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Joe Willock
Gender Male
Ethnic xxxx
Job Arsenal FC Footballer
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Affiliation

Club as Player Arsenal FC
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2019 08 20 Retrieve

[Arsenal midfielder Joe Willock has paid tribute to his ‘mentor’ Freddie Ljungberg] Freddie is not only such a legend at the club, he’s an unbelievable manager and coach. He’s a mentor for me, he showed me a lot behind the scenes that people don’t really know about. Every day I’m working with him and I’m learning from him. He’s improved my whole overall game. If I’m being specific, getting in the pockets when I’m playing No.10 and attacking at No.8. He showed me a lot of different tactics to get space and turn to attack other teams. Those are the main things really

It’s nice for him to follow me up to the first-team as well. It makes me feel more comfortable because obviously I worked with him last year. It’s a familiar face for me, it’s brilliant

[Willock is one of three brothers who all came through Arsenal’s Hale End academy. He is the only one still at the club, with 23-year-old Matty Willock now at Gillingham and 21-year-old Chris Willock on loan at West Brom from Portuguese giants Benfica] They are proud of me. But they always believed in me and that I could do it. They knew that I always had talent. I believe in them in the same way. It’s my time at the moment, but I feel that their time is coming as well. In football, this week you are up and next week you are down, so you just take it step by step. They keep on encouraging me. We’re really close. We grew up obviously together and have been through a lot together. We used to stay in the same bed, all three of us, and talk about what we wanted to do - about our dreams and aspirations and I always wanted to play for Arsenal

[Physical changes during his late teens had a big impact on his game and for a time he struggled to get to grips with them] I was 17. I was growing a lot and I lost my balance. But I always believed in myself. I have strong backing from my family and I always believed that I could do it and make it to the first-team. I’m still trying to become a regular and to play every week for the team and to win games and win trophies. I’m just trying to fulfil my dream. The squad we have this year is amazing and it can do big things. If I can add to that with what I can bring, it’s good and that’s all I’m looking for really

2019 08 21 Retrieve

[Joe Willock, who started alongside Dani Ceballos in midfield against Burnley, knew from the first time he saw him that Arsenal had signed someone special] Dani’s a top player. We see it every day in training, he’s just brilliant. He’s very technical. He showed on Saturday how good he is going to be and what he will bring to the team. It was a good performance from him. He was top class. And every day he’s getting fitter, every day he’s getting better

[Arsenal have a dreadful record at Liverpool in recent years. Willock, though, is insistent that Arsenal can go to Merseyside and get a result] Liverpool are a good side. Everyone knows that they won the Champions League [last season]. But we believe in what we can do and our philosophy. We are going to stick by that, bring the game to them and see what happens. I believe in us

[He describes the game against Burnley] It shows how good Hale End is. But that’s Arsenal’s philosophy, that’s what the club wants to do, to put youngsters in the first-team and give them experience. To be alongside my closest friend Reiss is amazing. It’s a dream, we’re living our dream

2019 08 23 Retrieve

[Joe Willock is another of those to have been impressed by Dani Ceballos he can take plenty of lessons from] Dani’s a top player. We see it every day in training, he’s just brilliant. He’s very technical. He showed on Saturday how good he is going to be and what he will bring to the team. It was a good performance from him. He was top class. And every day he’s getting fitter, every day he’s getting better

2019 10 03 Retrieve

[Joe Willock has credited Unai Emery’s instruction to ‘keep going’ for Arsenal’s 4-0 victory over Standard Liege in the Europa League] The manager told us to keep going even if it’s three or four nil. We want to get the ball back and get more goals. He drills that into us

One of my targets is to get more goals in my game and it’s even better that my goal and my team’s goals has also come with a clean sheet. We have a manager here who wants to play youngsters and I have to make sure I take my chances and prove why that is the way forward

2019 11 29 Retrieve

[Joe Willock on Freddie Ljungberg’s appointment as interim manager] Freddie is not only a legend, he’s an unbelievable manager and coach. He’s a mentor for me, he showed me a lot behind the scenes that people don’t really know about. He’s improved my whole overall game. If I’m being specific, getting in the pockets when I’m playing No.10 and attacking at No.8. He showed me a lot of different tactics to get space and turn to attack other teams. Every day I’m working with him and I’m learning from him

