Jonna Andersson still getting used to the rigors of English football

After their FA Cup final win over Arsenal, VAVEL spoke to Chelsea defender Jonna Andersson about the match and her recent run of good form in front of goal.

With the match finely poised after the first half, Chelsea found a second gear and soon took a commanding lead, their confidence shining through.

Of course, we expected that it was going to be a hard, tough game. We know Arsenal is a really good team and I think it was a good game from us, we were calm and played with self-confidence.

Not a confirmed started, the Swedish left-back has been utilised well by Chelsea but seeing her name in the starting XI still comes as a surprise to the 25-year-old.

I’m new in this club and it’s a really good squad with very good players but definitely not, I don’t expect to start. I do all I can, train hard and do everything to be in the starting XI.”

Goals and assists

A regular left-back for both Sweden and former team, Linköping, Andersson’s biggest strength is her crossing ability, the defender claiming 11 assists in the 2016 Damallsvenskan season. Used as a wingback in Chelsea’s favoured three-man backline, Andersson can flex her attacking muscles more often, her skills unquestionably useful to her national team with new Swedish boss Peter Gerhardsson fond of playing a similar system.  

It’s different, it depends on what team you’re playing and what the game plan is but when I’m a wingback I’m more offensive, I’m higher up the pitch to cross in and that’s where I want to be, it’s the things that I’m good at so it’s good for me that I can be higher up.”

After the best part of a decade with the Swedish champions, Andersson made the switch to Chelsea at the end of the 2017 Damallsvenskan season, WSL posing a new challenge to develop her as a player.

Of course, after nine years in the same club it was like my second family so it was hard but I felt – after two years of winning the league with Linköping – it was time to do something else and have a new challenge in my career and I think it was the right time.”

With the Scandinavian style more based in technic and tactical ability, English football puts more physical demands on players, the style something the Mjölby native is still acclimatising to.

It’s different from Sweden but it was a thing that I had to do. It’s more physical but that’s something I needed to work on to grow, it takes time but I have two more years on my contract so I think I have the time to adjust.”

Better known for assists over goals, the Swede is enjoying the most profitable season of her career in front of goal, with four goals in eight apps across all competitions – equalling her highest tally of four over her 21 apps of the 2013 season.

I don’t know what’s happened… but I was a striker when I played when I was younger, for the under-15’s on the national team I was a striker so of course I have it in my head somewhere. It was really good scoring some goals, I’m happy for it and I hope I continue.

But no matter what, no one is more shocked that Andersson has scored than herself and she admits she’ll have to work on her celebration if she keeps up her form.

No, that’s why I have that weird celebration because I’m just shocked when I see that I’ve scored so if I’m going to score more I need to practice a celebration.”