Joe Montemurro On Brighton Victory, Jordan Nobbs’ Form and Caitlin Foord Pursuit

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After Sunday’s 4-0 win over Brighton, Tim Stillman caught up with Leah Williamson. Tim also found time for a chat with Gunners boss Joe Montemurro on his tactical game plan for Brighton, Jordan Nobbs’ form and an update on the situation with Australian international Caitlin Foord.

On Danielle van de Donk’s goal as part of a rehearsed move to drag the opponent to one side of the pitch…
You like that, huh? We are a team that likes to invite pressure so we can create spaces in other parts of the pitch. We were able to do this two or three times [drag the opponent over to one side of the pitch before quickly switching play] today and we probably should have scored more from it. If we can’t find space on the side where we have possession, we have to try to create it on the other side. We’re comfortable doing that, it’s part of our style and part of our plan.

On Jordan Nobbs scoring two goals in two games…
Her athleticism is better now [after recovering from an ACL injury] and she is getting into very good positions. What I need from her now is just a little bit more with the ball, just finding the pass or preparing the play or to play forward and hurt teams. Jordan is so good because she’s always proactive and always trying to play forward, sometimes it’s a matter of preparing the play and going the other way. Now she’ll find her decision making rhythm and she’s now getting into the areas we want to get her into.

On the potential transfer of Caitlin Foord to Arsenal in January…
We are interested and we’ll see in the next week or so whether it’s going to happen.

On concentrating a lot of the play in the centre of the pitch today…
We’ve done it a few times before in various ways, it allows us to play a lot higher and in a more advanced position. Especially when we’ve got Lia Wälti behind playing as a pivot, with the three in front of her. It gives us the ability to stay a little bit higher. The back three consciously pushes a little bit higher nearer to Lia and it pushes the opponent back because we’re playing higher up the pitch.

On players returning from injury…
We’re just being cautious, not accumulating too much load on those players that are coming back. We know February and March are going to be busy so we don’t want to overload them now and risk losing them again in February or March. We can do it at the moment with the players we have available, we got the minutes we needed for players today and we’re in good shape for Wednesday night.

With thanks to Sylvain Jamet

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Leon

Nice to see the Arsenal ladies doing so well.
Some really talented players Arsenal have.
Certaintly a much more entertaining proposition than the shower of shite that is the so called “premier league” team…

Martin

It’s great to see support for the ladies team so why be so toxic about the men’s team

Christopher Humphrey

Looking so powerful all over the pitch. Still with Beats & Kat to add to the power let alone a possible new signing. Talking of power the way Mightymite DVD made use of her muscles to make space for the first goal. Pure aggression?.

Fun Gunner

I loved that cheeky shoulder barge! But she’s one of those players who is bigger and taller than people think.

Chris Humphrey

What she lacks in stature Aggy Daan makes up in attitude.

kelstar

She’s definitely not taller than any of us think! She’s barely 160cm. But she knows how to use her body, despite being so small. The finish was pure class.

Jasonissimo

Brighton look like a really poor side. 4-0 speaks to the gulf in class. Would be interesting to see a club world cup for the women’s game. I really wonder how the Arsenal women would fair against the Courage. With the progress shown in Europe by storied and monied clubs, I do wonder how long the American league can keep hold of it’s best. Wouldn’t write down USA’s chances in 2023 just yet, but there are some really talented players at club level getting high pressure match experience in European leagues now. The gap is obviously closing. One of the… Read more »

Peter Story Teller

If it wasn’t for some crappy VAR decisions England could have beaten USA in last year’s World Cup. I think European club sides and individual players are already up there but their national teams do not get the opportunity to regularly train, play and gain the support of the public that team USA do. You only have to look at the number of caps that USA players get (150 is nothing uncommon!) to demonstrate that the USA national team play together as often as our domestic teams. Because USA play so many internationals it is not practical for their first… Read more »

canon fodder

Talking about injuries, is Dan’ Carter out for the whole season?

Maul Person

Considering it was her other ACL, one can assume so. At the very least, it’s a significant period she’ll be out for.

