At last Arsenal are being ruthless with Willock decision

Last season I was called negative and having an agenda for saying I would bite off anyone’s hand if they wanted to give us 20 million for Joe Willock.

The same was said for my prediction that our summer net spend would be between 50-80 million.

What that agenda was would never be fully explained.

It’s reported that we have accepted just over 20 million from Newcastle for Willock which means with less than a week till our campaign kicks off our net spend will be approx. 60 million.

I am not writing that to say I told you so, simply reminding some gooners that being positive for the sake of it doesn’t change our reality.

Arsenal are not immune from criticism just because they are called Arsenal and in the case of Willock just because he’s promoted from our academy doesn’t mean he should be immune from appraisal.

The question isn’t “is he or could he be a good player?” It should be “Is he good enough to take us back to the 4?”

That is the level we should be aiming for.

Heck, that’s the level so many of our fan base used to moan about.

Would Joe Willock get into any of the current top 4 midfield? If the answer is no, then only sentiment is making you sad about him being sold.

It’s fantastic when ‘one of your own’ succeeds but that doesn’t mean you keep him if a manager doesn’t rate the talent.

On loan at the North East the midfielder scored in 6 consecutive games, equaling Alan Shearer’s record.

In many ways the short term deal suited everyone. It contributed in the Toon Army avoiding relegation, the player got game time and Arsenal saw value on an asset increase .

Not quite what the 21 year old wanted. He could not have done more to prove Arteta wrong, but clearly the Spaniard had already made up his mind up.

Whatever your opinion on our manager he’s the third Gunners coach who, having worked with the player daily in training, has judged him not good enough to have a consistent run in the team. .

While many base Willock’s future on his final 6 games for the Toon, it would be  wrong to ignore that Arsenal gave him 78 appearances in the first team. How many were great?

Since his debut in 2017 Arsenal have been in decline with one of our worst midfields in history. If ever there was a chance to break into our midfield it was in the last 3 years where we have struggled for creativity.

12 months ago, Arsenal were paying Ozil to sit at home so it’s not like there hasn’t been a position open to him.

Working for an owner who will save money every chance he gets, if there was a chance our youth set up had produced the answer to our problems we would be starting him.

Think of a Fabregas, Wilshire, a Ramsey, etc. Arsenal are famous for giving youth a chance .

The difference is it didn’t take those three over 78 appearances to have a great game.

I often compared Willock and Reiss Nelson as two fans who have won the prize of playing for the team they support.

They play like they are grateful to be there rather than believing they belong on this stage.

My memories of both in the red and white shirt is them playing with fear, taking the easy option due to being scared of making a mistake.

Their talents are not in question.

You don’t join a club at the age of 4 and make it all the way to the first team without having quality. The next step and what can’t be coached is personality.

Do you have the mentality to demand the ball?

Do you take on your man?

Do you fight till the last second?

A Saka and Smith Rowe showed that mentality. Joe Willock hasn’t.

That is what decides who plays for a midtable side or who competes for honours.

Playing at the level we want to be, you have to cope with the pressure of being expected to win every week, and if you don’t, living with backlash from fans who will dissect every last detail .

That’s why finding the net for Newcastle doesn’t mean it would be the same in North London.

Newcastle are not expected to play entertaining football yet alone win games.

Lose at Arsenal, it’s talked about on 24 hour news channels and online.

It’s forgotten that Steve Bruce wasn’t starting Willock. Most goals came from the bench.

That’s because in 2021 you need your CM to do more than time the odd run into the area.

Can they pick a pass?

Can they read a game?

Do they have game management?

Can I see Willock in a big game doing something to win us there points? No! Which means 20 million is a fair price.

It’s funny that the same Gooners who want Willock to get more chances accused the likes of Walcott and the Ox of stagnating due to being too comfortable.

Arsenal are finally being ruthless.

Willock would be mostly on the bench therefore 20 million would be decent business, especially if it raises funds for a creative midfielder.

But I do wish him all the best…

Be Kind In comments

Dan Smith

Tags Joe Willock


  1. Apart from your usual unfounded dig at the owners for not spending, saving etc. etc. I mostly agree.
    The fact is, we can’t just spend and spend. We, like everybody else, also need to sell to raise money, and the “unfortunate” situation is, we have over the last 5-6 years aquired so many players, we can’t get any money for. Willock is one the few assets we can do without, which another is willing to pay for.

