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‘What Little told me about Montemurro’

Emma Mitchell celebrates with Danielle van de Donk

Team-mates for both club and country, Kim Little has told Emma Mitchell all about new manager Joe Montemurro.

Having helped us progress to the next round of the Continental Tyres Cup, Mitchell was in good spirits following the full-time whistle at Kings Langley, where we beat Watford 6-0.

The defender bagged her fourth goal of the season against the Hornets and after the game revealed what Little had told her to expect from Montemurro.

on what Kim Little told her about Joe Montemurro…
She just said that she really enjoyed working under him and that he has a good work ethic. I don’t know too much about him personally, but when he comes in and the girls are back it will give us a good opportunity to get to know him.

on the performance…
I think it’s important for us to get into the quarter-finals, so it’s a good result in terms of that. We spoke at half-time and just said that we needed to move the ball quicker and came out to score an early goal, which I think helped to settle us. We got more and more goals, so I think the second half was a really good performance.

on scoring yet another goal this season…
I think it’s just because it’s the first season where I’ve really been allowed to go up at set-pieces and that’s where most of my goals have been.

on winning the Continental Cup…
We’re Arsenal, we always want to win. We want to win every competition that we’re in and we’re in the next round for this one, so that’s important for us.

on the international break…
I think it will be a nice break for us, and for those of us that aren’t playing we’ll be getting to meet up with Joe, so it will be interesting to do that and obviously when the girls come back we’ll start focusing on Liverpool.

Interview

‘I’ve dreamed about this since I was a mascot!’

It’s a moment that she has dreamed about her entire life, and when it came she couldn’t help but cry.

When Leah Williamson found out that she had been called up to the England senior team emotion overwhelmed her, but now she is focused on taking her chance and making it count.

We caught up with Leah soon after the news broke and here is what she had to say:

on what it means to be called up by England…
I think it’s just everybody’s dream isn’t it. It’s got to be everybody’s first major goal from the minute that they first kick a football. I don’t know anybody that doesn’t want to play for their country, so it’s a huge honour and I’m very proud. It’s a bit surreal at the moment, but I’m sure once I link up with the team it will feel more real.

on whether she was nervous or excited when she found out…
I actually had a little cry really quickly for about five seconds, but I’m glad I felt that way because obviously it’s nice to know that it means as much as you always thought it would. I’m just very proud, I love my country and representing my country, so getting closer to that is just part of the dream. I mainly feel pride, but a little bit of excitement in there as well along with some nerves, because you just want to stay there once you get there.

on her family’s reaction…
It takes a lot to get to the stage where I am now in football and I wouldn’t have been able to do it without my parents or my family, so it’s almost a reward for them as well, which is nice to be able to that and say that it has all paid off.

Leah has captained her country at various age groups

on how she found out about the call up…
Dan Carter text me actually. I didn’t even understand what she said, they were just random words and loads of emojis, so I had no idea. I was a bit confused, and then got a couple more texts through on my phone, one from my best mate who also got called up, so I thought that I better check my emails. I rang my mum straight away obviously, she’d be mad with me if I didn’t. I then got the call from the manager and she just told me that it was a good time to join the squad. I’ve had some previous experience with this manager, so she knows a bit about me, about who I am and what I’m about, so she just told me that there’s no pressure and to just enjoy it. She said that I deserved it, so just to play like I have been doing.

on going from a mascot to an England international…
It’s unbelievable and kind of surreal, I’m trying not to think about it too much. I’ve waited 20 years for this and dreamed about it since I was just a mascot, hoping to achieve this, so I’m just really privileged. From being just a fan to possibly representing them is the thing that sticks out for me, as I’m genuinely a fan and I love this country. Whether I’m involved or not, I always want us to win, so to be involved is a dream come true.

on whether she feels like it’s been a long time coming…
I was called up to the squad when I was 17 to the pre-World Cup camp and unfortunately I got injured. I’m only 20 and just to make the squad at this age is quite special and hopefully the first of many, so yes to get into it any younger than this would have been quite remarkable considering all the talent in this country right now, so I’m just glad to be in it now.

on what her teammates have said…
I got some messages from the girls in the England squad that play for Arsenal, which was nice. I know a lot of the girls anyway, so hopefully I’ll be able to sit in, in that sense and I’m sure they’ll be there for me to point me in the right direction.

