Pundit names one Arsenal player that has frustrated their fans this season

Former Norwich City goalkeeper, Robert Green has identified Willian as one player that has been frustrating to Arsenal’s fans in this campaign.

The Gunners signed the Brazilian on a free transfer in the summer after he left Chelsea following a seven-year stay with the Blues.

He had been in fine form towards the end of last season and that convinced Mikel Arteta to give him a three-year deal.

Chelsea refused that demand and it looked like their loss would be Arsenal’s gain.

However, Willian has proven to be a terrible buy for the Gunners with the Brazilian struggling for form all season.

Most top Arsenal stars, including Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, haven’t been pulling their weight in recent games, but Green reckons none of them has had a poorer season when compared to Willian.

He says Arsenal fans have been frustrated by his arrival and says earning a three-year deal from the Gunners is a bonus for him.

“Arsenal fans have been frustrated with Willian since his arrival,” said Green to Optus Sports via Premier League Productions. 

“And if you ask the Chelsea fans, they will tell you the same thing.

“Three years was the surprise. Chelsea offering him one, not sure he would have taken two, but three was a bonus.”

Tags Willian

16 Comments

  1. Thomo says:

    Tell us something we don’t know

    1. Declan says:

      But why is a former Norwich keeper giving his views on Willian and Arsenal, and more to the point, why should we care what he says?

      1. ozziegunner says:

        Declan, I can’t agree more!
        Every man and his dog is an expert on Arsenal.

        1. jon fox says:

          Declan and ozzie, Has either of you ever thought that there is such a concept as freedom of speech, which is precious and not to be denigrated, where anyone at all is perfectly entitled to give their opinions on anything at all?

          Have you also ever thought how awful it would be when NO ONE wants to talk about OUR TEAM? Perhaps you should, I’d suggest in all seriousness. IF NO ONE wants to talk about us that would mean we are not worth talking about. Wouldn’t you agree?

  2. SueP says:

    I thought Willian was holding out for 3 years because Chelsea were only offering him 2
    Both he and Auba should have been 2 years maximum at their age and such inflated earnings when the club are stretched

    1. ozziegunner says:

      SueP, you are correct that Willian was supposedly offered a 2 year contract by Chelsea, yet Arsenal sealed the deal with a 3 year contract offer.

    2. jon fox says:

      Sue P Yes that was my understanding too and was almost certainly exactly what happened. Shame it did, in fact more than a shame, more of a calamity and monstrous error of judgement.

  3. paul35m says:

    The only reason Willian signed with Arsenal was the offer of a three-year contract. Chelsea reportedly put a one year offer on the table, with a possible option of a second year. Other teams were willing to go two years. Arsenal had a need at the position and offered a three-year deal knowing Willian would be unlikely to be productive much beyond his second year.

    Teams do this sort of thing in all sports, all the time. It is a way of actually paying veteran players higher annual salaries by deferring the payments into years when they are unlikely to still be playing. Since this is not allowed under the league rules, no teams would ever admit to such an approach, but it happens all the time. It is also a better way to go than what Arsenal did with Ozil, which is pay him a huge wage that attracted the worst possible attention when the team was struggling.

    Typically of players turned pundits, Green acts like a moron; whether actually is and idiot or not, it is impossible to say. Anyone who looked at the deal understood that Arsenal were signing Willian for this season. He is 32 and his best position is on the wings. Very few wingers are effective into their mid-thirties because of the physical demands of the position. Arsenal wanted Willian because Pepe was disappointing, Bukayo Saka is young, and Jeffery Reiss Nelson is unproven. Willian has shown the ability to score goals and provide assists from the flanks.

    This season, Pepe is actually producing a good return for a winger who is not a full-time starter and Saka is improved over last year. Sadly, Reiss-Nelson has not had much in the way of opportunity, but Willian go the minutes he might otherwise have earned.

    Also, just to be clear, while Willian has not scored, he has provided 5 assists in a part-time role (Willian has started 14 of 29 games when fit, and played 1,200 of a possible 2,600 minutes). 5 assists is not a bad return from a player in his position, playing for a team that is, across the board, not creating chances for its forward players. While these are not star numbers, singling Willian out as the worst performer is stretching it, given his comparatively few opportunities.

    Saka, for example, has 5 goals and three assists from 2,100 minutes across 26 games. Pepe, by comparison, has been the best performer on the wings, with 5 goals and 1 assist in 1,200 minutes. across 23 games.

    1. ozziegunner says:

      Well presented, paul35m. 👍

  4. allezkev says:

    Hey, you’ve gotta hand it to Rob Green, he’s certainly ahead of the curve. So glad you posted that as I would never have guessed.

  5. vieralyn says:

    To be frank, this really wasn’t about being crafty from a financial standpoint, unlike in other salary capped sports where salary deferments or front-loaded contracts are commonplace, this was simply indicative of how far we’ve fallen

    in order to secure Willian’s services we felt it necessary to offer a triumvirate of contractual benefits that he clearly wouldn’t have secured elsewhere…not only did we offer him the highest potential salary, as is usually the case whenever we acquire a “free” player, assurances regarding significant starting minutes and an unreasonable term for a player of his age who was now going to see considerably more minutes

    each aspect of this contract could and should be considered irresponsible, especially for a team with our financial constraints and an already overinflated wage bill, but the most egregious components of the whole Willian debacle was that we had already invested heavily in that position and this would almost assuredly negatively affect us from a developmental perspective in what should have been a “rebuilding” year

    so unless the powers that be gave him some sort of ultimatum, following the raising of expectations after the FA, this horribly short-sighted decision, in my estimation, is a fireable offence, considering what has transpired and the potential future ramifications

    1. SueP says:

      Vieralyn
      I agree wholeheartedly with your penultimate paragraph
      I bang on about Wenger and his one year contract extensions but with Auba and Willian that sound advice was ignored

  6. Sue says:

    Funny how at the time of signing, especially Auba, nobody mentioned it being a mistake and that we should have only offered a year!!

    And look at Laca – slaughtered for his game against Slavia.. bangs in a brace against the Blades, now all and sundry want him to sign a new deal.

    It’s a funny old game!!

  7. Grandad says:

    Willian, who was a very fine player in his day, is yet another example of the incompetence of our recruitment team.

  8. A J says:

    Pepe frustrates the living daylights out of me.

    As for Willian.

    Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but this move has simply not worked out.

  9. jon fox says:

    Many fans and pundits talk about such and such a player being out of form But few are prepared to tell it as it actually is. Which is that form “miraculously and mysteriously” improves when a lazy player consents to put in a proper shift and actually start running with intent, closing down, moving into space and generally looking to actually EARN his considerable wages.

    I STATE WITH FIRM CONVICTION THAT LAZINESS IS THE TRUE REASON FOR WILLIANS LACK OF “FORM”!
    LIKEWISE WITH AUBA TOO!

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