Thu. Oct 22nd, 2020

‘Arteta has created a big buzz at Arsenal & I look up to him’ – Willock ‘excited about the future’ under new boss

2 min read

The Gunners midfielder is eager to learn as much as he can from the Spaniard, who has made an encouraging start to his reign at Emirates Stadium

Joe Willock has praised Mikel Arteta for bringing a “different sort of energy” to the Arsenal dressing room, with excitement building throughout the squad as a new regime gets underway.

Arteta has had an immediate impact since being appointed as Unai Emery’s permanent successor at Emirates Stadium on December 20, lifting the mood of gloom which has surrounded the club for much of the 2019-20 campaign.

Signs of improvement were shown during a 1-1 draw at Bournemouth and a 2-1 defeat at home to Chelsea, before the Spanish head coach recorded his first win at the helm on New Year’s Day.

Arsenal secured a 2-0 home win over Manchester United thanks to first-half goals from Nicolas Pepe and Sokratis, which kept their faint hopes of Champions League qualification alive.

The Gunners were thoroughly deserving of the three points against the Red Devils, who struggled to carve out any clear cut opening while also being overrun in midfield.

Willock finished the match as an unused substitute, but he has been impressed by how much of a difference Arteta has made in such a short period of time, and he’s excited for what the future holds.

“For me, as a centre mid – because he played centre mid as well – he’s taught me a few different things about positioning, waiting for the centre back to drive out before I go,” Willock told Arsenal’s official website.
“It’s just timing and loads of different things, loads of different things that can make such a big difference on the pitch. He’s taught me all that already. I’m just really happy and really excited about the future, and how it’s going to go.
“He’s brought a different sort of energy and different sort of tactic that you can relate to more. I feel like everyone’s excited, there’s a big buzz around the changing room, and everyone’s laughing again.
“He’s worn the t-shirt, he’s played for Arsenal, he’s been with the staff members who are still here as well. For me, I just look up to him and I want to learn from him. I’m just looking forward to it.
“Everyone’s got their head up and we’re trying to build confidence in each other and on the pitch as well. I feel like hopefully, we can transmit that on the pitch.”

Willock will be back in contention for a place in Arteta’s line up when Arsenal play host to Leeds in a third-round FA Cup tie on Monday.

The Gunners will turn their attention back to the Premier League five days later, with a crucial trip to Selhurst Park to face Crystal Palace on the cards.

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