Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Joe Montemurro reacts to 0-0 draw with Aston Villa

Arsenal were held to a goalless draw by Aston Villa at Meadow Park on Sunday as the visitors confirmed survival from relegation. Arsenal meanwhile finish the season in third and qualify for the Champions League. Joe Montemurro spoke to the press post match, the first four questions are from Arseblog News, the others are from other journalists.

On Villa marking player for player…
It wasn’t a surprise, no. We expected lots of players around the ball and no room to move and Villa did that really well today and the game went the way it did. A draw was a fair result.

On his message at half-time…
We had to stay patient because there was no space between the lines, our build-up was probably taking longer than we wanted and there was no room over the top or in behind. We changed the system at half-time, I lowered some players to see if we could draw their middle line out but we couldn’t get or rhythm and didn’t find a way through.

On bringing Steph Catley on at half time and switching to a back three…
We thought with a back three we could build up a tad lower and pull out their middle three but we just couldn’t find any solutions.

On whether the fact that Villa needed a result and Arsenal didn’t had a bearing….
Yeah I think so, there was a real objective for Villa, we wanted to finish the season off on a high but it showed and it took its toll in the game. Congratulations to Aston Villa on staying up.

On Joe’s emotions managing his final WSL game…
When you’re in the midst of it you don’t really have a chance to think about it, we had an objective in the last few weeks to qualify for the Champions League and we did it well. It is a little bit sad, I will miss this, I will miss this ground and I will miss being part of the WSL.

On his players this season…
They have been brilliant, I can’t speak highly enough of them. We’ve had a lot of ups and downs together, more ups, I hope we’ve all learned along the any and become better people for this journey we’ve been on together.

On Chelsea winning the title…
They’re a very powerful side with a very deep squad of talented players and those players win you games, like they did today, they find the solution when there isn’t a solution. They’ve done very well and we congratulate them and wish them the best for the Champions League also.

On a frustrating afternoon….
Frustrating is probably a good word, we’re a bit slow in executing today and then the frustrations kick in and then we started forcing things and then they don’t happen for you. That’s unlike us, we’re usually emotionally switched on but today we lacked there a little bit.

From Villa’s perspective they wanted to make sure they didn’t concede early and need to chase the game, they needed a point and the longer that went on, the better it was for them and we couldn’t find the solutions.

On why Joe was quieter on the touch line today compared to other games…
There have been games this season where I felt the group needed a little bit more guidance from the bench and there are games where I’ve chosen to do that. A lot of it has been on the back of some of the difficult times we’ve had this season and sometimes the emotions have been high and low and it’s important as a coach to step in when you need to.

On the frustration of not challenging for the title this season...
I think we recruited well this year and had a very sold squad, we lost Steph Catley, Jen Beattie and Viki Schnaderbeck for a long time and these things can add up. But we can’t look for excuses, at times this season we were fantastic and at times it didn’t work. That’s football and you have to take the good with the bad, but we always went out and tried to play our brand of football and give ourselves a chance of winning every game.

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Chris Humphrey

Thanks Joe.
You and the girls have given me some of the most memorable moments in my 55 years as a “card carrying” Gooner. Feel saddened that I couldnt be at Meadow Park today to shake your hand. Best wishes.


Not to be mean, but “we could not find the solutions” was mentioned twice as compared to the mention of chelsea’s players ability “to find the solution when there isn’t a solution”…..can we crudely conclude that the squad needs a reshuffle if Arsenal is going to contend for the title next season?


Last but not least, all the best in your future endeavours, Joe!


