Joe Montemurro believes we’ve handled the pressure of expectation admirably following our title-winning 2018/19 season.
Manchester City may have finished 2019/20 at the top of the table, but with a game in hand and seven still to play, we had every chance of defending our crown.
“I think we were leading into a really important part of the season and when you look at the games that we had remaining, it was set to be a really exciting end to the title race,” Montemurro told Arsenal.com.
“We still had a really good chance of achieving something and we placed ourselves in a really good position. We obviously had a little bit of a tough spot shortly after the new year with injuries and so on, but look, it’s always very, very difficult to back up a title-winning campaign with another. You become the hunted and the expectations are huge, and I’ve been so proud of the players for the way that they stepped up to that expectation and showed their worth by continuing to play that brand of football and winning games on an almost weekly basis.
“We achieved a lot in terms of records too with our 11-1 victory over Bristol City and setting a new WSL record attendance in the north London derby. We also made it to another cup final and our Champions League campaign was running along quite nicely, so there’s a lot of positive things for us to look back on!”
But we didn’t just make progress on the pitch. Following the popularity of the 2019 Women’s World Cup, we were able to succeed off it too.
“You’ve only got to look at the overseas interest, the impressive television viewing figures and rising matchday attendances to see how successful this season was,” Montemurro said.
“The platform that we’ve now built to launch ourselves off of is really exciting and I think all of us within the game have been missing it desperately. Because of that, I think the thirst to get back into our flow and back into the action will make things even more exciting when football returns, so I’m looking forward to an even bigger season.”
Copyright 2020 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source.