Joe Montemurro reacts to 9-1 victory over West Ham

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Following last weekend’s 6-1 win over Reading, Arsenal continued their fine start to the WSL season with a 9-1 win over West Ham in the WSL. Arseblog News spoke to Joe Montemurro after the game.

On fielding the same starting line-up as against Reading but in a different formation…
The game against reading was complete in the team that started and the team that came on. We adjusted a little bit defensively, with a back four this time [last weekend they played with a back three and Leah Williamson in midfield] but the wingers stayed narrow this time so we could exploit the gaps that West Ham allow because they play with a five in the middle.

On Jill Roord’s second hat trick in six days…
We brought in a talented player last year that probably didn’t have the continuity to back up her performances, she would give us one or two good performances and then go missing. We gave her a challenge this year, both from a physical perspective to get her fit to play the way we want to play but more importantly to have that continuity of standards. We always knew there was a special talent there and we are now starting to discover that maturity to continue at that level and maintain it and hopefully we’ve got more to come from Jill.

On the continuity in the spine of the team….
Apart from having a spine that is experienced we also have characters that are able to adapt to different situations and different problems that teams can bring to us. That’s what I am excited about with this squad, whatever solution we need whether it’s in a moment, or a phase of the game or leading up to a game we can find those solutions.

That’s probably the biggest education of this squad now, it’s not about one or two players it’s about everyone and everyone understanding how important their contribution is. We’re just about there with the characters that understand that and that’s what pleases me the most.

On playing Jordan Nobbs wide left…
Accommodating is not a word we like to use, it’s important that we have specific patterns. We study where the weaknesses of certain teams are and we just felt that Jordan is very good at staying a little bit higher and finding space between centre-backs and full-backs. She works as a third number 10 and if Viv lowers, then their centre-backs and full-backs aren’t sure whether to go with her or protect space in behind.

It’s very deliberate, DvD also has that weapon but she’s probably more of a wide coming short kind of lateral player. But when she’s come on we’ve put her more as a central player making runs in behind. It’s great for me because I can play Jordan out there, I can play DvD out there, I’ve got Caitlin Foord and we’ve got Beth and Lisa who are more traditional wingers. It’s been deliberate, but we can play Jordan centrally too. Fluidity and balance has always been something we’ve strived for in this squad.

On Beth Mead’s performances in the opening two games…
From being a traditional nine earlier in her career, she can go inside and outside. She can take players on outside but is also very good coming inside, where Lisa [Evans] is probably more of an over the top and out wide type. Today we wanted Beth to sit in between their centre-back and full-back and start out wide but come inside. That was the tactical reason for her role today. I think her level and everyone’s level has gone up because the squad balance is great. You can see it in the games but the stimulus in training is unbelievable and the quality has been fantastic.

We probably haven’t had that in the last couple of years because of the injuries we’ve had and the thinness in the squad that’s left us with. But as long as it stays like this we will see all players take that extra step because there is a healthy competition that is really, really important in top level football. They all know they have to keep their standards and their professional levels high and that education is so important for the women’s game.

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Jack

Where are full highlights? I feel like I have subscriptions to everything but I missed it live and just can’t get them

Tim Stillman

You can find them here https://faplayer.thefa.com/video/MF9uNGRvbzUxciU3QyUyRnNlY3Rpb24lM0ZwYWdlJTNEYXJjaGl2ZS1wYWdlJTdDYXJjaGl2ZS0x. They also turn up on the FAWSL Facebook page at 12noon on a Monday

C.B.

The Hammers hammered!

Tony Hall

Way to go Arsenal ladies! 15 goals in two games! Two hat-tricks in a row for Jill Roord, 4 goals for Viv! What a way to start the season!

Ringoxiii

Weird as it is to say after a 9-1 win, we were a little fortunate. Our second goal looked offside and Flaherty got a second yellow for complaining about it. Another day that goal’s ruled out for offside, Flaherty stays on the pitch and it’s a completely different game. I’m confident we still would have won, but West Ham looked well up for the fight and we could’ve been talking about a one or two goal win instead of an 8 goal battering. On the other hand we can only beat what’s in front of us and our players still… Read more »

Xuan

Potentially tricky game changed by the red card. Professional enough to be ruthless and beat what is in front of us.

