Arsenal’s new scapegoat Willian gets the blame yet again

Can’t Blame Just Willian For Villa Loss! By Dan Smith

One pattern to emerge from this season is that our fanbase always needs someone to blame. Mustafi (even when not playing), Bellerin, Xhaka, Lacazette and Pepe are constant scapegoats for reasons why things go wrong.

Yet certain supporters surpassed themselves this weekend. Whether it’s on blogs, social media, phone-ins, YouTube, etc, Willian’s performance at Villa Park is mentioned more than any other of our players.

To clarify, the midfielder came off the bench on the 74th min. Factoring in stoppage time let’s say he had approx. 21 mins to make an impact. Is that enough time?

Yet surely it can’t be fair that in a game where Arsenal managed only three shots on target, we blame an individual who’s had the least time on the pitch, while his peers don’t get questioned at all?

“Willian was Aston Villa’s best player after he came for Arsenal on Saturday,” said Tony Cascarino on TalkSport.

“There are good signs for Mikel Arteta but I cannot ever remember a club where the manager has had to rely so much on the younger players, and has been so poorly served by the senior professionals.”

Laca had an hour, Aubameyang 40 mins, while Smith Rowe. Pepe and Saka played the entire match. So why do they escape any criticism for our lack of creativity?

Because it’s far easier to blame the ex-Chelsea player then admit a lot of these players are not as good as we claim. Saka for example one day could be great but it’s almost like he’s immune from questioning. 6 goals and 7 assists in 47 League appearances is okay. Maybe good?

It’s not great.

At the other end have you noticed Luiz and Holding will always get a harsher rating than Gabriel, because fans want to convince themselves Gabriel been an amazing signing? In reality after a decent first few outings he’s been no better than Holding or Luiz.

Yet it’s our manager who is accused of favouritism? Irony is obviously lost on some gooners?
Because at the end of the day our manager has dropped the Brazilian. We have won 2 out of our last 7 games. Do you want to know how many of them Willian has started? ONE!

So this idea that Mikel Arteta is showing any bias to him is a myth. It also proves though that Willian isn’t the only one failing to produce in the final third.

Don’t get me wrong, the free transfer hasn’t worked out, neither party are enjoying the deal and, apart from the wages, the 32-year-old probably regrets ever signing a contract with us.

Yet you can’t just give up on an asset you are invested in. It’s a trend that a lot of football fans think is standard.

A coach’s first task is to get the best out of the resources it has, it’s not ideal to be paying an Ozil or Deli All to sit at home.

It sums up this generation that their answer to Willian not starting well at the Emirates is to never play him again. That’s called instant gratification. Young people don’t have the skills to wait and be patient.

However much you want to, you can’t just write Willian off. Now that he’s here, we need to find a way to get the best out of him.

LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 18: Cedric Soares, Alexandre Lacazette and Willian of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Newcastle United at Emirates Stadium on January 18, 2021. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

It’s wrong to assume there is an attitude problem. This is a top professional who won every domestic honour possible in the Ukraine and England as well as two Europa League/UEFA Cups. So it is possible he’s just lacking confidence?

The only way he re-finds his mojo is by suddenly smashing in a free kick. You can only do that by being on the pitch, hence the reason to bring him on.

Arsene Wenger once warned that some supporters were in danger of sacrificing the values our club set.

Let’s support our players.

William is only guilty of losing belief, if you’re going to give him a hard time for that, be consistent and point out when others in the squad are not performing (which is the majority).

The idea that we lose to Aston Villa yet only scrutinise the player who had the least time of the pitch, that makes me uncomfortable

Be kind in the comments

Dan

READ MORE: “Mikel Arteta sent away when confronting referee after Villa loss

Tags Aston Villa scapegoat Willian

84 Comments

  1. Dan kit says:

    I saw someone blaming Bellerin for Cedrics mistake 😂

    1. Mark says:

      This left me speechless..

  2. PJ-SA says:

    I don’t blame Willian, I’m sure he’s not trying to be as bad as he is currently.

    I blame MA for putting him on when there are other options available.

