Joe Willock – Alan Shearer and the rest of the Newcastle United fans defeated the trolls
It took 66 days of the transfer window but Newcastle United eventually made their first signing of the summer, Joe Willock bought from Arsenal on Friday 13 August 2021.
A senseless nine weeks and more wasted as Mike Ashley and Steve Bruce hoped for a cheap and cheerful loan deal that was never going to happen.
Arsenal clearly having only two options they would consider in this transfer window, either keep Joe Willock and use him in the coming season, or sell the 21 year old to help fund targets of their own.
For Newcastle fans, simply relief, the signing meaning that the squad is returned to a position of strength that is close to what they finished last season with. Sad to say but with the state Mike Ashley has reduced us to, that is seen as some kind of progress for many Newcastle fans.
Wednesday night brought the chance for Newcastle United supporters to put their questions to the new signing and Joe Willock gave us some decent insight into where he found himself this summer.
The midfielder very interested in coming back to Newcastle United if Arsenal didn’t want to keep him…and Newcastle were prepared to buy him.
The refusal to offer money for him until the 66th day of the transfer window meant that Joe Willock wasn’t available for the West Ham game. He says he hopes to make his debut (as a permanent NUFC signing) at Villa on Saturday. Something else that doesn’t help, is that Joe Willock missed out on the entire Newcastle pre-season with his teammates.
The goalscoring midfielder also gave us the depressing news that every day he sees racist abuse aimed at him on social media. Quite ridiculous that social media companies do so little to combat this and that relatively very few people are ever prosecuted.
Happily though, Joe Willock says that the likes of Alan Shearer and all the rest of the Newcastle United fanbase help to ensure that he keeps his social media connection open, the positives they give him, are greater than the negatives that the trolls aim his way.
What better way for Joe Willock to announce his second coming with a winning goal at Aston Villa, to break Alan Shearer’s record of seven goalscoring PL games in a row and of course break more overall Premier League records in the process. The stage is set.
Joe Willock appearing on BBC Radio Newcastle:
“I didn’t really have a lot of games in pre-season [with Arsenal] and I only played 30-40 minutes.
“I just want to put the shirt back on and give my all for Newcastle United.
“Whether it is at the weekend [away at Aston Villa] or the following weekend [at home to Southampton], there’s a time where I’m going to need to step up and go out on the pitch.
“I want to play this weekend, hopefully I can get my opportunity whether it’s from the bench or from the start.
“I had the option of staying at Arsenal or looking at other avenues, Newcastle were top of my list and there was only one place I was going to go.
“It was all about the whole feeling that I got when I played in front of fans and stepped out at St James Park…that never left me.
“After I left in the summer it was always in my heart and mind that there was something missing and that something was Newcastle United.
“The thing that pushed me to sign was the fans and the strong connection, I was getting lots of messages on social media showing that they appreciated me.
“I get messages every day about my colour and it is disgusting.
“Instagram and Twitter need to step up and eradicate it.
“They have not put up enough of a fight for us and it can’t be going on any longer.
“You have to try to ignore it, these disgusting things come on to your phone…it hurts speaking about it.
“If I come off social media I would then lose connection to the wonderful fans who are supporting me and want to see my life and have a connection, I considered this but I don’t want to lose that.
“I also saw Alan Shearer’s tweets which inspired me to come to Newcastle.
“Alan Shearer is a legend, not only in Newcastle but across the world.
“He is a person I look up to a lot, a really amazing player, to be talked about with matching his goalscoring record [scoring seven Premier League games in a row for Newcastle] is an amazing feeling, but I feel I’m more focused on playing well, getting our first three points of the season – I feel that this is more important.”
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