Arsenal Quarterly Report Card: Joe Willock

Joe Willock has become a wanted man for Arsenal fans.

The player who made the most appearances for the club last season, it’s fair to say the majority of Arsenal fans weren’t impressed with his contributions.

With Premier League football not forthcoming for Joe Willock this term, he’s been left to make his mark in the Europa League. A platform to stake a claim for greater responsibility, the 21-year-old can do little more.

Performing admirably in the competition, he warrants a review as in a side struggling in forward areas, he’s one of a few who can hold his head up high.

The Good

Him silencing his critics. Yes, of course, replicating his performances in the top-flight is yet to to take place, but Willock was the scapegoat for much of last term by supporters who questioned his inclusion over the likes of Mesut Ozil.

It’s never easy to impose yourself in a side when you’re granted just smatterings of Premier League action from the bench, and fans are now beginning to see who Willock is as a player when selected in starting lineups.

With characteristics not too dissimilar from Aaron Ramsey but unique within the current squad, he’s playing with a confidence and swagger that the first team is lacking.

The Bad

Picking fault isn’t easy judging off this start to the season, therefore the following is more hypothetical based off of last season.

Indeed, Willock’s confidence never wanes, which can sometimes be to his detriment. Often seeking the difficult pass or the toughest route to goal, there come points where he just needs to rein that in slightly to avoid attacking phases breaking down.

He doesn’t change his style game by game. He shouldn’t either, but striking a balance between the clever pass and the right pass needs to be discovered.

Best Moment – Molde Magic

Best player on the pitch against Dundalk and Molde, the quality of the opposition makes the Molde clash his standout performance.

Positive throughout and direct his play, he even caused Mikel Arteta to insist his chance will come. How believable that is is another matter.

Willock impacts matches in ways the current crop are failing to do. Grabbing the game by the scruff of the neck and wanting to be the difference as opposed to a mere passenger has been evident in his European displays.

Joe Willock’s Arsenal Rating

B+