Arsenal fans are at last seeing Willian’s dazzling dribbling skills

Arsenal fans might whisper it, but Willian is showing signs of renaissance. by Yash

The chronic problems related to Willian have somewhat disappeared recently. He is no longer the person that is getting the stick by Arsenal fans on social media.

The former Brazilian international racked up two assists in a Premier League match, for the first time since the opening day win against third-bottom Fulham. Willian had just two shots on target for the Gunners in his first 20 appearances in all competitions. Thus, the scrutiny that headed his way was not unfair at all.

Whenever the Brazilian had the ball, he looked lousy and uninventive. Some Arsenal fans wanted him to leave in January itself, less than six months since his arrival from London-rivals Chelsea.

The genius player who was one of the best at Chelsea in his latter years, barely showed the Arsenal faithful any glimpses of his amazing talent he showed at Stamford Bridge.

As a result, the Brazilian became a regular fixture on Arsenal’s bench since Christmas. During that time, the Gunners went on an impressive winning run.

Mikel Arteta kept on trying his luck, by giving the former Chelsea man few minutes at late stages in matches, hoping that the Brazilian’s career would revive at the Emirates with a swish of a wand.

The trick seemed to be not working, until his assist against Benfica. It was hardly an eye-catching assist as the 32-year-old laid the ball to Kieran Tierney, who still had to do a lot to score. Tierney got his goal. Willian got his Arsenal career back on track.

Arsenal’s players celebrate on the pitch after the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Arsenal at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on February 28, 2021. – Arsenal won the game 3-1. (Photo by RUI VIEIRA/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

That performance was rewarded by a start against the high-flying Leicester City, who sit third in the table. The winger’s pinpoint free-kick was converted into a goal by his former Chelsea teammate David Luiz.

But his crucial contribution at the King Power Stadium did not stop there. He collected his second assist at the 53rd minute, laying the ball to Nicolas Pepe through the legs of Leicester’s goalscorer Youri Tielemans.

His two assists were just half the story. His dazzling dribbling skills cut open the Leicester defense on numerous occasions. His defensive contribution on the left-wing was also crucial for Arsenal suppressing the threat of Foxes’ attacks.

Mikel Arteta echoed the Brazilian’s performance in the post-match press conference by saying, “He was really good. We’ve seen that in training the last few weeks. He’s rebuilding himself and he has not accepted the situation. I think he was the player who changed the game against Benfica in the last few moments when he came on, and today I think he was terrific.”

The Arsenal manager would hope that his fresh recruit, who he was determined to sign, repays the faith that has been continually shown in him with more such performances.

Yash Bisht

Instagram/Twitter: @yarsenal09

Tags Leicester Willian


  1. When you get 1 game out of 20 games, then you failed. 1/20 is 5%. Is it worth even mentioning in your site?

    1. Just looking at PL stats this season:

      Played – 19 games
      Scored – 0
      Assists – 4
      Shot accuracy – 12%
      Tackles – 12 (0.63 per game)

      1. Pretty poor and terrible performance/stats, but it’s nothing compared to an ex player having 2-4 assist in two years and laying the rest to pre assists yet he was called the saviour and solution to our creativity issue

        1. I’m the first to say that stats can be misleading and don’t paint a complete picture but poor Willian’s are horrendous.

          Hoping he picks up his game consistently now.

  2. Willian is always good in tight spaces, because of his diminutive stature, close control and dribbling skill. He’s good in ball retention like Odegaard/ Ceballos and a bit faster than both of them, so he’d be perfect as a CAM

    He seemed to play better on the left wing, because he could cut inside more often with his stronger foot. He has also made more assists than Pulisic, Havertz and Ziyech in EPL

    1. I thought this Willian can be and was brought in as a CAM bûllshít would be over by now?
      I recall all the singing and comments about how Arteta was bringing him to be our CAM, I know I myself made soany posts against it and said he wasn’t coming to be a CAM and can never be our CAM.
      Lol, now that I recall it, it’s funny how I got attacked for Saying Willian was brought in to push and compete with Pepe and was never gon be our CAM.
      It’s more than 6 months now and he’s never been used as a CAM.
      It’s always been the RW, only odd time he played away from there was as a false 9 and failed badly there.
      Drop this talk of he’d b perfect as a CAM, Willian can never be a good CAM.
      Using the word “perfect ” is so off

