‘This Team Will Keep Fighting’ Joe Montemurro Reacts To Conti Cup Final Heartbreak

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Arsenal lost the Conti Cup Final in the dying seconds to Chelsea on Saturday evening. Tim Stillman was at manager Joe Montemurro’s post-match press conference for Arseblog News.

On the disappointment of a late defeat…
It’s going to be difficult to answer some of these questions because I’ve got a lot of emotion and a lot of feeling. I’m going to be biased because I am the coach of an amazing bunch of players that for 75-80 minutes, well, you saw the game.

On playing Jordan Nobbs on the left with Danielle van de Donk as a support striker…
Chelsea are very direct, they want to drag our full-back out and go beyond them to get the ball to Sam Kerr and Beth England, so we kept them on one side of the pitch and wanted to stop them being able to play through or over us. We wanted to be strong on the transitions and control the game that way.

On Arsenal not being clinical enough this season…
We’re here to win trophies and to win games and we want to be at the pinnacle. I am proud of the way we play, that’s important to us, but in the end we’ll be judged on winning trophies and the pundits will have a go at me for having a small squad and so on and so on, but that’s just the way it goes.

On the difference between the teams on the day…
They had three big chances and scored two goals, we had lots of chances and only scored one. We got into a lot of good positions, a lot of coaches might say that we should have, could have won, but in the end you have to do it and we didn’t do it. We had the chances and unfortunately they scored the ones they created and we didn’t score the ones we created.

On how his team will respond…
This team will keep fighting, this team does not give up, you saw that today. It could have been a different story. We were badly beaten by them at Boreham Wood last month and look at the mental attitude they showed to come here and to dominate, to get on the ball and completely dominate a team that did what they did to us at Boreham Wood. Chelsea are an effective transition team and it works for them, we have to look at a couple of other little issues to make sure that when we do get into good positions, that we do score goals.

On the performance of Chelsea goalkeeper Ann Katrin Berger…
She’s a very, very good goalkeeper and we’re blessed to have her in the WSL and maybe she was the difference today.

On Chelsea scoring when Arsenal had all the momentum…
Momentum is a funny thing because I think we had the momentum when they scored the first goal, we were in control and moments of madness have hurt us today. We have to be smarter and better in these situations. We’ve played in big games and cup finals, we’ve players that have played in World Cup Finals, so we know what it’s about. They know the pressure and understand what we need to do. We created the opportunities but they scored theirs.

On conceding two avoidable goals…
We didn’t deal with the cross on the first goal, we worked a lot on that. We studied all the goals Chelsea have scored against us last year and this year and all of them have been a transition, a second phase and we haven’t dealt with the second phase, we didn’t deal with the second phase on the first goal. Then the second goal was a matter of managing the situation and we didn’t and they snuck behind us and scored.

On Jen Beattie not being in the squad…
She was concussed against Lewes, she had headaches after the game from a header and the protocol is for seven days and we weren’t prepared to put a player at risk.

On Caitlin Foord…
Caitlin is great, we are seeing only snippets at the moment finding rhythm. She will find rhythm, she will be more continuous in the games, she’s started to understand all of the phases of play that we adopt. We saw how effective she is, she created some good opportunities, she was creating a lot of havoc on the right hand side. She’s really settling in well.

On playing a possession based style against a transitional style…
I am very, very stubborn, I will never play a transition game, it’s not my style, it’s not my way. I believe in having the ball, in the long run. We might get away with playing a transition style once, twice maybe three times, but in the long run I want to keep playing football. We have the players here to play football, we have the players to play good football on big occasions. I won’t go away from my style. If it’s the end of me, it’s the end of me, but I have to stay true to my values and Arsenal’s values.

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Scwibble
Scwibble
1 month ago

49 FORTY NINE UNDEFEATED! FORTY NINE FORTY NINE I SAY.. FORTY NINE 49 UNDEFEATED. PLAYING FOOTBALL THE ARSENAL WAY

Christopher Humphrey
Christopher Humphrey
1 month ago
Reply to  Scwibble

Right sentiment. Wrong page.

Peter Story Teller
Peter Story Teller
1 month ago

Joe must be gutted but it shows his charcter to come out and defend his management style right after that disappointment. That was the best we have played against Chelsea in a long, long time and on balance we should have won the cup even ignoring the penalty against Leah that was not given. There was only one reason why we didn’t win and that was their goalkeeper who just had one of those once a season games. Not detracting from Beth England who scored twice from about three chances but Berger won them the cup. Was pleased to see… Read more »

Christopher Humphrey
Christopher Humphrey
1 month ago

Very much agree with this summary
Joe? I believe in this man as I’m sure do the players and the vast majority of our incredible supporters.