Joe Willock reveals what Mikel Arteta told him before he started against Bournemouth.
Joe Willock has revealed how Mikel Arteta’s words encouraged him to star for Arsenal in their FA Cup win over Bournemouth on Monday.
The Gunners started the game brightly and took a two-goal lead before Sam Surridge scored a late consolation goal for the hosts.
Bukayo Saka was named the man of the match after he scored and assisted a goal, however, several other players including Willock could have been named man of the match for their impressive showing.
After the game, Willock was asked about his performance and he revealed that Mikel Arteta had motivated him with a demand for him to create the goals that the team needed.
Willock said per the Metro: ‘He wants me to stay in the pockets and create stuff. ‘He said to me today, “Joe, today you need to have a hand in creating goals” and I tried to do that. ‘So hopefully I made him happy. It’s good. ‘I’ve got people like Mesut to learn from and he’s teaching me a lot so I’m just really buzzing to get more opportunities.’
Willock also praised Arteta’s managerial skills and hailed his impact.
He added: ‘Arteta was a very good player, he’s a brilliant professional and a brilliant manager. ‘To learn from him now, growing up watching him, this is a dream come true. ‘I’m still trying to put more things into my game that I’ve learned from him and I’m trying to improve as a player under him.’
The evidence just keeps pouring in the effect that Arteta is having on the players, old and young. The more we hear about what Arteta is doing and saying behind the scenes the more confidence grows that the dark days are behind us.