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Joe Willock declaration of intent ‘I’m here to prove to Newcastle United’

10 months ago

Joe Willock is saying all the right things.

The Arsenal loan player declaring:  ‘I’m focused on Newcastle and I’m loving every minute that I’m here.’

Obviously we are used to that, it is what pretty much every single signing, loan or permanent, says when they arrive at St James Park.

However, as we all know, when it comes to what happens on the pitch, the vast majority of time the walk doesn’t match the talk.

Ahead of playing Chelsea on Monday, Joe Willock says: ‘I’m here to prove to Newcastle United that I can play every week and affect the games and win games for them.’

Things couldn’t have gone any better on his Newcastle United debut, scoring after only 16 minutes in a Premier League win at St James Park.

The big question is whether that goal and decent all round performance is a sign of more to come, or will prove to be a one-off against a struggling opposition who created many of their own problems.

Saturday was only a second career goal in the Premier League for Joe Willock, in 41 PL appearances. However, the win over Southampton was only Willock’s 13th Premier League start, with most (28) of them sub appearances. Ironically, that only other PL goal was also against Southampton, Willock scoring in June 2020 as a sub in a 2-0 away win for Arsenal.

The ability to run around a bit and get into the box has already marked Joe Willock down as a more promising case than pretty much any other existing Newcastle United midfielder, so the bar isn’t exactly high.

The only time you really find out if players can handle the Premier League is when they are given a proper run of matches and so Joe Willock has his platform.

It is a win win win for all concerned if he can prove himself, for the player, for Arsenal and most importantly, for Newcastle United.

For Joe Willock, the fact that after his goalscoring winning debut the next matches are away at Chelsea and Man Utd, are surely a good thing. They take any pressure off him in terms of expectation, as any point(s) for Newcastle United would be a big bonus.

He just needs to follow up Southampton with hard working performances in these next two games and if that hard work brings anything extra for him and the team, he will be flying.

Nice to see somebody so enthusiastic about playing for Newcastle United, here’s hoping that isn’t knocked out of him in the weeks ahead!

Joe Willock talking to Sky Sports:

“It was like a weight lifted off my shoulders when the (final) whistle went.

“I wanted to make a good start, I wanted to score, I wanted to get the three points and when the whistle went, I knew I’d done that.

“It’s a starting point for me to push on, I wanted to set a good foundation and I was so happy when he blew the whistle and I’ve set that foundation.

“Now I want to push on and hopefully build on it.

“When I scored, it was a brilliant feeling. I wish the fans were there for me to do a knee slide and run in front of the crowd but I couldn’t do it so I celebrated with the team.

“I’m here to help the team in any which way they want me to. When I came in, I wanted to help the team have that bit of pace in midfield, travel from one box to the other quicker and get it to the front men quicker, and arrive in the box and score goals like I did, so I feel I can add that to the team and hopefully it continues.

“He (Steve Bruce) said to me, ‘I know that’s your quality, I know that’s what you love to do, I give you the freedom to go, and don’t worry, there are players behind you that can back you up.’

“When I decided to come here I had a sense of peace, I didn’t ever feel like it was going to be the wrong one (decision). When I came here, everyone was so welcoming.

“My first day everyone was speaking to me, I was speaking to the manager, that was when I knew it was the right decision and to score on my debut and to get three points is an even bigger plus.

“I’m trying to focus on what I have to do now, focus on Newcastle United. I’m not really looking at Arsenal at the moment.

“I’m here to prove to Newcastle United that I can play every week and affect the games and win games for them.

“I’m not really looking at Arsenal, when that time comes for me to make a decision to go back or not that will come but right now, I’m focused on Newcastle and I’m loving every minute that I’m here.”


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