    1. Excuse me @ Martinelli video
      Why is this guy training alone.
      Did he not just return from the Olympics football final? Just about a week, so he has lost shape, just in less than 10 days.
      Palava dey oooooo!

        1. @Anders S.
          Clearly not a reply.
          I just hope someone who understands what’s going will hint me. It is put here for prominence

      1. Joe Willock isn’t good enough to be relied upon to take Arsenal into top 4, on his own, so £25m is good business for us; we should be thankful he does have suitors.
        However, he is a good midfielder who would improve into an above average player soon. Arteta loves him and did give him chances but when it was crunch time, Arteta had to quit the experiments. Willock has fight in him and always played for the shirt, contrary to your assertion. I admit that quality alone will not get us into CL places.

    2. You not liking what you hear is not a dig
      It’s the true
      If we sold spend is approx 60 million
      Soz that’s not what u want to hear

      1. @Dan
        Arsenal has over the past 5 years and past 10 years only been outspent in transfers by Man U and Man City. We are also one of the clubs with the highest salary bills.
        Those are the facts, and it has been shown to you several times.
        But either you can’t or you won’t accept it.
        You obviosly want to create hate towards the owners no matter what, and you are prepared to use fake facts again and again.
        It’s a pity.

  2. All the best Willock. And I disagree on the part where he got compared to Theo and Alex. Those two are seasoned players turn stagnant. You have to be a psychic to know Joe will turn out to be like them. The reality is that he is just getting there, even though I don’t see him as a player that can push us into Top 4. Let’s just wish him well.

    1. Get your facts right Anders, our wage bill is behind Chelsea, city, man united, Liverpool, unless you are comparing us to the likes of Tottenham, Everton, westham I really don’t understand your rant to Dan

      1. Sorry Kenya 001.
        But it is you who need to get your facts right.
        In salaries, we are behind Man U, Man C and Chelsea, but in front of Liverpool, Spurs and all the rest.
        In transfers, we have nett spend higher than all except Man U and Man C.
        So the fact remains, we are a very high spending club, and accusing the ownwers for the opposite is a plain false accusation.
        My only interst in this, is that we base our discussions on facts, and not false facts/myths, and the reasons why we are struggling must be found somewhere else.

  3. It’s always been my view as well – that we take advantage of Willock’s present value and cash in. And I’m glad we have
    It was a similar situation with Maitland-Niles last season. We missed out. Now we are stuck with him. We’d be mighty lucky to get anyone willing to take him for half the £20m that Wolves reportedly offered

    1. 100% agree. Unless Arteta genuiely planned on using Willock, which he clearly did not. Shame how he ruined AMN’s value. It’ll never be as high as it was last summer.

      1. He ruined AMN’s value how?, I thought more than anyone else, AMN should be able to impact his own value. He went on loan same time as Willock, and I don’t see people crediting Arteta for Willock’s success on loan, so why should he take the blame for AMN’s drop in value

        1. I think you’re wrong about this. Clubs make or mar players. Niles needed a game time but that he never really got at Arsenal and hence the decline in value

  4. So! We sell Willock because “he isnt good enough to get us into top 4” The manager, the way we play and the players we are buying are and have been for how long?
    I dont get your point at all, it isn’t right or true, you have no idea at all about what willock may or may not do next season and beyond. Selling willock and keeping Willian, xhaka, Bellerin etc is?

    1. Apparently he knows the future and should Willock do well which I’m not saying he would they will tell us hindsight is 50-50. I’ve seen a lot of simplistic arguments about him that were devoid of context. Even I’ve seen people here call Gnabry deadwood at the time where he was forever injured and couldn’t get a look in. It is easy to be simple I guess. Talk is cheap.

      1. Gnabry was never deadwood! And we all wanted him extended but the player wanted to leave! The guy was class but was plagued with injuries just like RVP!

        1. I didn’t say he was deadwood. I said I’ve seen him labelled deadwood here and that was the period from his loan spell with West Brom to when he got an injury that put him out for a long time. Many even implied if he couldn’t cut it at West Brom he won’t make it here and that we should stop hyping him up. In those times it was easy to label him as such because nothing as going on well for him but the thing is many don’t put context to their arguments.

        1. He’s had good, great, average and below average games at Arsenal. If people think him scoring goals at Newcastle is something that will just vanish then they are wrong because he has shown that ability from academy level to the senior level. When you sell a youngster with end product you’ve got to be skeptical. Of course most will downplay this but you just can’t. That will determine how good a player is in the long run.

