The arrival of Willian in the summer brought a mixed reaction from Arsenal fans. We all knew how good he could be when he played for Chelsea and we had high hopes he would bring some trickiness and energy to our play.
But things have not worked out at all so far, and it can’t help his confidence that he is getting more and more abuse from Gooners after yet another uninspiring performance, and he seems to be a victim of his lack of self-belief at the moment.
But his countryman (and ex-Chelsea team-mate) David Luiz is very sure that the 32 year-old will regain his former confidence and skill. “Few people know the person Willian. But those who do know can’t say they don’t love him. Because everyone loves him as a person,” Luiz told ESPN Brasil.
“Everyone knows the player Willian. And everyone knows Willian’s potential. And he doesn’t have to prove anything to anyone after so many years at the highest level. And he’s in a moment which is not so pleasant on the individual level because things are not happening.
“But he’s an experienced, intelligent guy, who knows what he should know, and what he must do every day.
“You don’t see Willian murmuring about training, you don’t see Willian not training. He’s always dedicated, he’s looking for the best, to improve, to grow. You don’t see Willian with an ugly face on the bench. All those things.
“So he’s a guy who will get through this, he will get through this moment and he’ll still bring a lot of joy to Arsenal, to this club. Because there’s this turbulence, just as I had in the first few months.
“It’s not easy, you change clubs, from one rival to another, you have all the cannons facing you. Everything you do people will compare [to what you’d done before].
“Supporters on one side who loved you are sad because you left and are nervous. Supporters on the other side, who cheered against you, are like, ‘I’m not going to like this guy who came from the other side’.
“You end up feeling, in a way, just a little unsure until you adapt. My first months weren’t easy, and that’s what I try to pass on to Willian. ‘Calm down, things will work out, things will happen. Just keep working because you’re you, there’s no way to change. You’re a great person and you’re a great player. Calm down. Things are going to happen’.
“That’s what we try. Everyone already loves Willian here, so I know that things will happen in the best possible way soon.”
Well it does seem strange that Willian has not really performed for Arsenal since the Fulham game at the start of the season, but he does get severely scrutinized by fans in every single game. Maybe if us fans started believing in him, he may start believing in himself?
This run of bad form can’t last forever. Form is temporary, but class is permanent…