"She did very, very well today" - Joe Montemurro on Jill Roord's performance as Arsenal run out 6-1 victors against Reading
(Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Arsenal were 6-1 victors in their opening Women's Super League game against Reading on Sunday.

READ: Arsenal 6-1 Reading Match Report

Gunners boss Joe Montemurro spoke to the press via a Zoom call from his home after Sunday's victory.

Emphatic Roord performance

Netherlands international Jill Roord was impressive on Sunday, scoring three goals and helping to create opportunities throughout the game. Montemurro was complimentary of the 23-year-old, highlighting her understanding of space:

"She has a very, very good understanding of space. She has a very good understanding of positioning and sometimes with players of that talent, especially on the ball, you have to teach them sometimes to stand still. Not follow the phase, not follow the ball, just stand still and you'll receive it in one space beating the line."

"I think it was three or four times in the first half where she just stayed in an area because we had the ability to prepare and build up and find her in very dangerous areas in between lines. She did very, very well today."

League debutants

Caitlin Foord, Steph Catley, Malin Gut and Noelle Maritz all made their league debuts for Arsenal at the weekend. The Gunners' head coach spoke about the options the new players give and especially praised Malin Gut's talent:

"They are all growing, they are all integrating well. Malin Gut and Caitlin Foord were very good today, I think we say Malin today especially will be a special player for Arsenal. I've said this before.

"We saw the power of Caitlin Foord getting in some amazing positions where she probably could have had a goal or two so I'm really excited that we have the possibility to do all different things, not just in an approach to a game but throughout games.

"If we need to change things, if we need to play with different types of wingers, or we know that Caitlin can play centrally if we need a second striker, then we can do that. It's been quite deliberate in doing that and that's what I'm excited about." 

The difference between the top 3 and the rest

One common theme in the WSL is the gulf in class between the top three teams of Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea and the rest of the division. Indeed, with Sunday's win the Gunners have now been victorious in all league games against non-'top three' sides since April 2018. However, Montemurro believes that gap is rapidly closing:

"I think it's happening. That's why I'm not being so over-excited about beating Reading today because they're a very good team. Obviously everyone's been effected by preparation, everyone's been affected by COVID and I think Reading will be a very, very good team in 2-3 weeks with a little bit more work and opportunity to work together.

"You have [Manchester] United, I think Brighton are a very, very good team. You have Tottenham, West Ham - West Ham next week is going to be a big, big game. They've got some big players and they're a very good team so that gap I think is closing as the weeks go on."