Joe Montemurro reveals it was the 'most difficult' decision to step down as Arsenal manager
- Credit: PA
Joe Montemurro says "it was the most difficult decision of his professional career" after it was announced he was leaving his role as Arsenal Women's manager at the end of the season.
Montemurro who guided the Gunners to Women's Super League Glory in 2018-19 as Arsenal became the first team to win nine consecutive WSL games, netting 42 goals in the process.
Arsenal finished the year with the most goals in a single season, the most wins in a season and the most points of any team in WSL history.
Montemurro joined Arsenal from Melbourne City in 2017 and on the news that he is taking a professional break to recharge and dedicate more time to spending with his family told Arsenal.com: "First of all, I want to thank the club for allowing me to take this decision and respecting the decision.
“It’s synonymous of the club and the way it works and it’s been fantastic in allowing and wanting me to finish the season, which has been great. We still have a lot of ambition this year to go forward and obviously make the Champions League.
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“But above all else, I want to thank everyone for making this journey exciting and emotional. The people I’ve met along the way have become not just work colleagues and collaborators within the process, but they’ve become friends.
"The brand is a special brand and there’s something about it that unless you work here or you’ve been here, you don’t understand what it means to everyone around the world.
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“I can’t thank everyone enough for the way I’ve been allowed to do my work and the way I’ve been able to give the best of what I’ve been able to do, and I hope there’s a good base that we can all work off, and again, I can’t thank everyone enough.
"It’s a club that represents not only women’s football, but football as a whole in the manner that it needs to be represented. It’s been an absolute pleasure to be a part of this amazing brand.”
Montemurro grew up an Arsenal fan and says he will appreciate every minute he had on the training pitch with his team: “There are so many memories.
“I put on this training outfit every day and go to work and represent this amazing club. To have the privilege to do that and to have done that is probably one of the biggest highlights of my life, not even my football career."
“Just to be able to do that every day and to represent the club with the integrity and the respect and the brand that it is worldwide has been the platform and the base of everything I’ve dreamt of and everything I’ve worked towards.
“In terms of highlights, the biggest one hasn’t been so much the trophies and the victories and things like that, it’s the way we’ve gone about it. We’ve gone about it in a way which I think is really special, not only in the women’s game, but in football.
“The joy that we play the game with and the way we go about it for me has been the most rewarding thing. The amazing people I’ve met along the way, the amazing things I’ve learnt along the way, the amazing processes and things we’ve put in place has been fantastic, and I’ll cherish them for the rest of my life.”
Montemurro will leave the club on May, 31 as Arsenal start the search for his successor immediately.