driving force behind that. It's going to create a better future for all English clubs if we are co-operating and building this together.

"I know that's what the players are looking for, they want to come to the most competitive league, the best environment, the best atmosphere.

"We're not there yet, but the first steps have been taken and it's important to keep taking those steps so the future can be for English clubs in Europe also."

According to Eidevall, it is a case of 'if you build it, the trophies will come', and he hopes his Arsenal team are the ones to get over the line in Europe.

"If you build things over here, it's only of matter of time before an English club wins the Champions League," he added. "Both clubs that are in the competition this year have the potential to do it [Arsenal and Chelsea], it doesn't have to be in the distant future. Time will be in the English clubs' favour as long as this progression continues.

"Being the champion of a continent, it is probably the greatest thing you can win in club football in Europe and we very proud in our history to be the only English club that did it. If, in the future, we could repeat that, it would be great.

"I have the belief that we can beat any team on any give day so let's make the most of it tomorrow and maybe we can progress. Then once you reach semi-finals, everyone is capable of winning the trophy."

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Last modified on Tuesday, 28 March 2023 15:24
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