    1. Sir Michael says:

      PJ-SA You could say the same about Auba he did feck all did not he was on the field. He done nothing since he signed that bloody contract

  3. Baba sagna says:

    @Dan as much as we disagreed on one of your previous articles, I pointed out that I always liked your articles and respect you a lot. This is a top class one and I agree wholeheartedly with what you said. Fans don’t have patience these days and most of us don’t know that the constant bashing affects the players directly or indirectly. Cheers Dan

  4. gotanidea says:

    Some fans got influenced too much by the pundits and they didn’t pay attention to each Gunner’s performance. The substitute who needed to get blamed was Odegaard, for wasting a golden chance given by Saka

    Willian is too tactical for his own good, but his close control is excellent and he’s suited to be a CAM or an inverted LW

    1. PJ-SA says:

      So you want to start blaming a new player in our team for missing one chance that in fairness wasn’t the most difficult but also not the easiest either?

      Ok then….Odegaard cost us this match!

      1. gotanidea says:

        Just want to give an example to Willian’s detractors

        1. Alanball08 says:

          GAi
          I my mind willian has lost all his confidence
          When saka and pepe were on the left we caused villa problems
          Pepe moves to the right and become ineffective
          Saka has no out ball as Willan is always static and doesn’t pass and move and now the left and right are totally ineffective
          Aubs has no service and the game is done
          I cannot believe MA keeps faith with him and its like we are playing with a man down.
          After the fulham game I thought we got a bargain. Since then I think chelski let him go to us to mess up the team
          If he can’t turn it around now then I can see him doing at all.
          Let him go on a free at the end of the season

      2. Sir Michael says:

        No the team did for not turning up

    2. McLovin says:

      No. Cedric needs to be blamed for us conceding immediately. This mistake was not due to him playing LB, just lost of concentration.

      Bringing Willian is on Arteta, as bringing him in, we pretty much sealed off any kind of comeback.

      The Odegaard chance wasn’t by any chance easy. I think our best chance was that counter attack in which Lacazette failed to pass to Saka (or defender intercepted). Honestly, we didn’t have good chances at all. There was always bodies in the way, meanwhile Aston Villa had soo many shots on target.

      1. gotanidea says:

        Soares was forced to play out of his natural position, because we couldn’t get a decent competitor for Tierney after Kolasinac left

        I blamed Arteta’s tactic at Villa Park, because Smith-Rowe moved to the left side too often. I understood that Arteta might want to help Pepe and Soares there, but our right wing became duller as the result

    3. Weeble says:

      Disagree, Willian does not run. He was passed repeatedly by Saka both going forward and back. No doubt he has quality but we play a game of movement and Willian does not move. He is not a scapegoat just a failed experiment.

    4. Ayo says:

      Yeah, we should probably give him 3 more years. Some players become unbelievably good at 35. Some of us don’t expect anything fantastic from Willian…simply a wrong signing. He has few good moments but overall he has been a frustrating player to watch since Chelsea.

      Check the way he plays, he evade an opposition, weave to the sides and pass backward. Most of his passes are backward. I will prefer players that constantly that attempt a lot of forward passes.

      But let’s clap for non-performing players on high wage because the club value is not to complain or criticize these sensitive high wagers and we are comfortable at the middle of the table.

  5. pepe says:

    Individuals are not my problem
    I have seen teams with lesser quality of players playing better football than us..
    The system is the problem
    Looks as though no Senior player is interested per lacazeth and xhaka…

    1. Danny says:

      William has been very poor had a decent game at Fulham but since then done nothing to contribute whatsoever him and Arteta are not up to what is required for Arsenal football club if we carry on with these people will just continue to be a mid table mediocre club challenging for nothing and be a laughing stock for years to come so change is needed and very quickly!!

      1. Baba sagna says:

        Lol,,if you didn’t notice, we’ve been a midtable and mediocre club,and challenging for nothing for almost twelve years,just pointing out though!!!🤣🤣🤣

        1. Danny says:

          That’s why i said continue to be……..

        2. ken1945 says:

          Baba, if finishing 6th is the lowest place since the 1994 / 95 season, when we finished 12th, equates to being a mid table and mediocre club (let alone “for almost 12 years”) in your book, then can you explain what you would describe a club that actually DOES finish midtable, while winning four fa cups and four Community Shields during the twelve years you point out? 🤔

          1. Baba sagna says:

            @ken, positions sometimes can be deceiving,for the past twelve years as i pointed out,can you calculate the difference between our points and the league winners?

