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.
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.