More concerned about how serious Catley’s injury was?

Armchair

What did she injure–did you see?

Eeleen

Head collision. Think she is OK.

Xuan

Great! Hope we have luck with the injuries this time.

Tim Stillman

He said it was just a precaution and she’ll train as normal next week

Michael Tazreiter

Yeah, she looked fine. It was probably also of the “Snap Back” of the head because of the unexpected push. West Ham played the most brutal I’ve seen since the Stoke days. But after the first half they were just toothless. Otherwise they would have conceded double digits.

Peter Story Teller

Over the moon at the initial two results but I am concerned that the WSL could well be decided by goals conceeded and we have already given two goals away needlessly. Last week was an individual mistake. These happen but we could have easily avoided the opportunity for it to happen. Today, a free kick in the West Ham half was played back into our own penalty area and we couldn’t clear the ping pong that followed and a decent strike went in. There is no doubt we are dangerous in offence but we have to make the opposition work… Read more »

Fun Gunner

I think goal difference comes ahead of goals conceded and we are going to be just fine on that front. It’s annoying to concede but at least this was a decent goal. We are a swashbuckling side, so we will concede the odd one.
Where I sort of agree with you is that I feel like we’ve got even better at the stuff we did well, but I’m not sure we’ve improved the stuff we have not been quite so good at.

Krumphax

GD will probably the first metric, and if we continue like that, we should do well enough in that departement. I did not like it, that there was no decisive clearence before the 1-1. Defense is where the battles will be won. But our finishing and decision making was not clinical enough mostly in the first half. Huge one v ones where even the GOAT made sloppy decisions. Let’s hope the back 4/5 jells in quickly and we get really robust in defence. I like our defenders individually, but it has to be more decisive and be stronger as a… Read more »

Peter Story Teller

Obviously goal difference is the important metric, but if you concede needless goals your goal difference suffers and it means that we need to be scoring 5 or 6 per game to keep up the goal difference which ain’t going to happen over the course of a season. Chelsea are already +9 only 4 behind us even though we have scored 15 in 2 games!
That was my point so cannot see why so many voters disliked that.

Its the Arsenal

Just the nature of the 2 goals we’ve conceded especially the one against reading it’s literally the tightest of margins and besides them neither reading or west ham threatened massively

Peter Story Teller

Exactly, both of those games should have been clean sheets.

Eeleen

I am with you about clean sheets, but both of those are kinda freak goals*, that don’t 95% of cases don’t happen. Our defense wasn’t overplayed in any of those cases. And I am just happy that if we concede those freak goals, that they are in games where we score 6 and 9. I am a stats nerd and our xG against in Reading game was 0.94, which mostly was the goal, because after Manu’s mistake, that is as easy goal as it is possible to get and 0,19 in WHU game, which is absolutely perfect from defence point… Read more »

Peter Story Teller

I like Manu but she does seem prone to the odd lapse of concentration or whatever it is e.g. picking up the ball from a routine back-pass last season! Fortunately, her unusual positioning enabled her to save the ensuing free kick. Maybe Joe’s reasoning for signing Lydia? Having said that I’m not sure she was much to blame for the West Ham goal. That was a decent shot through a crowded area and it might have even got a deflection on its way through. The error there was heading the ball back into the centre rather than out for a… Read more »

Fun Gunner

Fantastic effort from the girls. loved the ruthlessness.
Apart from the two offside mistakes, I thought the referee did very well today. Shame the sending off killed the game as a contest but we were always winning that match. More and better chances.
Interesting to hear Joe’s views about how to deploy Jordan, makes a bit more sense of his explanation after the PSG match. Although he still got it wrong, I can understand what he was going for.

Eeleen

With you… West Ham game to kick us off the park. Usually it is allowed in WSL, so it is good to see, that early mistakes were punished by yellows. And also good that although little lucky with offside goals (I am not sure, that the second one was off, or if it was, it was close), that we kicked them off the park with our ruthlesness. Perfect message for the next team, who comes to kick us. I am in two mind about this Jordan from the wide thing. For me she is our most “creative” player. Last year… Read more »

Fun Gunner

I just hope she is happy out there, she’s definitely less involved in the play. If she is prepared to work at it and give it a go…happy days. Yet another of Joe’s setup variations to flummox our rivals!

