Joe Willock reveals how Arsenal players reacted to Mikel Arteta’s appointment

Joe Willock has revealed that Arsenal’s players didn’t warm to the idea of working under Mikel Arteta when the Spaniard first arrived.

Arteta had never held a senior managerial role before Arsenal took a chance on him and made him their manager last year.

Under the vastly experienced and previously successful Unai Emery, the Gunners had been struggling to get results, and he was fired late last year.

After a brief spell under club legend, Freddie Ljungberg, Arsenal decided to make Arteta their next permanent manager.

The Spaniard came with no experience, and even some of the club’s fans wondered why they would name him as their manager when there were other more experienced managers like Carlo Ancelotti on the market.

The players also had their doubts about working with him, and Willock has recently discussed it.

‘When he first came in we were a bit sceptical about what he could do, obviously, he’s a very young manager,’ Willock told The Beautiful Game podcast.

‘Most of the players that play now have all played with him. So, we were a bit hesitant on how to approach the situation.

‘But we all let him in with open arms and we all thought, ‘Let’s see what he has to offer’.

‘He’s come in and he’s been nothing short of amazing really. His detail and man-management with every single player and we’re just all excited to work with him. 

‘Personally, I’m just really learning so much from him and learning about the game in ways I’ve never really learnt about the game. He’s an amazing man and an amazing coach.’

The Spaniard has now led the Gunners to the FA Cup final, but for a few bad results, they would also be in a better position on the league table.

Tags Joe Willock mikel arteta

1 Comment

  1. jon fox says:

    Some fans look but do not want to really see what they look at. Others look with a keen and shrewd eye and see things that many either don’t want to or are simply not able to see. This happens with players and with managers.

    A growing number of Gooners are now beginning to really believe in Artta and now share my opinion which, right from his start, was of that of a very special man with great communication abilities and the ability to win over ehearts and minds.

    Being so many years in theatre I have seen this quality countless times with directors of quality and seen the opposite effect too. It was clear to me from the start, having already seen him as our Player and Captain that he is way out of the ordinary with great natural authority, self belief,work ethic, total self honesty and a charisma which will carry hearts and minds with him.

    He has handled the OZIL AND GUENDOUZI PROBLEMS WITH STUDIED CALM AND MADE MANY CRUCIALLY CORRECT TACTICAL DECISIONS BOTH ON AND OFF FIELD.
    No serious minded person can rationally deny that he has an enormous task to turn the Arsenal ship around, while being mindful of the huge Kroenke handicap that our rivals do not have to suffer.
    If and I believe WHEN, we once again have an owner who cares for the club he or she owns, we will make far quicker progress. Essentially it is now a battle between the talents of Arteta and the ball and chain dragging back by mean minded and mean spirited Kroenke.

    But Arteta is doing a grand job and deserves the full support of all of us. Even from those not open eyed enough to see what we worldly wise ones can see so clearly.

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