OFFICIAL Joe Willock (Out)

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El Duderino

99 Problems But A Mitch Ain't One
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I know that's your view and I respect that you prefer technical quality in players, but personally I disagree on Ramsey. Think he was a massive player for Arsenal, a match winner who helped us to FA Cup wins and improved our general play. Arguably the best player in the team the year his contract expired. Not everyone is going to agree on this and that's fine as well.

Aaron Ramsey is an Arsenal legend, pass it on.
 

MutableEarth

Reiss' Dad
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You love attacking/entertaining football, which is great. But some of the players you supported are not anywhere close to that style of play. We need more creativity in the team.

We didn’t play well against Villarreal. But it’s not just the players problem. Arteta’s tactics has to be blamed too.
For the billionth time:

There is more than one way to play football - attacking football in particular. It doesn't have to be "death by 1000 passes" every day.

Watch Arsenal circa 2002. We didn't need to play a million passes to kill teams. We could kill them with a counter that lasted 5 seconds, ball on the floor, direct passes, attacking space etc.
 

kash2

More Consistent Than Arteta
Funny how people think possession based football means not creative/not taking risk. Barcelona, Bayern, City has the most amazing creative talents number-wise and quality-wise in their squad and they have created so many chances.
so what happened in the CL final ? why hasnt fraudiola won it without messi
 

Football Manager

Copy & Paste Merchant
For the billionth time:

There is more than one way to play football - attacking football in particular. It doesn't have to be "death by 1000 passes" every day.

Watch Arsenal circa 2002. We didn't need to play a million passes to kill teams. We could kill them with a counter that lasted 5 seconds, ball on the floor, direct passes, attacking space etc.
Do you think I only like possession football? I like any attacking/entertaining form of football football. Can be quick passing doesn’t have to be at slow pace.
 

El Duderino

99 Problems But A Mitch Ain't One
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For the billionth time:

There is more than one way to play football - attacking football in particular. It doesn't have to be "death by 1000 passes" every day.

Watch Arsenal circa 2002. We didn't need to play a million passes to kill teams. We could kill them with a counter that lasted 5 seconds, ball on the floor, direct passes, attacking space etc.

I long for the days of pace and power.

This lad would likely have complained throughout the whole Invencible Season if it ever happened again and in the same fashion.
 

MutableEarth

Reiss' Dad
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I long for the days of pace and power.

This lad would likely have complained throughout the whole Invencible Season if it ever happened again and in the same fashion.
We had a midfield pairing of Vieira-Parlour most of the time during 2001-02 season and it was arguably our best performing team of the modern era, I prefer them to the Invincibles even. The combination of energy, physicality and technical quality is what we should be aiming for. They moved the ball quickly and vertically aswell.
 

Football Manager

Copy & Paste Merchant
I long for the days of pace and power.

This lad would likely have complained throughout the whole Invencible Season if it ever happened again and in the same fashion.
Invincible Season! Lots of amazing quick triangular passing play. A lot of them are so creative and artistic. The combination play are just beautiful.
 

AbouCuéllar

Wishes to get banned elsewhere
I know that's your view and I respect that you prefer technical quality in players, but personally I disagree on Ramsey. Think he was a massive player for Arsenal, a match winner who helped us to FA Cup wins and improved our general play. Arguably the best player in the team the year his contract expired. Not everyone is going to agree on this and that's fine as well.
Yeah, @Football Manager seriously under rates Ramsey. He didn't have the cleanest technique which is why he doesn't rate him, because he's obsessed with the aesthetic look of players, but Ramsey's ability on the ball and Willock's really don't have much to do with each other, honestly (despite there being some general stylistic similarities).
 

AbouCuéllar

Wishes to get banned elsewhere
Yeah, @Football Manager seriously under rates Ramsey. He didn't have the cleanest technique which is why he doesn't rate him, because he's obsessed with the aesthetic look of players, but Ramsey's ability on the ball and Willock's really don't have much to do with each other, honestly (despite there being some general stylistic similarities).
This is just not the player that @Football Manager is describing:

(can't imagine Willock having close to that xG buildup in his whole career, tbh)
(interesting graph this one, the best part of his whole career)

One basic statistic I like to look at for how apt one is to play in a pivot or a passing system is their number of passes attempted per game. This tells you a lot about how willing they are to receive the ball, their personality in regards to going to get the ball and offering to receive, and how much their manager is (potentially) hiding them in possession.

Willock averaged 12.4 passes /90 for Arsenal in his 235 minutes last season. In total, including Arsenal and Newcastle, 16.2.

Ramsey's passes attempted from 11-12 to 17-18:

56.6
53.7
65.9
56.6
40
51.6

In shot, we're talking about two very different players.