    2. Sir Michael says:

      pepe Hey when martinez had the ball on several occasions they play it out from the back look where Pepe is to the full back. That full back had as much time as he wanted pepe did nothing to challenge him or put him under pressure

    3. Antonio says:

      I don’t blame the younger players when they make mistakes because of the kind of pressure they’re on. Players like Saka shouldn’t start every match,they just started their careers. Just take a look at jack wilshere from bright youngster to west ham reject when he first started i never thought he’ll be at that level but here we are. The older players really need to wake up, i believe willian is not that bad a player but he really needs to work on his attitude and facial expressions you bring him in at 60 then at 72 he starts panting and making wrong passes causing the younger players to cover up his mistakes

  6. Loose Cannon says:

    Does Willian lift the mood once he is on the pitch? Remember Giroud coming off the bench and scoring? Can Willian do that? I doubt. I’ve said time and again after the Villa match that we should have won 2-1 if our attack was potent. Sadly fans are emotionally attached to Laca who is nothing than a has been ever since Wenger signed him, if we want to crawl upward we need a no nonsense striker and sorry – Laca was never that nor will be that hence we are sliding down. No goal scoring option from the midfield. Waiting for the day Xhaka calls it a day or we get rid of him. Reports were that Arteta wanted a CAM, got a B2B in Partey – again a good player but not what the actual requirement was. We need a back up LB, CDM, CAM, CF. Hope Ryan signs in the summer, GK sorted out. Summer seems bright with the hopeful departures of Laca, Xhaka, Elneny. Willian can only be a bench warmer, coming on in the dying moments to waste time and nothing more, something even my retired father in law could do for 1/100th of the wage or less.

    1. PJ-SA says:

      You touched on our biggest issue….no goals from midfield and very little from defenders on set pieces.

      Total burden is on our out of form strikers and we can see how that’s playing out for us.

      1. McLovin says:

        Indeed.

        Xhaka – 1 goal
        Partey – 0 goals
        Elneny – 1 goal
        Ceballos – 0 goals

        I think our midfielders are way too similar, and the qualities they do possess, are actually easy to replace. What I mean is, IMO, Partey possesses the all qualities of Elneny/Xhaka/Ceballos, all in one person.

        We lack a midfielder who is great in possession (remember Santi?) but who can start an attack QUICKLY. I think the greatest qualities of Xhaka and Elneny is passing (safely), and I don’t think this is a very special trait. Very similar to what Flamini and Arteta himself did for us, it was just basic side ways passing.

        1. PJ-SA says:

          Santi and Rosicky! The moment they got the ball, one touch and pass forward.

          After the pass forward, most importantly they moved FORWARD into an attacking space to support.

          Our midfielders are usually in space I’ll give them that but the space is almost always behind the player with the ball…..this is the exact reason our attack is so slow!

          1. Mark says:

            “Santi and Rosicky”
            Pointless talking about these type of players..These highly technical players are rare..especially these days..explains why so many teams build up on the flanks nowadays.. Even when they appear AFC cannot afford them..

          2. ken1945 says:

            Two more fantastic signings made by AW during the so called “barren years” .

  7. Ben says:

    Have to disagree with your piece. It looks distinctively that both Willian and Arteta deserve a huge portion of the blame. That doesn’t make them scapegoats – they’re culpable.

    Claims that Willian is trying hard to deliver just sound ludicrous to me. Have a look at his stats – not just his body language – they’re absurdly poor. Both illustrate a man that doesn’t care at all. I imagine a 35 year old plucked from a pub league would have more dribbles or chances created by now.

    Willian got what he wanted – a golden ticket of £34m and now is doing sod all to earn it. Personally I’d make him a test case for football legal matters and fire him for having entered into negotiations in bad faith.

    Arteta deserves blame for not accepting Willian won’t ever perform. He’s in denial and desperate to show that signing him was not a huge mistake of a rookie manager. Time to accept that and move on.

  8. Indian Gunner London says:

    Next game we should have Leno & Luiz. Luiz: Like him or loathe him he does show leadership qualities and is a threat directly or indirectly in set pieces.

