Premier League legend says Arsenal is to blame for Willian’s form

John Barnes has sensationally claimed that Arsenal is to blame for Willian’s poor form instead of the other way.

Willian has come in for some stick after his poor form for the Gunners since he joined them in the summer on a free transfer.

The Brazilian was one of the transfers that were expected to transform Arsenal from an underachieving team into a top-four contender this season.

To his credit, Willian had most of the Arsenal fan base thinking that he will make their team better in his first game for the club.

He starred with two assists in their 3-0 win over Fulham in their first Premier League match.

However, since that game, he has struggled to make an impact in any shape or form for the team.

His poor form has come in for criticism with some fans questioning his relevance to the team, but Barnes claims that Arsenal is the problem and not the player.

Barnes said as quoted by Football London: “Willian’s contract situation has nothing to do with his slow start. As a player, Willian has always had a good attitude, he works hard and gives 100% for the team.

“A three-year contract for Mesut Ozil was a much bigger mistake given his lack of involvement within the team, and this season.

“Willian has come to an inconsistent team, it’s not the player himself that is at fault but the team he is in. If Willian went to a consistent team that was performing well every week, he would be a fantastic player and a great addition to the squad. It is on Arsenal and Mikel Arteta to try and get the most out of him.

“Looking at his age now, Liverpool probably wouldn’t want him, but a few years ago he would have been a perfect fit and exactly what Liverpool needed.

“Once Arsenal start to perform so will he (Willian) and the whole club will be in a much better place. Willian was never going to be the main man at Arsenal, he needs to come to a team that is playing well and then he will add to that.”

Tags John Barnes Willian


  1. So according to JB ,Willian will only perform in a good team?The same has been said about our highest paid employee who shall remain nemeless.

    1. The game should be tailored to the players strength. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
      If the coach insists on playing a certain way then the coach needs to bring in the right players. 32 ‘year olds’ are beyond teaching. It took Klopp almost 3 years to get where he is.

  2. I’d have thought the opposite should be true. You bring in a player with his record to improve the team you’ve got

    1. True.. But think about it in this way.. You go all out you buy Messi and Ronaldo…then play them as centerbacks..They will not improve your team..My analogy may not be spot on but i am sure you get the idea..setup makes a difference..

  3. To be honest, he is quite right.

    It is evident that there is something Arteta is trying to implement in this team, and that process is kind of limiting the players.
    I read an article where Willian said Mikel told him, “relax the ball will come to you”
    This shows that more preference is given to our defensive shape and organisation, thereby taking away our fluidity and creativity.
    If we continue this way, we won’t create much, we rightly blame Lacazette but he gets a chance in a game and we want him to convert that same chance, it is not impossible but maybe only Messi and Ronaldo can do that more consistently.

    We need to churn out more CLEAR CUT chances and that can only happen if we play a fluid game.
    What we are seeing right now is what Van Gaal was criticised for at United, where players have defined roles and MUST always maintain a particular position as assigned by the manager, most players will struggle in the kind of set up.
    Our game at Fulham was more expressive and fluid, Willian did well, at Old Trafford we were on the front foot he also did well imo.

    Now, my biggest surprise is how Arteta changed after the lock down and has refused to revert to the 4231 we played pre lockdown now that we have reliable defenders in Partey and Gab and most importantly, allow some freedom, because no matter the formation, if there is no change in the instructions, the performance will not change.





    We can play Saka on the right, then play Martinelli/Reiss/Willian on the left (he does better their) Ceballos can then move into the hole.
    This team if given the INSTRUCTION to attack freely will certainly create chances, what happened to ‘suffering’ together as a team? What happened to attacking and defending as a team?

    Put Willian in that Chelsea team, he will at least perform better than now, so I agree with the article.

  4. Willian will never turn any team to be top4 contender. The guy is an average player, even at Chelsea. The truth is that, Arteta is poor in spotting talented players.

      1. No mate he physically cant. Comes on here and lies, then doesnt reply to anything, few people on here with “gunner” or some variation of that, that are spud trolls, this guy included. Look out for it.

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