Friday, February 23, 2024

Joe Montemurro reacts to Chelsea defeat

On the game being very transitional and much like a five-a-side match…
We needed to protect the our defensive area because of their front four and what that does is naturally opens a big space between your defence and your midfield. We had to be careful of that and all in all, I think we dealt with it ok but clearly the score line doesn’t reflect that.

On Arsenal seeing more of the ball in the second half…
We wanted to exploit the opposite side and the quicker we swung the ball around there the more we tended to find space on either side. It was about getting the ball out there much quicker and playing the diagonals and we were able to expose them a few times that way.

On whether 4-1 felt like a harsh score line on Arsenal…
I can only say I am very proud of the girls, I think we played some of the best football we played all season. I know it’s difficult to sit here and say that and we got caught on a corner very early for the first goal and the game changes, so it is what it is.

On Jordan Nobbs and Kim Little not being in the squad…
It was about just giving them a bit more time to recover properly. They both have small hamstring issues and we just need to make sure we don’t take any silly risks at this stage but the Brighton game might be too soon for them.

On six consecutive defeats to Chelsea…
Each game against Chelsea brings a different story but I can’t sit here and make excuses. All we can do is keep playing our football. If I am going to be judged on results against Chelsea then I will be judged on results against Chelsea, it’s as simple as that and I’ll have to take that medicine. But I want to keep these players believing that they are a good footballing side and they showed that tonight and with things going our way a little earlier we can get it done. But look, we keep reviewing, we keep coming in with the belief that we are progressing.

On losing in the Conti Cup as opposed to the WSL…
When we put on an Arsenal shirt we try to win every game and we want to keep playing good football. In the scheme of things there is a focus on the league and we know the schedule is tough this year, we’ve played more games than any team in the WSL [because of the Champions League in August]. Again, it is what it is and we need to keep the confidence high ahead of the game against Brighton which is very, very important.

On the fact that the game wasn’t broadcast anywhere…
All games should be shown, or streamed somehow. The more we have women’s football on television, the more we expose the great sport that it is and this was a really, really good game today. Chelsea have brought in some of the world’s best players and people want to see them, there should be a standard that these games are shown.

On the Brighton game on Sunday..
We need to worry about what we need to do because Brighton are a very well organised and they’ve already taken points off a super squad like Manchester City. We expect a very difficult game and they have some elements that can definitely unlock you.

On the performance of Manu Zinsberger in goal…
She made some great saves tonight and that’s a great confidence boost for her, we know she’s a world class goalkeeper. I’ve heard some comments, some ifs, buts and maybes, but her distribution and the way she was starting the play was really giving them trouble. They struggled to deal with us building from the back and spreading their strikers out so we could get out wide. She had a great game and I’m really happy for her because she works so hard.


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6th defeat against Chelsea in a row. 5th defeat against “big team” in a row. Does anything else matter about this game? What does Joe’s “if I am going to be judged, when I am going to be judged” mean? Nothing because nothing changes. Okay I understand, we threw this game away, because our squad is 6 games into the season down to bare bones. But Chelsea would NEVER NEVER not try to win a game against us. Hayes would never after 4-1 defeat say that they played “the best football”, because that doesn’t mean anything. If our best football… Read more »


You’ve hit the nail on the head here. This is exactly what you and I were saying in the pre-match comments as well. Really disappointed with this “we played well” nonsense. Disappointed with Tim toting out this line as well instead of pushing back against Joe a bit more. Its not like we know how to win ugly. We’ve lost 4-1 when we’ve played horrendously and now lost 4-1 when we’ve supposedly played well. Fact of the matter is 6 losses in a row isn’t a fluke, it speaks to being out of depth in these matches. Making excuses with… Read more »

Its the Arsenal

This shouldn’t be the game to take conclusions from if anything city in the fa cup should have been that but your points are more than valid personally im waiting for a stretch from November to December where we play United Chelsea City and Everton in between 5 games that is where I’ll draw final conclusions from not the conti cup groupstage game where our captain vice captain starting leftback and center back including two players who’ve scored hattricks and could have been options off the bench or from the start to change things up


Yes, ofcourse. We started Lotte and Malin first time. Chelsea away is really tough and unforgiving place to start. In isolation it is all understandable, but how long can Joe expect fan’s to be able to take things in isolation and all together human’s don’t function like that ?. And I absolutely preferred not to risk anyone who was not 100% for that game. Brighton is more important, specially if we don’t have Jordan and Kim. And if Lotte and Malin were good yesterday, that is wonderful, because it means maybe next time Lia needs rest, we don’t have to… Read more »