          1. And he’s only 21! At Newcastle United he was a year older, more physically developed and playing under a manager, who put faith in him like Unai Emery had (23 starts, 7 goals by Willock).

          2. I can’t remember all that but off the top he was great along with Pepe when Arsenal lost to Liverpool away in Emery’s second season. They are too many contexts to this argument but people have over simplified it and just said he’s been bang average at Arsenal. Even in preseason under Emery he was great. It may have just been preseason but he actually showed the required ability on the ball that showed he has it in him to become a great player. He also has end product and this was even evident in the U23’s. His stats at Newcastle were not a shock to me. I expected if if he was fulfilling his potential.

    2. Reggie, agree 100%. Arsenal’s road yo improving the squad is to sell the young home grown prospects and keep the “unsellable”! “Wantaways” Bellerin, Xhaka, Torreira and Kolasinac are still on the books. Elneny is obviously thought more highly of than Willock.
      It will be interesting to see how the brains trust invest the funds from the sale of Willock. Hopefully it is a undated midfielder like Aouar, Fekir, Guimaraes or Bissouma, or even better two of the above. Instead it will be Aaron Ramsdale, at an over inflated price.
      Next I await Dan Smith’s reaction to good offers for Saka and ESR. You can only sell the family silver once, especially if you don’t invest in further assets.

        1. He has not been as good but it doesn’t mean he can’t be as good. Players develop differently for different reasons. One thing I am absolutely sure Willock will do is to continue scoring because he has shown this ability from the U23’s to senior level. Newcastle only provided the right system for him to showcase his coring ability. Now the only thing in question is if he has the right quality on the ball that will enable him to be a top midfielder as its not all about stats. That is where the big question is and will be eventually answered. That would prove if this was a dumb sale or a smart one. End product will always separate the men from the boys. Fact!

        2. Dan, read what I said; I did not infer that Willock was as good as Saka or ESR. If an offer big enough to tempt Arsenal, ESR and Saka would be at risk of sale the same as Willock, instead of the clubs being told “no thanks”.

    3. As much as I gree with you. I need to point out that he has wanted to sale off Willian, Xhaka and Bellerin but no clubs want pay for their services

    4. Mate, they CAN’T sell Willian and Bellerin because they’re League 1 level on Premier League wages.

      1. YouTube Willian and you will see his NOT League 1 caliber. He was just not Meant for AFC. About Bellerin i agree 💯%

  5. Just like the opening lines of the article, this Willock business’s effects will be clear for everyone to see only after a season or two.

    Nobody can predict it right now. It all depends on how the sale proceeds are utilized, where we finish in the league table at the end of the season and how well Willock does in his new club.

    Sad to lose a home grown talent. But, we’ll survive, just like we do now after losing our home, Highbury.

  6. I think people need to understand that not all players bloom at the same time. The general consensus is if you get a chance at 18/19 and don’t cut it that you never will. I strongly disagree with this. You cannot paint everyone with the same brush.

    Willock got enough chances when he was younger I agree but maybe it just wasn’t his time yet.

    The issue I have with the sale now is that his confidence was sky high as well as our need for goals from midfield. There’s no-one on our books that can score from midfield every few games and chip in often enough and there’s zero guarantee whoever we sign can do this (if we sign anyone).

    I think it was worth keeping him for 6 months more then selling if he doesn’t perform, he was already our player so worth a go right. I wish the lad well and hope he has a great career.

    For all those people saying he’d never replicate the goal scoring rate, I do agree. Very few would expect a goal a game from a midfielder but the point is that he has it in his locker. If he can get 8-10 goals a season that make s a huge difference.

    1. ‘Willock got enough chances when he was younger I agree but maybe it just wasn’t his time yet.’
      This is the reason he needs to move and prove himself, maybe one day he will be back here
      According to reports, there is sale-on clause or so,
      Am happy we can move him on, it’s the best deal for everyone better than sitting on the bench like Rei Nelson who I think is joking with his career

    2. You need to remember our manager in charge tho. Ideally, you wouldve liked him to use willock. Reality is Arteta would not have. Look how Arteta fought to keep AMN when several clubs wanted him. Then he let him rot on the bench, threw him out to WBA, and his value plumetted. You need to look at who is running things and ask if they are competent. Arteta would’ve just ruined Willocks value and probably his form. Good job on Willock for getting a move.