2019 12 02 Retrieve

[Joe Willock says Unai Emery was a very good manager] To be honest, we know collectively that we need to improve, whoever the manager. Freddie is a brilliant manager. We believe in him and we’re working hard to try and improve

[Willock added on switching focus to Ljungberg] He said the most important thing was to play with happiness, to get the pride in the badge back and to work to win. Every day in training we’re trying to get that competitiveness back. I feel like [our luck] is going to turn in one game, and we can push on from there. It’s coming, hopefully. Friday is in the past now. Emery was a very good man, a very good manager

2019 12 12 Retrieve

[Joe Willock admits underperforming Arsenal players have to take as much responsibility for the club’s recent struggles as Unai Emery] I feel like it was not just the manager (that was underperforming), it was the team as well. We needed to improve as a team and that’s what we tried to do. Freddie is good at relating to the players because he’s done it and he’s worn the t-shirt. He knows how it feels to be in our position. But I feel like it was more of the team’s fault and we needed to improve

I worked with Freddie Ljungberg last year and he taught me a lot on and off the pitch, like a mentor. I’m delighted that he’s in the job now. It’s good for me and I’ll continue working hard and working with him

2019 12 30 Retrieve

[Arsenal midfielder Joe Willock says the whole Gunners squad believe in new manager Mikel Arteta, despite taking only one point from his first two games] He’s installed energy, he’s installed being there for each other and different tactics. I thought we did it in the first half and the first 15 minutes of the second half but we pushed back and they got on top of us so it’s really disappointing. We all believe in him; we all listen and we all try to put the tactics he does in training on to the pitch. It’s evident we tried to do it in the first half, but it’s a long journey, we’ve only had a week with him and we’re all looking forward to working with him.

We tried to give a lot of energy and tried to help each other out but unfortunately we lost. We just need to keep positive, we all believe in each other and we know that we’re halfway through the season and we need to push on. We’re looking forward to the next game and hopefully, we can show the energy for a full 90 minutes

2020 01 02 Retrieve

[Joe Willock has praised Mikel Arteta for bringing a different sort of energy to the Arsenal dressing room] For me, as a centre mid - because he played centre mid as well - he’s taught me a few different things about positioning, waiting for the centre back to drive out before I go. It’s just timing and loads of different things, loads of different things that can make such a big difference on the pitch. He’s taught me all that already. I’m just really happy and really excited about the future, and how it’s going to go.

He’s brought a different sort of energy and different sort of tactic that you can relate to more. I feel like everyone’s excited, there’s a big buzz around the changing room, and everyone’s laughing again. He’s worn the t-shirt, he’s played for Arsenal, he’s been with the staff members who are still here as well. For me, I just look up to him and I want to learn from him. I’m just looking forward to it. Everyone’s got their head up and we’re trying to build confidence in each other and on the pitch as well. I feel like hopefully, we can transmit that on the pitch

2019 01 06 Retrieve

[Joe Willock dedicates his brace in the FA Cup third round to his mother] Mama, this was for all the times I see you work that late shift and them times you used to not eat so I could eat, them times you used to sing to me to fall asleep in your arms after you came back from work. I luh you mama. Happy birthday ❤️❤️

2020 06 23 Retrieve

[Arsenal starlet Willock reveals key lesson he learned from Wenger] Growing up, Arsene Wenger was Arsenal. It was all I knew. He was part of the furniture. For me to grow up and play under him was a crazy feeling. It was surreal. He’s an amazing man. Arsene Wenger was a very laid-back man but when he spoke, everyone listened. He was Arsene Wenger so everyone had to listen. He always taught me personally to play with freedom and enjoy myself. That’s one thing I can take from him

I used to love the way that Pires used to caress the ball and how Thierry used to play with so much confidence and personality. I try to take a bit out of everything and put that into my game. I used to have posters up in my room. I think my mum might have them at her house

At Arsenal, we are a very tight-knit team, we all try and help each other. If I have to name a few names, I would say David Luiz, [Alexandre] Lacazette and a few of the younger players like Calum Chambers, Granit Xhaka, because they are very vocal and big players in the changing room I sort of gravitated to them more. They helped me and always speak to me