Joe Montemurro Reacts to Victory over Birmingham

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Arsenal Women’s 1-0 win over Birmingham guaranteed Champions League qualification for next season and takes the Gunners within two wins of the WSL title. Tim Stillman spoke to manager Joe Montemurro after the game for Arseblog News.

On Birmingham making Arsenal fight for the win

That’s why they are always in the top part of the league, this is always such a tough place to come. I thought they took control for twenty minutes or so in the second half when we were trying to force the killer pass and we made quite a lot o errors and we allowed them to catch us in transition moments. They’re a very tough team but to get the win shows the growth and the character of the team.

On his half-time team talk…

I thought they were was one area where they could hurt us. They were overloading us with their full-back on the right hand side and we thought one of our number 6s was jumping in and letting her out, so we wanted to stop that. In the final third we just needed to take a little more time and place the ball into the net instead of trying to blast it in. Katie did place it in in the end and that made the difference. But they were getting us in transition in the middle of the second half because we were trying to force that final pass.

On guaranteeing Champions League qualification…

It was one of our big objectives for the season and what we’ve been working for. We want to be the best team in England and the best team in Europe and you have to be competing at that level and it’s an honour to bring the team back after 5 years away. All credit goes to the staff, the players and the belief they have created in the group.

On scoring the goal on the counter attack….

We got the ball in very good positions, especially in the first half and we just lacked a bit of timing in when to play the ball and when to cut inside. So we inverted the wingers so that Katie McCabe and Beth Mead could come inside and that was what made the difference.

On focussing on the next two games to win the title…

There is absolutely no way I’ll be able to stop them singing and chanting on the bus and I expect them to and they deserve it. We’ve got. Tricky game against Everton at Boreham Wood and then we’ve got Brighton and they’re all different challenges that we have to be prepared for.

On Tabea Kemme’s return from injury…

Tabea’s been through a had time this year and we’ve felt a lot of the injuries, like Dan Carter and Viki Schnaderbeck. The group have been really affected by it and to see them back and part of what we’re trying to achieve is brilliant.

On the prognoses for Emma Mitchell and Lia Walti…

It’s hard to say but at least now we’re in a position where we’ve got more players available and we’ll take all the time we need with them to make sure they’re in perfect condition because we don’t want either of them to break down again so we’ll do what’s right for them.

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HansRott
HansRott

Not only are we back in the Champions’ League, but we’ve got a squad more-than-capable of winning the thing next season.

Who knows what this is the start of?

eldanielfire
eldanielfire

We’ll see if we are a match for Europe’s best. The only downer this season for the ladies is how, they lost a lot of the big games against Chelsea and Man City. OK the December-January period was terrible for us, loss of injuries really affected the form of the team, even if the injury situation was chronic when at one point we had Nobbs, Van Donk and Little, I think we still need another class midfielder with a physical presence so we don’t get bullied like we did against Chelsea. Also I fear if we ever lose Vivianne Miedema to injury.

But I can’t wait for this seasons, hopefully league win.

Peter Story Teller
Peter Story Teller

Ignoring the cups where anything can happen in a knockout competition we have only lost 2 league games this season out of 17. Not “a lot” by my reckoning and the 2 losses were against second and third in the table. We have a “class” mid-fielder called Lia Walti and the unfortunate downturn to which you refer co-incided with her injury. Credit the team for turning the tide and coming back from the disappointment and injury struggles. Sure Vivianne grabs the headlines because she has broken the record but DvD has 10, Jordan has 9 with the few games that she has played, Kim Little 8 also with reduced game time and that’s not counting the half a dozen each for Meado and Katie McCabe. Look at the squad that has scored 63 goals so even without the 20 Vivianne has to her name we have still scored more than Chelsea who are third in the table!
Arsenal will be a force to be reckoned with in Europe next season.

Kemperboyd
Kemperboyd

Cracking result. The move to swap the wingers worked a treat!
Lovely interview Tim.

I am thrilled for this team and for Joe. He’s done a great job with a small squad. He’s turned some squad players into first team mainstays, McCabe has flourished under him, Evans looks better than ever.

Peter Story Teller
Peter Story Teller

I liked the interview with Lisa on the BBC highlights show where Alex Scott admitted to tutoring our new right back in her transition to that position but shhh! Don’t tell anyone!

Peter Story Teller
Peter Story Teller

Brum away could have been a banana skin so I’m really pleased that Katie pulled one out of the bag today.
Good to see Dan, Viki and Tabea on the pitch today even if only for a few moments.
Pity Liverpool could not do us a favour this afternoon although it took City until 95th minute to beat them but we are strong enough to win on our own merit!

SB Still
SB Still

Sorry, completely off topic –
The assistant celebrating Liverpool’s 2nd goal with Klopp, was that squeaky bum time…the wet patch?

Chiza
Chiza

What are you saying if i may ask? 🙄🙄🙄

SB Still
SB Still

Watch MoTD2, they covered the celebration with the exact same comment!

Magneto
Magneto

Well done Arsenal Women.

Chiza
Chiza

I would one day want Joe montemurro to be the next coach of the arsenal male first team if that chance arises…he looks like a top notch coach

Fun Gunner
Fun Gunner

Girls, brilliant. Champions League here we come!

I thought we started really well – pressing and harrying them and they were quite disconcerted by it – it was just a shame we didn’t capitalise on that in the first half.

No one really stood out, (though Peyraud-Magnin, Quinn and Williamson were excellent) in fact some players were a bit below par but the work rate and determination were so impressive. Victory well deserved and I loved that they didn’t over-celebrate after McCabe’s coolly taken goal, just went into a huddle and decided how to manage the rest of the game, which they did superbly.

In a way, it’s probably good that Man City kept the pressure on us because we can’t afford to relax.

Dan Carter looked great. Fantastic feet, looks so strong and fearless as well. And aaaargh! if only Schnaderbeck had been fit for the whole season.

Also feel I should mention what a good striker Ellen White is. She’s not smooth and graceful or ridiculously technically gifted like Miedema, but her movement and efficiency in front of goal is top notch.

Great Sunday all round – thanks so much, Arsenal Women. You have made my day!

mashkeyboardgetusername
mashkeyboardgetusername

Excellent win, a really good result in a very tense match. Kind of a strange game, a draw arguably would be as bad as a loss, but the team found the balance really well. Fuckin’ chuffed, so I am. Now let’s bring the title home!

Onenil
Onenil

One Arsenal team into the Champions League. Now the men need to match that achievement.
COYG!

eternalflamini
eternalflamini

“So we inverted the wingers so that Katie McCabe and Beth Mead could come inside and that was what made the difference.”

Nice to have a bit of insight into managerial decisions and how they affect the game! This was brilliant, and what a super goal from McCabe. Huge win.

Chris Humphrey
Chris Humphrey

Thank you Arsenal Women F C a great Sunday feeling. Not only did the senior team do the biz against a pretty robust Brum I see our U21’s battled through to the WSL Academy Cup Final. A just reward for the likes of Ava, Ruby, Mel & Co who have stepped up to the first team mark on a number of occasions when the injury list was at its longest.
Potentially, a unique treble on the cards :-
Seniors – WSL Champions
U21 – WSL Academy Cup
U16 – FA Girls Cup
Now to the Men…………