‘We wanted to cement the reality we were the best’
Despite securing the Women’s Super League title almost two weeks ago, Joe Montemurro was keen to make a statement against Manchester City on Saturday.
Nick Cushing’s side were on the verge of completing an unbeaten domestic season, but thanks to a stunning latewinner from Emma Mitchell, we were able to finish our campaign seven points clear at the top of the table.
We spoke to Montemurro after the final whistle - and this is what he said:
on his thoughts at the final whistle…
Relief! It’s that feeling of knowing I can relax and start to enjoy what was and what’s to come.
on ending the season the right way - with a win…
It was very important for us to go out with a win an that’s been the message all week. This was an opportunity for us to cement the reality that we were the best team. We won the league by seven points and that’s no fluke. There’s no ‘We could have, we should have or we might have’, no, no, no. That’s done and I think that’s all credit to everyone in the team. The bigger thing for me now is the sustainability and the fact that this Arsenal team have lost their soft underbelly that would have maybe seen them crumble in previous years. They want to win, they want to go on and they want to represent the club in the right way.
on having the league’s most dangerous attack and tightest defence…
Everyone understood what we needed to do and why. I’ve spoken a lot about our methodology and our style, but these are the insurance policies that these players have got. They know that if they stick to these insurance policies then they’ll play a game that’s good enough to either get a result or be close to getting a result. This team has shown their level of selflessness this season and it’s been incredible to see. They care for each other and all they want is the best for each other - and that showed on the park today.
on what pleased him most about performance…
The first half was great and we were unlucky not to be leading at the break. Our pressing up high was very effective. Sometimes the timing was just a little out and that allowed them to cut us open a few times, but what a way to finish it?!You have to give credit to every team in this league because they’re all good teams and they all pose different problems. Manchester City and Chelsea are both very good teams and you can guarantee that they’ll be better next season too, Birmingham and Reading too. I’m already looking forward to next season.
on the departures of Bloodworth and Van Veenendaal…
They deserve all the plaudits for everything that they’ve been, from a professional player to being a great character. They really love this club. I’m so proud to have coached them and to have been a part of their development. But I’m also proud that they’ll take a bit of Arsenal with them wherever they go.
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