Is Wubben-Moy number 3? If so, she really struggled yesterday, based on what I saw from the highlights–was directly involved in Chelsea’s first two goals, I believe, and was caught out of position multiple times. But then anybody who goes from a U.S. college game to playing Chelsea in their pro debut is in for a long night. You’re not going to play two young kids in key positions in what is essentially their first pro game, against Chelsea, and think you’re going to win. Indeed, were it not for Zinsberger making a number of excellent saves we could have… Read more »


Yeah she is. I saw that also. It makes me little more sympathetic about Joe’s comment regarding being proud. Like I said tough place to make your first start, specially if you have only been training few weeks and haven’t had proper preseason. Besides Arsenal playing style is quite unforgiving for CB’s, we often rely on them to bail us out by being good one-on-one defenders. It will take her time to get used to how we are playing, and she will have easier opposition than Kerr, Harder, Ji, Reiten and England pressing and running at you. No point in… Read more »

Christopher Humphrey

I can’t see it written anywhere in this piece that Joe would “NEVER NEVER not try to win a game”.
Like the rest of you, I feel frustrated at the situation particularly with the Chelski run but if we don’t continue to back the man and the team. Where do we go from here?
Against the backdrop of the pandemic if the thought is for Arsenal to throw pots of money Arsenal Women’s way then dream on says Gunnersaurus.

Peter Story Teller

We don’t need to throw pots of money at the team. We have good players we just need to have a few more ideas up our sleeve than keeper to centre back, to other centre back, to full back, back to keeper again! It gives any opposition, Bristol City included, ample time to organise their defense and block us off completely. I’m not suggesting that Manu just hoofs it aimlessly upfield every time she recieves the ball but if Joe, as many on this blog insinuate, micro-manages his tactics then he should be able to give the girls instruction on… Read more »


I honestly believe that for Hayes it is more important to win against Arsenal than it is for Joe to win against Chelsea. He decided to threw this game when he gave first starts to Lotte, Malin, Leonie against the best attack in the league. Hayes played their best team against us, we didn’t, even considering injuries. Leonie, Lotte and Malin could have played against Bristol and Leah, Katie, Viki against Chelsea. In the long run he might be right. We need the win at weekend maybe more, than win against Chelsea. He decided that this game wasn’t important, Hayes… Read more »

Peter Story Teller

Emma Hayes will never throw any game against Arsenal or any other opposition for that matter. With the exception of Fran Kirby, who now seems to be near her best again anyway, Chelsea do not appear to suffer the restrictions of injuries that we do and they always field their best team because they are competitors and want to win. “It’s only a game” stops being applicable in professional sport as it is a competition and the participants, managers, coaches and back room staff as well as the players are being paid to win. I don’t think it is acceptable… Read more »


Tim, you can just copy paste this headline every time we play against Chelsea at this point, given how much of a guarantee it has become. Looked out of our depth against a top side yet again. Humiliated by Chelsea yet again. Lost the last 6 in a row against Chelsea with our only takeaway being “but we played good football”. I’m sorry but with the talent that we have, that’s embarrassing. Once or twice is understandable, but 6 in a row points to a more fundamental problem with how we approach these games. Ignoring this as “we played well”… Read more »


Does Montemurro overwork his players? I don’t know–but the coach should certainly think about that possibility as Arsenal has to be, easily, the most injury-prone team in the league. And what’s frustrating is that Monte is always somewhat downplaying the injuries: “Oh, Alice got a bit of knock last game and we didn’t want to push her back onto the field too soon, but she’s close”…and then four weeks later she’s still not playing. Arsenal weren’t winning this game with two starters who have little to no professional experience and another who’s barely played since the restart.


To be fair, it’s not like Joe doesn’t rotate (although not as much as he can against the lesser sides like the Bristol game just last weekend for example). The girls being overworked are a direct consequence of Joe preferring to work with a smaller squad. Basically means even a couple of players going down really increases the strain on others by a lot and we’re essentially caught in a never ending cycle of injuries.


It is now obvious that Joe is not making any progress against the big sides. Is it because they’ve worked out the ONLY way we play? Is there a psychological block?
Joe has to figure out a different way in these games- they let us have the ball, and hit us fast when we lose it!
It is getting depressing at this point.