IGtheshy

Love the results, would prefer a clean sheet from these two games. However, these are results seen to be normal. Is game against Chelsea and Man City that we really need to perform well. Anyway, love the ladies, love Leah!

Xuan

Yup, key is to beat city and chelsea and make sure we continue to win the other games. As we see in the utd-chelsea draw, things are getting tighter. No room for error.

Patrik Ljungberg

Jill is just great! Keep it up, please…

JohnnyCash

I think it was Joe who had “the continuity” problem last season. Arsenal changed formation every other game but Roord was never given an opportunity to create. Just simple passes to the nearest players. Such a waste of talent. Maybe that defeat to PSG is really the best thing that could happen to Arsenal team.

Krumphax

Yeah it was a weird game. I’m new to the womens team/game, but as far as I’m concerned this looks like an XI which you can start every game with. Maybe the battering of San Sebastian showed, that we aren’t as great in a european comparison. Hopefully this and other losses the last few years will really be a Motivation for the ladies.
Up The Arsenal!

Armchair

The WSL is getting like the Premier League–top-heavy and lopsided, with the bigger clubs dominating. I think it’s been that way for a while–and the gap seems to be growing. Liverpool needs to start investing in its women’s program–disgraceful how they’ve left that program deteriorate. Great win for the Gunners.

Peter Story Teller

It’s always been that way. Doncaster Belles, Charlton, etc. and others come and go as dominant forces. It all depends on the ownership and management of the club at the time and if anyone else wants to subscribe to provide opposition. Now we have a proper professional league it is probably the best it ever has been but unless the FA force Premier League and perhaps Championship teams to enter properly managed and funded women’s league teams there is not much we can do about it. At least there are now several teams of similar strength and some that are… Read more »

trugun

Listening to the pundits during and after the game as far as they were concerned Arsenals dominance was all down to poor ref decisions, yellow cards, a sending off and offsides, not one of them said how well the Arsenal girls played. The scoreline was not due to the Hammers being down to ten it was their inability to defend against a far better team, and the only one to admit that was the Hammers manager. It seems clear that Arsenal Women will get no praise from the pundits this season that will be reserved for Chelsea and City.

Fun Gunner

BT Sport commentators/pundits had been selling the match as a tight contest (ha!) so they wanted someone to blame when it wasn’t.

Miedema = Bergkamp

Miedema is like Dennis Bergkamp

Tim Stillman

I don’t think Jordan wide will be a regular thing. I think he’s just giving Caitlin a bit more time but also, he just can’t drop Jill atm and wants Jordan in there too.

Fun Gunner

What a lovely Sunday. City drop points! Fantastic from Hope Powell and her squad. Just keep it up when you play Chelsea but remember to lose concentration against Arsenal. Deal?

Christopher Humphrey

No credit from the pundits. So who gives a 💩about that.
For the first time a referee who punished foul play and a foul mouth.
The most competitive league in Europe? Maybe most competitive top 3 (possibly 4).
FA Player, PLEASE teach your commentator it’s pronounced Mee-dem-mar.

Peter Story Teller

I thought the ref was quite good but she got very little help from her assistants. Our second goal was marginal and Meado is no slouch at full tilt along the touchline so I can understand the assistant ref giving that to the benefit of the attack but Jill’s goal where she was simply standing a yard offside to tap it in should have been flagged. One of the only decent comments made on BT Sport commentary was regarding the widening gap between the professionalism of the WSL players and still pretty much Sunday League standard officials. My only wish… Read more »

Peter Story Teller

Talking of Meado why is she not getting any praise for her first time strike with her “weaker” peg curled into the top corner? No keeper was stopping that and it made her specialality “crot” appear simple by comparison.

Fun Gunner

Definitely gets praise from me! She is right back on top form, so good to see.

Eeleen

Yeah from me too… but not just because of goal, but her alround play has been so so much better. I was quite critical of her last year, but this game she was absolute class.