Opinion: Willock needs a little more trust to blossom like Saka

Scoring in seven consecutive Premier League games is no mean feat by anyone, especially when they also scored against defending champions, at the time, Liverpool. You have to admit that the player is special.

Joe Willock managed this achievement when he played on loan at Newcastle United in the second half of last season.

The midfielder had struggled to play for Arsenal in the first half of the campaign and watched as Emile Smith Rowe broke into the first-team squad, while he remained on the bench at the Emirates.

The loan stint at Saint James Park showed us that we have a real gem on our hands with Willock.

It is now left for Mikel Arteta to get the best out of him as Steve Bruce did last season.

Willock cannot say he hasnโ€™t been given opportunities to become a mainstay in the Arsenal squad.

He has failed to achieve that until now, but I am convinced that what he needs is a little more trust from Arteta to blossom.

Bukayo Saka and Smith Rowe have enjoyed this with their current manager, but the likes of William Saliba and Gabriel Martinelli havenโ€™t.

If Arteta can trust the midfielder some more, I am confident that he can save us the money we would otherwise use to sign a new attacking midfielder.

An article from Ime

Tags Joe Willock


  1. There’s no evidence of reversing a MA opinion about anything, his ego won’t allow it.

    Remember when he said everyone has a clean slate at the start of last season and within 2 weeks a couple of the usual’s were ousted.

    I hope Willock at least gets a 6 month chance but even 1st team players already struggle to get a run of starts no matter what their performances like Martinelli for eg

  2. Another year at Newcastle would be a good shout in my view. He’ll get far more games there if if he were to be considered a first team member at Arsenal. If he can carry his form from last season throughout the next, he’ll be a great asset to the club.

    1. Sean, it would be an interesting call to send Joe Willock out again on loan to Newcastle United. The question is why did he thrive under a supposedly poor manager in Steve Bruce, yet Arsenal can’t get more out of him, when the Club is desperate for goal scoring midfielders?

  3. Addditons are always welcome and necessary for any club but even without them, the current squad if properly utilised are title contenders to the last minute.

    Willock is a proof for everyone to see. Give Martinelli to Liverpool and you will have player of the season there.

    1. HH
      Would have to disagree with you on that
      Look at Brewater.. had the world at his feet and now plying his trade at lonely Sheffield. Every team can be culpable of making a ricket or two.
      I like willock. Has actually done the best out of all his brother. Would love to see him earn his stripes at our place
      But you can’t win things with a bunch of kids…who said that? ๐Ÿ˜€

      1. Yes Alan.

        A winning team is a combination of individual talents and the right formation utilising their strengths and covering their weaknesses (every player have both)

        You can have a squad of top talents but without correct formation they will achieve nothing and you can have the squad of average talents but with right formation they will achieve something.

        When we say our squad is average most of us are looking only on the individual side of the equation while completely ignoring how well are they made to play together.

        Willock performance at Newcastle was a revelation and it didn’t take him any time to show what he is made of. The Arsenal Willock was a frightened kitten while the Newcastle Willock was a roaring tiger. All inside one season. I would like to see Martinelli and Nelson loaned to another Premier league clubs and see how they will perform.

  4. He wasn’t bad when he played as the right DM in Europa League, despite not having Partey’s dribbling skill. Unfortunately he didn’t play well as a CAM behind our CF, although he might need more starting chances instead of being a CAM in just three matches

    However, he seems to have understood the CAM role better from his stint at Newcastle. He has good aerial ability, but he doesn’t have Smith-Rowe’s ball control and decision making

    If he stays, we won’t need another right-footed CAM. Let Smith-Rowe and Willock compete for the starting role

    1. Well said I totally agree with your analysis of J Willock. ๐Ÿ‘Œ I hope Arteta sees it that way. Arteta is simply unpredictable sometimes.

  5. No reason what so ever why Willock should not be in our first team next season. If a midfielder can score 7 games on the trot and make such an impression on Newcastles season, he has to be trusted. But will he?

    1. Come on Denmark!

      Coming home? How can the English say that when it’s never even been there?? ๐Ÿคฃ bit arrogant.

  6. The same folks who are screaming for Willock to stay and ESR to sign are often the same ones screaming for Edu to sign Aouar, Camvinga and Maddison.

    Difficult to have it both ways.

    These kids are ambitious and no amount of love for Arsenal is going to make them content to ride the bench.

    1. No, i don’t know what you are on about, im only backing Willock, not championing any of who you say.

        1. I think personally, most people would want Willock ahead of those mentioned, just because he is ours and he has premier league form.

          1. I’d love to think you’re right Reggie but my gut is that most fans will see not signing a CAM and giving Willock a chance as a failed window.

  7. Willock and ESR, both have just two years each left in their current contract. Unlike ESR, for whom a contract extension is already put forward by the club, nothing of that sort has been done for Willock. It’s obvious that Willock will play no part in the Arsenal squad moving forward. I won’t put my money of Willock remaining at Arsenal, when the transfer window slam shut.

      1. At least, the club have admitted their desire to retain the services of ESR by publicly speaking about tabling a contract extension. Willock’s position is the exact opposite of that. Not one statement relating to an extension has been released so far.

        Though not official, there were rumours in the past few days about academy products Nelson and Nketiah have been offered an extension which they are not keen to take up. Coupled with ESR stalling on an extension and youngsters like AMN and Saliba not getting enough minutes on the pitch, the future looks worrying.

  8. As an England fan, I just want to enquire from anyone here… Uhm, why does Sterlings fall in the penalty box equals a claim for a penalty when the Danish captain scored an own goal ๐Ÿค”

    Why does the guy do that???

  9. It is not trust Willock needs, it is a change in the Arsenal system.

    He has much more freedom when he plays for Newcastle.

    Under both Emery and Arteta he has to adhere to their playing structure.

    If I were Willock I would push for a move to Newcastle. I fear he will be constrained at Arsenal.

    I hate to say these things, but just like ESR, I think he too needs to go to another club.

  10. I agree with Admin Martin. A competently run organization, firstly ensures that it fully utilizes internal assets, before it goes outside to the market place to buy in. Scarce financial resources must targetted at bringing in players, where positions are deficient or upgrades are required.
    To not give players like Martinelli, ESR, Saliba and Willock opportunities at Arsenal is extremely poor player asset management. However, what has to be also considered is that young players must be managed properly so they are not overplayed to incur injuries.
    If a player is good enough they are old enough. Arsenal cannot afford to waste the talents of its Academy graduates, given the financial constraints most clubs operate under.

  11. At this stage i believe the best thing for both parties would be to sell him and use the money to buy a new midfielder!

    1. Interesting Siamonis, you matter of factly think we should sell a young english, improving and capable of scoring 7 games on the trot from midfield player and get in a new midfielder. Interesting because firstly we haven’t bought anyone yet and secondly, who? We aren’t that attractive as is plainly obvious by all the very good midfield talent that have blanked us in favour of a better prospect of a team. Plus we will be buying no guarantees.

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