Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Joe Montemurro reacts to FA Cup semi-final defeat

On why Lisa Evans wasn’t in the squad and the situation with Kim Little….
Lisa copped a big knock in the Spurs game which she seemed to recover from, but it flared up again yesterday in training so we didn’t want to risk it. With Kim we don’t know yet, she seemed to feel a strain and we’re hopeful that we got it early so it didn’t develop into something worse but we’ll just have to wait and see over the next few games.

On why Lia Wälti didn’t start the game…
Lia wasn’t 100% right to start so we had a good conversation with her and we decided it would be better to bring her on in the second half, so DvD was given the role. The way the game worked out I don’t think was so much a personnel scenario. City were finding spaces beyond our press and in the opposite pockets and they were hurting us.

On Arsenal’s recent record in games against Manchester City and Chelsea…
City were simply better than us tonight they slung us around and beat our press and we dropped a little bit deeper in the first half and we’ve only got ourselves to blame. I’m not sure if it is an issue against big teams or not but sometimes you have to give credit to the other team and they were better than us tonight.

On whether Manchester City’s high press caught Arsenal off guard…
I don’t think their press hurt us I think we got disorganised when we allowed them to advance, we were getting past their first line of press quite easily. Sam Mewis is a very powerful player and was the difference in the first half.

On injuries piling up again…
It’s very hard to put our finger exactly on these situations. We have a lot of games but we have a lot of depth in the squad and we’ve tried to rest and rotate players as much as possible. We got ourselves into a situation tonight where we were chasing the game and that can take a lot out of you from a physical perspective. We’ll just have to assess who is available, who is not available, who we need to rest and thinking forward. But if players get injured on international breaks or players get kicks and can’t recover, we can’t control that but I can’t.

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What a shame we couldn’t make it two wins tonight. I hope the squad comes back stronger against City in the WSL. This is good motivation


I try to watch the women when I can but they were woeful tonight. That first half reminded me of the mens team during Unai era, it was hard viewing.


Hi Tim. I appreciate the interview but can i suggest giving a little context about how the game went (for example, mentioning the score) before going straight into the conversation. I hope you don´t take it the wrong way, cheers.


Pretty awful game by the girls. That first half was utterly dire and we were completely outplayed and neutered. Nobbs goal really came out of nowhere and we didn’t do anything else other than that.

Second half was better in the sense that we looked adequate (not good). But still never, ever looked like we could bother City till the last 10 min.

Really poor game all round and without the excuses from the PSG game about us being “undercooked”. Frankly, our inability to perform against big teams is becoming a big problem for Joe now.


I get the feeling from this reaction that the pressure on Joe is rising concerning big games. He knows he is wrong about personnel thing, he has to. And if he truly believes that this City side is that much better than Arsenal, that we are not capable of more, when mate you just had summer to change that. I can understand all the mitigation factors, but again the are playing so much worse than we are capable of, in the big game. Playing with 3 attacking mids was never going to work. Specially if we don’t have Catley or… Read more »


Exactly. I think you and I had this exact same conversation in the post PSG game reactions. Its well and good believing we have great players that didn’t need further squad additions. But Chelsea literally had the FA player of the season leading them to a title last season, added one of the worlds best mid season in Kerr and still went out to get UEFA’s player of the season (Harder) in. I really understand where the likes of Tim and others are coming from in their assessment of the squad and Joe, but there’s definitely an element of overrating… Read more »


I am annoyed with Joe because I actually don’t believe the problem is with our squad. I just felt he made excuses after game that he himself don’t believe. I believe that our first 11 is much more talented than City’s. Joe ovethinking big games, makes us lesser than the sum of those parts in these games, not more. We were beaten by a team who played 11 of their best players in their best positions. Yes yesterdays team has some quality problems, but those people are backups anyway. It is unfortunate that we had to play Katie and Viki… Read more »


You can’t say that Arsenal’s first 11 are “much more talented” than ManCity when the latter has Bronze and Mewis. Just adding those two has made a good ManCity team 20 percent better. There is nobody in the women’s game that can match up with either of them. That’s a problem. Bronze plays like a midfielder and bosses her side of the field. In games like this you need individual players to win 1v1 matchups, hold the ball, make some turns and runs, make a difference. You need special players with some physicality to their games to do that, and… Read more »


Roebuck is better than Manu, Bronze is better than Maritz. Mewis is better than Little (I don’t agree with it, but I give you that, because it is close). Leah, Beatie are better than Houghton, Bonner. Catley is better that Stokes. Lia is better than Walsh. Jordan is better than Weir. Viv is better than Ellen. Beth is better than Kelly and Dvd wide is better than Stanway (she hasn’t played where this year, so I can give that to City if you like). We have more talent. We started the game without DM, we conceded two goals, which need… Read more »


