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Jonas Eidevall criticises ‘almost inhuman’ schedule after Leah Williamson injury

(Image credit: Tess Derry)

Jonas Eidevall has called Arsenal Women’s schedule “almost inhuman” after Leah Williamson was ruled out for the rest of the year with a hamstring problem.

The England star, 24, picked up the injury in the 1-1 draw against Tottenham on Saturday – Arsenal’s third match in six days.

Williamson has been left out of the England squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Austria and Latvia this month and looks set to miss Arsenal matches including the FA Cup final with Chelsea and a Champions League clash against Barcelona in early December.

Speaking ahead of his side’s European home fixture against HB Koge on Wednesday, boss Eidevall said: “Leah is doing some more examinations of the hamstring today but it all indicates a significant injury and that could possibly leave her out this whole year, and not being able to return before Christmas.

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“It is a muscle injury so it is an overload issue. Obviously, we had a really tough week and no other team in the league has been asked to play with such a tight schedule. It was almost inhuman.”

Following news of her injury, Williamson posted a message to Instagram. “Photo dump of all the smiles football has given me these last few months,” she said.

“The most enjoyable of my career. Heart still full and I’ll see you back on the pitch soon.”

Arsenal won 4-0 at home to West Ham on November 7 before facing HB Koge in Denmark three days later. They then travelled to play neighbours Spurs in last Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off.

Asked what he would have liked to see change, Eidevall replied: “We could have played like Chelsea. I would have been pretty happy to play like Chelsea the whole season.

Arsenal head coach Jonas Eidevall has criticised the fixture schedule

Arsenal head coach Jonas Eidevall has criticised the fixture schedule (John Walton/PA)

“We have been playing in the same competitions – apart from us playing a few games more – but they have constantly had a better schedule and a better rhythm.

“I am not saying it is deliberate, I am just saying that these are the facts so it will be nice to see if that can even out over the season so we are not getting the worst kick-off times and the worst turnarounds.

“In less than six days we played in three games. Try and find any English women’s team that played with that schedule.

“I don’t think it is fair. I think it was a mistake and if English teams are going to succeed in Europe it has to be looked at and to be made better, and not just looking to please the wishes of television companies on kick-off times.”

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