Joe Montemurro Reacts to Victory Over Manchester United


Arsenal beat Manchester United Women thanks to a last minute goal from Danielle van de Donk on Monday night. Joe Montemurro spoke to the press post-match and here is what he had to say. With thanks to Molly Hudson for the transcription.

On his emotions after a last gasp win…

Relief? Yeah a lot of teams are going to find it very difficult here they are a very good side and we knew it was going to be difficult backing up the Champions League. There was probably a little bit of fatigue in the first half, but second half I thought we were brilliant.

We opened them up a few times had some opportunities they had a lot of numbers in front of goal it was a little bit of footage before, they had eight players between the penalty spot and the six-yard box at one stage and part of the art of winning games is putting the ball in the back of the net, we did it once and that was enough.

On balancing the Champions League and the WSL…

It’s a new experience for us and to be brutally honest we are still getting used to it, it was a long week. That’s the resources of the squad and we need to make sure we are keeping everyone fresh and ready to go for the weeks to come and it is going to get tougher and tougher. All credit to the league there are fantastic teams that are doing some good work and every game is tight, long may it last.

Rotation is a difficult word. If you set it up and say I am going to rotate these players on this day its not true you don’t know how players are feeling, its very important we find consistency too we have got some new players to integrate and we will find a way, we will need the whole squad.

On Jordan Nobbs’ first start since November…

We are all happy she is back, we have to be smart I’ve said it in press conferences we have to be intelligent in how we do it and make sure safety is the most important thing so she comes back in a safe environment and we give her the minutes she needs and then we will see the best of Jordan in the second half of the season.

We integrated her 30 minutes against Tottenham, 30 minutes against West Ham and we felt the way they play basically two banks of four and quite defensive, that she would get on the ball quite a lot so it was an opportunity to get confidence on the ball and get the rhythm in terms of the physical aspect and we felt it was a safe game for her to play, more from the way the opposition play. She has to get used to it, it is part of football and we are confident the work we have done in terms of tackling and power that she is ready for it so that is football.

On playing in front of a partisan crowd…

That’s where the game is going, beautiful stadium magnificient night would have looked fantastic on television long may it last. This is a boutique stadium If you can start filling these stadiums then it will grow leaps and bounds.

Every player in our squad is important is on even par it is a difficult selection for me week in week out its fine margins. The game this weekend is another important one and we want to keep the rhythm going and enjoying our football and everyone needs to be given an opportunity to play and how we do that so it is a good opportunity.

On being able to bring Danielle van de Donk off the bench…

As a coach you always want to have the tactical options if things aren’t working that you are able to change it, and all our players are very very important and we have selected them for the different qualities they bring.

We were able to bring Louise Quinn on towards the end of the game to see things out and that is what you need if you want to be a top team you need to have those options. We have still got Lia Walti to come back in the next couple of months so it is going to be great.

On keeping tactical control as the game became frantic..

It got very long, we knew they would push players forward in transition and we had to keep the structure right the lines and the distances. Part of the way we play, we want the ball, keep the ball and have control to dictate but it is also the ability to control the other team when they have the ball and get them into areas where we can win it and break.

On turning 50 on Friday…

Fantastic birthday week I joined an exclusive club they say, the 50 year old club, it has been a great week. I stayed an extra day in Florence and caught up with my family and my best friends so it was nice.


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Peter Story Teller

Three wins in a week. Happy birthday Joe!


Joe be the man’s manager?


Can we stop making their success about the men’s


What’s wrong raising a legit question?


Take over that useless head coach of the men’s team.

Peter Story Teller

Trouble with that plan is we don’t want another few seasons in the duldrums while we try and find a replacement manager. Remember what happened at the end of Vic Akers tenure?


You mean the woman team or the man team. If the woman team, then fair argument. If it is about the man team, when we stick with Wenger, people are saying we are not ruthless enough. Why does it not apply the same to Unai? Watford changed their coach just after 5 games. That is call ruthlessness.

Peter Story Teller

The suggestion as I read it was that Joe should leave the women and take over the men’s team. That should not happen. Joe has the potential to surpass Vic’s record as the most successful manager in the women’s game in the UK.
Quite frankly I have given up with the men’s team. The women have a superior squad, management and coaches that know what they are doing and best of all the games are played in a much better spirit bolstered by actually winning trophies what is not to like?


Arsenal should get better as the year goes along. For one thing, Nobbs is probably still several weeks away from returning to peak form, and Walti will be coming back as well in the next month (but also take time to get fit and confident in hard play again). Those two in good form will make a big difference. Otherwise, most everyone Arsenal plays in the WSL is probably going to sit back and defend. The key is to find a way to get a goal earlyish in games, which then will draw out the opponent and make life easier… Read more »

Peter Story Teller

Good plan but that’s not easily done. Witness the game last night where the Manure goal was under siege for the whole of the second 45 and it was a scrappy deflected goal that broke the deadlock.
Still they all count, 100% record and still equal top scorers in WSL so its all good.
Off to Dartford next where perhaps a few of the big guns can have the afternoon off!