Arsenal Women’s head coach Jonas Eidevall has suggested Chelsea rearrange fixtures in January to avoid playing without star striker Sam Kerr while she’s out of the Asian Cup.
WSL leaders Chelsea beat Tottenham 2-1 on Thursday night lead Arsenal by four points in the title race just weeks into the season.
But Eidevall, whose side are one game short and three games to play in the league, says he did not watch Chelsea’s game and aimed for a dig against title rivals Arsenal.
He said: “I think for me, I didn’t focus on Chelsea when they rearranged all their fixtures in January, so Sam Kerr must not have missed any games because of the Asian Cup.
“I’m not focusing on them now either. I’m just focusing on Arsenal, getting as many points as possible and then we’ll see where that leaves us in the table.”
Chelsea have requested the postponement of a game against Tottenham in January due to a high number of Covid cases and injuries in their squad.
Their game against Everton was also postponed, but that was at the request of the opposition, also due to a high number of Covid cases and injuries.
Arsenal were without Lydia Williams, Caitlin Foord, Steph Catley and Mana Iwabuchi due to the Asian Cup in January, and subsequently lost to Birmingham during that time while other games were postponed.
“We were one of the few teams that chose to play this weekend,” added Eidevall.
“I am very disappointed with the lack of transparency in the reasons for the postponement of matches and the time it takes to reschedule them.”
Will Birmingham or Man Utd do Arsenal a favor?
Arsenal can close the gap on Chelsea to one point with a win over Aston Villa on Sunday, but are counting on Birmingham and Manchester United to stumble Chelsea in their last two games.
As the Gunners have a game in hand, they just need Chelsea to draw one of their last two games, should the Eidevall side end the season with three wins.
“I’ve seen both Birmingham and Man United teams and anyone who has followed our season knows they beat us both,” Eidevall said.
“I saw their quality on those occasions. I also saw that when Birmingham were playing at home against us, and I saw it happen to us in the County Cup, when United were playing away against us. So these are two very capable teams and in a very tough league.”
Could the Champions League decide the winner of the WSL title?
Sky Sports’ Karen Carney:
“The Champions League could be a factor at the end of the season. Chelsea came out early, they could focus on the league. Arsenal were still in it and playing against real top opponents and had to focus on that. Their team rotation needed to change, they had injuries and that could be a factor.
“I think the Birmingham game [for Chelsea on Sunday, live on Sky Sports] it’s hard…Birmingham fight for it [to stay in the WSL] and everyone thinks they’re down, but internally they don’t. Getting there is going to be hard and you have to stay focused.
“But with the Chelsea team, with the way they are going and have to go through some resilient times this week, I think it’s Chelsea Arsenal Women head coach Jonas Eidevall makes Chelsea dig about WSL fixture postponements | Football News.”