Brazilian outlet Globo Esporte features a new interview with Arsenal winger Willian today.
The 32-year-old spoke mostly about his early days playing in Brazil and his plans for the national team, but there was also room for him to talk about his first months with the Gunners as well.
Willian was asked about the ‘positional game’ used by manager Mikel Arteta, who learned it from his time at Manchester City with Pep Guardiola.
“It’s been a cool, new experience. I hadn’t worked with a coach with that mindset”, Willian told Globo Esporte.
“The positional game doesn’t mean that you have no freedom on the pitch, you have the freedom to move, but many times you have to respect the position, what the coach asks, the instructions, understanding that it’ll be better for the team. It may happen that you don’t touch the ball and get frustrated, but Mikel always says that, wait a minute, the ball will arrive. I’ve been learning a lot.”
Regarding his future with the national team, William claims it’s still a goal for him, despite being left out of Brazil’s recent squads.
“I intend to return to the national team, without a doubt. It’s always very good to wear the shirt of the Brazilian team. But this is how it happened at the Copa America, when we least expect it, things happen. I didn’t expect to be called, following Neymar’s injury, and suddenly the phone rings. I’ll always do my best to be playing at a high level. The most important of all is to be well at the club. My goal is to return to the national team, aiming for the next World Cup.”
William was also asked about women’s football, and could tell how big it’s been getting in England, even though the Brazilian clubs still struggle with some difficulties.
“Women’s football has changed a lot. It has greatly increased visibility, worldwide. Here in England every team has women’s football, and it’s growing more and more. Here in schools they play a lot of football, and my daughters came home saying that they needed to buy a boot to practice at school. I think this should increase the visibility of women’s football even more. We have to value a lot so that other Martas can appear.”
Willian joined Arsenal as a free signing on a three-year deal this summer, as his contract with Chelsea had just expired. He has two assists in his six appearances for the Gunners, and is still waiting for his first goal.