Arsenal boss Joe Montemurro will no doubt allow himself a moment of quiet reflection at some point before his Gunners side take on Manchester City tomorrow (Saturday) in the final game of the Women’s Super League.
Montemurro has been the orchestrator of a title-winning campaign with the silverware confirmed after Arsenal beat Brighton last week to deny City any chance of catching them at the summit and consign them to a runners-up spot, with Chelsea coming in third place. Montemurro’s outfit hit four past the Seagulls to get their hands on the trophy for the first time since 2012.
The trophy will be held aloft at Meadow Park, home of Boredom Wood, one way or another — and for Montemurro it will be a special moment made so much better, he says, because he is at heart a supporter as well as head coach.
Speaking to the club’s official website, he said: “To coach an Arsenal team to a championship as an Arsenal fan is mind-boggling. It’s something I’d never have thought about in growing up and becoming a coach. I’m very proud and very honoured to be here as an Arsenal coach.
“Winning the title means a lot because we’ve had an interesting year. They’ve come together as a group and there’s been a lot of adversity with regards to the injuries and so on. As a group, the love and the respect they have for each other really culminates in what we’ve achieved today.
“I’m very proud of the way we did it with control, defined our own destiny. We didn’t have to rely on other teams dropping points or anyone else losing. It was just us and that’s all credit to the players who were prepared every week and bought into the philosophy and methodology of play. They’ve represented Arsenal in the best way possible.”
Arsenal defender Leah Williamson, meanwhile, has spoken of the desire to maintain consistency over a long hard season; one that was in many respects made even more testing due to the fact that so many injuries were sustained.
She said: “You fool yourself into thinking you’re in the clear each time. But this is my first league championship, I will learn and adjust my mentality next time. The bottom line is that if we didn’t win this week or next week, we wouldn’t have won a piece of silverware — and that wouldn’t have been a successful season for this football club.
“I felt a bit silly because I started crying on the pitch at the end. But I won’t apologise for having that emotion after winning the title for the club I love. It’s all I’ve wanted to do since I’ve joined this team. I joke about it a lot, but it’s true!
“When I was a youth player growing up I thought I could just wander into Arsenal and win trophies, but it’s not that easy because the game has developed so much. To win that out there in a competitive league is unbelievable. I thought it might come sooner when I was younger, but the fact it’s taken this long almost makes it sweeter. I’m all out of emotion.”