'It's our fault' - Arsenal boss defends Champions League format as he hints at star striker's return

Jonas Eidevall defended the current Champions League format. Cr. Getty ImagesJonas Eidevall defended the current Champions League format. Cr. Getty Images
Jonas Eidevall defended the current Champions League format. Cr. Getty Images | Getty Images
Arsenal boss Jonas Eidevall has defend the current UEFA Champions League format following criticism from Manchester United's Marc Skinner earlier in the week.

Arsenal head coach Jonas Eidevall has claimed the Women's Super League (WSL) only has itself to blame having only one side in the UEFA Women's Champions League this year.

Earlier in the week, Manchester United boss Marc Skinner made the controversial claim that "we want the best teams in the Champions League, not just a spread of some average teams" before claiming there were teams "not good enough" going through to the group stages.

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"The reality is though, if Wolfsburg had beaten Barcelona in the Champions League final, the WSL wouldn't have had any direct spots qualifying for the group stages because also our champions Chelsea would have needed to qualify" said Eidevall.

"We're the number four ranked league in Europe. Why are we ranked the fourth league? Because English teams have done worse than the Spanish, the Germans and the French teams have been doing for the last five years. I think we as a league need to understand that is our starting point - that is reality.

"I think you can't point to that being anyone else's problem than our own as a league. The English teams have not been doing well enough in Europe to get enough ranking enough points to get better ways to play.

"As a total separate thing, are there a possible demand for where we could play the Champions League with more teams, the qualifying process be different? Of course there is, but that's a different thing. Where the English league is now, we're number four in Europe from a ranking perspective and we can't say that's anywhere else's problem than our own.

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"We need to improve the quality in the league, so we're making it so when the English teams go out and play in Europe, that they're winning their games.

"The Conti Cup group that Manchester United are in now might be tougher than some Champions League groups. But (UEFA) need to grow all of women's football in Europe - that's really important. They can't only take (WSL) opinions into account" added the Swedish boss.

The head coach also hinted fans may see the long awaited return of the WSL's all time top goal-scorer Vivianne Miedema this weekend after she was included in the squad for the Netherlands Nations League clash against Scotland at the end of the month.

Speaking ahead of his side's visit to Bristol City this Sunday, Eidevall said. "They (Netherlands) know Viv is really close to getting a return to play. Maybe she can make the squad for us as well on Sunday (against Bristol City) - which would be a big thing for us as well.

"It still makes it a doubt that she can play competitive games for Netherlands, because we don't know how she will react" added the Arsenal boss.

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