Joe Montemurro Reacts To Victory Over Slavia Praha

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Arsenal Women were 5-2 victors in the first leg of their Champions League Round of 16 tie against Slavia Praha on Wednesday evening. Tim Stillman caught up with Gunners boss Joe Montemurro in Prague after the final whistle, exclusively for Arseblog News.

On targeting the spaces behind the Praha full-backs…

We worked out that their centre-backs play quite narrow and mark in anticipation, we knew that their full-backs were going to be isolated. So we decided to overload those areas and we found a bit of joy.

On having a game so quickly after the Chelsea defeat…

There are positives and negatives of that. The positives are that we got that Chelsea second half out of our system, when we were very uncharacteristic and very poor, we had another game straight away to right the wrongs from Sunday.

But the most important thing is that we got 90 minutes out of Lia Walti, we got 90 minutes out of Jordan Nobbs, Emma Mitchell got a good 30 minute block, it’s important that we keep the squad ticking over and keep them buoyant for the amount of games coming up.

On whether the two late Slavia goals were an unintended consequence of giving tiring players minutes…

It could have, I have just watched the goals back and you can see little micro efforts where the players couldn’t do repeat actions and couldn’t get there, you could see some players were tired and couldn’t get to the ball, so we expected that.

We also have to take into consideration that we’ve got players like Jill Roord and DvD, Beth and Viv who have played two games with their national teams, plus the Chelsea game, so they’ve played 4 games in 11 or 12 days, but that’s part of what we do and we prepare for that.

On Vivianne Miedema…

She’s such an important part of what we do and not just as a goal scorer. I think she scored her 50th goal tonight, she could have got to 53 tonight. She is fantastic to have in the squad as a person and we can not admire what she does on the pitch.

On a frustrating end to the game…

It is frustrating because our standards are very high and usually we’re good at not conceding goals, we’re disappointed but in the end I think we just tired and we just ran out of legs in truth.

On the second leg…

We’ve put ourselves in a good position to reach the next round. The important thing is to control the second leg but that’s going to be tough because we’re coming straight off the Man City game and who knows what that will bring and that will be another quick turnaround. We just need to make sure we’re in control and we dictate that game, we’re at home where we are usually very strong.

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Chris Humphrey
Chris Humphrey

Excellent response from the team.

Dave Cee
Dave Cee

Well done ladies

Peter Story Teller
Peter Story Teller

Pity about the two late concessions but a comprehensive bounce back from Sunday’s disappointment.
We’re now in the driving seat for progression to the next round as Prague need to score at least four at Meadow Park which would be a tall order for any team that does not include Viv!

Chris Humphrey
Chris Humphrey

If any amongst us had any doubts about Joe’s commitment to AWFC following the rumours about the US team manager job here is a little re-assurance. Straight up from Gatwick this evening Joe gave a talk to an Arsenal supporters group in Holloway. A full hour of entertaining & informative chat followed by a standing ovation. As the chairman said in his introduction “The first time a serving Arsenal manager has not baled-out of doing a promised talk at this event”. Brilliant.