Chris Humphrey

Was the same knee?

Kampala gooner ?

Last i heard and saw she was stepping up rehabilitation especially on her feet

Fun Gunner

Thanks, Tim From the first five minutes, you could see this was a game which would be hard work and yet there was no danger of us losing it. Joe’s tactical debriefs are always so interesting. He’s got this great positive cycle going, in which the players have a clear plan to follow but he trusts them to implement it and improvise where needed, building their confidence and making it easier for him to even more flexible and sophisticated tactically – which the majority of our opponents can’t handle. Lovely to see Quinn getting a start and doing so well,… Read more »

Chris Humphrey

It seems one of Joe’s main coaching attributes is that he leaves a lot of the tactical decisions to the players.

Peter Story Teller

The BBC interview with Leah after the game was telling where she was asked about being centre/right/wing back and her reply was that if the opposition give her the space to run into she is going to use it!

Eeleen

I have been really impressed how players returning from longterm injuries have been managed this season. Lia and Jordan were so good yesterday and seem to be getting better with every game. Same with Viki, who at the beginning of the season, looked little off pace, but in recent weeks has been really impressive.

I usually don’t like comparisons with men’s team, but Jordan return have been even more impressive if we see how Rob and Hector are struggling with form, fitness and niggling injurys.

Christopher Humphrey

I had similar thoughts. Particularly with Jordan’s recovery. Joe always maintained that we would not see the “Full Monty ” from Nobbsy until the second half of the season. He rested her against Everton perhaps because of the pitch conditions at Southport or maybe it was psychology of her injury location. I thought same might have happened yesterday with the state of the Crawley pitch but all the decision makers and her performance said , Jordan is a Gunner reporting for full duties.

Peter Story Teller

Jordan would have reported for duty on crutches! Good job we do have sensible health management in the women’s team!

Peter Story Teller

I am not saying this is true but I sometimes wonder if it is the perceived pressure put upon the men to return too soon due to things like wages with the club being managed by investors rather than football people? You can just imagine the boardroom discussions “what do you mean his knee is not quite right yet? I pay him £100k per week to kick a ball! How hard can that be?” Fortunately, the women still have a lower profile and do not currently register so high on the investment portfolio so with sympathetic backroom staff their recuperation… Read more »

Eeleen

Maybe, although I would argue that neither Rob nor Hector were rushed back quicker than Jordan, Rob certainly not, maybe Hector because lack of RB options. But timeframe is same for Jordan and Hector. Men’s side had an option of bringing them back to lower intensity games in U23, Europa League and League cup. I agree that understanging how long it takes for players to get back from ACL is better evolved in women’s game, probably because of disproportionate rate of ACL’s.

But huge credit to women’s side fitness team and players themselves also.

Dave cee

Honestly, if Arteta doesn’t work out, I.d take Joe for 1st team coach

Chris Humphrey

Ha ha….. if Silent Stan and the minions could get Joe on double his AWFC wages to manage the men. He’d be in the hot seat now! Bargain?

JohnnyCash

Such brave and creative coach! 3-1-3-2-1 – how often you could see this in a game? And it worked! The four middlefielders not only controlled the center of the field, but they also were extra defenders and extra attackers when needed. Great work!

Chris Humphrey

The work ethic and humility in this group is unbelievable. All this starts at Joe. The revelation that the tactics game to game is largely down to the players shows what mutual respect is in the group.

Eeleen

I think we can play this formation only because we have Lia and Leah. This needs centerback who is quick, very good on big spaces, one on one defending and really good with the ball. And it also needs the most intelligent DM. So basicly playing this kind of formation is the biggest compliment that manager can give to these two players :).

Chris Humphrey

Following Joe’s thread about managing returnees from injury and workload, I flicked to the potential fixtures through to the end of March. If we make the Conti Cup final & the last 8 of FA Cup I thought great the girls have a break first weekend March. Silly me! It’s “interlull” and our English trio are likely off Stateside for the She Believes tournament. Manic!!

Peter Story Teller

Yeah and England stuffed the USA on their home turf last year and the mugs invited us back! lol