(Ramsey's aged 21 season was 56.6, Willock's aged 21 season was 16.2. Ramsey's aged 20 season was 34.8, Willock's 11.8)
 
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Mrs Bergkamp

Established Member
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I long for the days of pace and power.

This lad would likely have complained throughout the whole Invencible Season if it ever happened again and in the same fashion.
The Invincibles were very complete. The pace and power were allied to great brains and technique too. The fitness of that group wasn't bad either.
 

Barry

Well-Known Member
Yeah, @Football Manager seriously under rates Ramsey. He didn't have the cleanest technique which is why he doesn't rate him, because he's obsessed with the aesthetic look of players, but Ramsey's ability on the ball and Willock's really don't have much to do with each other, honestly (despite there being some general stylistic similarities).
Yeah I agree with this, different players and Ramsey was levels ahead of Willock technically but Willock has other strengths. If he goes on to have the career that Ramsey had he will be doing well and then some.
 

lomekian

Well-Known Member
@Football Manager you've highlighted a way of using Willock in a double pivot and its flaws. But we very rarely play that system and certainly wouldn't play Willock in that role against strong opposition.

His best use (and what we should have done with Ramsey & Wilshere) is as an attacking 8 in a 3 man midfield. A lot of us suspect that a 433 is Arteta's long term dream, but I guess the reality is a hybrid of 4-3-3 and 4-2-3-1. In either event there is scope for someone with Willock's athleticism, ball carrying ability and goalscoring potential to be a contributor, but He does need to either get technically cleaner and defensively better (or both) to have any real chance of locking down a starting berth. At his current age, significant technical improvement is unlikely, but a more defined role would do his tactical intelligence the world of good.

The key thing to note is that Willock at Newcastle developed into a better, more assertive and cleverer player than we'd seen in his Arsenal cameos. He increasingly looked like someone who had worked out when to do things - ie reading the play. His athletic profile make him the kind of prospect you think long and hard before parting with, because while not quite at Ramsey's technical level (and certainly not at that of WIlshere or the aforementioned genius Cazorla), he can cover ground more effectively than all 3 combined, and is an exceptionally strong runner with the ball. He's also bigger and better in the air than all 3.

Of course a midfield composed solely of players like Willock is a chaotic version of Ardiles football, and can't work at a big club, but as a part of a squad, he could be very useful, particularly as his assets differ so much to the others at our disposal.

The point you tend to miss, being a purist, is that the best squads are a blend. Ray Parlour technically was miles behind most of the midfielders we've had in the last decade, but his stamina, determination, commitment and his providing different attributes to his peers made him a key squad member in the best Arsenal team in Living memory, with a trophy haul far more skilled players could only dream of. Not saying WIllock will ever have that impact, but then no-one would have predicted Parlour's career at the same age.

In a squad where no midfielders ever score and only 2 can run, and only 1 can beat a man, a young home-grown player who can do all 3 is worth persevering with. If AMN carried the same goal threat, we'd be looking at 40m offers rather than 15m ones.
 

Barry

Well-Known Member
@Football Manager you've highlighted a way of using Willock in a double pivot and its flaws. But we very rarely play that system and certainly wouldn't play Willock in that role against strong opposition.

His best use (and what we should have done with Ramsey & Wilshere) is as an attacking 8 in a 3 man midfield. A lot of us suspect that a 433 is Arteta's long term dream, but I guess the reality is a hybrid of 4-3-3 and 4-2-3-1. In either event there is scope for someone with Willock's athleticism, ball carrying ability and goalscoring potential to be a contributor, but He does need to either get technically cleaner and defensively better (or both) to have any real chance of locking down a starting berth. At his current age, significant technical improvement is unlikely, but a more defined role would do his tactical intelligence the world of good.

The key thing to note is that Willock at Newcastle developed into a better, more assertive and cleverer player than we'd seen in his Arsenal cameos. He increasingly looked like someone who had worked out when to do things - ie reading the play. His athletic profile make him the kind of prospect you think long and hard before parting with, because while not quite at Ramsey's technical level (and certainly not at that of WIlshere or the aforementioned genius Cazorla), he can cover ground more effectively than all 3 combined, and is an exceptionally strong runner with the ball. He's also bigger and better in the air than all 3.

Of course a midfield composed solely of players like Willock is a chaotic version of Ardiles football, and can't work at a big club, but as a part of a squad, he could be very useful, particularly as his assets differ so much to the others at our disposal.