    As for Willian, I am not clear where he fits in the team. Normally RW, but Saka is better there. Alternatively, No. 10, but Smith-Rowe and Odegaard are better. LW: Really!!

    Only position I can see is if we play a 3 man midfield in a 3-5-1-1 where he can fit into the 5 as an attacking midfielder. This is not a formation which we are using.

    So where do you use him apart from a filler in case of injuries?

    So even though I agree with the author’s article about player bashing, the signing is bewildering.

    1. Cliff says:

      Another manager would be playing Luiz as DM especially when Partey is injured.Am sure he can do better than in defence. He possesses some qualities that most of our midfielder lack.But Arteta sees it differently

      1. PJ-SA says:

        I agree Cliff, good range of passing and then at least he’s not in the box when has his usual brain fart every 5-10 games.

  9. Almaria says:

    Very true, he has not had enought playing time, and when he does come on he never stops running and trying , needs support, and Bellerin always doing well.

    They need to support not harassment

  10. jon fox says:

    A scapegoat is someone blamed for the mistakes or fault of others, especially for reasons of expediency(or convenience). So whether Willian is, or is not, a scapegoat rather depends on one of two different matters. Firstly, is he alone blamed for his own shortcomings. Secondly, is he also blamed for the shortcomings of others.

    If it is the first option, then he is NOT a scapegoat, but if its the second , then he IS one. My view is that the true answer to that posed question varies according to each fan, individually.

    We are not one body but all indivduals and some DO blame him unfairly for the sins of others but others do not. I for example do not. I blame him for what is his own fault andno one elses; his laziness and unwillingness to work hard for the team.

    I do not blame any other player either, except themselves, for this same laziness that I saw in Walcott, in Ozil, in Mkhi, in Auba at times.

    So to me, personally, he is not a scapegoat but entirely responsible himself for his laziness. I suggest that each fan must give his/her own opinion on whether or not, to them personally, he is a scapegoat.

    Is that not the truth put in PROPER CONTEXT!

    I also realise that headlines, as in this article and many others on JA and tabloids etc, do not appreciate context , as it throws a truthful damper on the sensationalism they seek to portray.

    1. soccerboy says:

      @jon fox News papers , articles, and editorials thrive on sensationalism. That’s called fantastic journalism. So, as you put it “throws a truthful damper on the sensationalism they seek to portray” doesn’t make any sense to me. Why are you being verbose when simple words can do the trick?

      1. jon fox says:

        Just personal choice and writing style soccerboy. It is called free speech by us quaint old fashioned folk, if thats alright with you I didn’t realise we needed to ask you first what words we choose. Now I know, so will ask first next time! Who do you ask when choosing YOUR words!

        Btw there are some on here, believe it or not, who understand MORE than “simple” words. How unfair of them!

  11. OnceGreat says:

    Willian is the only player who has been consistently horrible. Even Aubameyang had sparks of brilliance and was actually responsible for one victory.

    Willian was great for one game and then he disappeared for 22 games. That’s more than half a season for a footballer that knows the Prem inside out.

    Even Mustafi had an odd brilliant game in 20 horrible ones.

    He’s not the scapegoat, he’s an underperforming asset that can’t be moved on. 22 games is more than enough for a player of his reputation.

  12. S.J says:

    I think age is what is reducing Willian’s productivity for us.

    When he was in Sharktar Donetsk he played really. In his early years at Chelsea, he performed well too.

    Now he is it at Arsenal, he is getting older and reducing in performance.

    Some of this footballers don’t even tell their true age.

    1. Quantic Dream says:

      S.J
      Yes, I think so too! Now Edu must explain why we signed a 32 y/o on a 3 year contract. Even after seeing how Stephan Lichtsteiner struggled when he came here. Luiz as well. Players over 30 are for the most part useless with no passion, drive or ambition. They just come here to collect money. They deserve all the hate they get.

      1. Admin Pat says:

        Hate is a bit strong old chap….

        1. jon fox says:

          Oh I say “old chap” my Lordship fully agrees with you, don;t you know ! Toodle pip, old bean!

    2. Antonio says:

      Zlatan’s 39 though, but people are different

  13. S.J says:

    Chambers should be given a chance in the absence of Partey.

    He played in that position for Fulham and was their player of the season.

