Arsenal’s Champions League adventure came to an end with a 2-1 defeat to Paris Saint Germain in San Sebastián. Arseblog News had the opportunity to speak to Joe Montemurro post-match. The first three questions are from us, with thanks to Ameé Ruszaki from Goal who asked the other questions.
[TS] On the decision to start with Jordan Nobbs on the bench….
It was a tactical decision, we decided to play with two out and out wingers, we felt that the area where we could exploit them was through their full-backs and Jordan is more of an internal number 10 type, if you want to call it that. We just felt that that is where we could expose them, so it was a purely tactical decision.
[TS] On the physical difference between the teams with PSG playing two competitive games earlier this month…
It was a factor, they are a powerful team with powerful players, the opportunity to play two or three important games prepared them a little bit better that’s the reality, but I make no excuses for that because we played some good football in patches too tonight and we just needed a bit more continuity with that and we could have exposed them a little bit more.
[TS] On whether he should have brought Jordan Nobbs and Caitlin Foord on earlier…
It’s touch and go, I did think of bringing them on a little bit earlier. I just felt we needed to maintain the ball when we did go forward but the problem was that we were coming out too centrally when we needed to come out in the pockets a bit more and work under and every time we did that we had an opportunity to go forward and play in between. It’s all good for me in hindsight, Tim, to say yes and no but yes, it was a good opportunity to go for it more but then you get exposed a little bit more in doing so.
Should have made subs 15 min ago!!!
— Ian Wright (@IanWright0) August 22, 2020
[AR] On having a Champions League quarter-final as your first game for six months…
Big-game intensity, physicality and big game scenarios can only be replicated in big games so the more you play, the more you’re used to them. We haven’t had them but, again, it’s not an excuse, that’s what we had in terms of preparation and we made the best of it and so be it. I’m still proud of the players, the preparation, the ability to give it everything they could under the circumstances and the staff have been brilliant. We did what we could with the circumstances we were given and we make no excuses.
[AR] On the frustration of conceding from a setpiece in the first half…
It is knowing the amount of work we do on setpieces but I don’t point any fingers- they’re moments in the game that we have to be better at as a group. At this level, you will be exposed if you make errors, we made two and we got exposed. They opened us up a couple of other times but we also made a great chance with Kim Little in the first half, but they got into very dangerous positions and we knew they could do that because they play with numbers up top so we had to be smarter in terms of retaining the ball and we didn’t do that in the second half.
[AR] On the performance of Noelle Maritz….
She’s a player that has played at the highest level for many, many years and she has come from a big club in Wolfsburg, we’re proud to have her here. With the squad we are trying to build I was ecstatic to have a full squad available tonight- besides Lydia, I don’t think that’s happened since I have been here. We had opportunities and options off the bench and players that could do things. But the game went they way it did.
Glad to see Nöelle Maritz starting. I think she’s going to be a big part of the team this season ?? pic.twitter.com/RkDMUeHvxX
— Tim Stillman (@Stillberto) August 22, 2020