      1. I’ve been harping on that issue since the summer as I believe Arteta was using the whole CAM argument as a “wag the dog” ruse so that fans wouldn’t see this deal for what it really was, a “luxury” buy…he hasn’t played in the middle of the park, on any sort of regular basis, for years, but from a PR perspective it made sense to dangle that easter egg out there as we clearly needed some help in the midfield…with Pepe and Reiss, among others, playing the same position, this should never have happened, especially at his age, on those wages, with promises regarding starting minutes and the fact that this was supposed to be a “transitional” year…as for his performance yesterday, it’s about time, but please don’t write another article until this becomes the norm not the exception to the rule

  3. Willian can still play in the CAM, he has played there before severally in his career, the problem is that he lost form badly immediately after moving to arsenal but now he is rebuilding, the best thing is to keep playing him in the position he plays best now, where he is comfortable at the moment, then when his confidence is fully back, you can now play him somewhere else. Playing players out of position or a position they have not played in a long while can even make them loose form, so let’s enjoy Willian at the moment and keep our fingers crossed on the position the coach can move him to later. gotanidea, u were spot on with ur analysis

  4. This article is poorly timed, Willian has has only two good performances in 26 Premier League games, the first against Fulham on the opening day where he got two assists and then yesterday against Leicester where he played better with another two assists. 1 in every 25 games is not worth talking about so I don’t see the need in singing praises of Willian, he has failed us though still have time to redeem him self. Willian is far above this 1/25 level so that must be unacceptable from we fans

    1. thank you. finally some perspective. All his goal contributions are from a total of two matches. And literally every other league game he’s apperead in he has been underwhelming. I’d love to say this is the start of something, but lets be honest. Flop signing who arteta will now use even more just because he FINALLY had a good match in Matchweek 26!

  5. I was against him coming in, and I want him gone in the summer, but he had a decent game yesterday and he can do a job in squad rotation for now. Martinelli isn’t yet match fit and Saka and Auba needed resting.

  6. One comon problem with most fan sites and social media of all kinds is that one single perf can utterly change the perception of those who post and also those who just read posts.
    In reality, what changes the status quo, not merely perception(which is quite different from the reality), is the fulness of time and a body of work that changes opinions based on something far more tangible than one or two much better perfs.

    We have been in this situation many many times, as will all clubs have also been, and with various players of all kinds over the years.

    What has changed now in the age of social media from the time before it existed, is the rash and instant judgement made without sufficient body of work as evidence of actual change.

    IF Willian were to play for the rest of this season as he did at LEICESTER, THEN AND ONLY THEN, could we say in truth that he has made a massive improvement.

    I am a realist BECAUSE I live in the real world and have sufficient life experience to know that one swallow does not make a summer.

    Even the likes of Xhaka, Bellerin and Elneny have had, ON OCCASION, the odd good game but that does not make them better players. Does it!

    Good players prove it through regular reliability over TIME, not before then either!

    1. spot on jon. I wouldn’t even throw Willian in the same category as Xhaka/Elneny/Bellerin. I think those players are much more capable of stumbling upon a good patch of form. The amount of good games Willian has had…. i could cut off a couple of fingers and STILL be able to count on one hand

  7. Against Leicester we saw running and enthusiasm which is a good starting point Still waiting to see the twinkle toed dribbling skills tough.

  8. I think Willy has had about 2 games where he has been very good, rest ate absolutely poor or average or decent. A total of 5 assists and no goals in the PL from a player primarily bought as a forward is disappointing, but the whole team has been disappointing this season. Lets wait a little before hyping him up again. We have, I think 12 games left. If Willy performs decently in atleast half of these matches, only then can we say that he has got his mojo back. That said I am very happy that he has had a good game and I wish it will continue.

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