  14. jon fox says:

    Further to my above post, I want to challenge DANS comment that “Willian is only guilty of losing belief”. I do not, never have and never will subsrcibe to the erroneous concept that in order to work hard you must have belief.

    What you MUST have is character and guts to give your best, even when you do not have form or self belief. Sport is full of people who have come out of a lean patch by sheer workrate and this applies to most sports but also very much in football.

    It is a snowflake concept to suggest that you need belief to make yourself run fast, often, close down intensively, move the ball quickly and generally give your best, even if your form or timing is lacking.

    I accept that having belief makes it more palatable to you and perhaps easier but even without belief it is possible and NECESSARY, IF you consider yourself a true professional with responsibilities to those(we fans!) who pay for your comfy lifestyle. Responsibilities too, to your club, profession, yourself and your teammates.

    Unless you are a self centred, lazy, poor in character, speciman of a human being. This workrate solution is equally true in many other areas of life, even non sporting ones.

    All fit players CAN work hard and only those without sufficient character choose not to do. Truth in proper context!

  15. Quantic Dream says:

    Well @Dan Smith, you have been scapegoating Kroenke for the better part of the season so let’s not pretend anyone is innocent here. As for Wilian, we should never have signed him to begin with. We have taken up enough Chelsea & Man U rejects to know better by now. How can we ever become a top club when we are signing cast offs from rivals? Am sorry for Wilian but he needs to suffer the fans wrath so that this trend of signing cast offs may finally stop. He came here to eat Arsenal’s money and retire like Ozil, Luiz and Auba so it’s not like he is so innocent. To hell with Wilian.

    1. Dan Smith says:

      Because stan owns the club ?
      Also had control over a decade and failed
      Willians had 6 months

    2. OnceGreat says:

      @quantic dream – You have my vote, kind sir. I’d also add that Edu is Sanlehi 2.0 and should be chased away come next season.

      Wasting 30 million pounds on a Chelsea pensioner is a sackable offense.

  16. amo says:

    ‘…play Luiz as DM….He possesses some qualities that most of our midfielder lack…” I totally agree.

    1. Weeble says:

      I don’t think so. Luiz doesn’t have the pace anymore and a DM he would be caught out to often. Unless you wanted to play Xhaka or Ceballos with him in which case we have no offense.

  17. Ayan says:

    There’s no excuse for Willian not performing. He has been in the premier league for a long time. For me the Manager will have the lion share of the blame for our performances generally. Losing 10 games out of 23 indicates the quality of the squad and ability of the Coach.

  18. RSH says:

    Willian is not a scapegoat. He’s a poor player who Arteta HAS shown a lot of favoritism to. When we were plummetting towards the bottom of the table who was starting those games? Who keeps subbing him one? Willian is not a scapegoat. He’s a player who has to take responsibilty for his poor performances. And Arteta must for his poor decisions.

    1. Mark says:

      YEs he is..With or without Willian, we would not have won these matches.. 90% of the team played terribly…So why just point at him..This is scapegoating..

      1. RSH says:

        who has ever claimed we lose matches solely because of one player? Nobody. It is just obvious to even a blind person that he is bad and has been bad all season. If you think Auba, Bellerin, Xhaka, Pepe and the tons of other poor players this season also havent been given flack, that’s on you not paying attention.

        1. lcw says:

          RSH: who has ever claimed we lose matches solely because of one player?

          One player comes to mind. Not only was he blamed for loosing matches, he was blamed for everything evil at arsenal.

          I don’t need to mention his name because it is obvious.

          1. RSH says:

            Oh please. Here we go, lmao. i see you routintely like you jump to conclusions when people don’t share your point of view. That explains plenty.

          2. lcw says:

            I don’t give a rip when people don’t share my point of view. However it surprises me when people state the facts whenever convenient.

  19. GunneRay says:

    In my opinion, Willian is no doubt singled out a little more than others because he is an ex Chelsea player. As is Luiz. On that level I would have to say it would be completely unfair and moronic to do so. I myself would admit that I do have issue with him in terms of his simple abilities that seem to be missing. Crossing, passing and random thunder shots at goal that have no impact. More often hitting a player or simply going 100ft over the bar!?

