Joe Willock: I’m living the dream

joe willock arsenal burnley

Joe Willock says he’s living his dream, having come through the Arsenal Academy to play for the first team.

The 19 year old put in an impressive performance against a tough Burnley side, but helped the Gunners to a 2-1 win over the team managed by a man whose head looks like a badly burned testicle.

Willock joined fellow graduates Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Reiss Nelson in the starting line-up, and he says it’s evidence of the quality that Arsenal have coming through the ranks.

“It shows how good the academy is,” he said. “We’re all coming from the same place, Hale End, and we’re all progressing.

“To play alongside my closest friend in Reiss is amazing – it’s a dream come true. I’m just living my dream.”

He played his part in a strong midfield performance, creating a fine chance for Lucas Torreira late on, and dovetailing nicely with Matteo Guendouzi and man of the match Dani Ceballos.

The performance of the Spaniard caught the eye, but Willock says they knew it was something the on-loan Real Madrid man was capable of.

“I wasn’t surprised,” he continued. “You see in training every day he’s technical and he’s from a big club like Real Madrid.

“Those are the performances we expect – but he was brilliant today.”

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Very impressive from Willock. Another best of an effort.

Great close control and willing to get physical.


AMN, Willock, Nelson, good academy representation.

Nice to see Llungberg on the bench. He’s doing a great job nurturing these kids.


Wonder if there is any thought of getting their buddy Sancho into the mix next year. Probably dependant on CL football, but he’s indicated he’ll not renew at Dortmund.

Anyways I’m very happy with what we have, and maybe Saka will be better than Sancho. Not forgetting Pepe of course.


Sancho is a £100 mill + player. Who plays were Pepe does. Can’t see us being able to afford him, plus do you drop Pepe? Would love Sancho, I think he’s one of the best English talents in a generation, but don’t think it will happen.


Can’t see us doing that unless we sold one of Auba and Laca, who we’re trying to sign up to long term deals. If Pepe does the business then, considering Nelson and Saka’s potential, you’d have to say it’s one area of the pitch that doesn’t need a major upgrade.


We may have to (be prey to) sell one of Laca or Auba.

That will bring decent money. But we may have to still invest in Cm if cebellos returns to RM.

And we will have to factor in 21m for Pepe and Saliba into next summer’s transfer still.

So we could either add wide or in forward position or someone like Pepe who can potentially play both to continue with a fluid front 3.

We will be looking at emerging strikers for sure (plus an eye on progress of Nektiah and Martinelli). Nelson will also weigh heavily.


Shine on for many prosperous years to come


Willock gallops like Viera.. I love him so much.

Gooners & Roses

gallops like Viera, and if he can dribbles like Diaby, that would be something.


Very pleased for him. I think one of the greatest things to see in football is an academy player making the breakthrough to the first team. Winning matches and trophies are important but the development of players like Willock is a testament to the club’s ethos and the hours of quality work out in by both the coaches and the player himself. Honestly, I am much more engaged in a team that is growing home talent even if in the short term that means dropping points. Of course, with youngsters as good as the ones we have there isn’t necessarily… Read more »


Well, you echoed my exact sentiments!

Even before Raul pulled of a masterclass in the transfer window, was thinking to myself, why not give our academy graduates a chance? If the club is cash strapped, the only way to give the fans something to mull over is promote the youngsters. There always exists a special bond between academy graduates and the fans

I genuinely will overlook the inconsistencies that are always part of a young player’s game. Give me that over the club splashing 35 big ones on an experienced pro that drops mediocre performances.

Fully on-board on project youth!


is the experienced pro GX?

Tankard Gooner

I think GX would be before his time.


No, not really to be honest. Xhaka is not an average player, we all know his flaws but he is a good player I suppose my point was, rather stock the team (and club coffers) with average players, would make more sense to give those positions to our own youth players On another note, the club has nailed it in terms of the squad balance, a mix of top class experienced pros, recruitment of high ceiling young players and promoting our own. There is a plan, we can all see it and would argue its our duty as fans to… Read more »


Xhaka is so underrated.