      1. Sell Willock with 1st refusal of buy back or atleast a 20% sale fee if he is sold on by Newcastle.

        If Bellerin can be sold with a loan and we do not replace him I am ok with this to be the case for the season ahead (with a summer purchase)

        If Brighton want to buy Eddie for 20m I would sell him, again even without a replacement brought in now.

        If Kosalinac is sold to feneb for £4m then sell.

        If Nelson is wanted on loan by CPFC than do it.

        It looks very likely atm that Ramsdale is our main current target for £25m + add ons. This will leave us with 30m approx to spend.

        Maddison is not likely, Auour might be.
        Do we spend the remainder on a striker, attacking midfielder or a right back?

        We wont get everything we want. I appreciate the effort currently to see, release or loan 15 members of our squad over the past season and a half.

    3. Its just that people just lump up players in a group and rubbish all of them without considering some of them in context. I’ve seen some about Gnabry before. Its a simplistic way of looking at things and these days players are easily hyped too. I laugh at some of the players fans yearn for. You’d realize its just hype than actual evidence on the pitch.

    4. Joe Willock’s “chances when younger” – 23 games, 7 goals under Unai Emery, when Arsenal midfielders weren’t contributing goals. Which other Arsenal midfielders has approached that?

    5. Spot on. He started delivering now & who in current Arsenal team is better than him in AMF position? None

  7. I reckon Willock’s playing style to be similar to Lingard’s and Ramsey’s. They prioritize scoring over other midfield tasks, hence they frequently move to the penalty box

    The midfielder’s fox in the box playing style can be great for quick and physical teams, so I’m surprised West Ham didn’t try to sign Willock after Lingard left. Willock is pretty good in aerial duels, so he’ll strengthen Newcastle and hopefully the decision to sell him doesn’t come back to bite us

    At least we’ll get some money to buy a new player. I heard we’re still contacting Abraham

    1. Ramsey possessed a lot of other qualities and in 13/14 you could see it. He has never really recovered from the Shawcross tackle. He would probably have been world class. Even when he was young he had some sort of flair.

        1. Its a shame really. He started to show flashes in 13/14 and even since then but he’s still injury prone. If he had a run of matches he would be good enough for a top team imo because he scores goals and actually possesses quality on the ball when at his best. Even Rosicky suffered same after his injury in 07/08. It was all flashes after that for him too. He and Eduardo being out ended Arsenal that season.

          1. The same fate seems to be happening to Bellerin too, but our medical team still have time to assess his condition

          2. I don’t put Bellerin in the same category. His decision making was never consistently good enough. That is his problem. End product will separate the men from the boys. When you sell a youngster with end product you should be a bit skeptical.

          3. Yeah but with respect to that season it was Eduardo and Rosicky injuries that really hurt Arsenal though I get what you mean

    2. GAI
      Tammy is going to Roma according to mail online fee agreed for 34m.

      I eagerly awaits the play Arsenal will buy. It will reveal if the manager knows what his team really needs.
      I am yet to be fully convinced with the “grits and Steel” we have in midfield especially after T.Pathey injury .And our CF has not impreesed if pre season is anything to consider.

      1. GAI
        Tammy is going to Roma according to mail online fee agreed for 34m.

        I eagerly awaits the player Arsenal will buy with J.Willock money. It will reveal if the manager knows what his team really needs.
        I am yet to be fully convinced with the “grits and Steel” we have in midfield especially after T.Pathey injury .And our CF has not impreesed if pre season is anything to consider.

        1. Apparently £5 million loan with purchase at end of loan year, yet Roma didn’t have the money for Xhaka.

      2. Talk Sport said we have agreed the personal terms with Abraham, but Transfer Checker said otherwise

        I think Abraham will choose us to stay in London, if we match Roma’s offer. I heard about Abraham’s bad hold-up play from Chelsea fans on YouTube, so I prefer to stick with Lacazette until we sell him

        1. He was also a boyhood arsenal fan so yes I definitely think he would chose us GAI and if you judge by stats they are fairly prolific for a 23 year old

          209 appearances, 90 goals, 24 assists across loan spells at Swansea, Bristol City, Aston Villa and his career at Chelsea. Pretty good considering its spread across four teams, played nearly half the games of Timo this year and scored as many goals. But when I actually watch him play I’m rarely impressed, he has that unpolished bambi technique about him like welbeck, first touch and hold up play arent great. If he could improve on his all round game he could be great but I’m not convinced by him.

