Break will benefit players says Arsenal’s Montemurro
- Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo
Arsenal Women’s manager Joe Montemurro says the break ahead of the next Super League season will benefit his players.
The defending champions were in third place when the 2019/20 season was announced as over on Monday, with Manchester City sitting top and Chelsea second with a game in hand.
Speaking to Arsenal.com, Australian Montemurro said: “It’s crucial because it’s like a pressure valve that’s finally been taken off.
“They can now re-calibrate, re-connect with family and enjoy some quality time with their friends once guidelines permit.
“It’s been so valuable for them to really connect with others and gain a better understanding of being themselves again, because after constantly being in high-pressure situations, you’re almost always on guard and aware of how you’re coming across in the media and on the pitch.
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“Just to take that pressure valve off is really, really important and for a lot of them this time off will prove to be a real god send.”
Montemurro has given his full support to the decision to end the season, adding: “It was a little expected, and I was a little bit relieved too.
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“We needed a decision and we needed to put closure on where we were heading for a lot of reasons and anxiety problems, but also to make sure that we can plan and prepare accordingly.
“I think it’s the right decision and I think that now we have closure, we can all move on and prepare.”
When asked if the players are in good shape, he said: “They are. They’ve been brilliant in terms of adhering to the protocols we put in place and trying to get their own anxieties and mental health in check.
“They’ve been fantastic and this reboot is going to be very, very important. Finishing the WSL was crucial, not just for the understanding of where we stand now, but I think it would have compromised the 2020/21 season too and there would have been a knock-on effect with the Olympics coming up, the Euros in 22 and a World Cup in 23, so the majority of players wouldn’t have got a break.
“The decision has been the right one, but more importantly, with the knock on effect for years to come I think we’ll benefit from the decision that’s been made.”