Willian reveals ‘frustrating’ element of Mikel Arteta’s tactics at Arsenal

Willian of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Arsenal at Etihad Stadium on October 17, 2020 in Manchester, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors.
Willian is sometimes left frustrated by the tactics (Picture: Arsenal FC via Getty)

Willian admitted he finds aspects of Mikel Arteta’s tactics at Arsenal frustrating but insists he is ‘learning a lot’ under his new manager.

The Brazilian left Chelsea to join Arsenal on a free transfer this summer after seven years at Stamford Bridge and has started five of the Gunners’ six Premier League matches this season.

Arsenal have been in mixed form since his arrival, winning three of their opening six league fixtures but losing the same number.

That has left them in 11th place ahead of welcoming Manchester United to the Emirates this weekend.

Willian confessed adapting to his new team’s tactics has taken some adjustment.

He has found himself ‘frustrated’ by periods in games where he doesn’t touch the ball and admitted the rigid approach can lead to a lack of freedom.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Leicester City at Emirates Stadium on October 25, 2020 in London, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors.
Arteta’s tactics are taking some getting used to (Picture: Getty)

But despite this being a new approach to the game for the Brazilian, he is fully behind Arteta and learning a lot during this spell of his career.

‘It’s been a cool, new experience. I hadn’t worked with a coach with that mindset,’ Willian, 32, told Globo Esporte.

‘The positional game doesn’t mean that you have no freedom on the pitch, you have the freedom to move, but many times you have to respect the position, what the coach asks, the instructions, understanding that it’ll be better for the team.

‘It may happen that you don’t touch the ball and get frustrated, but Mikel always says that, wait a minute, the ball will arrive. I’ve been learning a lot.’

Arsenal are back in action on Thursday night against Irish minnows Dundalk in the Europa League.

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