Are Willian’s words proof of Arsenal’s internal problems?

Willian has admitted to being ‘unhappy’ at Arsenal which you could kind of tell by his stats…

In 37 games for the Gunners, he scored once and recorded 7 assists.

In his final season at the Bridge, in comparison, he found the back of the next 11 times and assisted 9 goals.

Unless you believe form can deteriorate in the span of 12 months there has to be a reason why the 33-year-old told Edu he wasn’t ‘100 per cent comfortable’ at the Emirates.

As he only moved across the Capital it can’t be blamed on struggling to adapt to a new culture, being homesick, uprooting his family, etc.

In his unveiling on his return to the Corinthians he had enough respect for his ex-employers to ‘not go into detail’ about why things didn’t work out for him in North London.

While many Gooners will question his contribution on the pitch, he’s acted like class off it. He didn’t need to rip up a contract worth 220 000 pound a week, he could have sat at home being paid for the next two years.

There is zero reason to question the midfielder’s professionalism. In 7 years at Stamford Bridge, he contributed to 2 Premierships, an FA Cup, League Cup and a Europa League. His spell in England will be deemed a success.

So, if the destination wasn’t an issue (he moved across London) and if he had always been a modern pro, it points to the problem being ……. Arsenal themselves!

The Brazilian worked for managers like Jose Mourinho, Antonio Conte, Guus Hiddink and Sarri. These are coaches who have their own ethos and will not tolerate anyone who doesn’t follow their principles.

He had captains like Jon Terry and Cesar Azpilicueta. Even peers who didn’t wear the armband were leaders.

For years everyone has questioned the mentality at our club.

Imagine going to Chelsea’s dressing room of men to our dressing room where the ambition isn’t as high?

I always thought that was an issue for William Gallas. Yes, he didn’t help himself but in truth he had come from such a winning culture that he couldn’t identify with younger teammates who were in their comfort zones.

In the 12-months that Willian was the club, skipper Aubameyang was dropped for constant issues regarding time keeping, Guendouzi was loaned out due to attitude problems, Ozil and Sokratis were being paid to sit at home while Mikel Arteta spoke of a mole leaking information to the outside world.

Compare that to the majority of Mr Wenger’s tenure who prided himself on the spirit of the squad. Even in the years when he no longer challenged for the title, Mr Wenger would praise the togetherness and willingness to win.

I felt when Ramsey left, he was the last one who gave us any identity.

The British group of Rambo, Wilshire, the Ox, Theo Walcott and Gibbs were not world class, but you knew they cared. A squad needs a core group like that who the youth have to look up to.

Arsenal in 2021 have great youngsters but little experience to help them

You get a sense that at the moment things are not quite right in our dressing room.

Willian’s time with us might be proof of that?


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  1. As long as Arteta is in the helm, Arsenal won’t improve anytime soon. Since the arrival of Arteta, most senior players are not performing very well. The likes of Bellerin, Aubameyang, Lacazette, Maitland-Niles, and Nelson. But all of these players were performing very well during Wenger’s reins

    1. DAN&Armoury I said all his not well in the dressing room weeks ago and I stand by that. Good players do not become bad players overnight

  2. Without listening to the ex-players’ comments, we have already known about the source of all problems at Arsenal. Managers/ coaches/ players/ executives come and go, yet only one immovable person remains in the last fifteen years

    Based on my work experience, the complacency culture always originates from the topmost person in the hierarchy. When things aren’t working, the main guy easily replaces the workers without having to get involved and his yes men are usually able to stay in their comfort zones

    It’s great as long as the company gets profit each year, but that’s not the case with Arsenal. Kroenke might have been trying to get more involved by delegating the tasks to his son, but the process would likely take years to produce good results

  3. Good point. It’s not like Willan is the first big flop at Arsenal during the last 15 years. There have been many.

  4. Clearly things weren’t right in the dressing room as Emery discovered. In AW’s turgid book he referred to Ozil needing to be managed in a particular way. That’s fine if the manager doesn’t change. Emery must have wanted things done his way and the unrest started amongst a senior influential group. It is not beyond the realm of possibility that Guendouzi and to a lesser extent, AMN were affected by the very people in senior roles who didn’t show either good mentality or strong leadership

    In your article you refer to the lack of winning culture but that didn’t start under Emery and Arteta. Kroenke is as GAI says the main reason for this malaise.

    1. SueP, as you state the deterioration in the mental strength, resilience, winning mentality and individual and team leadership at Arsenal FC has been deteriorating for some time.
      Dan referred to William Gallas, who as captain of the team was disgusted by the lack of effort and support he received from his team mates and their lack of a winning mentality.
      Alexis Sanchez was criticised because he wanted and tried so hard to win.
      It is going to take a major effort to get the toughness, resilience, winning mentality and swagger back, because there are too many mentally fragile, over paid, pampered wimps to be culled from the Club.

  5. It is plainly ridiculous to claim as DAN does, that there is “zero reason to question Willians professionalism”, in light of the FACT that he received around £10+ mill for the season he was here but declined to give 100%, or even near it, in practically every game he appeared.

    That is not only unprofessional but is cheating and is a disgrace.

    Yes, he has chosen not to compound it by cheating us, as Ozil did, for another two years by leaving(HURRAY!!!).

    But to praise a cheat for “only” cheating us for one year instead of three is nonsense to me.


    Other than this matter and the inclusion of Walcott as one who gave his all (which is also ridiculous!!) I agree with at least half of DANS well put article, esp about the Gallas years and the difference in D/R attitude between us compared to Chelsea.

    Chelsea has an owner who will not allow drift; we have one who wants it !

    THAT is the key point!

