We are better without Willian! (opinion)
Although we just about came away with a win in midweek in our Europa League game against Rapid Vienna, we showed some sublime football at times, not including our first half obviously.
In the second half, especially after Aubameyang and Bellerin took to the stage, we showed that we can play quick, quality balls that Rapid didn’t know how to handle. The starting of Partey in the midfield added the pace and quality that we had been lacking in a few games, and although Xhaka sat the game out, one other notable absentee was Willian.
I thought we played so much better without him in the team and there is no denying his talent, but I will go as far as saying I think his quality days are over. Either that or he has just not been able to gel well with the team which would be wrong to say given how he played in our opening game of the season.
As soon as Aubameyang stepped onto the pitch, it quickly gave Partey another option to pass to and it was clearer to see with his first pass through for our skipper to try and score. Although that did not come off it gave us a glimpse into what future games will be like if the likes of Partey, Bellerin and Aubameyang started games together.
It also may be too soon to say but I felt that Partey made Pepe look good as well, and with him in the midfield in that second half more so, the team had more urgency and desire to move forward and create chances, Pepe included. Whereas with Willian, the times I have seen him in the side, play has been slow, and options have been lacking.
If we can keep Partey, Pepe, Lacazette, Aubameyang and most of the other boys fit and firing all season, and if we can produce the performances throughout the season as we did in the second half of the game in Austria then really, I am sorry to say, there will be no need for Willian.