Willian: My poor form is difficult to explain

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Willian admits he’s been far from his best since joining Arsenal in the summer but can’t put his finger on why his form has been so poor.

Lured from Stamford Bridge by a big-money, three-year contract, the Brazil international was earmarked to play an important role both on and off the pitch. So far it really hasn’t worked out.

In 18 appearances this season, the 32-year-old has mustered just three assists and is yet to hit the net. He doesn’t really look like he’s enjoying his football but insists he’ll work hard to rectify things.

In an interview with Arsenal’s official matchday programme ahead of the game with Crystal Palace, he said: “To be honest sometimes it can be difficult to explain.

“The first game was great for me, against Fulham, I felt I had a good performance and gave two assists. And then, I don’t know.

“I’m always trying to do my best, sometimes things don’t go the way you want. You have to say it’s a part of football and a part of life. Sometimes you have good moments, other times you have bad moments, you have to learn from that.

“And right now, I know I’m far away from being at my best, but I’m determined to work hard and change this.”

Willian went on to admit that he’s held talks with Mikel Arteta and feels he still has the backing of everyone at the club.

“Of course, we talk about lots of things together, and I know I have his support. That’s great for me, and to have the support of the club, so what I can do is always work hard, give my best in training to try to improve myself. This is the only way to get back to good performances.”

Earlier this week, the boss hinted that fellow summer signing Thomas Partey had found it tough moving from Spain to England in the middle of the pandemic. Having been in England for so long, Willian’s transition was supposed to be much smoother, but again, he admits he’s struggled.

“It’s never easy changing club, especially after being somewhere for so long,” he said.

“I was at Chelsea for seven years before coming to Arsenal and then you have a new club, a new philosophy. Things are different so I’m still adapting but I feel good, I have been learning a lot – a new footballing philosophy.

“Everyone is great here, I know I can improve a lot, and of course my performances on the pitch can be a lot better.”

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Sac, Lac & Craic

Willian, Willian you are
really nothing…

Johnny 4 Hats

C’mon guys.

We can do better than this.

And I like The Smiths…

Sac, Lac & Craic

Will I ain’t?

Snagger

Stop me if you’ve heard this before bigmouth strikes again this charming man is still ill. I know it’s over and this joke isn’t funny anymore. Panic.

myrtle

Lay off the random word generator buddy

Snagger

Random? What difference does it make?

Public Elneny

The quality of your jokes oscillate wildy

Snagger

Heaven knows I’m miserable now.

North Bank Gooner

Its cool, I will send you some Gladioli 😉

Qwaliteee

Yeah, we could do better.

And I’ve been suggesting how since last August.

Still, LEGO head knows what he’s doing. Not.

Hail Gus!

I don’t like to Paint a vulgar picture but Well I wonder, Is it really so strange that Money changes everything. He plays like he’s Asleep, like Half a person. But These things take time. I think I’ll Stretch and and wait before I know it’s over.

Var Will Solve The Problem

Willian is having what is called a “post contract performing crash”. Basically just slacking off after getting a good contract. Time for Edu and Arteta to light the proverbial fire up his arse!
I think both Willian and Pepe will come good once the knuckle down and start working really harder. There r already some signs from Pepe.

Andy

Like it

Daveo

I know I can improve a lot, and of course my performances on the pitch can be a lot better.”

Time to walk the walk Willy

Qwaliteee

He’s been wanking the wank up until now.

Daveo

Arteta has certainly been playing [with] his willy a lot

MrT

Arteta coaching how to talk the talk to Willy…

A P

If there is one thing Willian has done, it is to expose the farce of the ‘non-negotiables’.

HyperB

He looks a bit like the Lion teddy I used to take to bed with me as kid. That’s a bit of my childhood ruined right there. Thanks Willian.

Qwaliteee

He looks like a fucking waster who we should never have signed.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Should Fenerbahce or DC United sign him then?

Qwaliteee

Three FA Cups in four seasons to end our hitherto trophy drought was clearly not enough then.

Dylan

At least he acknowledges it…We can’t afford for him to be shite so let’s hope he can turn things around.

Qwaliteee

No, let’s hope he just fucks off.

The sooner the better.