      The article was about Willian , so unlike you, I chose NOT to insult the writer and thus I did not bring in red herrings to HIS chosen subject.
      Of course certain other players also downed tools, notably Auba too but Willian was by FAR the most bone idle and so I called him and his blatant cheating of our club out.

  6. Why do you blame the club owner all the time?
    I don’t think he should always take the blame.

    You don’t expect him to jump into the pitch and play, you don’t expect him to tell Arteta who to play, loan, sell or bench.

    If you blame him for not providing enough fund to get the needed players, then what have we done with the money he has provided so far?

    I think the people he put in the helm of affairs should take the blame.

    1. because any business that fails , the owner has to take the blame
      Look where Arsenal were when he first had power on the board , look where we are now
      We have failed

    2. What a very silly, unthinking post!
      You speak ludicrously when saying “you don’t expect him to play”etc. I ‘tell you what we DO expect and that is not to allow constant drift year after long year.

      Had he known even thefirst thing about footballand had cared enough to have kept his eye on the club PROPRLY and not simply financially, he would have sacked Wenger years earlier than he did and brought in a manager who would never tolerate squad laziness and drift. Someone like Conte infact!

      But Kroenke IS the REAL AND FUNDAMENTAL problem and despite your ludicrous attempy to defend the indefensible, all REAL THINKERS know that is a FACT!

      1. I think you should choose your words carefully. You’ve got the habit of insulting people who say anything contrary to yours

        1. DEAR INITIALS AND NUMBERS, I SIMPLY TELL THE TRUTH and those who do not like it have the personal problem. I do not, as I STICK TO THE TRUTH.

      2. The real fact is that Kroenke owns the the club 100% and will continue to do so until he decides otherwise. So would it not be better for you to concentrate your mind on the real issues, which to my mind, are on the football pitch. As has been pointed out repeatedly on this site, the responsibility for the football we play is down to Arteta and the players at his disposal. It is just another excuse to continually blame Kroenke unless you are blaming him for appointing Arteta.

        1. Exactly. He should be blamed for appointing Arteta. I never supported Arteta’s appointment right from the very first day, especially given that Allegri and Ancelloti were free agents

          1. Should he be blamed for not dealing with the downturn in the later AW years or by employing Emery?
            As for Ancelotti – he walked out on Everton. So no thank you very much with him.

      3. Your choice of words are very harsh, Mr. Jon, and could have been put in a better way. But i do agree with your post. The Kronkes let this linger for way too long. They got it wrong the moment they left Wenger at the helm of affairs even when it was obvious the club was in a steep decline. This is where our problems began. Have they spent funds? Yes. Are the funds spent enough to take club back to the glory days? Not nearly enough. Just to be clear, when I talk about expenses, I’m not just talking about incoming players. I am also referring to contract terminations. Mediocrity is very contagious and sooner or later, our favorite players will be contaminated. The only way to contain this is to terminate the contract of mediocre players so they don’t contaminate the younger players who’s minds need to strengthened, and this will require some serious spending. Unless the coach is the one blocking this…..


      4. @jon Fox
        “…..have kept eyes on the club PROPERLY and not simply financially…….sacked Wenger years earlier…” this type of comment is not expected to be made by a self acclaimed older Arsenal fan, talkless of someone who pride himself as thinker.
        The fact of the situation was, though Mr Kroenke is a billionaire, he did not really, finance the club when le Professour was running the club and the project, and MR ARSENE WENGER was the guarantee for the bank fund, because he was the one bringing the money in, and articulating the cash flows. He was the person the bank trusted with their money, and he did not fail. So, the thought of sack, was out of the scenario, and the so-called ” sacked earlier ” was only in agitated mind of restless and fixated fans.
        Why not compare how about five or so people who have been hired to replaced him have performed, in coaching, competition and finance.

        1. RichSAAlao, your post is as factually wrong as it is possible to b!!

          To claim the owner was not the ones the banks trusted is utter bilge.

          You know nothing about how business life works .

    3. Mrcool, KS&E and Stan Kroenke are culpable, as supposedly competent budiness owners, due to their poor selection of the Board and senior management team they employ to manage their asset and its affairs.
      During their tenure post David Dein, the management of Arsenal’s financial and player assets has ranged from poor to abysmal. One only has to look at how poorly the stated dictum of players failing to sign a contract extension before going into the last 2 years of their contract would be sold. Look how many players are entering the last year of their contracts, Nheketia, Lacazette, Elneny, Kolasinac,……

  7. Wilian was simply past his expiry date, end of story. A lot of us were against him being signed in the first place. Anyway, I hope this is the last time we sign Chelsea/Man utd cast offs.

  8. It doesn’t have to be the club or the coach. Sometimes it is just the individual himself. Torreira is another good example.

  9. @Admin why do have to take down my reply to that mannerless John fox?

    This is very unfair and you knew it. At least, let him see it so that he will know he has no monopoly of harsh words.

    1. @Mrcool (not)…. You call Jon “mannerless” but you then make threats. Personal abuse is never allowed on JA.

        1. Obviously we have different interpretations of abuse, but it’s my version that counts on JustArsenal.

          But you it seems, can’t let sleeping dogs lie and just move on. Please end this now….

  10. Like I said Arteta isn’t the man to drive this club forward. Willian saw that n it should sent a warning to the board that maybe they got it wrong and rectified the mistake NOW!
    Tuchel said he prefers handling his job as the head coach as he will concentrate on improving and coaching his players more than having to deal with other aspect of management like recruiting, transfers and others. Arsenal should take do what Chelsea did and assign arteta as the head coach and nothing more. His job and only job is to coach and improve the team.

  11. Willian’s agent fires brutal transfer shot at Arsenal as winger completes Corinthians move Daily and Sunday Express Willian says Goodbye Unfortunately it didn t happen for me at Arsenal Just Arsenal News (Weblog)

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