Montemurro hands Arsenal successor a place in last eight

Gunners book spot in September’s FA Cup quarter-final in his boss's final match

Thursday, 20th May 2021 — By Catherine Etoe

Joe Montemurro

Arsenal boss Joe Montemurro

EMOTIONS were running high on Sunday as Joe Montemurro took his final bow as Arsenal boss having booked a spot in September’s FA Cup quarter-final for his successor.

Quite who that new manager will be, we wait to learn. But 51-year-old Montemurro, who is leaving to “reboot” and spend time with his family, had a few words of advice for the lucky candidate.

“I’m in no position to tell anyone what they should be doing,” he said. “I can only say, be privileged to be at a great club and this great brand.

“Every day you put the badge on, wear it with a sense of pride and wear it with the enjoyment of doing some great work.”

The Australian was bursting with pride after his last hurrah with the club that he joined in 2017 and led to Continental Cup and Women’s Super League glory.

Championship side Crystal Palace were blitzed 9-0 by eight different scorers in their 5th round FA Cup clash to bring Montemurro’s winning tally to 85 in 108 games.

“It was a nice recap game in terms of the brave way we wanted to play,” he said afterwards. “We took a few risks and I like that, I couldn’t have asked for any more.”

The same could not be said for Emma Hayes and Chelsea, who barely even got out of first gear in their 4-0 loss to Barcelona in the Champions League final in Gothenburg on Sunday. The WSL champions unravelled after conceding a flukey own-goal after just 33 seconds, a penalty on 14 minutes and two further goals with a mere 36 minutes gone.

“The game was over before it began,” admitted Camden-born Blues boss Hayes, adding: “The better team won. We just have to reflect on it calmly in the summer months.”

Former Parliament Hill School pupil Hayes said Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich had met with her team after the defeat and they had promised him they would reach the final again.

The immediate future was a more pressing concern upon their return from Sweden, however. The double-winning Blues have to go again tonight (Thursday) in their last match of the season, an FA Cup 5th round tie against Everton.

Spurs joined Arsenal in the last eight at the weekend, beating Sheffield United 2-1 in extra-time thanks to goals from Lucy Quinn and Kit Graham.

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