ClassyGooner

I find comments like these baffling. When have you ever heard of a player leaving a club 6 months into a new 3yr contract? He’s obviously not going anywhere. The most we can do is hope he improves or that he stays out the 1st team if he doesn’t. That’s it. No foaming at the mouth needed. Just decency and (not-so-) common sense.

Viva La Prof

I think there is a Russian billionaire who can afford for all Chelsea players that come to us to be shite

Clock End 20

At least he recognises he’s been rubbish….

The first step in solving a problem is admitting you have one etc etc.

iGooner

Tbh signing you was, and still is, difficult to explain.

Alex Nagy

If what we’ve seen is trying your best then just call it a day my friend. I’m not usually one for slating players but the way he trots around the pitch not giving a shit is like he’s in total cruise control, seeing out his playing days before moving abroad for a lucrative deal in the middle east of Asia. Arteta also has to take some of the flack for playing him every game, sometimes the best thing to do is someone is struggling is take them out of the team for a bit to recover both mentally and physically.… Read more »

Krumphax

The cross for Evertons first goal is the epitomy of that. Just stolling with the attacker to let him get an assist. That was so uneblievably bad. But it was not the only instance. I just hope there will be a solution there.

Goonerrific

What to do with a problem like Willian?

MSPgoon

Early in the morrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrnin

myrtle

He’s more Piss alps than Swiss alps

Mark Foxwell

This is why we need to offer players like this performance based contracts.

PersonFace

Can’t fault any of that. What I can fault is how little of a shit he seems to give on the pitch most of the time.

Charles MMM

That’s exactly my angst with him. He’s saying all the right things here (guess they are schooled in PR stuff nowadays), but his work ethics and the quality of his sporting contributions make me to personally questions how genuine his commitment and dedication to this club that gave him this massive contract at such twilight football age is. Sorry, but I don’t buy into this PR gibberish until he starts walking the talk on the pitch. I never supported Edu getting him (after Luiz) and he just kept confirming my fears, but how I pray that he will prove me… Read more »

Qwaliteee

Let me help you explain, mate.

You’re a useless Chelsea reject, you’re utter shite and you’re stealing a living.

Berlingoon

Says the guy who loves Özil. Oh, the irony.

Qwaliteee

Anti-Ozil, Pro-Willian.

You’re nothing but a lover of mediocrity, sunshine.

Berlingoon

Yes, I’m absolutely pro Willian. I love him. He’s super duper fly. 🤦🏼‍♂️

Qwaliteee

Heh.

A confession, then.

A P

You are just a dumbass.

PersonFace

Why do you have to be so utterly disrespectful? Don’t say “I tell it like it is”, that’s not what you’re doing. There’s a way to express your opinion without being a dick, even if it’s a negative opinion. He’s a human being and he hasn’t anything to deserve your abuse. Your contempt? Have at it. Your criticism? Sure, nothing wrong with that. Your abusive way of expressing your opinion? No thanks mate, he doesn’t deserve that. Imagine if you went through a bad patch at your job and someone said that about you. Not cool. Just saying.

Qwaliteee

Why do you lot have to be so utterly thick? Willian isn’t fit to lace Ozil’s boots – yet he’s hero worshipped on here as though he was Pele. Wrong Brazilian mate. As for respect, a lot of you on here don’t know the meaning of the word. I’ve been called every name under the sun on this site, had members of my family insulted – and even questioned whether I was sexually abused as a child – and all because I appreciate the football talents of Mesut Ozil. You’re choosing to see my way of expressing myself as abusive… Read more »

PersonFace

It’s telling that my whole comment was about trying to get you to understand the importance of putting yourself in the other person’s shoes, and your reply starts with “Why do you lot have to be so utterly thick”. I didn’t need to read beyond that point to understand that this is most likely an absolute waste of my time. You clearly, at least in this moment, don’t have the ability to look at me as just another individual, and the rest of your comment has nothing to do with what I actually said. Anyone who disagrees with you is… Read more »

A P

So condescending.

Viva La Prof

I’m pro Özil and I’m pro Willian playing better, and according to my wife I’m still a dick

PersonFace

I think at that point you have to consider that it’s not football related 😉 .

Gunnersftw

I think Özil and Willian are just there to line their pockets. Just my opinion.

Qwaliteee

That’s as maybe.

