Hayes responds with poem to Eidevall after cup final bust-up

Chelsea boss Emma Hayes delivered a poetic response to Arsenal head coach Jonas Eidevall after the pair clashed at last month’s Women’s League Cup final.

Hayes appeared to push Eidevall at the end of Arsenal’s win over Chelsea at Molineux as the two went in for their post-match handshake.

Hayes then later called out the Swede for what she claimed to be “male aggression” following a touchline fracas with Blues midfielder Erin Cuthbert late in the Gunners’ 1-0 extra-time victory.

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Prior to Hayes’ press conference on Friday, Eidevall labelled her post-match comments as “irresponsible”, insisted he would not change the way he behaved and revealed he had not spoken with her.

When questioned about the incident in her press conference later that afternoon, Hayes responded by revealing a conversation she had had with her young son about the clash followed by an excerpt from a poem.

The 47-year-old said: “My son said to me after the game, ‘Mummy, when you push someone in school you’re asked to go and take time out’.

“I said to him, ‘You know what darling, you can’t meet aggression with aggression, all you can do is tell the teacher, all you can do is go and explain why you think something’s unfair. That’s all you can do.’

“You cannot meet aggression with aggression. I thought it was a really good conversation to have with my son after the final.”

Emma Hayes storms off after clashing with Jonas Eidevall at Molineux
Chelsea boss Hayes storms off after clashing with Eidevall at Molineux last month

Asked whether she stood by everything she said after the game, Hayes read four lines from Robert Frost’s Choose Something Like a Star poem: “So when at times the mob is swayed, to carry praise and blame too far, we may choose somewhere like a star, to stay our minds on and be staid.”

Questioned what she meant by the poem, she replied: “I’ve had a fantastic break, I’ve already explained an important analogy with my son and the lessons learned and my focus is on moving forward. I’ve had time to look at my star.”

It was confirmed last week that Hayes would face no further action from the Football Association over the clash.

Hayes said: “Of course it’s not right to meet aggression with aggression. I can only control my behaviours and I’ve reflected on that.

“Next time I need to listen to my son’s advice and go to the teacher if I’ve got anything to say.”

She added on reaching out to Eidevall: “We don’t play Arsenal, we don’t have each other’s telephone numbers, we’d have no reason to do that but I’m sure when I become the boss of the USA we will have conversations.

“Until the end of the season, my focus is on Chelsea.”

Eidevall: ‘I wouldn’t change anything’

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Jonas Eidevall says he wouldn’t change the way he behaved after his spat with Emma Hayes

Earlier on Friday afternoon, Eidevall believed Hayes was “irresponsible” after she accused him of “male aggression”.

He said: “I’m very happy with the way I conducted myself. Emotions are high in football.

“There are two really competitive teams and they want to win so sometimes one team tries to stretch the rules and that’s fine – that’s what we have the referees for and they made sure we stayed to the agreed rules.

“From my perspective, I wouldn’t change anything.”

Asked whether he was surprised by the FA not taking action over Hayes’ conduct, he replied: “Not really.

Emma Hayes' Chelsea lost to Arsenal in the Conti Cup around two weeks ago
Emma Hayes’ Chelsea lost to Arsenal in the Conti Cup

“I thought the comments that I heard after the game were very irresponsible. They were not mirroring the conduct that I had in the technical area. That I thought was irresponsible, but that’s all I basically think about it.

“The other parts when we shake hands after the game that’s a very minor incident, for me that’s nothing.”

The 41-year-old added: “It’s never nice when people say something about you that you don’t find to be true. Maybe I’m lucky in that situation that everything I did was recorded.

“I need to be accountable for my actions and that’s what I can take responsibility for.

“I’m very happy with the way I conducted myself and I wouldn’t do anything differently if I could redo it again.”

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