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Arsenal Women’s boss Montemurro discusses life in lockdown Down Under

PUBLISHED: 16:19 06 May 2020 | UPDATED: 16:19 06 May 2020

Arsenal manager Joe Montemurro during Arsenal Women vs Lewes FC Women, Women's FA Cup Football at Meadow Park on 23rd February 2020

Arsenal manager Joe Montemurro during Arsenal Women vs Lewes FC Women, Women's FA Cup Football at Meadow Park on 23rd February 2020

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468

Arsenal Women’s manager Joe Montemurro has been discussing life in isolation back at home in Melbourne, Australia.

Arsenal manager Joe Montemurro during West Ham United Women vs Arsenal Women, Women's FA Cup Football at Rush Green Stadium on 26th January 2020Arsenal manager Joe Montemurro during West Ham United Women vs Arsenal Women, Women's FA Cup Football at Rush Green Stadium on 26th January 2020

Speaking to Gunners legend Ian Wright on Adidas hometeam, when asked about his time in lockdown Montemurro said: “We’re recovering well, the kids are good, my daughter’s still in the UK so we’re a bit split but we’re all good.”

Being in Australia, Montemurro was asked how hard is it to speak to and manage his players during this time, but responded in a positive manner adding: “Obviously from the day to day the connection, the banter just basically being on the pitch, that routine makes it very difficult, but we’ve just got to make it work under these situations.

“We’ve got a responsibility in these situations, but I think the most important thing is to be available.

“The players’ mental heath and their wellbeing is paramount. As long as they can pick up the phone and have a chat and communicate, it’s also a good time for them to reboot, so we’re making the most of what situation we’ve got like everyone else.”

Arsenal manager Joe Montemurro (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)Arsenal manager Joe Montemurro (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Talking about his coaching style and methodology, Montemurro said: “We believe in obviously having the ball more than the other team, we believe if we control the ball, we control our destin.

“We’re very proactive and we want to make sure that when we do have the ball there is an efficency to make sure we do something with it,it’s part of what we do.”

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As for the current situation in light of the coronavirus pandemic, and the mental health of his players, he added: “Of course it worries me, it’s a situation which is strange, it’s unprecedented and it’s a situation where obviously our choices have been taken away from us.

Arsenal Women manager Joe Montemurro celebrates winning the Continental Tyres Cup Final at Adams Park, Wycombe in 2018. Picture: Nigel French/PAArsenal Women manager Joe Montemurro celebrates winning the Continental Tyres Cup Final at Adams Park, Wycombe in 2018. Picture: Nigel French/PA

“We now have to toe the line and make sure we’re doing the right things. To be able to balance that with your own situation is very, very difficult, but I’m always looking at it as a positive situation that we can find the time to recharge and reboot and maybe do some things you’ve wanted to do for a while.

“I’m taking it as a real positive step forward to improve, learn, be better and come back finding a new love for the game.”

A boyhood Arsenal fan, Montemurro was asked is it hard to manage the club he supports and how he got into the game and said: “At a young age we got very little football, obviously we don’t come from a football culture, we play Aussie Rules, rugby and cricket and it was tough because, obviously you come from a migrant family, Italian migrant, we love football.

“Football is part of our staple diet, or soccer, and you’re surrounded by other sports, so you had to become resilient, you had to fight for your little place that you had, whether it was in the school yard or whether it was out playing in the streets and so on.

Arsenal women's manager Joe Montemurro celebrates with the trophy during the FA Women's Super League match at Meadow Park, London. Picture: John Walton/PAArsenal women's manager Joe Montemurro celebrates with the trophy during the FA Women's Super League match at Meadow Park, London. Picture: John Walton/PA

“That probably gave me a little bit of grounding to love the game and really fight for it, so it was great from that perspective.”

Finally, talking about his community work in Australia and combining that with Arsenal in the Community he said: “The updates we are getting and the amazing amount of work getting done is fantastic. Arsenal in the Community is just absolutely amazing, I’m really proud to be associated with all that.

“I’m just doing a little bit myself, a little bit of volunteer work. I’m putting packs together for some under-privileged kids and we’re going to be delivering them.

“Every little bit, it’s only a small thing, but a lot of fun and to put some smiles on the faces of some under-privileged kids is fantastic.”


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