Aston Villa loss highlights why Arsenal may have made a mistake with Willian

Arsenal signed Willian on a three-year deal this summer after Chelsea had refused to offer him a contract for the same duration.

The Brazilian had spent the last seven years at Stamford Bridge and he was keen to remain with the Premier League side.

Chelsea didn’t agree to offer him more than a two-year deal and Arsenal took advantage to sign him, having met his contract demands.

There was division over the decision by the club with some fans supporting it and others thinking that it wasn’t a smart idea.

The Brazilian had a point to prove and he did that in his first game for the club against Fulham.

In that Premier League opener, the former Chelsea man provided three assists in a 3-0 win for the Gunners.

He must have won even more fans with that performance, however, things have gone downhill for him since that match.

The Aston Villa game yesterday is the kind of match that you would have expected him to perform very well, but stats have now revealed that Arsenal will probably be better off without him in their team.

Express Sports reports a stat from Opta which says that Willian played only two forward passes in the 65 minutes that he spent on the pitch for Arsenal.

For a player as experienced as he is, that is simply not good enough.

Tags Willian

21 Comments

  1. SueP says:

    Hindsight is a wonderful thing but I haven’t written him off yet.

    It is almost as if everyone wants to write off whoever isn’t firing straightaway Patience isn’t a virtue these days, unfortunately

    1. Indeed says:

      Thanks SueP! Well said!

    2. CorporateMan says:

      Patience for a PL veteran? Then what for a player coming in from a different league? Spare me please.
      Truth is that Arsenal have been having more misses than hits in the transfer market of late.

      1. SueP says:

        Do all new signings hit the ground running regardless of EPL experience? Patience isn’t open ended but a little goes a long way

    3. jon fox says:

      Wrong SueP, as patience definitely IS a virtue! It is certainly true that few of our fans have any patience and have unrealistic expectations.

  2. Reggie says:

    Probably one of single most disappointments of any player we have signed so far. I have seen nothing from him, no new team boost, no effort, no skill and no influence at all from him. The guy is getting into the team under false pretences, i was hoping for a lot more, i was excited by him but ultimately he has been non existent. We need more and soon.

  3. Shortboygooner says:

    Was a stupid buy. We have pepe and Nelson. And now willian is slowing down both of their progress.

    We all know willian was a good at chelsea player. But its like the old defenders we always used to buy. We buy them once the big club is done with them and wonder why it doesn’t work out.

    These big clubs must laugh their arse off when their players get old and past it and hear arsenal want them.

    For crying out loud. These are just text book mistakes. My biggest issue with buying willian is he was never a world beater. He was good and on his day he could be very good. But he was never a 9 or 10.

    1. Davi says:

      William was always ridiculously talented, he ticks almost all the boxes for an attacking midfielder – 2 footed, great close control, good passer, can score from loads of different positions – and he was fantastic last season. The issue is his mentality. He doesn’t look motivated and certainly doesn’t bring the kind of leadership I think the management were hoping for.

      1. Mike says:

        Not just Willian but the whole team why are all of them playing like they uninterested, not motivated, do they still buy into Arteta’s vision for the way forward,or is it something else, regardless Arteta needs to come up with the solution fast or it will be another wasted season

  4. lcw says:

    If we needed a player like him, why did we release Mkhitaryan for free? The people making business decisions at Arsenal are clueless.

  5. Twig says:

    “Express Sports reports a stat from Opta which says that Willian played only two forward passes in the 65 minutes that he spent on the pitch for Arsenal”

    You play a forward pass when there’s a player to play a forward pass to. There’s something wrong with the team structure. I believe the lack of a CAM is affecting the team. Imagine if this team had Jack Grealish…

    1. PJ-SA says:

      100% Twig. I agree Willian may not be the best buy of the season but he’s still a decent player. There is something very wrong with our attacking structure and it shows.

      Unfortunately Willian seems to be suffering the most because of it. Maybe he is used to a functioning attacking structure which we clearing do not have currently.

  6. Sean Williams says:

    Arteta determines the style of football we play. We play like remote-controlled robots. Arteta has no experience and it is showing. He controls the players too tightly and they have forgotten how to express themselves. Our team play like headless chickens. No creativity whatsoever. The players hate playing like robots. Loosen up Arteta.

    1. Declan says:

      We play like remote controlled robots and like headless chickens at the same time! Please explain how the hell that works.? Perhaps Jon Fox can confirm if this statement is a wonderful oxymoron 🤔

  7. Jonny says:

    You lot were celebrating this so much 2 months ago saying ‘we signed chelseas best player’. How deluded can you get? Every single Chelsea fan told you exactly what to expect with Willian but you didn’t want to hear it and act shocked when he turns up every 1 in 6 games.

    1. Jax says:

      As one of ‘us lot’ may I offer my heartfelt gratitude and appreciativeness for your expert explanation of my delusion and refusal to listen to Chelsea fans.
      If only I had taken notice!!!

  8. Top Gunner says:

    Arsenal fans were insulting me when I said Willian is an average player. Arsenal release Mkhitaryan and buys Willian. Who’s a better player between the two? Appointing Arteta as head coach was a terrible mistake

  9. Grandad says:

    TG, while I was not in favour of signing Willian, anyone who has chalked up 70 full caps for a team like Brazil cannot be described as “average”. I would hope you would have the decency to acknowledge that, but then again you may feel you are better qualified than the various professional Managers under whom he has played.As to your assertions concerning the error in appointing Arteta , perhaps you could let us have your constructive views on how he can improve the teams performance in terms of system, tactics, selection etc.I await your comments with interest.

    1. SueP says:

      Grandad
      There is very little chance of that.

    2. jon fox says:

      Grandad When you rightly call these unthinking reactionary hotheads out, as you have done , they cannot answer your searching questions.. They are harming our great club and heaping unnecessary pressure on our players and manager, so I wish they would just vanish (that is the polite phrase for saying what I really want to say to them but dare not)!

      Juveniles all of them, with a sense of self entitlement, apeing Trump, by throwing their toys out of the pram!

  10. Moscow Gooner says:

    Lol Willian is world class and the sooner you lot started appreciating this ‘fact’ the better you, because this is set to certainly go on for all of 3 years! Lmao

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