The ex-Chelsea star Willian has been much-maligned by Arsenal fans this season, and to be fair, the Brazilian has hardly set the field alight since his arrival in the summer.
But Mikel Arteta refused to criticize him and says the 32-year-old does everyone right in training and seems certain that it is ony a matter of time before he gets his mojo back. The boss told Arsenal.com: “What he’s doing at the moment, the way he’s training, the way he’s working, the way he’s willing to give everything to the team is what I demand.
“Whether he’s more successful or less successful in the game is another matter, it will come with the quality that he has, but this is what I demand to every player. A full commitment and to put the passion and everything they have in every training session and when they have the opportunity to play, and so far Willian has done that every single day.”
But Willian does seem to have a crisis of confidence away from his comfort zone that he had at Stamford Bridge, and with some appalling stats in Arsenal games, it is no wonder he has come under scrutiny from pundits and fans. So does Arteta think that he has been harshly treated? “I don’t say it’s unfair because with Willy the expectation is really high in terms of the goals he can score, the assists he can create. You expect him to be in the starting lineup as well so it’s normal that people write things about him. We have to protect him, we have to support him as much as we can, because he deserves it from the way he handles his profession and the way he is with us.”
So does that mean Willian could be in tonight’s team against Benfica? “Well, he’s part of the squad so he’s got a good chance.” Arteta concluded.
Should Arteta keep playing Willian until he gets his confidence back?
— Just Arsenal News (@JustArsenal) February 17, 2021