    To be fair though, he is not alone and I could single out at lest half the team for simply failing to produce the basics of “professional” football. Again, our passing is generally poor. Especially in the final third. Our productiveness and our creative ability seems like an after thought in training sessions. There are signs that the players are playing based on a set regime that only the coaching staff allows. It is a style of football that comes across as negative and boring to me, personally. Every game seems to be based on a set of instructions that never change or deviate. Nearly every player receives the ball from a pass that slow in transition. Only then do they look up at someone to pass it to. The attack is dead, again.

    I could single out Mustafi , Bellerin, Xhaka, Lacazette and Pepe, too. But then I could also single out Luiz, AMN, Willock an a few more. Willian is just another player within the squad that is failing to produce any type of performance that is worthy of being included in a starting eleven. To me the problem is Arteta. You could put some of these players into another team with another manager and you would see a different person! The body language on some of our players doesn’t look good to me. Confidence looks zapped. Like they don’t look like they enjoy football any more?

    I admit, I have called Willian a few times. But, he’s not alone. Maybe now I am beginning to realise that the players are not the sole problem here?

  20. Peter says:

    I blame Ozil… 😂

  21. Grandad says:

    While I understand your frustrations Dan, I’m afraid our Fan base, which is no different to that of other Clubs, is a mixture of ages ,intelligence and, sadly ignorance.In my own comments on JA I always try to focus on the facts rather than a perception of what actually took place.With one of two exceptions , pundits are not particularly constructive in their comments, and some are basically narrow minded individuals who are of limited intelligence.For this reason I tend to ignore the comments of the likes of Cascarino etc.I’m afraid you should prepare yourself for more rubbish from the mouths of fans for the rest of this season and beyond as it will take some time for Arsenal to recover to where we all want them to be.Like you Dan I am amazed at the bias of some fans with the Villa goal being a classic example.Based on what actually happened, Cedric and Gabriel were equally culpable for the goal , which deflected off the unlucky Holding.

  22. Trudeau says:

    I might be showing my age but I don’t remember this level of intense personal dislike and criticism of players that were on teams I supported growing up.

    Yes we all had our favourites but the rest were still seen as deserving our support. Maybe I’ve got my rose coloured glasses on again.

    I’ve been thinking of this ever since this site posted a compilation of Mustafi’s worst moments in an Arsenal shirt. It was good to see the almost universal condemnation of it but it got me thinking – how/why has it become okay to heap such vitriol on OUR players?

    I’m not lillywhite in this and cringe when I think of some of the things I’ve said about certain players.

    We can all do better.

    1. ken1945 says:

      Trudeau, what a sensible post – it got me thinking back down the years and the only player who, I think, ever incurred my wrath, was a certain Alan Skirton… simply because he missed a sitter when Peterborough knocked us out of the cup!!!
      Another excellent article Dan, you really do come up with some interesting topics.
      As for Willian and any other player come to that, I try really hard not to criticise to the level of name calling and questioning their mentality etc etc.
      I am not privy to their work rate during training etc and I also never think about what the club have decided to offer them regarding salaries etc, as no one really knows outside of a select few personnel.
      What I find frustrating about Arteta’s decision to play Willian, is the fact that (aside from when he was injured) he had Martinelli sitting on the bench during the Villa game.
      We also seem to forget, conveniently, that chelsea were prepared to offer Willian a two year deal anyway, so they clearly didn’t see him as a washed up player… it’s up to MA to find the reason why Willian is not performing as chelsea seemed to believe he was worth two years of investment in and, until then, play Martinelli.

      1. jon fox says:

        Ken do you agree with me that the way things are going with Martinelli, constantly and puzzlingly being ignored, it is a real danger that he will want out? Were I he and therefore not raised as a Gooner, I would want out now! As you know , I support MA but cannot agree on Willian playing over Martinelli or even at all , frankly.

        1. ken1945 says:

          It’s a really puzzling situation Jon, as I really cannot remember Martinelli having a bad game… the opposite in fact.
          Whereas, one could argue the opposite regarding Willian, apart from his opener against Fulham.
          I really don’t believe that MA (or any other manager come to that) has favourites – but they might want to play those players they brought in, as they obviously believe that they will improve the team.
          That’s where I think MA is with regards to Willian and if he persists, your suggestion that Martinelli might just want out, could become a reality.
          Willian needs to repay Arteta’s faith quickly and before he does become the next scapegoat…. even though, as Dan points out, he is just one of two or three not performing at their top level.