In 2015, Leah booked England under-19s their spot at the European Championships, converting an unconventional retaken penalty

on whether she may want to be a captain down the line…
I mean, that the only thing better than playing for your country is captaining your country and I’ve obviously shown traits in the past that have appealed to managers. They seemed to have believed in me in terms of being a leader, but it’s definitely not something that’s on my mind right now, I just want to play football and hopefully fit right in.

on whether it will help with her club football…
I think it has to help. Every day with England will push me as a player and hopefully I’ll be learning all the time, picking up as much information as I possibly can. I’d definitely put that into my game at Arsenal.

Interview

How Montemurro can take us to the next level

With Joe Montemurro starting work this week, a new era has arrived for Arsenal Women.

The Australian has arrived from Melbourne City, where he achieved back-to-back titles, and Heather O’Reilly is excited to work with the new manager.

“I think that we’re all looking forward to it,” O’Reilly told Arsenal.com. “I think that we’re kind of looking for this one extra piece in terms of our identity and our style. 

“I’m hoping that the new manager comes in and tidies that up, giving us a bit of positive direction going forward, but I know that there’s a lot of depth and experience on this team.

“I mean, you have Champions League winners, Olympic gold medalists, World Cup winners and European Championship medalists, we have a lot of winners on this squad and we have a lot of people that have performed in world events, so now we just need to put all the pieces together.

“I think in general, coming from the Australian league I think they value a lot of possession, they value a lot of one-on-one battles on the wings and those are some things that we’re looking forward to winning.”

Interview

Little - Why Montemurro is a perfect fit

Having worked with Joe Montemurro during her time with Melbourne City, Kim Little knows what our new manager can bring to the club.

The Australian coach led Melbourne to two league titles in back-to-back seasons, including an unbeaten campaign in 2015/16, which Little was a part of.

“I worked with him for four months and I played out in Melbourne in the W League there, and I really enjoyed working with him.” Little told Arsenal.com. “He likes to coach and play the way that I enjoy playing, which is playing good football with a purpose with a kind of relaxed atmosphere around the team.

“I played under him for  quite a short period of time, but we had a great team there and we played possession based football, playing through the thirds with a purpose trying to break teams down as quickly and effectively as possible.

“Everybody doesn’t know too much about Joe, because he has obviously been coaching in Melbourne, but we’re all looking forward to him coming in, putting his stamp on the team and taking us forward in terms of performance.”

Post-Match Report

Women: Watford 0-6 Arsenal - Report

WHAT HAPPENED

We struck six past Watford, with three goals in four minutes late on burying the Hornets at Gaywood Park to see us progress to the next round of the Continental Cup.

We asserted ourselves early in the game as Jodie Taylor struck after just 15 minutes, meeting Emma Mitchell’s drilled pass to tap in from just a few yards out.

Shortly after the break, we added a second, this time through Dan Carter, who met Lisa Evans’ cross  at the back post with the goal gaping.

Bang on the hour, Mitchell turned from creator to goalscorer, swivelling in front of goal and firing the ball under Fran Kitching.

We struck again soon after, this time through Dominque Janssen who deftly flicked the ball in from a corner, before Danielle Van de Donk lobbed Kitching just a minute later.

Taylor wrapped up the scoring soon after, claiming her second of the game as we sealed a dominant win.

WHAT IT MEANS

Victory sees us top our group, leapfrogging Reading, putting up us in pole position to progress to the next round. The Royals have, however, got a game in hand.

WHAT’S NEXT

Following the international break we host Liverpool in the Women’s Super League, who beat Aston Villa 5-1 in their previous fixture and travel to Sunderland before meeting us.

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