Saturday, June 15, 2024

‘We think she’s something a bit special’: Joe Montemurro on Ruby Mace

When Arsenal take on Birmingham City on Sunday, they will come up against a familiar face. In the centre of the Blues defence, Arsenal loanee Ruby Mace will be charged with stopping Vivianne Miedema and co. Birmingham boss Carla Ward confirmed on Friday that she had secured Arsenal’s agreement for Mace to play in this fixture, the league’s loan rules leave the decision to the parent and loanee club.

Arseblog News spoke to Gunners boss Joe Montemurro about the decision to allow Ruby to play and he said, “Usually there is a coaches ethical agreement that loanees don’t play against the parent club but it wasn’t a difficult decision for me. Ruby is out on loan for a purpose and that is to get game time against the best teams and she’ll get valuable experience playing against us.

“From my perspective it’s a win-win, she gets to play the minutes she needs and she gets that development that we need before we bring her back.” Mace has been fielded at the heart of the Birmingham defence with Rachel Corsie having left the club in January for Kansas City. Mace has usually played as a central midfielder for Arsenal, a position Joe still sees her playing in the long-term.

“It’s an interesting one because when we were approached, Birmingham told us they were after a centre-half and we know she has played there with the England youth setup so she is comfortable there. We still consider her as more of a midfielder and the sort of player she is, I think she’s going to be a creative and structural type to help build the play.

“For her to have the responsibility of being a centre-back for Birmingham suits us just fine, she’s going to be put in positions where she’s under pressure and that’s valuable for us, we think she’ll mature really quickly playing in defence.” Montemurro has said in the past that training in a high performance environment is just as important as game time for younger players and he revealed that Mace trains with Arsenal during the week before heading up to Birmingham closer to the weekend.

“Ruby trains with us during the week so we get the opportunity to do some valuable work and when we do the bigger training loads in the middle of the week. Obviously this week we were a little bit coy and a lot of the girls were trying to kick her so she wouldn’t be in good shape for Sunday….I’m only joking!

“Then she goes and does all the pre-match work and tactical work with Birmingham so it’s a perfect situation, she gets more minutes but we get to see her in training too and to give her the stimulus we think she needs. She also has the opportunity to keep going in the Arsenal manner and then she goes away and gets the game time, so for us it’s perfect.”

The Gunners boss suggested that Ruby is the jewel in the current academy crown (sorry), “I’m not taking away from the other academy girls but Ruby is a special one and she’s someone that I believe has a little bit more and will adapt quickly to becoming a first team player here at Arsenal.”

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I love to hear about progress of our youngsters. Let’s hope Ruby Mace does get a real chance with Arsenal although so many promising young players do not make it…..Ruby Grant, Mel Filis come to mind as does Fran Stenson. She really should have been given some game time this season or loaned out when it became obvious that she was going to be ‘keeper 3.

Tim Stillman

Honestly I don’t think Ruby Grant (released by West Ham) and Mel Filis (London Bees) were stellar talents. Ruby Mace is different I think and I’d like to see more of her next season. There are some contracts up in midfield so there might be space.

Peter Story Teller

With the injuries in midfield there has been some space this season but Joe still did not select Ruby choosing to farm her out on loan instead.
If she is a “special talent” wouldn’t it be better not allow her to play against us whilst we need some goals and points to rob Man Utd of the third CL place?
Yet another questionable decision by our man in charge!

Tim Stillman

She turned 17 in September, there’s no rush but we also have a lot of depth in midfield. I don’t think the chance has really been there yet but like I said, no rush. I’m glad Arsenal allowed her to play, they sent her out for experience and games and that’s what she’s getting.


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