Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta opted to play Willian as a centre-forward against Manchester City this weekend, but did fans think it worked out?
As far as I can recall, the Brazilian has never been fielded in the role from his time at Chelsea, nor for Brazil, but our manager made the shock decision to throw him into the role at the weekend.
The performance has raised mixed reviews, with a number of comments on this Just Arsenal page criticising the decision, while the manager himself claims that he was happy, and hinting that he will play in the role again in the near future.
‘We need to have the versatility to play in different formations, occupying different spaces,’ Arteta said after the match (via the Metro).
‘I believe it was a game for him, the way City play, the way they attract opponents and the spaces that can be used.
‘He was really convinced as well. It was obviously really hard to leave two strikers on the bench but it was a tactical decision.’
Asked if he was happy with Willian’s display, Arteta continued: ‘Yes, in some moments better than others.
‘But I think he will grow and understand better that position as we use him in other occasions, maybe surround him with other players as well.
‘But I’m happy with the game he had.’
I’m not sure it was the best performance from Willian, although making the decision to try this new role out away at Manchester City was always going to cause a stir, be it good or bad.
I can’t say I was happy with the way things panned out, but had we avoided defeat like we deserved to do, this could have been a different conversation.
I know some of you disliked Willian in the role on Saturday, but can you see it working it out in other matches this season?