        2. Ya I prefer Lacazette too. holding up play is a skill set that comes with a players talent; Tammy may not be able to develop that. But he will be a threat in the air and in the box especially if he uses his body well. May be we should stick with Lacazette and give Folarin Balogun chances to build his confidence that comes with more playing time.

          1. Arsenal still need to change either Aubameyang or lacazette our goal scoring has been poor in the last season, new player must be brought on to assist the department or can we say we should depend on the youth players well, something must be done to that department

        3. GAI, I far prefer Dusan Vlahovic from Fiorintino for the money. The Serbian international is 21 and 1.9m, 21 goals in 40 appearances last season in Serie A, so meets your profile for a “target man” Plan B CF.

    3. I share in ur opinion. Willock’s play is like Ramsey since the Shawcross injury. Before Ramsey became a star, it took a while again and there was nothing really nice about his game, but Wenger kept using him. Willock showed good knack for scoring last season at Newcastle and if you have watched some of arsenals game where he featured he had shown such traits before the Newcastle loan. He will probably not be a world beater of a midfielder or a 95% accuracy midfielder, but he guarantees goals from midfield. It’s only a pity that it’s not enough for Arteta.

  8. for every 25 minutes he played against all big teams liver pool, TOT, ETC HE SCORED. Arsenal need goals.
    so with him as A sub weshall be assured of at least a goal.
    sell him and by the 4th game Arsenal fans will reject u as man

  9. Under normal circumstances I would say sell Willock. Trouble is Partey is injured, and we are reliant on two players who should be gone….far away. Xhaka and Elneny. Unless we are surprised by a sudden signing of two real quality midfielders then we are relying on injury recovery from Partey and the magical elevation of the two stooges Xhaka and Elneny. Groundhog Day no???? I predict unless we sign a Goalkeeper, a Right Back (Max Aarons?), and a couple of mid-fielders, 8th-10th in the EPL. We are being pathetically managed. If we do buy the right players, then we can compete.

    1. I don’t think it’s wise to keep Willock just because Partey starts the season injured. Also he’s turned 21 now so would take a full squad place, albeit as a home grown. Not sure a RB is top of the priorities and as Aarons wont be cheap I cant see that happening.
      Of course nobody KNOWS how a player will develop, but by that yardstick we would never release any academy players!
      For me he has never looked like he will become a top quality player so £20m is a great price.

      1. To be sincere with ourselves willock isn’t supposed to be sold at this stage but the problem Arsenal is facing right now is that Arsenal must sell before buying, and most of the players Arsenal are parading for sale don’t have value for sale and the only player that fit into that is Joe willock, he’s a player Arsenal should keep because presently he might not be the answer to Arsenal squad but no one knows what he can become tomorrow but because Arsenal need money selling him is very important as we all know Arsenal need a quality attacking midfielder, probably a striker

  10. If he turns out like Iwobi, then its good business.

    If he turns out like Martinez, well..

    Lets see if MA and Edu have done their homework.

    Deals such as Martinez, Willian and Runarsson dont paint a good picture on theie competence.

        1. Dam I miss that kid
          We were like the 3 amigos with the Amount of abuse we used to get 😂

          Was even told to hang myself and my family 😂

          I suppose we were all wrong after he’s set the world on fire at Neverton 💦✊

          1. Bloody hell, Dan, the stuff some people come out with is unbelievable.

            We feel the Evertonians pain 🤣🤣

        2. We all remember how MUCH you “LOVED” Iwobi, Phil! All those “kind words” you wrote about him too.

          It was also largely my view and to get £35 mill for him was an unbelievable outcome Like selling an old banger for £50k. Shame we have lost the knack of selling our rubbish for good money!

          1. At least we got GBP35M for Iwobi, he did not bleed the club like the other fella who “honored his contract” with a return of two assists in eighteen games and as reported we paid his 350K/Week till the very last day! Respect to Iwobi for moving and fetching us GBP35M or else he too could have “honored the contract”.

  11. When I read the headline Ox and Walcott came to mine and then I saw you mentioned them within the article. I read that Liverpool wants rid of Ox. AFC should have gotten rid of these two players ages ago..I agree with your assessment of Willock..

