‘It’s a Work in Progress’ Joe Montemurro Speaks Exclusively to Arseblog News

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Arsenal Women thrashed Juventus Women 5-0 at Meadow Park on Sunday in a pre-season friendly. Tim Stillman caught up with Arsenal boss Joe Montemurro after the game on the shape of the squad, injuries, Vivianne Miedema, Lisa Evans and whether he will delve into the transfer market again before the window closes on Thursday.

On the 5-0 win over Juventus…
It’s still a work in progress, we tinkered with a few things over pre-season and it showed its worth today, we wanted to play with intensity. It’s important that the players start playing 90 minute games now from a conditioning perspective. I’m pleased, but it’s a work in progress.

On whether Jess Samuelsson and Jordan Nobbs will be fit for the WSL opener against Liverpool…
They will both be ready for the first game against Liverpool.

On Viki Schnaderbeck’s injury…
Viki is one we’re looking at. She sustained an injury against Everton last week (in a behind closed doors friendly) and we’re assessing her at the moment and we’re getting some specialist advice, but I can’t actually tell you how long she’ll be out for right now.

On whether there will be further additions before the close of the transfer window on Thursday…
We’ve got a fair few players still to come back, we’ve got the likes of Tabea Kemme, Jordan Nobbs and Jess Samuelsson to come back, Pauline [Peyraud-Magnin] also. From a squad perspective, I’m very happy with the squad. But we’ll look at it, we’ll assess it and see whether it’s worth it or not.

At the moment, we’ve got a squad that we think is adaptable and that’s the most important thing. We played Dominique Bloodworth at right back today, we can play her as a central midfielder or a centre back, we can play Danielle van de Donk as a 6, an 8 or a 10.

We played Katie McCabe and Lisa Evans as wide forwards today, both can play at full-back. I always try to work with a tight squad, but a fluid squad where lots of players can play 3 or 4 different positions and that’s the most important thing for me.

Lia Wälti has played as a centre-back, but she played in midfield today, we are blessed to have a player of that quality that understands tempo, who understands how to control a game. We’ve still got Jordan, Jessica and Tabea to come in. We brought a small squad today on purpose because we wanted to get 90 minutes out of most of the players.

On Lisa Evans…
I played her at right-back last season to give us another dimension and another option in the position. Now I’ve got a Lisa Evans who can play up high, but if I need her as a full-back I have that option. She can play in a three at the back too, so it’s quite elastic. It just confirms how we’ve chosen to build this squad and why we’re building it in this manner.

On Vivianne Miedema…
I’m biased, but she’s one of the best centre forwards in the world. Not just as a centre forward though, she’s just a really smart player. We don’t really play with an out and out centre forward, we play with midfielders that like to get forward and Viv can come short and play and draw defenders in so we find space in behind.

She knows when to do that. I am so happy for her today, she struggled a bit with injury last year. She had a big campaign with the Netherlands in the Euros and didn’t quite come back fully fit and she never really got fit on a consistent basis. It’s another huge plus to us that she is so fit and so sharp now.

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Gooner
Gooner

Did you ask him about Ella?

Tim Stillman
Tim Stillman

Aye, she is on trial and will travel with the squad to France this weekend.

Gooner
Gooner

I know that is what Sulvain Jamet has said but seems strange as our squad size is a clear worry if we get a few injuries. She is a really talented player having scored a brilliant goal against us last season.

Double98
Double98

What a way to announce ourselves to world women’s football.!!
Arsenal women thrash old ladies

Magneto
Magneto

Thanks for this, Tim.

It’s good to see that Joe M, like Arsene, knows the value of having players who can
operate in more than one position.

This is the reason why managers & coaches try players out in different positions at
different times…to see what they can do and how they get on, to deepen their
understanding of the requirements of particular positions, and to aid their all round
development as players.

Robert Ritchie
Robert Ritchie

Arsenal played so well yesterday and that was without Jordan so bodes well for the season ahead, could this be our season. I certainly hope so and so good to see the team get off to a flying start.

Fun Gunner
Fun Gunner

Thank you, Tim.
I watched the live stream from arsenal.com, I was absolutely thrilled with what I saw. If Waelti’s performance is indicative of the standard of the other two players we bought, then this is the best Arsenal Women squad ever. No areas of weakness that I can see, except, based on last season’s matches against Chelsea and Birmingham City, a slight worry that we might struggle against very physical opponents. Our stamina clearly is top-notch, though.
JM must be walking on air after that showing.

Fun Gunner
Fun Gunner

And doesn’t Miedema remind you of RVP? Pre-snakiness, obviously.

Fun Gunner
Fun Gunner

This is a question for Tim.

When you said in your Twitter feed that you have a hunch that Arsenal will sign another CB, did you mean AWFC? Because I have been secretly hoping that we would nab Gabby George from Everton.

Tim Stillman
Tim Stillman

Yes, they want to look at getting a CB in. The prognosis for Schnaderbeck is not good. Gabby George was exactly who I had in mind too, but at this stage, I don’t think Arsenal have a precise name in mind (though that might have changed since yesterday!)

RvP is Miedema’s hero, he recorded a video for her when she scored her 50th goal for the Netherlands. She grew up a Feyenoord fan and adores him.

Kemperboyd
Kemperboyd

Hard stuff with Schnaderbeck. Sign someone in and have them go down in pre-season. For her too, that’s awful to go abroad and be hurt in a matter of weeks.

Tim Stillman
Tim Stillman

Indeed, we agreed the Kemme deal before she got injured in March too.

Fun Gunner
Fun Gunner

Thanks. Fingers crossed for VS and/or for us getting Gabby George.