So that’s the end of Joe Montemurro’s journey, it’s hard to say whether he’s good enough or not for the team to progress. In my opinion, the team he has coached all this time is like walking in place, not bad but not getting better, but from now on everything has passed, I still thank him for the 2 trophies he presented during 3 seasons with AWFC. Thanks Joe, I wish you all the best in the future


“we had an objective in the last few weeks to qualify for the Champions League and we did it well” No, we just managed. One last second penalty to get 3 points last game and a draw now. We’re 1 point above Man United eventually. Doing it well would’ve meant winning comfortably these last 2 games. We actually did worse than last year. (Ok the season didn’t finish but still…) The only reason we’re in Champions League, is because there are 3 spots to be given away. If there had been only 2, we’re a lot further behind than we… Read more »

Joseph Kawooya

No when ur competition keeps fishing endlessly, their catch will be a bounty.
So what happens when Chelsea wins the UWCL, the thing with the men’s game is heading to the Women’s.
The utter oblivious dominance is nice nice. However Joe seems to experiment too much, but the Women’s game needs a vibe and less of merchants.

Viv The 🐐

It is quite Wenger-like: We looked good until the competition stepped their game up and we did little to move along. I think we miss a top player in pretty much every departement. GK (?), CB, one CM, and a winger. We have good or very good players everywhere (mostly in midfield), but as far as i’m concerned we miss the top top end quality. Real differencemakers. And Joe was also Wenger-like in the sense, that he player some nice football, had a good relationship with the players, and was all round a very pleasant person. But you are damn… Read more »


Are you saying that every manager in the league has an “edge about them” that Monte doesn’t have? Maybe a coach with a harder edge would have got better results–but given the Arsenal injury woes, I doubt it–and otherwise it seems a silly statement. Chelsea and ManCity had as much or roster quality than Arsenal–and that was BEFORE those teams went out and made some very big signings for this year. Is that on Monte or his bosses? It is stunningly similar to the way the men’s club has operated for many years–not as big a budget as the biggest… Read more »

Peter Story Teller

Not every manager has an “edge about them” but the successful ones do and that is what we have been missing. We cannot keep harping on about injuries forever and a day as it is part of a manager’s job to ensure that we have sufficient quality cover for those injuries with the players transferred in, and also to coach the players we do have to battle out results when necessary. I saw that once this season against Utd. Several times we should have beaten Chelsea but we didn’t and that is the difference between winning the league and being… Read more »

Fun Gunner

Exactly. Agree with both your comments, PST. And I would add that we have not signed less good players than Chelsea, just fewer.

Viv The 🐐

That is what I meant in the first place: When big questions were asked of us, we crumbled. In 3/4 matches against City/Chelsea this season, we were outplayed and outpressed. Similar to Arteta, it was not just because we had inferior players, but we had no idea of how to setup a good game against them. Even the two games against United could have been lost easily (which we did once).

Peter Story Teller

We have a good goalkeeper she is called Fran Stenson but because she is young we decided to save her ‘for the future’ until, of course, in true Arsenal women tradition she got injured without actually playing!


You’re awfully cynical. In fact the team went, what, 8 matches without conceding a goal and went 8-0-1 in its last 9? It has been a struggle at times this year–but at the end of the day the team got into Champions League and the fact that they didn’t win the last two matches “comfortably” means nothing.

Peter Story Teller

I’m afraid Joe showed his colours when he answered question one “It wasn’t a surprise, no. We expected lots of players around the ball and no room to move and Villa did that really well today and the game went the way it did. A draw was a fair result.” “Nice bloke” and “popular” but football is a competition and you are meant to be the winner! Can you imagine Emma Hayes or Casey Stoney saying we had 79% possession and 18 shots but 0-0 was a “fair result” especially since that’s what we expected before kick off? Let’s hope… Read more »

Fun Gunner

Absolutely fair comment.


The nature of the game was affected by the fact that we’d already achieved a CL place and Villa were still in a relegation fight. Nevertheless, a bit of a disappointing display to end the WSL season. It did give me the heebie-jeebies when I realised that if we hadn’t got that last-minute penalty against Everton, United would have finished one point above us – fine margins can be much too fine!


Just about limped over the finishing line. I think the team needs a fresh start, so the timing is right for montemurro.

We achieved the minimum target with the minimum of margin. Dont think anyone will really agree that it was good enough.

Anyway, we move on. Looking at the shambles the club currently is in from top to bottom, i am not really optimistic that we will get the rebuilding right.

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