Joe Montemurro reacts to 6-1 victory over Reading

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Arsenal opened their WSL campaign with a comprehensive 6-1 win at home to Reading at Meadow Park, with a hat-trick from Jill Roord, two goals from Vivianne Miedema and a goal from Kim Little. Joe Montemurro spoke to Arseblog News after the game.

On starting with a 3241 formation against Reading’s high press…
Reading have an overload in midfield, they have an extra player because they play with a 442 diamond. At times they don’t allow you to play out because they can stay in between the lines of your build-up so they can get to both areas whether you play wide or if you play centrally. The idea was to drag as many of them as possible towards our defensive line and have different ways that we could play through and out. When you play with a diamond it can make you very narrow so we thought we would have the opportunity to play in and then go on the outside and progress quite quickly.

Our players did it very, very well today and when you have centre back / full-backs like Steph Catley and Noelle Maritz you can progress even higher because they look to take the ball in the second phase or in the phases further up. When you can use Leah Williamson and Lia Wälti inside so they can progress it makes it easy for us to do. It was out strategy to draw them in and go beyond and we did that with a fair amount of success today.

On dealing with Reading’s physicality…
You know me by now, Tim, the more we have the ball the more you avoid the other team’s physicality. If you don’t have the ball you get drawn into physical battles. My players are physically well able to cope with the situation but most of all they can all play. The enjoyable thing for me today was that we didn’t get into those physical situations because we had the ball and that always has to win for us. I don’t really talk much about physicality and strength because our mentality is to have the ball.

On Steph Catley’s pass to Jordan Nobbs in the build-up to the second goal…
We won’t tell too many people because people will start studying us. To play that pass you have to prepare that pass and the movement of Jordan makes it too because she comes inside and then runs outside, so the full-back has to commit themselves and suddenly the space appears. She can certainly play that pass but I commend the players around her for preparing that pass.

On the performance of Jill Roord…
When I signed Jill I saw someone special and I saw someone with immense ability especially to find space, but also to play higher up, protect the ball and find the pass, which is very important. It was good last year that we got her a lot of football and we worked on her defensive phase. The big thing we are looking for from Jill is to find that level and maintain it, she can float in and out of games sometimes and become complacent because she is so talented.

I’ve given her that challenge this week to make a 7.5 or 8 out of 10 as her base and everything else above that is a bonus, she has understood that challenge and hopefully we’ll see more of what we saw today throughout the season.

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David

Great start to the season!!

canon fodder

We scored all seven goals today…I still regard Dan’ Carter as one of our own…COYG!

Christopher Humphrey

……and Manu can claim an assist!
Great start and MankU’s play indicates a least 4 interested parties for the top 3.

Fun Gunner

Really good today. Still a little bit of rust but so much better than the PSG game. Only downsides for me were that Jordan’s goal was offside – sensational strike – and Manu giving up that stupid, stupid goal at the end. Happy for Dan to score a consolation goal for her new club but not the way it happened. This win made even better by the fact that Chelsea drew. Grumpy Emma Hayes is always good.Jill Roord is going to be a superstar. Great cameos from Foord and DvD. 5 or 6 contenders for POTM, I reckon. Let’s do… Read more »

Fun Gunner

And of course, props to Joe for doing Reading with the same tactical trick twice!

Billy bob

Top of the table ?

Goonerink

I love how casual he is with you tim, great interview for a great result!

JohnnyCash

As i wrote after very weak PSG game, Arsenal needed more players in the centre of the field. Every top team outplay Arsenal in that area. Today we had structure, we had options for pass, we had control, we had game. And i think its more of the manager`s problem, not the player, that Roord was not given her deserved place. Today she show what she really can do and how good she is. I hope this great game after disaster in CL is enough to understand how we should and should not play.

JohnnyCash

Last season she was given more defensive job with simple passes to the nearest player. With her vision and ability to find space its just about 50% of her game. Maybe it was needed – today she was great not only in attack but as a first line of defence too.

Eeleen

I was watching the game and was thinking the same, that this 3+2 defensive formation should be good against 4-4-2 teams… aka Chelsea. And when I watched Chelsea game and they played 4-3-2-1 probably first time since they signed Kerr… Mindgames 🙂 Who knows what Chelsea will play in months time… And tactically I don’t think any City game has been problem for us. I like this 3+2 formation, because it gives us oportunity to have enough attacking players on field. If we played back 4 with 2 DM’s (what we basicly did against PSG, just Dvd played Leahs role),… Read more »

Armchair

Your point about the midfield is well-taken–but of course one has to account for the level of the competition, and Reading is not in the same league as PSG.

