Willian has said he has every confidence in Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta. EPA/Rui Vieira / FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY POSITION.
Arsenal winger Willian believes the Gunners are in good hands under Mikel Arteta and have everything they need to become one of the best clubs in the world again.
Arsenal have not won the Premier League since 2004 and are only in ninth place this season. However, the Brazil international told ESPN that they are on the right track under former Pep Guardiola assistant Arteta.
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I think it has the potential to be a great project, it’s a great club, it’s in the hands of a good manager, it has everything to be one of the best managers in the world, Willian said. Arsenal have everything they need to become a superpower again, to compete for titles, to get back into the Champions League – that’s what we players want.
He always tries to talk to the players individually, even on the field, when he finishes training, he calls the player, explains what he wants him to do, where he should stand, gives him the ball….. In other words: He always tries to help the players improve.
Can’t complain there, he does a great job, always looks for the best players, gives them ideas, guides them, shows them what he wants. The arsenal is in good hands.
Willian has struggled since his switch from Chelsea to Arsenal last summer. He didn’t make more than 30 appearances for his new club in all competitions. He admitted that this period was his worst professional moment to date, but is confident that he can return to the form that made him the starter at Stamford Bridge.
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I think it is. I feel ready to reach the level I reached at Chelsea, he said. That’s my goal, that’s what I hope for, especially at the end of the season. I will do my best to help Arsenal in the best possible way and reach the level I had when I played for Chelsea.
The problems on the pitch have been accompanied by problems off it, as many black Premier League players, including Willian, have become the target of racist remarks on the internet. The league launched a No Place for Racism campaign before the start of the season and players knelt before games to show their support for anti-racism initiatives, but Willian shared his frustration at the lack of progress.
There are people who can handle a situation like this, change this scenario. We, the players, try to do our part to show our outrage in some way. The authorities, the people above us, must change that, he said.
I don’t see any progress, we’re still bowing out of games, but I don’t see any change. We see situations happening all the time and take no action. When they begin to take the necessary steps by punishing those they should punish, then things will improve. So far, we haven’t seen any progress. We do this before the games, but we don’t see any change.
Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha said last month that he felt kneeling had become demeaning and was being done to tick a box – a sentiment Willian felt was worthy of consideration.
With Zaha himself, I saw an interview where he said he wouldn’t kneel anymore because he doesn’t see action. I think he’s right, people need to start taking the right steps to change things once and for all, he said.