Arsenal 2-0 Newcastle: Willian's post-Chelsea woes summed up in embarrassing FA Cup moments


Willian's struggles at Arsenal this season have made for tough viewing.

When the Gunners picked up the Brazilian winger on a free transfer this summer, you could forgive a substantial cohort of Arsenal fans for thinking that they'd bagged themselves a bargain.

And they hardly had any evidence to the contrary by the time Willian helped himself to three assists, though one was later chalked off, on his Premier League debut in a London derby with Fulham.

Willian's Arsenal woes

However, Willian has cut a frustrated figure in the famous red jersey ever since and has proven to be something of a pin cushion for Gooners during their most trying defeats of the season.

Besides, lest we forget that Arsenal were genuinely being linked with a relegation fight before the recent string of victories over Chelsea, Brighton & Hove Albion and West Bromwich Albion.

And it's only recently that Mikel Arteta has started to cut back on Willian's game time with the forward producing a disasterclass during the 2-1 defeat at Everton.


Arsenal 2-0 Newcastle (AET)

That's not to mention the fact that, despite his advanced position, the 32-year-old has only mustered two shots on target during his 13 Premier League appearances since leaving Stamford Bridge.

It's a dire situation that nobody takes any pleasure in and one that Willian couldn't shake off despite an opportunity to reverse his fortunes in the FA Cup against Newcastle United.

Arsenal eventually ran away 2-0 victors thanks to extra-time strikes from Emile Smith Rowe and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang but sadly, Willian has come in for criticism once again.


Willian's embarrassing moments

Just a few quick searches on Twitter is all it takes to see the pelters that were raining in for the Brazil international - and there were three moments that proved particularly infuriating.

First up, Willian had fans pulling their hair out with a tepid free-kick that, wildly untrue to his 2015/16 omnipotence from set-pieces, woefully hit the feet of the Newcastle wall - check it out:

Then, the £192,308-per-week star spurned one of Arsenal's finest opportunities in the first-half by thundering a shot in the penalty area over the bar with yards upon yards to spare - take a look:

But the Brazilian saved the 'best' until last by unraveling some fantastic work from Nicolas Pepe with a pass so poor that it ended up with him being nutmegged by Miguel Almiron - enjoy it here:

GIVEMESPORT's Kobe Tong says

Now, as much as some Arsenal fans are sitting comfortably in the narrative that Willian is a complete flop, I find it hard to get any pleasure out of the situation at all.

It might be unpopular for me to say, but I believe that Willian was thoroughly underrated at Chelsea, particularly during his final season, so it's all the more gutting that he's looked so poor at Arsenal.

I'm not here to defend his Arsenal form, that's too tough of an ask, but I do want to direct you to some 2019/20 evidence that might give Gooners hope that Willian can turn things around.


After all, it's easy to forget that Willian was actually Chelsea's best player as far as statistics are concerned last season, ranking 13th in the entire Premier League for data.

Willian ranked above everyone from Heung-min Son to David Silva and Trent Alexander-Arnold to Sergio Aguero with a mightily impressive 16 goal contributions from 27 league starts.

And with some of his best performances in that streak coming as recently as the summer, let's all keep our fingers crossed that Willian won't be the butt of social media jokes for much longer.

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