  12. if price is 20mill as first reported then no good. If 25mill+, then well done. We have to think long and hard about the next players we buy now. Will they end up like Torreira/Guendouzi/Kolasinac/Mustafi/, or will they actually be worthwhile transfers and fight for the club. The signs and attitude I see from some of our targets like Odegaard and Aouar, I’m not so sure. I quickly see us them becoming deadwood and a lot blame being thrown around afterwards.

  13. Btw, Mustafi bought for £35m 5 years ago, is still without club after being released by Schalke.

    Who scouted this guy?

  14. top class article dan smith. well written and very passionate which makes it all the more readable.i think this is very good business from arsenal, i have never rated joe as one of our outstanding players. he was thhere, in the background, but, we need players to stand up and be counted, joe was never counted.

    1. What a mug, Joe Willock is better than all of Arsenal’s midfielders apart from Partey.

      Smith Rowe is overrated, he never looks like scoring and hardly creates anything, a large percentage of so called Arsenal fans are just as retarded as Arteta.

      1. Imo we should have kept willock,he brings something different to our static midfield , when he runs with the ball he takes 2or 3 players with him making space for other players ,he’s fairly good in the air and he scores goals , he is going to get bigger and stronger as he develops , how many millions is Arteta going to spend on a midfield player who’s only contributions is passing the ball sideways? This is going to be a very costly mistake , if Arteta was a good coach he would coached him but he’s looking like a fraud.

      1. The decision to let Willock is already taken, so since I am not anywhere near those who took it, I won’t, as per now hail or bash it. The problem is replacing him with an equal or worse alternative. Look back at Torreira vs the Algerian midfielder at AC Milan. We need a strong, serious play maker to complement Granite and Thomas as I see them as the main duo in holding midfield. We need a fighter there and not relying entirely on Smith Rowe. Don’t even pursue Madison because he is likely not different from a 23 y/o Rowe. Get Bruno from Lyon and for the sake of Top 4, show love to Lava with 3 year contract, even if it means he might not complete them. My biggest fear is where we are heading with Mesut Oubameyang Emetic. Otherwise, kudos for the 3 arrivals so far. They look like they will improve us, with time

        1. Well DAN seems to me that if you are going to bother registering on JAand wish to commentat all, then to use just one word is plain immature and silly.

          How anyone can make their views plain in a single word is impossible. He is simply a poser and wants attention. That is why he uses that profile and acts up to it.

          No one is ever left uncertain about my views – or yours for that matter – as I use more than enough words to make my views plain.

          But then I have English at my command and I must presume he does not, poor soul.

  15. Am with you.We have been with Joe for long bt the game he was playing will never take arsenal to top four.If he go then we will wish him the best

    1. Joe Willock scored 7 goals in 23 games under Unai Emery and 8 goals in 15 games under Steve Bruce 2 years later. Maybe Arsenal should look at who managed him in the intervening period?
      Good luck Joe, going where you are appreciated. Now let’s see how well the transfer fee is used.

  16. What a load of dishonest, disingenuous nonsense!!! How many games has Joe Willock started in the premier league? You say 3 managers deemed Joe Willock not good enough? That is a LIE, Arsene Wenger said on many occasions that Joe Willock is pushing for a first team start, when he was manager of Arsenal. After Wenger left, Emery chose the likes of Guendouzie and Torrira over the then 19 year old Joe Willock and we all see how those two flops turned out. Arteta comes in and he recalls Elneny and Cabellos and we see how that turned out.
    Joe Willock is not the saviour of Arsenal however, he ALWAYS scored quite regularly in the Europa league when given the chance.

    Smith Rowe is not good enough to play for Arsenal, he doesn’t look like scoring or creating.
    I hope Joe Willock goes back to Arsenal with Newcastle, scores the winning goal and celebrates in front of Arteta’s stupid ignorant face.

  17. When Willock was with the U23’s it was clear that one of his talents was goal-scoring so for me what he did at Newcastle was nothing new to me and even then when he’s played for Arsenal he’s shown that in his good games he can find the spaces that enable him to score.You saying he’s not good enough for a top team doesn’t mean he won’t develop to be good enough for a top team. For me when I look at a youngster apart from what they do on the ball it is their end product that will separate them from others in the long run. Of course end product doesn’t necessarily mean goals and assist but I’m sure you get the gist. What I’d advice is to not make simplistic arguments devoid of context. For some players its obvious they don’t have talent but for some it’s like they haven’t peaked at a level where you can make a proper judgement.

