Interview

‘At some points I can even become a winger’

Williamson shields the ball in training

Leah Williamson has always been a technically gifted central defender, but under the guidance of Joe Montemurro, she’s been able to display that better than ever before.

Montemurro’s side won the FA WSL Continental Cup and reached the final of the SSE Women’s FA Cup last season, but it’s his footballing philosophy that’s installing belief and confidence into his players. 

“I think even as a player sometimes you don’t know where you’re going to fit best,” Williamson told Arsenal Player.

“But I think the main thing is that with Joe’s style of play it’s very free moving and at some points I can even become a winger. Realistically if we get to that standard of playing where we’re all balanced, he’s not necessarily bothered about where people are on the pitch as long as we’re balanced.

“Everybody is versatile and we have a lot of versatile players, so it just means that we’re more comfortable as a team in the way that we’re playing.”

Tabea Kemme, Lia Walti, Viktoria Schnaderbeck and Pauline Peyraud-Magnin were all brought to the club this summer to strengthen Montemurro’s side - and already Williamson’s been taken back by their professionalism and quality. 

“Personally, I’m really happy with everyone that’s come in. Everybody’s just adopted the Arsenal mindset and everybody is really listening and trying to get up to speed.

“We have very high standards, so we don’t intend on slowing down and they need to catch up quickly. But that’s exactly what they’re doing and they’re all really, really hard workers and that comes from the European side of the game and playing abroad, so they can only strengthen us.”

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