The difference is that Ozil is world class player with a skill set that could have helped the team this season.

Willian is one of the major reasons why we slumped to 15th and flirted with relegation.

We’re still not out of the woods yet. And yet people still back him. It’s pathetic.

MrT

I am with you mate Qwalitee.. I think earning 250k a week and being useless deserves the ‘ Ultimate abuse ‘ 😁
#ArtetaOut 😉

Russ

Let’s at least try and back him. He is our player at the moment and he’s acknowledging his poor performance and probably feels pretty shit at the moment.

You don’t just turn into a bad player overnight, hopefully he can turn this around.

But yes, he has been very frustrating.

Charles MMM

You’re probably right, but he’s been more than frustrating and just like you pointed out,one don’t just turn into a bad player overnight, and I have my own suspensions about his lost of form since joining Arsenal FC, but without hard evidence (which is neither here nor there), I can’t say them publicly because it will only amount to mere rumours (and the stake is too high for mere rumours). I honestly wish that he turns out good for the club sake.

Viva La Prof

Is it STDs?, with Brazilian footballers it’s usually SDT’s !

Viva La Prof

Funking auto correct

Finsbury Park Gooner

Can’t argue with the honesty. Yes he’s driving us all crazy at the moment, and doing his best to disprove that you don’t turn into a bad player overnight. But. We all know he’s capable of so much more than this. Must be a confidence thing. He wouldn’t be the only one in the squad. Would be a lovely surprise if he can turn it around.

Cechmate

That’s what I like about Arteta, he is a smooth operator. He sensed the antagonism against one of his favorite players and gets him to do an interview to get public sympathy.

I haven’t seen the full interview but I’ll measure his honesty after learning on what he said about his Dubai visit. Cos he has just said his form is bad which everyone knows and that he doesnt know why, which means he thinks he’s doing everything right and he doesnt know why he hasn’t succeeded so far.

Cannon Heart

Can you at least explain how you got a 3 year deal?

Glocken

No it’s not, you’ve got a fat contract for three years and you can’t be arsed.

Simple as that.

Frankie

William it’s not that hard to explain.. your deal with the devil only lasted 10 years and now it’s expired and now we have to endure 2.5 yrs of your soulless carcus just floating around the pitch with pure emptiness in your eyes… achieving nothing..

Dam you satan to hell….

St.macca

In retrospect signing him was a mistake but at the time it made perfect sense to most of us even if the length of the contract was a surprise. That said what’s done is done and we have to get on with it, he is an Arsenal player for the foreseeable future and it’s in everyone’s interest to get some value out of him. His acknowledgment of his poor form is a start, at least he isn’t hiding and burying his head in the sand. If he keeps working hard I’m sure he will improve and hopefully we will get… Read more »

Roof_attack

try running for a return ball when you pass , and look for space instead of standing behind defenders. thats a start.

Name*

Man thinks he can copy off Aubameyang’s script. There’s a difference. Auba’s already scored and carried the team in worse days. His poor form is reflected in the team’s form. The same can’t be said for this one.

d_j_nolan

“It’s never easy changing club, especially after being somewhere for so long”. WTF!! This is a 32 year old who has spent a large part of his adult life jetting to the other side of the world to play for his country (and commercial business of course), I mean come on!! How is it being different stop you from taking a ball past a defender or hitting a target from point blank range. What a crock of shit!

I would even understand if he moved cities but he didn’t. Fair enough it’s a different team with different needs but it’s still the same league.

It’s still within Zones 1-2 on the Tube 😂😂. He can go and see his Chelsea anytime when this pandemic subsides and his can still go to the same school (if he hasn’t moved homes).

If Luis “Chewbacca” Suarez can do it, so can you Willian.

Goonertic

No mate! You are here for a pension. You pissed off to Dubai when the country was supposed to be in lock down claiming you needed to be there for an “image rights” issue. Really? You have changed clubs sure, but it’s not like you have moved countries ffs. It’s 20 odd miles down the road and you haven’t had to learn a new language and culture. You ain’t fit to wear the shirt. It’s a good job there are no fans allowed in the stadium because you would be getting pelters big time.

Danny

Maybe he’s just out of form and low on confidence. It happens. It’s not permanent.

Qwaliteee

Another Willian Apologist.

