Arsenal have not won a Premier League crown since 2004 and are languishing in ninth place this campaign. However, the Brazil international told ESPN they are on the right track under former Pep Guardiola assistant Arteta.
“I think it has the potential to be a great project, it’s a great club, it’s in the hands of a good manager, it has everything to become one of the best managers in the world,” Willian said. “Arsenal has everything to become a powerhouse again, to fight for titles, to play in the Champions League again, that’s what we players want.
“He always tries to talk to the players individually, even on the pitch, when he finishes training he calls the player, explains what he wants from the player, where the player should be, receive the ball… In other words, he is always trying to help the players to be better.
“There is no complaint about this, he is doing a great job, he is always looking for the players in the best possible way, giving them ideas, guiding them, showing them what he wants. Arsenal is in good hands.”
Willian has struggled since joining Arsenal from Chelsea last summer, failing to score for his new club over 30 appearances in all competitions. He admitted the period has been his “worst professional moment to date” but is confident he can return to the type of form that made him a regular contributor at Stamford Bridge.
Janusz Michallik is disappointed with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s contribution to Arsenal’s match vs. West Ham.
“I think so. I feel ready to reach the level I reached at Chelsea,” he said. “That is my goal, what I hope for, especially at the end of the season. I will try to do my best to help Arsenal in the best way possible, and reach the level I had when I was playing at Chelsea.”
Difficulty on the field has coincided with issues off the field as many Black players in the Premier League, including Willian, have been the subject of racist abuse online. The league launched a campaign called “No Room for Racism” before the season, and players have been taking a knee before matches to show their support for anti-racism initiatives, but Willian shared his frustration with the lack of progress being made.
“There are people who can deal with this kind of situation, to change that scenario. We players try to play our part in trying, in some way, to show our indignation. The authorities, people who are above us, need to change this,” he said.
“Without a doubt I haven’t seen any progress, we keep getting down on our knees before the games, but I don’t see any change. We always keep seeing situations happening and no measures are taken. As soon as they start taking the necessary measures, punishing whoever they have to punish, then it will start to get better. Until now, we are not seeing any kind of progress; we are making that gesture before the games, but we are not seeing any change.”
“With Zaha himself, I saw an interview he gave, where he said he would no longer kneel because he did not see any kind of action being taken. I think he’s a little bit right, people have to start taking the right actions for this to change once and for all,” he said.