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Has Mikel Arteta shot himself in the foot over Willock?

Posted on August 23rd, 2021 | 6 Comments |

Joe Willock
Joe Willock: Toon’s only Summer signing.
One thing most Toon fans can agree about is that Joe Willock certainly made a very positive impression during his loan spell last season. If anything, it seemed as if he was almost too good (bear with me). With every performance (and every goal), it seemed as if he was drifting away from us, either Arsenal would see the error of their ways and want him back, or his price would escalate to the point where notoriously tightfisted Toon owner, Mike Ashley, would get the vapours at the sums being mentioned, but it didn’t. Willock was sold for around the price we thought he would be in the first place if the figures being bandied around (£20-25 million) are to be believed.

Do Arsenal know something that Newcastle don’t? Well beyond a minor calf strain the season before last, he certainly isn’t injury prone. In his short career so far he has been as fit as a lop generally. The problem (though not for Newcastle) seems to be that Arsenal manager, Mikel Arteta, just did not have the same esteem for Willock as his predecessor, Unai Emery, who made the young Londoner a first team regular during his spell at the club. Emery himself said that he saw Willock filling the void in the Arsenal team left by Aaron Ramsay and Jack Wilshere. In contrast, in the 21 League games of last season before he came to Newcastle, Willock only started once under Arteta and many times, he wasn’t even included in the matchday squad, never mind the bench.

I’m with Emery. For a central midfielder, Willock has a remarkable record if measured in terms of minutes per goal. His first team record at Arsenal and Newcastle is a goal every 222 minutes, which is better than most strikers. Although the first two games of the season have ended disappointingly, with the Magpies currently the fifth favourite to be relegated according to the powerplay website, the triangle of St.Maximin, Wilson and Willock have made a huge difference to the team, and will eventually make their mark again as the season progresses. By any standards, Willock is an excellent young box to box midfielder who can really push forward and score goals, exactly what Newcastle United need to go with St Maximin and Wilson. Together, they have provided an excellent solution to the disconnect between midfield and attack which led to some truly dismal performances by the Magpies last season which offered no attacking threat whatsoever.

NUFCBlog Author: workyticket workyticket has written 1084 articles on this blog.

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6 Responses

  1. Chuck, in reply to your last comment, it’s the start of the season man! Arsenal are below us and Man City were there too until Sunday. Lighten up! And no, the Pardew, Carver, McClaren years when Graham Carr was at the club were not “our best years”, we had years of Pardew’s route one football, years of his annoying used car salesman patter and he almost got us relegated (twice). Then, the other two clowns finally finished the job and really did get us relegated FFS! Best years my arse!

    To change the subject, what do you think about the signing of Joe Willock? I’ve just written a blog about it (see above).

    ps: As you can see, I’ve moved the comments here for the same reason as last time.

  2. Good signing IMHO. As to the season itself, I believe much rests on how fit our first team is throughout. That’s true of a lot of clubs of course, but I believe it’s particularly pertinent at the Toon.

  3. It’s definitely a good signing if fate doesn’t intervene somewhere, which it often does at Newcastle. On the subject of signings, Jamal Lewis was brought in last season as our #1 left back solution for the future, but he’s only been on the bench for the first two games with Bruce’s 3 at the back formation..

  4. Worky
    I don’t know where you were but I enjoyed the period when the Georgie scout Carr was doing the choosing , and as far as I’m concerned there wasn’t a better side since.
    At present we are stuck with a bunch of hopeless and useless players that no one wants where-as players from our signings through the good graces of Mr Carr, sold for mostly a decent profit.
    Actually it could have become a standard policy as practiced by both clubs from “serie A”and “The French league” and had it been undertaken as a standard process by @least two or three clubs on the continent not worked would have been eliminated , however Ashley having no idea about running a top football club, just dismissed it, more the fool he !
    Sure he understands a certain amount of whats going on in the EPL
    however he also understands the less he spends on both players and other expenses, the more he has to spend on his other and to him, definitely more important business of turning old quality businesses by simply chancging the name on the label.
    And the fact most fans detest both he and the lousy side we are subjected to @ this time and fail to understand why so many continue to bore themselves by actually showing up, @ games.
    and why such a manager who understands as much about football who could take the club and turn it around, but never with such managers such as Carver, Pardew and McClarren, not to mention our latest clown
    Bruce, who couldn’t coach anything, I mean why do you think he’s there in the first place , if you don’t get it try mentioning money or the fact he’s the only one in the UK, who was willing to undertake such a job.

  5. What happened ?
    No half assed praise for anyone
    Unfortunately we as a starting club in the top division of the EPL, are once again along with the more recently appointed sides scraping for the breadcrumbs, hoping to evade the automatic rejection and return to their natural positions in the second tier.
    Well folks we are unfortunately in the same boat, with our owner saving hard, in order to be able to reduce his asking price for the club , that’s if there is a future bid proposed, being things don’t look healthy for the original bid from the Saudi’s and there is doubtfully not enough wealth in the entire N’east available for it’s purpose from any kind of local.
    Could it be that we will end up as a club , both run by a foreign ownership not unlike many of the present owners of both top leagues in the UK, hell right now it that’s where the money is.
    And both tv and streaming has become their advocate, with both standard big tv productions reaching that conclusion, along with those minnows nibbling at the sides grabbing games hear and there.
    Yes folks Football or as it is known in the US by the term Soccer is becoming both a breadwinner and finally acceptable to the big bucks crowd, who are always looking for a new way of connecting
    with a quick buck. just look at the new stadiums that have been built throughout the country and filled by serious fan groups, even David Beckham fronting a new club in Miami.
    So what to do with NUFC ?
    We couldn’t find a better financeer than the Saudi’s at least the present ruler who has a multi billion and perhaps trillion dollar
    amount ready to be spent on a brand new Saudi Arabia and the UK. in need of some kind trade deals following it’s disasterous exit from the EU.
    And beside that it is time when the fans of the club took charge and by using a no fail plan, which will be to isolate the owner by using a
    Boycott, and force him to do their will, simple !

    could it be also true

    c

    sa

  6. Chuck, I only saw the highlights as I was out for my birthday so I couldn’t really write about it too deeply. We drew, it could have been better but it could have been worse. I was sorry we went out of the League Cup as well but Burnley are a really stubborn Premier League side. We certainly haven’t had much luck and the defence has made some bad mistakes but I know that things will get better and there have been some positives. You get totally hysterical from the first game and convinced we’re going to get relegated after every game. I’ve already said my piece about the Saudis.

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