Sport

Willian admits being ‘frustrated’ by Arteta tactics

The Brazilian midfielder says it has taken him time to adjust to a more disciplined role since his move to Emirates Stadium from Chelsea

Willian has admitted to getting “frustrated” by Mikel Arteta’s tactics, but says he has been “learning a lot” from the Spanish boss at the start of his Arsenal career.

Arsenal signed Willian on a free transfer in August after seeing him depart Chelsea at the end of the 2019-20 season.

The Brazil international established himself as one of the most consistent performers in the Premier League during his seven-year stay at Stamford Bridge, winning two Premier League titles, the FA Cup and the Europa League.

Arteta explained that the 32-year-old’s desire to add to his trophy collection fueled his desire to move across London after seeing him impress in the 3-0 win over Fulham on his Gunners debut.

“With some players when that [winning trophies] happened they have a full stomach but with Willian, I got the opposite feeling, that he wanted more and how he wanted to move to a different club and get to the level that he got before,” said the Arsenal boss.

“So I’m really pleased because he showed [at Fulham] how much he really wants it and how much he is going to drive the other players on in order to achieve that.”

Willian recorded two assists in that contest, but hasn’t been involved in any more goals in his subsequent five outings for the club and has been unable to exert his usual influence on games from the middle of the park.

Arsenal have struggled to find the back of the net on a regular basis, with Arteta persisting with a high pressing formation which centres around playing out from the back.

Willian has been enjoying working on the more disciplined side of his game, but concedes he is not used to seeing so little of the ball in midfield.

“It’s been a cool, new experience. I hadn’t worked with a coach with that mindset,” the ex-Chelsea star told Globo Esporte of Arteta’s approach.

“The positional game doesn’t mean that you have no freedom on the pitch, you have the freedom to move, but many times you have to respect the position, what the coach asks, the instructions, understanding that it’ll be better for the team.

“It may happen that you don’t touch the ball and get frustrated, but Mikel always says that, wait a minute, the ball will arrive. I’ve been learning a lot.”

The Gunners will be back in Europa League action at home to Dundalk on Thursday night, before their attention shifts to a vital Premier League encounter against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Source: Goal.com

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