Montemurro says Arsenal can be even better despite Reading rout in opener
- Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo
Arsenal manager Joe Montemurro says his side can do ‘even better’ following the opening Women’s Super League 6-1 victory over Reading on Sunday afternoon.
Jill Roord scored a hat-trick while Vivianne Miedema netted two and Kim Little started the rout as former Gunners star Danielle Carter pulled a late goal back for Reading.
The Australian said: “We can do even better than this, we have to keep our standards very very high. They pressed us very high at the beginning of the first half and at the start of the second half, they are a very well organised pressing team and we had to find solutions.
“It’s the first game of the season and we are on our trajectory to make sure we get things done and I am proud of the team.
“For those that have followed us over recent years it has been interesting, I wouldn’t say negative, I would say interesting, and we have the makings of a winning team.
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“You have to have a squad, you have to have the options, but you also need to keep the group together because you have to make some very important decisions each week to leave out “key” players and they have to understand that it might be for ten minutes or half a game and that’s what makes good squads.
“The way we want to play is very pro-active and sometimes that is difficult to do for 90 minutes or for three or four games in a row, but that is our intention and with the squad we have and the football intelligence that we have, hopefully we can dictate games.”
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Jill Roord who scored the first hat-trick of the new season and already surpassed her league record for goals in 2019-20 was praised by her manager as Montemurro went on to add: “When I signed Jill I saw someone special and I saw someone with immense ability especially to find space, but also to play higher up, protect the ball and find the pass, which is very important.
“I think it was three or four times in the first half where she just stayed in an area because we had the ability to prepare and build up and find her in very dangerous areas in between lines. She did very, very well during the game.
“It was good last year that we got her a lot of football and we worked on her defensive phase. The big thing we are looking for from Jill is to find that level and maintain it, she can float in and out of games sometimes and become complacent because she is so talented.
“I’ve given her that challenge this week to make a seven or eight out of 10 as her base and everything else above that is a bonus. She has understood that challenge and hopefully we’ll see more of what we saw in this game throughout the season.”
Arsenal also handed league debuts to summer signings Noelle Maritz, Steph Catley and Malin Gut as well as Caitlin Foord and he said on their performances.
“They are all growing, they are all integrating well. Malin Gut and Caitlin Foord were very good today, I think what we saw in Malin today shows she will be a special player for Arsenal.
“I’ve said this before. We saw the power of Caitlin Foord getting in some amazing positions where she probably could have had a goal or two so I’m really excited that we have the possibility to do all different things, not just in an approach to a game but throughout games.
“If we need to change things, if we need to play with different types of wingers, or we know that Caitlin can play centrally if we need a second striker, then we can do that.
“It’s been quite deliberate in doing that and that’s what I’m excited about.”
Arsenal now prepare to face West Ham United Women away from home this coming weekend with a 5.25 kick off at Victoria Road, the home of Dagenham & Redbridge, on BT Sport.