Public Elneny Number One

Lets have a think Willian…

Past it?
Lazy?
Disinterested?
Nicking a living?

Qwaliteee

At least four idiots have voted this down.

People who clearly enjoyed seeing this club flirt with relegation.

shedzy

He was great for Chelsea for years, and they were happy to release him – he has had one good game for us in half a season, most of which he has been first choice. I suspect that fighting for his place will do him good…….i hope he isn’t playing tonight, cos i think he needs that pressure……..

No foot Norbert

I wouldn’t go as far as saying great, he was decent and consistent with them. Basically you knew what you were getting when he was in the starting 11 for them.

Biggles

Didn’t that happen with Gallas as well? At least Willian hasn’t had a Gallas-type great sulk yet – plenty of time though (unfortunately).

Wolffman Paul.

I have read speculation that Real Betis, have been considering a move for Willian in the January transfer window. Any offer from another club should be grabbed with both hands by Arsenal, even if it’s two sausage rolls and a Scotch egg. I think Willian has been given enough (if not too many) chances by Arteta to prove he was a good investment. He seems to be either unable or unwilling to change how he plays to suit the current system. It is time for Edu to man up and admit his signing was a massive mistake, and of load… Read more »

John

Think there’s zero chance of him departing this month. Who would be willing to pay his wages? And though he’s been a massive, massive failure, I can’t see us subsidizing them.
Reckon we’ll see him as a substitute and will keep hoping for him to pick up some form until the summer. I hope he can pick up his game enough to justify off the bench appearances and be a useful squad option until the summer.

Rich

He looks completely devoid of any confidence , belief or even interest in what he’s doing. One year contracts for over 30s from now on Make them earn their supper Most men have hunters instincts, it’s why we chase a football around the pitch, watch other men chase a ball around the pitch, and why young men go out on weekends (metaphorically) hunting the opposite sex We need to make the players chase the next contract extension, not give them everything they want, so they stop chasing. We also need to stop dishing out mega contracts on players who are… Read more »

Brett

Of course Willian hasn’t been great this season – same with the entire team. But I find the willingness of supporters to blindly agree with a narrative pushed by this blog, that he is our biggest problem, slightly humorous. Leads the team in big chances created (13th in PL) and leads the team in assists (18th in PL), while only playing the 10th most minutes on the team. Small sample size, but provides an objective means to compare performance. Do we care to subject Pepe to the same harsh criticism? He is costing the team quite a bit more dosh… Read more »

Qwaliteee

He is one of the major reasons that this club has made its worst league start for 40 years.

And you call for leniency….

Brett

It’s not the team collecting the most red cards of any PL team? Auba scoring just 3 goals? Mid-table quality Elneny playing a key role in the team?

You’re right, it’s the man who has the most assists and created the most big chances. That seems logical.

Qwaliteee

Created the most big chances…?!! 🤣

The guy has created fuck all and has stunk the place out since he signed. He barely breaks a sweat. What is it with you people? Do you actively enjoy watching our club scratching itself in the bottom half of the Premiership table?

This site gets worse by the day.

Ozil Haters and/or Willian lovers. Not a true Gooner or a brain cell amongst them.

Brett

It’s a statistic mate… not an opinion.

I’ll repeat what I have said as reading is difficult: Willian has not been good at all and needs to improve.

…But our whole team has been absolute shite, so to scapegoat one player who has played less than 15 matches for the club is laughable.

It’s ridiculous Willian leads assists and big chances for us given how he’s played. But what does that say about our other midfielders? Do they not deserve your ridicule?

Paul Roberts

I hope you are right…

rhal

His assists have all come in two games. It’s more about the shambolic state of the squad for the better part of this season than about Willian’s qualities that we get these stats. Btw: I’m always fuming about the Pepe deal. However, take into account that Willian was someone brought by his experience and abolity to make an instant impact. ON A 3 YEAR DEAL. He isn’t providing anything. He reminds me a lot of Lichsteiner, who got a lot of hate for his poor perfomances. Lichsteiner didn’t involce such a blatant mismanagement of resources as Willian, though. And Pepe,… Read more »

rhal

ability*
involve**

rhal

you can’t not be pissed***

ffs I forgot how to write

Brett

I agree Rhal, but to scapegoat Willian when he is still literally the only one who has had any end product (despite only from two matches) doesn’t make sense to me.