          1. jon fox says:

            Thanks KEN, as I hoped you would agree. You may wish to scroll up this thread and read my longer post on what constitutes a scapegoat and as ever would like your thoughts.

            I was too hasty, ONCE AGAIN, the other day- you know what I mean- so humble apologies!

            Tomorrow, (I hope) my already sent in article will appear about my anti VAR stance. It is a longish article which includes my outlook on the spirit of the game. I expect you will differ on what I say about how refs are not given enough respect by pretty much all in football.

            Have you had the vaccine yet? Sue and I both had ours last week(me) and a fortnight ago (Sue).

  23. Illiterate says:

    Willian is bad therefore he should wear the crown of being the scapegoat. There’s no way around it.

    OT: One good individual game by Cedric will be topped with 5 bad ones. Mark my words… No jinx intended.

  24. Declan says:

    Although Willian is a waste of space it wasn’t his fault we lost to Villa. The Cedric/Gabriel ballsup at the start of the game didn’t help but the whole team in general underperformed. Things looked brighter when Ødegaard replaced Cedric and Saka went to left back. Him and Pepé linking up on the left and started to cause Villa some problems but then Willian was sent on instead of Martinelli which puts it on Arteta. In my opinion, Willian should have been loaned to Newcastle with Willock staying with us, he’s a far better prospect.

  25. Marty says:

    I wouldn’t listen to much to what pundits like Cascarino says, it’s the nature of their job, they have to say things which are controversial whether they believe them or not. I also don’t think that Arsenal fans are saying that Willian is a scapegoat, they are just saying that he brings nothing to the team whether he starts or comes on as substitute.

    1. Morten henriksen says:

      You got it right made.

  26. Herb of the Earth says:

    When Willian came to Arsenal my 10-year-old son was puzzled. Her asked me where on the pitch he is going to play. I had no idea – as it would be rude to say he was going to be our new #10. He had gone off the boil at Chelsea for a while. Unless we drugged him or wire him up like in movies, he could not be expected to improve under a manager that is inexperienced. After careful consideration I have concluded that he is part of a ‘Brata Marriage’ system. This in the Caribbean means that you buy a good fruit and they give you an extra. But the extra is not really the same quality as the one you bought – and you cannot refuse the Brata, as that would be an insult. Normally, as children we would take the Brata and throw it away, if it is not good. Unfortunately, we cannot do so in football. Even if the Brata is free, we have to pay it a weekly salary. We have 2 useful Brazilian (good for the future); a half bird-eaten fruit (David causes penalties, but save us sometimes, so only half-eaten); and a completely rotten one (willian). My verdict is that we find a way to discard of him; and have a discussion with Edu containing strong language to not repeat this Brata Marriage.

    1. Indian Gunner London says:

      Herb of the Earth

      Brilliant. ‘Brata Marriage’.

      We all need laughs at Covid times especially with the way our beloved AFC is playing and the results so far.

  27. Sean Williams says:

    Phew, I have not seen one person BLAME Willian, that is just reimagined controversy, so as to create a talking point. I have seen hunderds of posts saying how poor Willian was on the pitch, how badly he played, but none blaming him. The argument that he played in the Ukraine, for Brazil, and Chelsea does not exempt him for playing badly, continuously, under Mikel Arteta. Willian has in his past incarnation been a quality player, so far at Arsenal he is exceptionally poor….but is not to blame or being scapegoated for anything. At the moment he does not look good enough and is way past his prime.

    1. RSH says:

      Your first two sentence ends this entire post already. It’s just a logical fallacy that if someone has a problem with Willian’s performance, it means he is responsible for the entire result. It doesn’t make sense and it takes plenty of mental gymnastics to end up there. Yet people have done this with Ozil and now with Willian.

      1. Sean Williams says:

        RSH
        Agreed
        It’s strange how so many issues are shown as back or white with no shades of grey. Ozil’s treatment suddenly spit into for or against and I could never get that. I felt he would improve our squad seeing the poverty of our results. I did, though, think his treatment was poor and unfair, and nothing would stop me standing up against unfairness, scapegoating, and other abuses. We are all exactly equal and deserve fair treatment. Ozil was treated unfairly. Some other players have been unfairly treated at Arsenal too.

