Joe Montemurro reckons a lack of emotional intensity from his Arsenal Women players prevented them from racking up a half-century of points in his final season in charge.
The Gunners were held to a 0-0 draw by strugglers Aston Villa Women in Borehamwood as a determined display from Marcus Bignot’s players secured their Barclays FA Women’s Super League survival.
Arsenal were unable to break down a resolute Villa defence and Montemurro, whose side finished third to qualify for Champions League football with 48 points, believes psychological final-day fatigue proved their downfall.
The Australian, 51, said: “We’re quite emotionally switched on in these games, which we lacked today.
“The objective of the game was to get in places where we can possibly score and finish the action. We didn’t finish the action and the execution is something that we all talk about in the box. It’s down to the player in that moment.
“I really wanted to reach the 50 points mark.
“That would really have shined, but it wasn’t much difference. We weren’t far from the top two – but Chelsea and Manchester City, in particular moments of the season, were better than us.
“We didn’t really find the solutions today and were probably a little bit slow in our execution. The frustrations started to kick in and we start to force the ball when things don’t happen for us.”
Vivianne Miedema, Jill Roord and Jordan Nobbs were all thwarted by a fine display from Villa goalkeeper Lisa Weiss as Arsenal finished nine points behind table-topping Chelsea.
The result meant the Gunners dashed Manchester United’s hopes of snatching the final Champions League spot while at the other end of the table, Villa secured top-flight status for another season.
Bignot’s team won just three games all season but Montemurro says they got exactly what they deserved after clinching a hard-fought point in Hertfordshire.
“Maybe we tried a couple of things that didn’t work,” he added.
“But credit to Aston Villa. They defended well, reduced our spaces and got their rewards.”
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