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Montemurro on win, tactics, signings: trancript | Interview | News

We delivered a performance to remember in our opening Women’s Super League fixture as we ran out 6-1 winners over Reading on Sunday.

Joe Montemurro opted for changed system, with Leah Williamson anchoring the midfield and a wealth of attacking talent up front – and it certainly paid off.

We spoke to our head coach after the final whistle and here’s what he had to say:

on starting with a 3241 formation against Reading’s high press…

Reading have an overload in midfield, they have an extra player because they play with a 442 diamond. At times they don’t allow you to play out because they can stay in between the lines of your build-up so they can get to both areas whether you play wide or if you play centrally. The idea was to drag as many of them as possible towards our defensive line and have different ways that we could play through and out. When you play with a diamond it can make you very narrow so we thought we would have the opportunity to play in and then go on the outside and progress quite quickly.Our players did it very, very well today and when you have centre back and full-backs like Steph Catley and Noelle Maritz you can progress even higher because they look to take the ball in the second phase or in the phases further up. When you can use Leah Williamson and Lia Walti inside so they can progress it makes it easy for us to do. It was our strategy to draw them in and go beyond and we did that with a fair amount of success today.

on dealing with Reading’s physicality…
You know me by now, the more we have the ball the more you avoid the other team’s physicality. If you don’t have the ball you get drawn into physical battles. My players are physically well able to cope with the situation but most of all they can all play. The enjoyable thing for me today was that we didn’t get into those physical situations because we had the ball and that always has to win for us. I don’t really talk much about physicality and strength because our mentality is to have the ball.

on Steph Catley’s pass to Jordan Nobbs in the build-up to the second goal…

We won’t tell too many people because people will start studying us. To play that pass you have to prepare that pass and the movement of Jordan makes it too because she comes inside and then runs outside, so the full-back has to commit themselves and suddenly the space appears. She can certainly play that pass but I commend the players around her for preparing that pass.

on how our new signings have settled in…
They are all growing, they are all integrating well. Malin Gut and Caitlin Foord were very good today, I think we say Malin today especially 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.

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