Eeleen

First Reading is not in the same level as PSG. We haven’t had any problems against not top3 teams tactically for years now. We have won those games with every kind of midfield. Second Reading played their first game against us after 7 months out, like we played our first game against PSG after 7 months out. Matchfitness is a thing. Third if we had played the same formation 3-2-4-1 against PSG, we would have been killed in the wings even more so than we were at moment. We had one more player in midfield, because we moved Leah up,… Read more »

JohnnyCash

1) It is obvious that we need a system that works against top-sides. Our 4-3-3 does not. 2) Agree. Still Arsenal was totally outpalyed by PSG from the first minutes. It was not about fitness. 3) 4-2-3-1 4) Arsenal was third last year. Leupolz or Harder will not make it easier. 5) As far as i remember Roord started her career at Arsenal with a hat-trick against Tottenham and then a goal against West Ham. After that we saw 50% of her. I dont really think it needed the whole year for her to understand how to pass. It was… Read more »

Eeleen

But thats not true. 4-3-3 worked against City perfectly well. And we played 4-3-3 just once against Chelsea last year, in first game, but neither Lia or Jordan where nowhere near fully fit. We didn’t play 4-3-3 against Chelsea in other two games, so we don’t know. You keep saying it didn’t work, I keep saying we didin’t play it, so we can’t know if it worked or not. We played against Chelsea at home back 4, with Lia, Kim, Jord, Jill, Dvd, Viv, basically excactly the team you are saying, and it was awful. (and Jill was AM, so… Read more »

JohnnyCash

Arsenal’s manager like to change fotrmations but 4-3-3 was basic and common and others were just episodes – so the team could not have enough time to maintain the same level of team game in every other formation. Thats why the team did not really benefited of sporadic using 4-2-3-1 or other formations. There are particular problems in Arsenal’s 4-3-3. At first, Little, Walti and Nobbs just cant control the centre of the field. Little and Nobbs are just too light, they can create and make a pass, but cannot fight for the ball. PSG were using same formation but… Read more »

Eeleen

Name me one game from last two seasons where we lost with midfield 3 of Lia, Jordan and Kim.

JohnnyCash

I just checked and the are none of them. They only played together 20 minutes against PSG.
But dont forget about time and injuries. Do you really think they could win the battle with four agressive Chelsea middlefielders? Or with fast PSG trio?

Eeleen

I replied to you because according to you “Every top team outplay Arsenal in that area.” As you found out in the last two years (ever since Lia signed) Arsenal haven’t lost ANY games where Kim, Jordan and Lia started in midfield 3. During this time we won Chelsea away in 2018 and City at home in 2019, where we started this midfield 3 and countless games against lesser oposition. And against PSG they didn’t play as midfield 3, Jordan was left and Dvd was middle even then Jord came on. I don’t have any clue how our team will… Read more »

JohnnyCash

If it is all so perfect why do we loose important games? Injuries and bad luck? Every team has them. As i wrote before PSG game we needed more people in middlefield. We lost that game. The game was very bad. Against Redaing we were perfect. You say it is all because of the opponents. I say it is because of our formation, our system. Statistically you are right. But we are not in 2018 any more. Look at Chelsea – Leupolz can bring another dimension to their game with her long pass. Future is uncertain but is all that… Read more »

Dave cee

Whenever I see questions like this about a player, DvD, and the formation I am reminded of Ancelloti at AC Milan talking about Kaka. He said, and this applies to Ozil also, he is not a midfield, he is a striker, he just plays deeper than most.

Eeleen

Good, good, good… specially good because I thought that Reading will be in the group behind top3 and isn’t bottom of the league team. On paper their team is very strong. We will see in next few weeks if Reading are little weaker than I expected or we are even better than I thought :). Joe is doing some crazy stuff tactically with this back 3 thing. Little like Bristol last year, but against Bristol we had 3 CB’s, this time one CB, two FB’s, one DM and one DM/CB hybrid. It is so fluid, that at any time it… Read more »

Magneto

Good performance and result today, although I thought that we should have scored even more goals than we actually did.

There was something inevitable about Dani Carter scoring against us today, one of the unwritten rules of football strikes again! But I wish her well.

Daniel

I remember Eduardo getting a consolation against arsenal in a similarly one sided game and we all cheered for him, it’s a shame there was no crowd today to give Dani the same response

Inflamed Pulis

Team looked great but I’m wondering about Zinsberger. Seems a bit lackadaisical.

Armchair

Where was McCabe? Not listed on match roster/subs.

Its the Arsenal

Carry over suspension

Dave cee

I’ve got to be honest and say I don’t watch much woman’s football. I watch enough men’s already. But some of those goals are quality! And Joe really does provide some insight into the tactical side of the game. Very interesting.
You are sucking me in Tim!!

Fun Gunner

Kim Little has got her bid for goal of the season in early!

Danny

Amazing result. Flying start!