Arsenal Women can really shine under Montemurro next season claims Yankey

Arsenal Women celebrates winning the Continental Tyres Cup Final at Adams Park, Wycombe.

Arsenal Women celebrates winning the Continental Tyres Cup Final at Adams Park, Wycombe. - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Joe Montemurro masterminded an Arsenal revival when he took charge of Arsenal Women in November but next season will provide a greater platform on which to shine.

That is according to Gunners legend Rachel Yankey, who played a key role in the all-conquering Arsenal side that won domestic and European silverware for fun between 2006 and 2009.

Chelsea and Manchester City have emerged as the new forces, but despite a mixed start to last season, Arsenal won one trophy and made the final of another competition after Australian Montemurro took to reins.

The club has been boosted by Dutch trio Danielle van de Donk, Sari van Veenendaal and Dominique Janssen penning new deals and former England forward Yankey now feels a full pre-season will give the manager a greater chance to stamp his authority on the team and take them to the next level.

“The new manager has come in and settled the team down and put his own style in,” said Yankey, who enjoyed 11 trophy-laden years at the club from 2005 to 2016.

“Next season will be the time where you can really test what Joe is all about and what he wants from the team.

“Everyone will know where they need to be at and they need to playing in these major showpiece finals at Wembley. They need to get back up there and push for the Champions League and winning the division – it’s a pressure that comes with playing for Arsenal. The fact he’s re-signed the Dutch players – they’re European Championship winners, it’s a massive statement. I think Arsenal will be up there.”

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Arsenal ended the FA WSL league season strongly, finishing one point behind Manchester City in second and seven adrift of champions Chelsea.

And despite their rivals establishing themselves as teams to beat in recent times, Yankey is confident Arsenal’s rich tradition and history will serve them well.

“Arsenal can be very strong, the history of the club and quality of the players they can produce throughout the youth system and bring into the club through outside sources is immense,” added Yankey, speaking at a Play on the Pitch experience day at Wembley Stadium for lucky SSE Reward members.

“It’s dipped in recent years but the values of the club and what the club needs to do is make sure they push on.”

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