  18. Off you pop willcock.

    Decent enough player but not seeing anything world beating in him. We already have our quota of average players already.

    We need a system of play that is progressive and understandable by those meant to be implementing it, players in positions they excel in or at the very least are comfortable in. Players that bleed for the badge and club vision to be No1 or at the very least earn some of the hugely inflated salaries they take home.

    Instead we have bang average Xhaka on a new contract, a disinterested Kroenke and a Learner plate Manager who is over complicating/analysing everything.

    Expect nothing different.

    1. Yes Arsenal do have their quota of avarage players starting with Smith Rowe, Xhaka, Elneny, Holding, Chambers, Bellerin,

      Joe Willock scores goals, he scored more goals for Arsenal last season than Smith Rowe in half the playing time as Smith Rowe.

      1. @Ryan Cummins
        You get it Gooner…I still don’t see all the hype over ESR. Yet Willock has proven ability, but gets sold.

    2. AOT, yes, that’s the winning strategy to improve Arsenal’s overall squad quality: sell the young up and coming prospects and keep the non performers the Club can’t sell to take up squad places.
      Last season eighth place and 55 goals scored is all you need to know.

  19. I agree, you said it right is he top 4 team quality. Let’s compare him to Mason Mount, Phil Foden, Charlie Gilmore, Saka and Smith Rowe and even Charlie Patino. Thwy just look technically far better and I don’t think Joe is anywhere near those boys tbh unfortunately. I think he will come good but he needs to work harder on the pitch, work on his creativity and be a bit nastier.

    He isn’t what we need right now and that’s the important point. Capitalising on his value now is the correct call and throw in a sell on and buy back clause to give us the option. AMN has a chance now and for me can prove to be more effective than Elneny, let’s hope he takes it.

    We need a new RB CDM and CAM and a striker. We need to give ourselves more tactical freedom and options as well as balance

    1. Smith Rowe?????

      Joe Willock scored more goals for Arsenal last season than Smith Rowe in half the playing time as Smith Rowe.

      Joe Willock scores goals, he scored 8 goals in 14 games for Newcastle.

      You lot have been brainwashed into Arteta’s way of thinking, slow boring possession football with no end product.

      1. I certainly haven’t . As a player he was side pass arteta and so is the style of play he brings as a defence minded trainee manager.

        Willock has had his moments but aside from his goals with the times I’ve seen him play his impact was minimal. He certainly needs to improve his wider game and contribution.

        Smith Rowe too has much room for improvement but someone has to get picked for the outdoor. This time Arteta Willcock was the least likely to blossom.

      2. Under Emery Willock scored 7 goals in 23 games at 19 yo, under Bruce 7 goals in 15 games at 21 yo, yet not good enough to be retained by Arteta in a team that finished eighth scoring 55 goals. How many Arsenal midfielders have that productivity, given Willock scored more goals in 15 games than the whole Arsenal midfield under Arteta?
        And I always thought a good manager’s first requirement was to best utilize the resources at their disposal?

        1. Yes , but JW never looked convincing at Arsenal .
          Frustratingly losing ball possession too often or giving ball away through poorly weighted touches. Sensible sale.

  20. This is apologetic to me.
    Last summer when Emiliano left, some fans he saw him going to battle relegation. I said no then.
    And here we go again, if he is not good enough for top 4 ambition of same old, same old Arsenal, I wonder why he shouldn’t be let go in peace.

  21. “I am not writing that to say I told you so”…laughable comment, if you didn’t want to infer that notion, why even bring it up

    “It should be “Is he good enough to take us back to the 4?” then explain why we still employ several players within the midfield, like Elneny and most especially Xhaka, who will never raise our game to such heights and have far lower ceilings moving forward…another cake and eat it too attempt that failed to hit the mark

    “It’s forgotten that Steve Bruce wasn’t starting Willock. Most goals came from the bench” simply NOT true…5 of the 8 came in games which he started, which, according to my calculations, is more than 3…skewing this fact so that it fit your specific narrative is only going to negatively affect the perceived credibility of any information that came before or after said misguided claim

    1. Willock’s stats at NUFC

      Starts – 11 and scored 5.

      Subs – 3 and scored 3 in 46 minutes total VS Liverpool, WestHam and Spurs, all finished above us in the league.

