“I was really shocked” – Arsenal ace aims parting dig at Mikel Arteta as he explains January loan move

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Arsenal midfielder Joe Willock has seemed to aim a parting swipe at Mikel Arteta after explaining his decision to seal a loan move to Newcastle United.

The 21-year-old hadn’t been a regular for the Gunners and took the decision to move to St James’ Park at the end of the January transfer window.

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It seems Willock might not have been entirely happy with his role under Arteta, as he talked up Newcastle manager Steve Bruce as playing a key role in his decision to join the Magpies.

As quoted by the Chronicle, Willock made it clear that he felt valued by Bruce, and that it seemed like, for the first time in his career, a manager had a clear plan for him.

“For me, it was when I first spoke to the manager Steve Bruce he spoke to me and gave me brilliant confidence to come here and try to make a difference,” he said. “That was my first initial thought and I felt that this was the club that I wanted to go to.

“Then it developed and everything went smoothly but now I am here and ready to start the new journey.

“The manager asked me how I was and how training was. He was very humorous with me, he made a few jokes, I’m a funny guy and I love to have jokes.

“It was a conversation starter but then he spoke about he was going to use me, where he sees me in the team, he had a whole plan for me already. I was really shocked, it’s the first time I’ve had a manager who had a whole plan for me.”

It’s easy to take from this that Willock perhaps didn’t feel Arteta had ever outlined such a plan to him, which might point towards a long-term move away from the Emirates Stadium once this loan spell comes to an end.

Arteta isn’t doing the most convincing job at Arsenal this season and it might well be that a number of players haven’t been won over by his methods.

More Stories Joe Willock Mikel Arteta Steve Bruce


  1. Well, sorry, Joe but a lot of fans were NOT shocked to see you go out on loan. We have other young players ready to be brought through. I hope you find a good club to join permanently .. and I do wish you all the best.

  2. Arteta is really try for you by using you to prof your self but u are lazy player and u don’t understand how to play good football, some local clubs u can not even have u to bin in bench taltless in arsenal club pls and pls don’t come back to our club.

  3. I don’t understand why he was shocked. He was just not up to it. Does he expect to perform the way he did and fill up much needed space on the bench? Well now I’m shocked! What has he done to convince us otherwise? Now if that was said by Martenelli, Saka or ESR I would be shocked with them. But Joe Willock? Come on… Well prove to us why you shocked.

  4. Willock was a real important player in our team, yes trust me if u wanted to loose or u wanted to watch village game like style u only had to play willock, he will pick up the ball ruuuun while gazing at his own shadow pass to nobody and repeat the cycle again and again whenever given the ball, newcastle are just luck!

  5. You guys don’t get it. He was shocked bcos he knows deep down that he isn’t good enough, nit even for Newcastle. Hence the reason he was shocked that the manager Bruce even had a plan for him…

  6. So you have a space at newcastle, stay there buddy. i prefer Nelson over you. you play like early days of chamberlain, ruuuuuuun with the ball and dont know what to do with it in the final third. Good lucky at newcastle!

  7. Sorry, but this “story” is just looking for trouble where there is none. Willock has talent, but hes a long way off what Arsenal need right now. I believe he said a lot more in that interview, including comments about returning to Arsenal. If Newcastle feel he can play an important role this season then they must be a bit desperate, its good for us and for Willock.

  8. Joe needed this move for his development yes but the issue here is with the manager’s tactics and motivational skills as well as player management which leaves a lot to be desired. Look at the Saliba issue, the Gondouzi issue, the purchase of Wilian and the way our strikeforce is misfiring it all comes down to the fact that a fish rots from the head

  9. Maybe if you had performed with all your chances when wearing Red. Typical whiner. It’s not his fault it’s somebody else’s.

  10. He’s a young player, eager to play and learn. Why are you hating on him so much? he’s trying and now he has an opportunity to do that without the unnecessary pressure of people hating when the should be supporting him as he’s trying to develop.

    Do your thing Joe, then who knows when you return there may be a plan for you after all. Great to see him pick up a goal on his loan debut.

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