Morgan Chaambwa

Great job at Arsenal. Academy players making it in the senior impressive


Totally agree.


I thought it was a good idea to get pepe with that club record fee in other to make academy products to understand that if you want to be in the 1st 11,be more competitive.remeber, jack wilshire and walcort didnt have this kind of competion.nelson and joe now know that there spot is waiting to be taken so they have no choice than to be better in every game


Shine on you crazy diamond!

Mentally Drained Gooner

This is why we need a good academy. So that players can come through and make a mark and save us stupid millions for fringe players. And if they are good enough they’ll be rewarded.

Naija Gunner

You are bad blogs that phrase about Burnley’s manager “the team managed by a man whose head looks like a badly burned testicle”.


Kanu Believe It

And he sounds like a sandy ballbag.*

*football ramble

Kampala goober ?

What the fuck was the badly burnt testacle rambling on about during his after match press meet. I’m beginning to feel he might be just a big Arsenal fun deep inside.


I have so much love for seeing these young lads come through and literally living the dream, I don’t really think it matters where you come from geographically but the intensity of London derbys is burnt into these guys from such a young age I can’t help but think it helps, we saw that in cesc and woljech, I can’t wait to see it in the new crop. COYG

Bernd Testes

Woe to the badly burned testicle. His team could get the sac if they don’t penetrate more.

Uh, What?

Thank you blogs! I have never seen a badly burned testicle, but if I do, I will think of Sean Dyche.

Der Kaiser

Let’s hope this is historic:-

I just hope that Joe, Reiss and the other youngsters are Professional and don’t blow their chance, career etc. Sincerely hope they remeber where they come from & it does not go to their heads.


One of the things that helped Arseblog become extremely popular is Gooners were fed up with mainstream media and wanted an Arsenal news source that wasn’t a filthy sewer of anti-Arsenal tabloid rubbish.

Anyone remember the story the Daily Mail did about Iwobi going to a mate’s b’day celebration at a nightclub? They called it a “DRUGS PARTY”. Don’t give your clicks to this kinda crap. Let Joe Willock live his life.


1000+ upvotes

Gary Baldy

kaius – spot on.

Thanks to sites like Arseblog, but mainly Arseblog, I don’t need to scan any of those filthy rags or watch and/or listen to sensationalist channels or stations for the merest of scraps about The Arsenal. I haven’t had to for nearly since Arseblog started, thank God !

Let’s not forget the ‘ nicking a living ‘ tag form some twit from a tabloid rag, that has dogged Özil ever since, which may have played into his malaise and how fans view him.

The mainstream media can be poisonous, read with caution !!!


Just another click-bait article, from shitty news source.

Its wholly based on the unverified account of a single anonymous source, with no actual evidence. Just ignore it and move on.

Der Kaiser

Like the fact that no tabloid stories re: ANM. I recall various stories about his Mum when he was younger. To cope with that and get to where he is today shows some mental strength. Top man!!!


Maybe his mum is the reason there are no tabloid stories about AMN? Even when that incident with the coach happened he backed her 100% and said he wouldn’t have made it as a pro without her.


Greatest compliment i can give Willock is that he reminds me of Diaby.


????? badly burned testicle .. lol


The one thing I’d say about him is that he doesn’t seem like a youngster at all. Yes he has energy and enthusiasm, but his intelligence and his composure on the ball totally belie his years. In fact he plays like he’s been playing with us for years! Fantastic to see him, Nelson and AMN take their chance.


Fair play Santori – you’ve taken some stick for very (very) long posts, kept them short and can make some good points ?

Gary Baldy

Great performance from him considering his age and relative inexperience. I like him from his showings last season and pre-season.

He seems to be a little underated in some quarters still but between him and Ceballos we have replaced one player, in Ramsey, trying too much, with two players doing their respective jobs well and very well respectively.