  22. RUTHLESS indeed – when dealing with the young players: Willock, Torreira, Guendozi, Saliba; For the older players like, Willian, Xhaha (perhaps Auba and Laca too) we are still TOOTHLESS.

  23. Please when is Auba, Laca, Hector, Elneny, Mari and Xhaka leaving Arsenal? Edu and Arteta needs to offload these dudes let start building Arsenal afresh. It’s so frustrating, annoying and disheartening watching arsenal of then playing compare to what those guys are doing now at arsenal😭😭.

  24. Well you know we need players who love the club and play for it and not to see a job opportunity, or as painful to say a ladder to a bigger team. And we need directors who care for the club and not for their pockets imagine Arsen Wenger having Arab money to spend. Or Arteta’s money in case of some players. Well Arteta is dangerous, maybe he wasn’t ready for this team and the image we are showing is worse than before.

  25. This has to be a necessary step to getting quality mid. And another 10. And a backup goalie. And another mid

  26. I don’t rate willock personally so getting 25m for him is a godsend … but it probably says more about arteta and his ultra cautious brand of football that he is more comfortable having the likes of elneny and xhaka as regulars when there is not a team in the entire epl that would take them for less than willock … a third failed window … yes I know there’s 2 weeks left … no sign of football improving … mid table mediocrity written in the tea leaves

    1. U know what? Willock scored more goals in 15 games for Newcastle than the entire arsenal midfield combined in a whole season

  27. To be Ruthless for the sake of being Ruthless is ignorant. The Oxford definition of Ruthlessness is :- “The quality of lacking pity or compassion for others”. I hope their is a better word to describe what is needed.
    Having watched all the pre-season matches I would say Arteta needs some connection to the players he has, before he starts to become even more devoid of empathy and other wholesome characteristics that would improve Arsenal cohesively. We have looked……like an out of synch group who cannot gel and get any creativity, rhythm or intensity.

  28. Let him dispose all his “deadwood” and create a cohesive formidable team. But he should not fail to bring a reliable CAM otherwise we might finish even below this NUFC. I have to be honest i have seen very little or NO Creativity after the Carzola, Sanchez, Ozil partnership collapsed.

  29. Arsenal is at last being “ruthless” ?
    Being ruthless was when Arsenal sacked Terry Neil for losing 11 games, Bruce Rioch after finishing fifth, Arsene Wenger after finishing sixth and Unai Emery with Arsenal in eighth place after finishing fifth the season before.
    This season will be an example of the old Chinese curse: “may you live in interesting times”.

  30. But even when Carzola/Sanchez/Ozil creative partnership was ON and reigning very well in the team creating chances to score goals in number in the PL for Arsenal.

    And the trio partnership efforts made then worked a great deal to help Arsenal regularly making the top-four place finish with some ease added to their making it. This is in contract to the struggle that Arsenal are going through now fot five consecutive seasons to remake the top-four that has eluded them making it once again,

    But since Sanchez left to earn more money elsewhere. And Carzola too had to leave due to the very bad injury he sustained that looked will not heal. Consequently, the partnership miserably broke down. With Ozil the remaining player in the trio partnership force left to continue with creating goals scoring chances in the team. But the chances he created thereafter were very negligible as time went by.

    The top-four place finish which us once said is not a trophy, which of course is true. But us are now craving to attain it again more than ever has now become the corner stone upon which Arteta wants to build the new Arsenal team that will become very successful team winning the PL and UCL in the very near future. Maybe in the case of the PL title, Arsenal will win it this season.

    So therefore, let him build the team then. I wish him and Edu a very big success in their attempts and efforts making this summer transfer window to succeed building the team.

    But can Arteta and Edu have a rethink on their stance to sell their successful in recent years of the Arsenal academic school graduate Joe Willock to Newcastle this summer transfer window for a paltry sum of £20-25m. Not even for £40-45m. Which if sold for that, he will be a steal for Newcastle this season by the time he scored over 20 PL goals for them. Which I believe he could if taking into account the prolific goals scoring form that he has attained at Newcastle within the short time he was there last season when scored 7 times out of 7 applications is anything to rely upon as indicator to what he might do at Arsenal this season if they keep him.

    1. You are absolutely right – it is a ridiculous sum for one of our own home grown players who has basically kept another team in the premiership. While we are spending millions more on others, we are frittering away our own talent for nothing. Makes me so annoyed, that we ar not even given him a chance now – no other club would make such a mistake. Another Emi waiting to happen ….

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