The point you tend to miss, being a purist, is that the best squads are a blend. Ray Parlour technically was miles behind most of the midfielders we've had in the last decade, but his stamina, determination, commitment and his providing different attributes to his peers made him a key squad member in the best Arsenal team in Living memory, with a trophy haul far more skilled players could only dream of. Not saying WIllock will ever have that impact, but then no-one would have predicted Parlour's career at the same age.

In a squad where no midfielders ever score and only 2 can run, and only 1 can beat a man, a young home-grown player who can do all 3 is worth persevering with. If AMN carried the same goal threat, we'd be looking at 40m offers rather than 15m ones.
Great post @lomekian, well said
 

Football Manager

Copy & Paste Merchant
@Football Manager you've highlighted a way of using Willock in a double pivot and its flaws. But we very rarely play that system and certainly wouldn't play Willock in that role against strong opposition.

His best use (and what we should have done with Ramsey & Wilshere) is as an attacking 8 in a 3 man midfield. A lot of us suspect that a 433 is Arteta's long term dream, but I guess the reality is a hybrid of 4-3-3 and 4-2-3-1. In either event there is scope for someone with Willock's athleticism, ball carrying ability and goalscoring potential to be a contributor, but He does need to either get technically cleaner and defensively better (or both) to have any real chance of locking down a starting berth. At his current age, significant technical improvement is unlikely, but a more defined role would do his tactical intelligence the world of good.

The key thing to note is that Willock at Newcastle developed into a better, more assertive and cleverer player than we'd seen in his Arsenal cameos. He increasingly looked like someone who had worked out when to do things - ie reading the play. His athletic profile make him the kind of prospect you think long and hard before parting with, because while not quite at Ramsey's technical level (and certainly not at that of WIlshere or the aforementioned genius Cazorla), he can cover ground more effectively than all 3 combined, and is an exceptionally strong runner with the ball. He's also bigger and better in the air than all 3.

Of course a midfield composed solely of players like Willock is a chaotic version of Ardiles football, and can't work at a big club, but as a part of a squad, he could be very useful, particularly as his assets differ so much to the others at our disposal.

The point you tend to miss, being a purist, is that the best squads are a blend. Ray Parlour technically was miles behind most of the midfielders we've had in the last decade, but his stamina, determination, commitment and his providing different attributes to his peers made him a key squad member in the best Arsenal team in Living memory, with a trophy haul far more skilled players could only dream of. Not saying WIllock will ever have that impact, but then no-one would have predicted Parlour's career at the same age.

In a squad where no midfielders ever score and only 2 can run, and only 1 can beat a man, a young home-grown player who can do all 3 is worth persevering with. If AMN carried the same goal threat, we'd be looking at 40m offers rather than 15m ones.
As I have said earlier, the one that I’ve posted is only one possible solution.

And of course, 4-3-3 is another solution. If willock plays in a 4-3-3, he will run forward to occupy the half space. The wide forward can stay wide to provide width. And willock’s original space can be covered by an inverted fullback.

My point was never about which solution is better. It’s about whether if we identified the problem, that if he is running up the pitch, he will leave huge gaps in behind. Any tactical solution would fix the problem, but you have to have at least one plan for the problem.

When Ramsey was here, we had the same problem. But “free” flowing football means we left this problem unresolved. And the consequences was that we lost more goals on counter attacks than the number goals ramsey scored.

And also, no matter what the solution is, willock’s performance will suffer when he arrived into the half space outside the box. We need creativity there the most. Willock can’t do anything there. He would have to wait, and wait and wait for that 2 or 3 moments in a game, which the opportunity arise, so that he can run into the box because there are space for him to attack. These other 8x minutes are wasted when he should have create chances after chances with passing and dribbling.

In contrast, you can see KDB create most chances from that area. If we want a DM/CM/AM/CF box to box hybrid, we need to take a player, who is comfortable creating in the half space outside the box, and coach him into this new role (players who operate well in this area are usually AM originally). Willock’s skill set is more like a DM who runs forward.

By the way, I agree that a good squad are blend with different style of players. That’s why we had a Flamini to do the dirty work, sitting behind the talented Hleb, Fabregas, Rosicky, Van Persie. What importantly is that, you won’t pick the most untalented one to be the main creative player. You may question that willock’s task is not creating for others, however, the task to create for others is unavoidable when he wants to become successful in this modern box to box role. Because when you are occupying the half space outside the box, you need to create. (For most of the match, you will have to occupy that area.)

Our “wide midfielders”, unlike other “wingers”, are traditionally more central, and we have our fullbacks out wide to keep the width. They are more narrow, so that they can create in that half space. Pires, Ljungberg, Hleb, Rosicky, Nasri, Arshavin...they are skillful players, elite passer, and have great football IQ. We had these players occupying the half space, that why we created lots and lots of beautiful chances.
 
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