Eidevall urges caution when it comes to prioritizing underfloor heating over other areas of women’s football where investment is needed
JONAS EIDEVALL believes long and short-term solutions are needed to prevent frozen pitches from disrupting women’s games.
And the Arsenal boss warned that underfloor heating takes priority over areas that require attention in sport.
Eidevall’s side meet Aston Villa in the quarter-finals of the Conti Cup tonight.
The game comes four days after WSL’s clash with Brighton was postponed due to an icy pitch.
The match was one of five games canceled in the top division and women’s championship due to frozen pitches after falling temperatures.
Chelsea’s home game against Liverpool at Kingsmeadow was one of the most important games postponed.
The game was stopped six minutes after kick-off.
And in-game events where players slipped on icy parts of the pitch led to calls for underfloor heating on the pitches used by the top women’s teams.
When asked about his thoughts on solutions, Eidevall said: “I don’t think it’s as simple as underfloor heating.
“You have to look at it from all investment perspectives.
“You have to prioritize and there are so many things we would like to invest in women’s football at the moment.
“When you see the cost of underfloor heating and compare it to the cost of a proper academy system to develop more British players, it’s not easy to see how you’re prioritizing that money.
“In life in general, the easiest thing to do is fixate on the topic of the day.
“I totally agree with Emma (Hayes) what happened at the Chelsea game to play those minutes was really bad for the league.
“But if we look at it from a smaller perspective, we really need to see what should be prioritized when it comes to investing.
“We can’t do it emotionally and because that was a problem yesterday all the money should go to that.
“If you look at January historically, it’s a difficult month to play on grass pitches. We can’t change nature.
“Maybe with games planned, you should be aware that it’s problematic.
“I think the solution is the difference between the long term and the short term.
“In the 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 publicity for WSL.”
Arsenal will conduct a pitch inspection at 12pm to assess whether the clash with Carla Ward’s Villa side will go ahead.
Whether the game will take place at 7.45 p.m. will be decided immediately after the inspection, the club announced.
Arsenal were “assessing the possibility” of the game being played at the Emirates but explained that was not possible due to “essential maintenance work” on the ground.
Villa boss Carla Ward said she was confident the game would move forward.
Their team, which now includes former Gunners midfielder Jordan Nobbs, has had a promising start to the year.
They beat Tottenham 2-1 at home and drew at Manchester City in their first two WSL games of the year.
And Ward believes the club trophy experience of the likes of Nobbs and Rachel Daly will help her side’s mindset.
The Villa manager said: “We have experienced players who haven’t reached a (cup)final or semi-final yet, so it’s important to draw on new and old players who have had that experience.
“We really have to rely on them, but we’re growing and developing properly.
“We continue to play how we want to play and make sure we close gaps with these bigger teams.
“It won’t happen overnight and anyone who believes that is terribly mistaken.
“We have to continue the process and it is a process, as boring as that sounds.
“This game is a real opportunity, hopefully to cause an upset and take us to the semi-finals of a cup (competition).”
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/7229289/jonas-eidevall-arsenal-frozen-pitches-wsl/ Eidevall urges caution when it comes to prioritizing underfloor heating over other areas of women’s football where investment is needed