Willock: I trust the boss to give me chances when I deserve it

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Joe Willock produced another mpressive performance in Arsenal’s midfield and helped himself to a second Europa League goal of the season as the Gunners came from behind to beat Norwegian side Molde 4-1.

After the game, the England under-21 international faced the BT Sport cameras. Here’s what he had to say…

On a tough game…

The first half they started really sharp and played really well. We had to stick with it. I thought we stuck to the game plan, didn’t get frustrated and came out on top.

On his goal…

It broke for us, Nico [Pepe] looked up, passed to me and I wasn’t making a mistake with that one. I had a couple of chances earlier on so I thought this is my time to score and it went in. I’m happy to get another goal.

On an earlier offside goal…

I’m not too sure, I’ve not watched it back. Eddie snuck in front of me and scored. I didn’t think he was offside. I don’t know if I was offside or not. But I didn’t think Eddie was offside.

On whether he’s disappointed by a lack of Premier League game time…

To be honest, I’m taking it game-by-game. It’s part of my journey, I’m a young kid, I’m just trying to play well every time I get a chance and I need to learn from the disappointment of not being in the squad and getting myself back up for playing tonight. I trust in the manager and I trust that he’ll give me opportunities when I deserve it.

On whether he gets feedback from the boss…

I leave it to myself. I’m working hard to perform like I did today again. When I get a chance to play in the Premier League, hopefully, I can do the same.

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TOGooner

Think he deserves his chance against tougher PL opposition. He has that wonderful and much needed chaos element. I don’t think Partey and Elneny will be enough for Villas low block, we will need him. 4-3-3 lets go.

SheffieldGooner

Yeah let him play the full match #Joe 90 (ask your dad)

Dennis Elbow

Da da da daaa da da, da da da dadadadadadadada da da!

Naked Cygan

If we play 4 3 3 I think one from the 3 in midfield will be Saka on the left supporting Auba. But I think we overload the left side too much and become too predictable. We Saka, or how willock played tonight, to make more central runs into the box and leg Auba and Tierney to do the damage from left. WE need that extra body from midfield in making runs like Willock and the goals will come.

Daveo

Another thing about Willock is his character. It’s phenomenal. Once again he is baited by the press to complain about game time. But he couldn’t handle it more professionally. No doubt Arteta watches this too. It’s not just one the pitch he is impressing. But I fully agree with your on the pitch assessment too. Playing Willock with his ability to get between lines and make late runs into the box will allow us to be so much more effective through the middle and less left side dominant; less predictable.

Tanned arse

I think his involvement depends on the position of auba. If auba is left and saka clergy merits a start, then it’s tough to find a place for him. Auba middle with saka left then leaves another slot in midfield

iGooner

The question is are our fans willing to be patient when he makes the mistakes? Last I saw people were scrutinising him for the missed chances. I’d love to see him given the chance since his type of playing style is not evident in our team. ESR is the closest I believe

Daveo

Yes, I’m astonished how quickly people turn on Willock when he makes a couple small errors. Even in those games he is still doing things no one else in the squad does. And if he ever turns it over you can bet he chases his arse off to get it back, which his pace helps immensely with.

Vision of a more dynamic team is starting to emerge:
Leno
Bellerin – Holding/Luiz – Gaby – tierney
Elneny – Partey
Willock
Pepe-Auba-Saka

johnnycash

chaos element is not a football term stop talking rubbish

Pastor Simon

He reminds me of Ramsey

Fatgooner

Willock deserves to start against Villa. He gives us creativity and energy in the middle of the park – something we’ve been missing for ages.

That Pires Tackle

And I say start him instead of Lacazette. Breaks down passing lanes. Energy, running. False 9 suits him and Arteta system plus we keep Mo and Partey together.

Byo

What is all this “deserve to start” bandwagon created by the press? So we know more than Mikel who sees & trains with him everyday?
Mikel is very clear about his criteria about game time for every member of the squad.

Naked Cygan

I also think we need to play Pepe 20-30% more central. He us extremely deadly around the D out side the box. If he is near the corner flag he can’t score.

Artetas Assistant

‘High Confidence Rating’ is clearly a big thing for Arsenal academy final exams

David C

MOTM for me. Looks like he had great chemistry with Pepe. Start either one of them over Willian.

Homer

Go on son.
How can you not like this.

Granit(e) hard!

I just feel like a proud dad when I watch our academy kids doing well, and Joe is another one i think is poised to break in to the starting 11 like Saka because he offers a skillset in the midfield that nobody else has in the squad for now and if he adds goals to his game, like he seems to be doing, then like Saka, the time will come when you cant keep him out…he was threathening to score all evening, makibg those runs from midfield like Ramsey…no other midfielder in that squad brings that kind of credible… Read more »

Byo

I’m glad Mikel made it clear to the press that young players get a chance by earning the right. And not based on some arbitrary criteria.

Thesoulofpdavis

He is playing well, but so is Elneny.