Has Mikel Arteta shot himself in the foot over Willock?

Posted on August 23rd, 2021 | 11 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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11 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



  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.

  7. Wow this blog still alive ?
    Anyhow ye of little faith, that I warned previously that we could and would become a plaything and a reason for investing in, by the Saudis who get to do whatever they please , due to the power of DOSH.
    I suspect it may take a few years before we can win an EPL championship, however everyone understand’s that money is the key and is there a more deserving bunch of fans than those who have stayed with the Toon through possibly the worst case of having a cheap-*ss owner, I think not !
    As for the furore surrounding our ex manager, listen Steve you were never a good coach and your owner made sure you wouldn’t be able to buy anyone , but face it eight million can do a lot to make you forget your pain, so take the money and retire, I mean who are you going to manage Blythe Spartans doubtlessly wouldn’t even hire you. nice guy sure but manager no way !
    Next problem will no doubt be the various, others who believe they are about to run the club, Amanda etc. who know nowt about the game, as a top management crowd are essential, people who understand the success achieved by Citeh.and can repeat it.
    It will take some time and some will come and go but in the end it is they with the most dosh that will win.
    Though I’m curious as to why the Saudis picked Newcastle, is there money to be made, as I hear they are interested in building wind powered generators, plus other manufacturing after all they did invest to make a return on their investment , no ?
    Ah well! hopefully The area can become involved and benefit from the sale and we will eventually be aware of what its all about.
    In the meantime for a change the fans can run rampant around other football grounds and enjoy the ride.

  8. Soh ! as I feared Stavely etc. and the rest of those who brought us the Saudis have bigger egos than I thought, determined to receive more pats on the back for their contributions to the rebuilding of NUFC and erm,
    (Good riddance to Ashley and his rag trade crowd)
    However I believe there are more cooks in the kitchen than required, soh Please money guys and girls stay with what you know and let those with football experience do the player and rebuilding part.
    perhaps by taking a good look at what Citeh and the Pool have done, both right and wrong and making sure we follow suit as far as doing the right thing is concerned.
    I mean Martines talks a good game but he has had his debacles with different clubs, no thanks !
    Lets go with Fonseca until we are sure he’s the chosen one, after all no one knows whats coming around the corner and we are all aware of the possibilities of screwing up this gift, which we are about to receive.
    By dividing the money folks from the footballing folks and never let the twain meet, being everyone wants to be “The Man” or “Woman”.
    Thats my only fear at present as things are not exactly going to plan being there was obviously no plan, a trial and error period is taking place time for a decent director of football, I think.

    That’s my only fear and the present situation needs to be addressed

  9. Looks like not everyone has been as impressed as nufc fans.
    And appears not only are the club doubtful of acquiring top management (see the Overmars story) but players also.
    Apparently our ex owner has done enough damage to the club , that it will take even Saudi Arabia’s money to convince them otherwise.
    Yes we know from the Citeh deal that most clubs, especially those not doing well in the Epl have difficulty both in the market for players. plus the distance from anywhere civilized, is a being a put off.
    Though apparently this s all a part of Saudi’s expansion plan and do-over of the country following the end of burning fossil fuels and providing gas, not yet disclosed which will require an equal amount of profit, however Wind-mills to generate power both on land and sea are also expensive innovations, as are sports and news operated broadcasting, I’m guessing here !
    And while we are on the subject so is the running of a successful football club, judging by to-days prices.we will have to take a wait and see attitude.
    Somehow I don’t believe that some of rather unsavory articles and claims in regards to the mid eastern country have helped, in the actual hiring of top level management, who may consider they may be by association, favorable to both the ruling family and certain laws of the land.
    Or is It simply the fact nufc is a mess, having been used and abused by the late owner and it’s location almost three hundred miles north of the Capital, when most footballers prefer to live in capital cities with lot’s on offer though in general more expensive,
    Ah well, I’m sure by taking our time and ensuring the right policies are taken we can become a successful club much like “The Entertainers” under Kevin Keegan, well hopefully so, we will have to wait and see.
    Well lets see what happens and remember that old shibboleth money talks and bullenschise walks seven days a week !

  10. It appears the EPL is about to make some significant changes, no not as far as rules are concerned (though there are a few that need attention)
    Sure there was a bit of disruption when the newer rules were first introduced (which was expected) however the result has made the game a much fairer game and the time out periods become lesser and reach the right decision’s in my umble opinion.
    As far as NUFC are concerned it becomes a bit more troublesom certainly to avoid relegation during this season, without strengthening the side and if they do so, should en-courage an already troubled fan base, or is it just me who worries, ?
    All of which involve a serious take-over by undoubtably the richest country to ever gain control of an epl side.
    Most of the present fans were worried had that the original take-over was refused , though now a false sense of security appears to have taken over.
    Though there’s little difference between a relegated nufc and one that finishes a couple of points above the bottom three, other than the fact they continue as a premiership side, which in turn effects the attracting of decent signings for the approaching season.
    Look having the money too purchase a top side is one thing , attracting eleven top ranked players is not easy too achieve.
    that s if we are not successful in signing top quality players during the winter window.
    which means hiring both a decent director of football along with a decent coach/ manager, a pair that can work well in tandem
    Especially with our present club in the position it’s in, sitting in a relegation spot its reputation in shreds following The Ashley Years
    of abandonment, it’s location, which wouldn’t be a problem were it in London. though the Saudis have I believe a presently unknown plan in choosing such a club.
    Soh ! we can only hope of everything goes too plan and a top level club arising and the long suffering fans of the North-East getting their reward for fourteen years of suffering, well almost !


  11. It appears , certainly for me that the Saudis despite their riches seem reluctant to spend any of it, using a very hesitant approach to spending. at least in the hunt for both a new Manager and Director of football, not to mention a whole new side (with a couple of Abstentions) and being time is of the essence could end up beginning their reign as a second tier club, can then begin.
    Though I endorsed their choice of the two Hollanders who using a known rule have apparently decided that further exploration of the offer could be successful, but @ present they are quite happy in the Erie division or whatever the call it.
    Aso our Portuguese manager is now actually a German from the Bundes-liege, and I wouldn’t care to be an odds-maker on what will take place between now and the beginning of next years opening game as to who will be in charge of the situation @that time.
    The present going ons are just not going on it appears and as suddenly as the take-over a-cured is not surprising.
    And it actually appears as though it caught most by surprise, certainly that was the case as far as I ‘m concerned, though I was certain that the Saudis had their future and ours well thought out, it now appears they are as uncertain as we are.
    Of course just about every-one concerned knows exactly what’s required, including myself and even Shearer has added his plan.
    but the whole situation appears to be stuck in time and it’s a case of uncertainty, mainly on the part of providing the dosh to get the wheels moving, so lets go and sign whatever free agents are both better (Which actually means get rid of the dross if we can, being time is not on our side) as we are struggling.
    Of course there is bound to be a certain amount of in-fighting for control so as I mentioned in an earlier rant that boys and girls involved in the functions of Money stay apart from those with a history of football or learn from one and other.
    And get things going, as I have too reply to fans of other clubs who
    ask me questions about whats happening. which is no fun.

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