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Arsenal manager criticises Chelsea coach on touchline altercation

Arsenal manager has criticised recent comments made by Chelsea head coach which he labels “irresponsible” at this level of football

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Image credit: Getty Images

In the aftermath of Arsenal’s Women’s League Cup final victory over Chelsea, Arsenal manager Jonas Eidevall has expressed his disapproval of Chelsea counterpart Emma Hayes’ characterisation of their touchline altercation as “male aggression.”

The incident occurred at full-time of Arsenal’s 1-0 triumph, with Hayes appearing to push away Eidevall. When questioned about the altercation, Hayes remarked, “I am not down for male aggression on the touchline. I told him this.”

Eidevall has rebuffed Hayes’ labeling of the confrontation, deeming it “irresponsible” and expressing discomfort with the terminology. According to the Arsenal boss, the altercation stemmed from a disagreement over the use of a multi-ball system during the match, particularly in the final minutes when Chelsea requested another ball to play quickly.

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“Chelsea wanted a one-ball system,” Eidevall explained. “So we played with one ball, then in the final minutes they want another ball to play quickly. I said this and Erin was not happy in that situation.”

Arsenal Women coach Jonas Eidevall

Arsenal Women coach Jonas Eidevall (Image Credit: Getty Images)

Despite being booked for the incident, Eidevall felt Hayes’ reaction was unwarranted, especially considering he approached her with the intention of shaking hands. However, Hayes pushed him away, leading to further tension between the two managers.

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Hayes later criticised Eidevall’s behaviour, suggesting he should have been sent off and emphasising the need for proper conduct on the touchline. However, Eidevall dismissed Hayes’ remarks, asserting that he does not see himself as aggressive and that she was unjustified in assigning such a label.

Eidevall’s response echoes previous accusations made against him by Manchester City boss Gareth Taylor, who accused Eidevall of “bullying” a fourth official earlier in the season. Eidevall refuted these claims, describing them as “disappointing” and “borderline slander.”

Former Chelsea and Arsenal defender Anita Asante offered insight into Eidevall’s coaching style, noting his intensity and passion for motivating players. 

“He is always there trying to push the players and motivate them. A game like this matters to both managers. It’s a part of their personality and character and sometimes it can spill over slightly but it’s all in the intention of winning.”

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