Willock: Hopefully I’ll get more opportunities

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Joe Willock produced a man-of-the-match performance, scoring one and assisting Nicolas Pepe as the Gunners ran out 3-0 winners against Dundalk in the Europa League.

After the match, he faced the BT Sport cameras. Here’s what he had to say…

On the feeling in the dressing room…

We’re all happy to get the win after the loss at the weekend, I thought today we played well. In Europe, it’s never easy, you know. Every team is a struggle, we had to stick to our guns and I think we all did that today.

On being handed a start…

For me, I’m so grateful to play for this team To start from the beginning makes me happy and it’s a proud moment for my family. I thought we did well today and I’m just happy I can contribute with a goal.

On what Arteta has asked him to work on…

To be honest, he just told me to keep working hard in training and when I get the opportunity, I have to take it. There’s a lot of competition and we’re here to fight. I said to him, I want to fight for my position and hopefully I’ll get more opportunities like today where I can show what I can do.

On how he sees his game developing…

I love to score goals, I love to create, I love to work hard for the team. That’s what I focus on in training and I do a bit extra on finishing. I’m trying to work on little things I love to do, I’m trying to bring that to the pitch. I showed that today and I want to show it more.

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goonerrah

Willock is an “almost” player. He does so many good things but gets 1 thing wrong all the time.

Saka is the opposite, gets couple things wrong but gets enough right to make a big difference.

Looney

This is very wrong. Willock is a player with incredible exciting potential. I have always felt that way about him. I can say his style is completely different to all the other midfielders we have. He still has a lot of areas to improve on and he needs consistency. Please let’s be patient with him.

Naked Cygan

His style does not match the style of Arteta. He won’t make it under this regime.

Daveo

Well said looney. I too am a big willock fan. He has the all round game to be a big player. Just needs to polish some areas. But looked sharp tonight. I’d like to see him get more run in EPL again. Like you say he brings things no else on the midfield areas can provide. Pace, running and direct goal threat. He’s got a good motor and excellent work rate. Great attitude too. Not sure why so many are so down on him. Kid is 21.

Man Manny

Willock can be the new Ramsey. I see that in his game.
The timing of his arrival in the box is his strongest asset. Arteta should help him develop that.
His goal yesternight proved as much.

GloucesterGooner

Very impressed with Nelson too

Looney

He was very GOOD. Still needs to improve though. These kids need to play. I want to see more of Nelson, Willock and ESR

Neil Bamford

He brings so much to playing wide. In fact, what he does by getting to the byline and knocking those passes in is a what Pepe should be doing more often.

Also, if Pepe can shoot like that on his right foot why can’t he cross it in on his right also? Most frustrating player since Gervinho

johnnycash

id drop ceballos and give willock a few games

SB Still

Willock did well and deserved his goal and assist.

Nelson as well.

Lets see if this convinces Balogun to sign the contract.

goonerrah

You are a sheep

arsepedant

Does your daddy know you’re using his computer?

gooner

Your chances will come. The goal aside, I loved that his long strides into the box in the first half. Two or three strides he moved it from 24 yards out and he was on the six yard box chipping in a nice cross

Frank

As much as I’m excited about him and want him to do well we’ve seen Willick have good games before and do well but always against lesser opposition and then when hes thrown in in the premier league, when he has less space and time on the ball he seems to lose his effectiveness completely. Here’s hoping that will change but I dont want to get carried away just yet

Frank Bascombe

That’s true but he can only fully adjust the PL’s pace, with a few games. Tricky…

Artetas Assistant

Plus increasing age

SB Still

Off topic:

Keown criticised Jose childish, brilliant.

Positive, that’s not the last of this conversation, though!

SLC Gooner

Looked quite good. Certainly deserves some opportunities given our recent lack of offensive creativity. Same with Nelson.

Kai Fai Chung

He might be the only central midfielder in the squad that offers what we miss from Aaron Ramsey, the ability to run from deep and get in to the box for chances on goal. He can also carry the ball from midfield which others in the middle do not have the pace and technique to do, except Partey if we utilise more.

Naked Cygan

Just saw a stat; Dundulk are first team in Europa League to finish game with 0 fouls. The shirt pull on Wilock was 100% foul, and yellow card. The ref was ajust terrible.

Willock played good tonight, but I just don’t see him breaking into first team for us. Arteta plays slow, boribg, defensive, counter attack style in most games.

Hank Scorpio

Interestingly Willock was second behind Ozil for chances created per 90 minutes last season and top 3 for successful dribbles per 90 minutes. That doesn’t necessarily make him ‘The Answer’ to our creative woes and he’s still got a lot to improve on, but at this point he’s a good a candidate as any from the current selection for the advanced midfield role. Hopefully he does get a few more opportunities.

lessthanthesumoftheirparts

I don’t like him at number 10.
He needs to run from deep to move defenders and when’s he’s played in the Ozil hole before he’s looked totally lost. He doesn’t have Ozil’s touch or awareness IMO, he’s much more like Ramsey as a vertical running 8. Played well tonight though. Him Partey cebellos could be an infesting midfield.

Bergkamp2Wright

Let’s hope so Joe. He is no worse than some of our current first choice CM. And offers something different to all of them.

Maxwell Brandy

I really don’t see how he hasn’t featured in the PL. What does Ceballos/Xhaka partnership offer that he doesn’t? I’d love to see a Partey/Willock partnership for a run of games.

DialSquareGoon

He should play in midfield vs Man U.

Philip Visser

Man of the match was Pepe. Creative and played with maturity. Willock buzzing all over the place, and good close control of the ball – but to what effect?. Still play like it’s U-21, Decision-making in the box very poor (same as Nketiah). Still no idea how to control tempo of the game. Opposition tonight allowed as much space in midfield as you’ll ever get. I liked the way Nelson played until he started to play for himself in 2nd half, then he became selfish leading to poor decision making.

Toni

To what effect? A goal and an assist. I think his direct running and close control are exactly what was needed against a team that was willing to sit back and soak up pressure.

CoNr

tonight’s performance by Joe reminded me lots of Ramsey at his best, making great runs into the box, providing assists, and an eye for goal… the main difference between the two is Joe’s hamstrings aint made of 4 month old dry spaghetti lol. I really do think he will be immense for us over next year or two and nail his place as one of first names on the team sheet

Cultured Determination

Partey willock saka as the midfield 3.

Daveo

I could get behind this. Certainly different from the rather dour midfields we have been fronting over the last 3-4 seasons. Helluva lot more dynamic.