Arsenal boss Montemurro is expecting tough season with WSL massively improving

File photo dated 19-01-2020 of Chelsea’s Mille Bright and Arsenal’s Vivianne Miedema in action durin

File photo dated 19-01-2020 of Chelseas Mille Bright and Arsenals Vivianne Miedema in action during the Women's Super League match at Meadow Park, Borehamwood. - Credit: PA

Arsenal boss Joe Montemurro says the new Women’s Super League season is his toughest yet since taking over as manager.

Arsenal Women Manager Joe Montemurro

Arsenal Women Manager Joe Montemurro - Credit: PA

The Gunners, who finished third last season, kick off the new season against Reading on Sunday at home with Danielle Carter and Emma Mitchell returning to Meadow Park for the Royals.

Last season they met twice - once in the league as Arsenal won 3-0 away from home, thanks to a Vivianne Miedema double and a superb Kim Little team goal.

They also clashed in the Continental Cup as Arsenal went all the way to the final before coming up short against Chelsea however they knocked Kelly Chambers side out en route due to a late Kim Little strike.

Montemurro’s thoughts on just how tough the league will be come after Chelsea added world superstar Pernille Harder to their squad on Tuesday and Manchester City look set to announce England duo Lucy Bronze and Alex Greenwood as signings.

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City have also added USA World Cup winners Rose Lavelle and Samantha Mewis to their squad as the WSL grows and gains even more attention from all around the globe.

Montemurro led Arsenal to the title in 2018/19 and believes his side are ready for the battle ahead, saying: “We take nothing for granted.”

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“There are some very, very good players that have joined some good clubs but this works hand in hand with the growth of the clubs themselves, the importance their women’s teams have as part of the holistic growth of an organisation and the brand,” he said.

“I think that’s working hand in hand so obviously the players are better, the teams are better, also better staff, better coaches

“I think the growth [of the WSL] is looking very, very healthy from here on but it is going to be a difficult season.

“I’m pretty clear with the direction and what I want to recruit for what we need. I’ve probably been pretty lucky that most of the players we’ve been able to target within the means that we’ve got have come on board.

“Obviously when you see the big names that are coming, and are probably going to come over the next week, you think OK they are obviously an organisation that can work within those means and you have to accept it.”

Arsenal have made four summer signings, bringing in Malin Gut, Steph Catley, Lydia Williams and Noelle Maritz to bolster their squad ahead of the new campaign.

He added: “Reading are a very, very, good team, there are lot of good teams so it’s going to be even more important this year because there are five or six teams that could unlock you and could surprise you.”

The Gunners kick off at Meadow Park at 12.30 on Sunday afternoon as they go in search for yet another title challenge.

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