JONAS EIDEVALL reckons long and short-term solutions are needed to stop frozen pitches disrupting women’s matches.

And the Arsenal chief warned against undersoil heating taking priority over areas in need of attention within the sport.


Jonas Eidevall believes the women’s game needs to consider all areas of the sport that require investment besides undersoil heating[/caption]


The Arsenal boss shared his thoughts three days after Brighton’s WSL duel with Arsenal was postponed due to a frozen pitch[/caption]

Eidevall’s side are due to play Aston Villa this evening in the Conti Cup quarter-finals.

The fixture comes four days after their WSL clash with Brighton was postponed due to an icy pitch. 

The match was one of five games called off across the top tier and Women’s Championship because of frozen turfs following plummeting temperatures. 

Chelsea’s home duel with Liverpool at Kingsmeadow was one of the most high profile fixtures postponed.

The game was halted six minutes after kick-off. 

And events at the match, which saw players slipping on icy parts of the pitch led to calls for undersoil heating at grounds used by women’s top tier sides. 

When asked for his thoughts on solutions, Eidevall said: “I don’t think that is quite as easy as having undersoil heating. 

“You have to look at it from all investment angles.

“You need to prioritise and there are so many things we would like to invest in in the women’s game at the moment.

“When you see the cost for undersoil heating and compare it to the cost of having a proper academy system in order to develop more British players – it is not easy to see how you prioritise that money.

“In life in general, the easy thing is to try to fix the topic of the day.

“I completely agree with Emma (Hayes) what happened at the Chelsea game to play those minutes was really bad for the league.

“But when we look at it from a zoomed-out perspective, we need to really see what the priorities should be with investment.

“We can’t make it emotional and because this was a problem yesterday, that all money should go into that.

 “If you look historically in January, it is a troublesome month to play on grass pitches. We can’t change nature. 

“Maybe when games are scheduled there there should be an awareness that it’s problematic.

“I think the solution is the difference between long-term and short-term. 

“Short-term, it’s communication. Early communication saves fans money and time. 

“From a league perspective, it saves us from seeing pictures like we saw at Chelsea v Liverpool on Sunday, which is really bad advertising for the WSL.”

Arsenal are due to carry out a pitch inspection at 12 midday to assess whether their clash with Carla Ward’s Villa side will go ahead. 

The club says a decision on if the 7:45 pm game will take place will be made immediately after the inspection. 

Arsenal explored “the possibility” of the match being played at the Emirates but stated it would not be possible due to “essential pitch maintenance” work taking place at the ground. 

Villa boss Carla Ward stated she was hopeful the game would ahead. 

Her team, which now includes former Gunners midfielder Jordan Nobbs, have enjoyed a promising start to this year.

They defeated Tottenham 2-1 at home and nabbed a draw away at Manchester City in their first two WSL games this year. 

And Ward believes club trophy-winning experiences of players such as Nobbs and Rachel Daly will be beneficial for the mindset of her side. 

The Villa manager said: “We have senior players who have not got to (cup) finals before or semi finals, so it’s important to tap into those players, new and old, who have had those experiences. 

“We’ve got to really rely on them, but we’re growing and developing the right way. 

Carla Ward believes Aston Villa have a good opportunity to cause a Conti Cup upset against Arsenal this evening

“We’re continuing to play the way that we want to play and making sure that we close gaps on these bigger teams. 

“It doesn’t happen overnight and anyone  who thinks it does is hugely mistaken.

“We have to continue the process and it is a process, as boring as that sounds. 

“This game is a real opportunity to hopefully cause an upset and get ourselves into a semi-final of a cup (competition).”

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