DVD screwed up on the 2nd ManCity goal but she worked her tail off all game and was very active all over the field. The team struggled terribly to cope with ManCity’s press in the first half and seemed to lose both its poise and its shape and spent most of the first 45′ chasing the ball–to little effect. Mewis and Bronze are powerful players and Arsenal have nobody who really can cope with them. Nobbs had a nice goal but otherwise I thought was pretty useless in the first half–playing very high, making few challenges and never winning the… Read more »


Somebody alert me in the future when Arsenal actually put a full top squad on the field in a big game–no injuries. This is the most injury-prone team in the league–and has been for two or three years. We missed Evans and Roord tonight, and maybe too Catley. (Which is our best midfield group in the 4-3-3 that Montemurro favors, I don’t even know. Little, for sure; and Roord, and then Walti–or Nobbs, or Van de Donk?) And then Little gets hurt early and has to come off. ManCity was already a good team and then brought in two world-class… Read more »

Peter Story Teller

I think this game highlighted exactly why we struggle against the more elite teams like PSG, City and Chelsea. We are not light years behind them in personnel as we are stacked with high quality international players but it is what we get those players to do. The build up play, when we did eventually get the ball for more than 10 seconds, was unbearably slow. You can knock it around in your own 18 yard area when you play a team of headless chickens but when you are up against a well drilled press like you get from Chelsea… Read more »


Today we just didn’t have players to play out through the middle. Viki can’t do it from the left (too slow and too onefooted), Dvd is not player who builds from back, Leah was pressured (like she always is when playing with Viki), so ball never got to Kim or Jordan higher up the pitch. And if we are honest all those balls we got to Viv, didn’t stay there for a second. I haven’t seen viv’s first touch ever be so off that today.


Viv was off today but she had no room all match. DVD can play out from the back–does it a lot. We needed more people making more runs with the ball to find space. There was way too much tentative play in the first half but ManCity forced it on us. The two best players on the pitch in the first half–by a long way–were Bronze and Mewis. We back-passed a lot and were slow, which which is what teams do when they lose confidence and are not winning physical matchups. Nobbs is very ineffective in games where she is… Read more »


What happened today? We were simply outplayed by man city defense. Our attacking line seemed to run out of ideas, ran ragged, and Viv hardly got a touch. DVD was frustrating, and didn’t seem to know her role.
How much of the blame goes to Joe? This is another big game we’ve failed in. Is it inadequate prep?


I said after the last Chelsea debacle that Joe is clearly not good enough to manage the big games. Time after time Joe talks a good game but the plain fact is, he continuely puts square pegs in round holes. I firmly believe we have a darned good squad, just that it’s not being used correctly.
Bottom line if you keep using the same tactics against the top teams why should we expect a different result.

Peter Story Teller

Maybe it is the opposite. Sometimes Joe seems to have in his mind how a particular game should be played and when it does not work there is no plan B. It wouldn’t have been any worse after 60 minutes just to tell them to do what they want with the ball. At least there would have been some variation in play. It was too easy for City to pin us back in our own box and steal the ball whenever there was a slack pass. Oh well, we’ll have to wait until the 2020/2021 FA Cup for our 15th… Read more »


Another big game where the team simply didn’t show up. Arsenal were never in this game and only really showed up in the last 10 minutes. Our lack of results against any decent top team that can defend (Chelsea, City, PSG) is becoming a major concern. We simply don’t look like we can compete against those. I know Tim’s pushed out a lot of “we got unlucky, performances were good” every time City or Chelsea were running us over again and again last season and although there’s an element of truth in that, the reality is this is a results… Read more »


Positives from last night… Jordan’s goal should not be shown on tv before 9 PM. That was wilthy. And thats second such banger in 6 days. Put her back to freekicks now. For real. She obviously has found her shooting range again. And there aren’t much better longrange shooters than her in the world.


Man, the loss yesterday, the reaction and the comments make me really worried. Playing no DM is really worrying. I really like Joe, but it is worrying. I don’t know if we can find a better coach after this season. Changing Manager is probably the hardest and most dangerous thing in Football. But I just hope the team performs much better against the big teams in the future. I wish Joe all the best, but damn he does not make it easy for himself. Man, that loss hurts deeply.

Peter Story Teller

Jill Ellis may be free now she hasn’t got the England job! She would transform this squad I am sure. I like Joe but I am getting sick of hearing this management bol…cks vocabulary. When do you hear Emma Hayes talking about transitions, false nines, and swapping upper doobreys for lower oogimeflips? Yet Chelsea beat us up every game. Even the pundits are spouting nonsense now under the pretence that they know what they are talking about. Football in essence is a simple game it is not a world chess tournament. If you don’t have the ball get in the… Read more »


Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou, it is as you say a simple game, reading some of the stuff here and on other sites from managers in waiting that get so technical leaves me cold. Football is a simple game please keep it that way.


Montemurro is a flat track bully, always messes up for the big games. Time for a better manager?

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