        1. RSH says:

          Agree, Sean. There are many shades of gray in many situations. There are things I did and did not like about Ozil. I’d never say he was the sole reason we were doing poorly. There are games where I think he has played well and others where he hasn’t. Same with virtually every other player.

    2. Alanball08 says:

      Sean
      I think you have missed a few posts
      I for one think he is not worthy of being on the bench let alone on the pitch
      He has been poor all season bar one game at the start of the season
      He offers us nothing but feeling we are a man down
      He has no legs any.more and barely goes past any one of moves in to space to recieve and go
      Its got to the point where I would even consider playing with 10 men rather him come on and stop the rhythm of play
      His dead balls are so poor I am now thinking chelski sent over his twin brother. He can miss the first man and I quake when I see him stand over the ball for free kicks as I know its going 10 foot wide. 10 foot over the bar or hitting the man in the wall
      We need to release him ASAP.
      All he is doing is hindering the youngsters progress
      Picking up a wage he doesn’t deserve
      Is that clear enough for you
      Onwards and upwards my friend

      1. Sean Williams says:

        Don’t know how Willian can be selected in front of Martinelli? Willian has been good in the past but is just too lightweight and weak at the age of 32. How come Arteta cannot see what a million Arsenal supporters can see?

  28. Reggie says:

    Willian is not a scapegoat, he is a symptom.

  29. Joe. S says:

    William has no credits with Arsenal fans. He was not the player we were looking for as in someone around 22-24, with the ability and energy to spark an attack. I admit Auba is proving to be as big a liability with his lack of presence but we can be patient with him until the end of the season because of what he has already given. Personally though I believe they are both yesterday’s men. On this current form having both of them on the field is like playing with ten men. Clubs like Burnley, Brighton and Villa are getting better value for money out of less talented players. Finally, though it is Arteta’s call meaning that is the one who should be judged in June.

  30. Bad Ebening says:

    10 defeats in 23 games. There’s only one person to blame. The “manager”.

    1. Alanball08 says:

      Its always the managers fault and not the player’s fault.
      Players get managers sacked.
      MA as far as I can see hasn’t lost the dressing room as yet, hasn’t made a tremendous amount of ludicrous transfers and in my opinion we have progressed over the last 12 months.
      Up until DL getting sent off I thought the first 46 minutes against wolves was the best I have seen us play in probably 4 or 5 years.
      There’s still a heck of a lot of work to be down as we have years or rot to pull of our beloved club
      Keep faith and we shall reap the rewards
      Onwards and upwards

  31. Wenger91 says:

    I’m sure Willian is not planning to play this bad, but with his PL experience, he should make a difference every time MA choosing him to play!

    Sorry to say this, he can’t offer anything better than our youngsters, so at this point, I will blame MA then Willian, because MA could play Martinelli but again! he believed that Willian will be WILLIAN and make the difference!!

  32. Jax says:

    It’s good to have someone to blame when things go wrong and Willian is as good a fit as we’re likely to get. His passing to the other side is legendary as is the lack of ability to run quickly with or without the ball. I can’t imagine why Edu & Arteta brought him in on such a lucrative contract other than to complete a hat trick of Kia Joorabchian signings.

  33. David says:

    All the Arsenal players don’t seem to know what to do on the pitch, if your new to this it’s only logical you will be starring this role. Not his fouled.

  34. Stephen Graham says:

    Sorry, Sir, but you’re TOTALLY devoid of ANY point with that mindless excuse for an article. Obviously you’re trying to wind people upe, so reap this whirlwind, now. When a player has entered the pitch, received 20 balls and turned 17 of them back and found something else to do with only 3, it doesn’t matter how long he’s been on. He has used his few minutes to just be negative. Willian doesn’t go past defenders, doesn’t shoot, and is thus a SERIOUS stumbling block to our attack. He’s no scapegoat. In neutralizing Arsenal’s goalscoring power, he’s the real deal. Paid to score or contribute to the attack, but actually pressuring our defence? You’re crazy to try and defend him.

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