I expected MUCH better from him, we all did, but it’s literally not even been half a season. Let’s give him some time to make an impact before writing him off completely.

rhal

Although we disagree on the scapegoating part – for me, its deserved criticism, since I feel his end product has been lacking – we can agree that it’s better if he proves us wrong and gets back to form. And obviously there is still the rest of the season for that. Let’s hope, one way or the other, the team keeps rallying to better performances as a whole

COYG

Ayoola Onabokun

I think he has just taken the first step(admitting the truth) to rediscovering his form. He is a great and such an experience player. He will surely turn it around. COYG

Qwaliteee

He’s a shite footballer, not an alcoholic in recovery.

Amusa

Great to hear he wants to improve. Every young player faces difficulties in his first season at a club especially coming from a different country. At least he has time on his side. Oh wait…

Paul Roberts

He’s opening himself up to the chant “you’re shit and you know you are”…at least he realises he has a lot of work to do fair play.

Qwaliteee

He’s actually very lucky that supporter attendance is restricted.

The boos would be deafening. Like ’Eboue’ up to 11.

Domi

It’s good that he’s only 22 so has time to adapt and peak with us… Oh wait…

Mark Foxwell

Wilian ill help explain your poor form. Losing the ball and expecting other players to bust a gut to fix your mistake, hiding on the pitch and being a burden on the team. You want to improve your form. Apply some effort and leave everything on the pitch.

Gooner In Canada

How can he say he’s trying his best?!? From what I’ve seen of his play since the Fulham game is him trotting around the pitch like a dressage horse. He doesn’t appear to expend any energy. His passing accuracy is dismal and his positioning seems to suggest that he’s not interested in getting anywhere close to an area of the pitch that would help his teammates. I get that players can have a dip in form but you usually see the player making some effort on the field. If Willian considered the last couple of months as trying his best… Read more »

Vonnie

Please don’t insult dressage horses, a lot of hard work goes into making everything look so effortless. Willian just seems to be completely lazy and disinterested, and always miserable. I don’t think he was ever much good but never as bad as this.

Bai Blagoi

I know what will heal him — some Bench Therapy.

Vonnie

Maybe not registering him for the squad would save some appearance money.

Biggles

Possibly but I suspect his “basic” salary is pretty huge so we probably wouldn’t save much.

Sam

I think it is very easy to explain!

You aren’t trying your best!

NZGooner

Is Arsenal now the place where aged Chelski players come to die?

Biggles

You don’t know whether to laugh or cry …

Berauel

Well, I am glad he is not oblivious to the fact he is playing badly. Hopefully, he can turn it around.

Andy

Here is 30m quid which you can have regardless of performance. You can keep your nice house in Hampstead/the Boltons/Belgravia (delete as appropriate) and your kids can still go to the same posh private school. What’s even better is that you don’t have to try that hard since your new employer has a developed a reputation for military grade mediocrity and egregious lack of ambition. Also your legs are going a bit and you have business deals to develop in, ooh, Dubai, so you’d appreciate a regime that will tolerate a modest amount of globetrotting whenever the fuck you feel… Read more »

Swerve

I can explain it.

Shite running, passing and shooting.

Fuzz

the first step is admitting you have a problem

Okestee

“Everyone is great here” translation “They let me fuck off to Dubai with zero consequences and play me week in, week out no matter how shit I perform”.

Biggles

I find his salary even more difficult to explain though.

Announce Bendtner

If he’s wearing the Arsenal shirt and genuinely trying his best he’s got my support.
Body language can be misleading but let’s hope some of the quality he’s shown in his career comes through eventually.
In the mean time I hope he’s demonstrating a positive attitude to the younger members of the squad.

Alex

I think Jamie Foxx should star in a screenplay about this.

Cultured Determination

He needs time to sdapt. He’s playing in a new club, a new part of town… etc..

Miike

Willian looks sad whenever he’s on the pitch.
And he’s so disconnected that he doesn’t look like he trains with the team and knows what anyone is going to do.

He’s just a lump, I guess he knows that though which is good?

Disarmed Gunner

My heart bleeds. Don’t worry, Arteta will give you all the time it needs to fix things.