Joseph (Joe) “Pep” Montemurro, the Australian of Italian descent on course to make Arsenal Women winners again. Could he do the same for the men’s team?
This is what Joe had to say to Katie Whyatt of the Telegraph about Arsenal Women who last won the league title in 2012 and the all-conquering side that won it all in 2007 as the other big clubs started investing and winning (does that sound familiar?)..
“It was a big transition with other teams investing. The Man Citys and the Chelseas challenged the status quo of Arsenal being the dominant team. I think it needed to find its level of confidence, find its level of belief, find its level of enjoyment and what Arsenal stood for.”
“Arsenal’s always been synonymous with an attractive, proactive brand of football. It’s a football that excites, a football that entices. I think there’s also a level of integrity and respect that typifies Arsenal worldwide, as a club and as an identity.”
“I’ve always been a coach that loves teams to dominate with the ball. The most important thing is a level of fluidity, and I believe in what Arsenal stand for. It was a matter of me reiterating those messages, and allowing the players the freedom to start to enjoy their football again, to believe in what we’re trying to do. The reality is I put levels of clarity into what the ethos and the ethics of the team needed to be as a standard. It’s restoring those beliefs in your everyday work and your everyday language.”
How good were Arsenal Women of the past (pre 2013) –
Arsenal have won the FA Women’s Cup fourteen times, and the Women’s League Cup ten times. This includes eight League and FA Women’s Cup Doubles; in 1992–93, 1994–95, 2000–01, 2003–04, 2005–06, 2006–07, 2007–08 and 2008–09, and four domestic Trebles, in 1992–93, 2000–01 and 2006–07, 2008–09. Arsenal have represented England a total of seven times in the UEFA Women’s Champions League (formerly the UEFA Women’s Cup), and had previously reached the semi-finals twice (in 2002–03 and 2004–05).
The 2006–07 season was Arsenal’s most successful ever, having won not just all three domestic trophies but also the 2006–07 UEFA Women’s Champions League (then called the UEFA Women’s Cup), beating Umeå IK in the final 1–0 on aggregate; this was the first time any British club won the competition. On top of that Arsenal won the FA Women’s Community Shield as well as the local London County FA Women’s Cup. The end result was that the team won every single competition available to them, earning a unique sextuple. The wins that year came against full-time professional players, whereas most of the Arsenal team had full-time jobs. Additionally, Arsenal won all 22 games they played in the Premier League that season, scoring 119 goals and conceding just ten. In recognition of the achievement, the team were honoured with The Committee Award by the Sports Journalists’ Association in the 2007 Sports Journalists’ Awards.
So how well is Pep doing in 2018 –
Played 7 games:
4 Home Wins 18 Goals For, 4 Goals Against
3 Away Wins 16 Goals For, 0 Goals Against (that’s right, zero goals scored against them whilst away)
Total 7 Wins, 34 Goals for, 4 Goals Against, Undefeated so far.
Some of the big wins this season –
Beating Liverpool Women 5:0 at home
Beating Chelsea Women 0:5 away
Other high scoring wins whilst away 0:7 (at Yeovil Ladies) and FA WSL Cup 0:9 (at Lewes Ladies)
Could Pep make the transition to the First Team?
Pep cut his teeth in the difficult youth and senior men’s teams of the old Australian NSL and Victorian State Leagues. An ethnic diverse bunch of clubs representing Italian, Greek, Maltese and Croatian communities in which expectations are high and it’s all about the results to get respect. He has saved clubs from relegation and he has taken clubs to promotion. He has taken mens and womens teams through the entire season undefeated. He is also well qualified –
(wiki) In 2010, he completed his UEFA A license at Coverciano Italy via the FIGC (Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio). He also completed his UEFA Pro License at Coverciano in July 2014 and is a member of the Italian Coaches Association (AIAC). He also holds an AFC/FFA A License and completed the Master of Sports Coaching degree at the University of Queensland.
In his own words https://www.arsenal.com/news/joe-montemurro-my-own-words
“To put it simply, I’m a project coach. I love everything about the journey.
I’m not a smash-and-grab manager who goes in there, saves a club from a tight spot and then leaves. It’s about building a group and developing a DNA. It’s really, really important that everyone’s on a journey and everyone’s involved in a process to build something very, very special. That’s what I feel we’re going to achieve at Arsenal. “
And the Aussie ABC had this to say – It is Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola, however, with whom comparisons have recently been drawn. And not just because friends and family back in Victoria know Montemurro by the same abbreviated first name.
It could be the Catalan speaking when Montemurro explains his playing philosophy. “We want the ball … with the ball you’ve got control,” he says.
“We work a lot on that. And on positional play. That creates the framework for players to be innovative and creative within it and express themselves.”
So can Pep make the transition? Don’t be surprised to see him on the bench next to Emery before the end of this season. Could the backroom boys already be grooming our very own Pep to take over? Yes its a real possibility but I can also see him being tempted back home to his wonderful family, most likely as Australia’s new national Women’s coach in preparation for the Women’s World Cup to be played on Australian soil in 2023 (the Aussie WWC bid is already underway).
And the best thing is that Pep is living the dream. He has been a lifelong supporter of the Arsenal, let it be so…
So who has been to watch the transformation of the Arsenal Women’s team under the guidance of Pep?
Can you see Pep sitting alongside Emery in the not too distant future?
Could Pep become the new Pep at Arsenal?
Written by VP of Oz