onas Eidevall has never been to Wembley. He got the closest four years ago, when he and his wife bought tickets to an Adele concert that they ultimately couldn’t attend.
So there is some clarity in the singer’s return to the top of the charts as Eidevall prepares to lead Arsenal under the vault for the Women’s FA Cup final against Chelsea on Sunday.
“I’m not sure what to expect from it, but what I want to do is enjoy the experience,” he told Standard Sport. “To make good decisions for the team and to enjoy the moment. It’s special, it’s not for everyone, to play in a cup final at Wembley.
Eidevall’s is not the familiar story of a foreign manager falling in love with the FA Cup as a young fan, charmed from afar by the magic and mystique of a flagship final that was, there isn’t so much. long regarded as one of the greatest football matches far beyond these shores. He has “no specific recollection” of watching FA Cup games on television as a child and says the equivalent competition was “not a big thing” in his native Sweden.
“It was just played in the background alongside the league so I’m really excited to come to England where the cup has this big, prestigious role,” he said.
At Arsenal, of course, he’s as popular as anywhere. The men’s and women’s teams are the most successful in FA Cup history, winning their respective trophies 14 times each, and Eidevall has no illusions about the tradition he is responsible for upholding in a final that – having been pushed back from last season due to the pandemic – comes only a few months after the start of his reign.
“When you’re at a club like Arsenal you always want to add more trophies to the cabinet,” he says. “You feel grateful for all the foundation that has been laid by all the great former players and managers and you want to thank them, and thank them, by bringing in more trophies. We feel it.
Few have done more to build this tradition than Arsene Wenger, the most successful male coach in FA Cup history, whose autobiography, My Life in Red and White, Eidevall read during the international break. .
Wenger often hails Arsenal’s double triumph in 1997-98 as the most important of his managerial career, giving him credit within a football community that had proudly known little of its existence a season earlier. The potential parallels with Eidevall are clear, with the 38-year-old quickly turning the Gunners into title contenders after being seen as a surprise pick to replace Joe Montemurro this summer. He hesitates, however, to dwell on the possible significance of a first piece of silverware that arrived so early in his mandate.
“We never know [what the effect will be]He said. “What you know in football is that every moment counts and that’s what you do with those moments. It is an opportunity that we deserve and we must do everything in our power to try to seize it. “
Even that may not be enough. Chelsea were a conquering force in English football last season and the quality available to Emma Hayes was further exemplified last night when four Blues players were named in the top 10 votes for the Women’s Ballon d’Or . Arsenal, meanwhile, only had one representative, the gorgeous Vivianne Miedema, but Eidevall, you can tell, wouldn’t trade her for anyone.
“She’s a really smart player who you can talk to about football,” he said. “She’s also a strong person, so she can give you her own opinion. You don’t always have to have the same idea from the start, you can chat, you can learn from each other.
“I’m super happy to work with Viv and how much she cares about the club and the team. I think that’s also how she feels about it. For me, to be completely honest, it doesn’t matter who wins the Ballon d’Or.
But to have him by his side for his Wembley arc?