Honestly, strength and depth of the squad really is not much of a concern…really think that psychological block is something the team should try to overcome, esp when they face chelsea! Just seriously wonder who is crippled mentally? The coaching team or the players? Or both? Just feel that the team is short of the aggressive and overbearing air in the face of chelsea. The team just melts away. If the team keeps disregarding about the results thinking personally that as long as they have already played a good game, dont think any good quality players would have the interest… Read more »

Peter Story Teller

Not just the big sides! Bristol did that to us last Sunday and it took us until half time to equalise!


Ozil cut from Arsenals 25 Europa squad list.
Sometimes some club decisions are not only baffling but also pennywise… He is the club’s highest earner with 350k a week.. And becos he didnt accept a paycut afta the club tried to force him to leave, he was frozen out of the team as punishment. Isn’t it absolutely foolish for the club to decide not to use him again while still paying him hugely every week?

Peter Story Teller

What does this have to do with the women’s team?


This is a ridiculous incoherent rant

Viv the ?

I mean, I’m curious how we can concede 3 Goals in 15 minutes, and then not for 75 minutes. I mean the defence on paper looked interesting. But I’m quite sure this was the wrong Moment for defensive experiments. I mean looking on the substitutes bench, you can see a clear difference. But that whould have not mattered in this match, because it was over after 15 minutes! I mean, thinking about it, this is a freakish line up compared to Chelseas, BUT it should be a more defensive line up. Going away from that, talking about defending better in… Read more »


Not broadcasting a game in current circumstances is insane ! Judging by the twitter commentary second half second half was better from Arsenal’s POV. It would have been tough to win this one with so many key players out anyway.

Tony Hall

I like Joe but I wish he would stop over thinking every game in advance down to the last micro second. Sometimes you need to let the girls just play I mean it’s not that they are not capable of beating Chelsea after all. However they need to get this particular monkey off their back and fast because unless they can start beating Chelsea again and to a lesser extent Man City they won’t be winning the league again any time soon. It’s all very well putting 10 goals past the lower teams but we need to be beating the… Read more »

Viv the ?

Yeah I think it’s “crunch-time” for Joe. I like him as a person as well, but his Interviews and the performances are very questionable at times. I mean we can’t even field a full bench at the moment. and most of them are defenders, so I don’t know, if we should take a look on recruitement and squad structure. To a certain degree you have to look at the small things in football on a tactical sense, but the game is so unpredictable. You have to paint with broad strokes more often than not. As you kinda said, I would… Read more »

Peter Story Teller

I think that is the problem. Joe is so wrapped up in playing out from Manu each time that there is no intensity and by the time we have progressed to the half way line and looking to play a through ball the opposition have 9 or 10 players behind the ball and block every outlet… so back it goes way into our own half again.


Liverpool women were the underdogs yesterday against a WSL team with an incredible squad including Heath and Press but for 90 mins they gave it everything. They pressed when they could, closed down balls, threw their bodies on the line to block. Then they scrapped and fought to break and create chances. And it paid off with a 3-1 win. I haven’t seen that fight and absolute determination to win in Arsenal since last season. We need our cohesion and our fight back and to believe that we can win again City and Chelsea but sometimes we have to give… Read more »

Peter Story Teller

Liverpool are a good side and it was a travesty that they were relegated because the powers that be couldn’t be bothered to think outside the box in the exceptional circumstances of a covid ravaged league programme.
It just goes to prove my point from last week that you do not need a handful of superstar names in your team to win games.You need a team with not just plan A, but with plan B, C and D also.

Viv the ?

I would not so “to give up the Arsenal”. But we must say, giving lethargic performances, not fighting till the end has been the Arsenal way (thinking about the mans team). But you make it clear, that you can’t simply outpass them in such a game, you must outfight them. And the Women looked in all matches at least a bit lethargic, if not even a lot. (ManCity, probably yesterday). I think the real desire to score and defend was not to see this season (even looking at all the missed chances in the 9-1s). That fight will divide the… Read more »


For starters, Arsenal need a full squad when they’re playing ManCity and Chelsea–and they haven’t had it for two years because players are ALWAYS hurt and Montemurro is always signing players who are hurt or one game away from being hurt. The other key fact is, we just may not be as good as Chelsea and ManCity now that they’ve each added some of the best players in the world to already strong squads. We were as good or better than ManCity–and then they went and added Bronze, Mewis, Lavell and Kelly to an already good team. We have nobody… Read more »


Hey Tim, thanks for the coverage! Would you mind doing something similar to blogs and showing the starting XI and subs at the top of the report?


Same old, same old. Who’s actually in charge of Arsenal Women, because someone should be holding Montemurro accountable.

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