Tag Archives: Willian

Willian comments prove Arsenal were wrong to ignore Arsene Wenger's golden rule

When Arsenal completed their pursuit of Willian last summer, there were mixed feelings among supporters and neutrals alike.

While there was no questioning the Brazilian’s supreme talents, the length of the deal raised more than a few eyebrows.

The player has since revealed that the reason for his Chelsea[1] exit was simple – he wanted a three-year contract, with the Blues unwilling to offer anything longer than two.

“It was difficult,” he said of his Stamford Bridge exit. “They knew how much I wanted to stay. I wanted to be a legend for the club. It was strange.

“But Arsenal[2] was different. Every day they called my agent and wanted to meet or talk. They really wanted me to go there.”

Willian admitted leaving Chelsea due to a contract disagreement was very difficult

And with Arsenal and Mikel Arteta, Willian got everything he wanted when they agreed to a contract that would see him tied to the club until 2023.

“He has the experience of everything in the football world but to still have the ambition to come here and contribute to bring the club where it belongs,” Arteta said after signing Willian. “I have been really impressed with all the talks I have had with him and how much he wanted to come.”

But after an impressive debut against Fulham[3], Willian has looked every day of his 32 years and has struggled to show the kind of consistency that made him such a legend across the city.

Mikel Arteta handed Willian a three-year contract last summer

In a recent interview, Willian suggested he was in the midst of the worst run of form in his career – and few would disagree.

“It really was a very difficult start, apart from that first game against Fulham, where I had a good performance, I managed to make a good game,” he told ESPN Brazil.[4]

“Even after that game there were some games that we won, I even had a good game, but then we ended up getting a bad streak.

“I also got a bad streak and I think my worst professional time to date, since I went up at Corinthians and was sold to Ukraine, then I arrived at Chelsea, without a doubt. This phase that passed now was the worst time that I think I lived as a professional.”

The Brazilian has admitted this season has been the poorest of his career thus far

The regrets over agreeing to a long-term deal may be starting to be felt in the corridors of the Emirates Stadium.

Particularly after Arsene Wenger had spent the best part of two decades showing it was a policy he would disagree with.

The legendary Frenchman ended up losing veteran players due to his strict stance, as he explained in an interview towards the end of his tenure.

Arsene Wenger made his contract stance clear during his stint as Arsenal boss

“It’s not over 30, it’s over 32. So when you have a player [who is] 32 he will just get a one-year contract,” he explained in 2010.

“It depends on the positions as well. If a central defender, then no problem to sign them until 34.

“But a striker is different. After 32 you go from year to year. A midfielder as well, after 32 you go from year-to-year.”

Arteta may now be wishing he followed suit.

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  1. ^ Chelsea (www.mirror.co.uk)
  2. ^ Arsenal (www.mirror.co.uk)
  3. ^ Fulham (www.mirror.co.uk)
  4. ^ ESPN Brazil. (www.espn.com.br)
  5. ^ Mirror Football email here (www.mirror.co.uk)

[email protected] (Ben Husband)