Willian blames the nightmare on adapting to a new philosophy of Arsenal

Willian has attempted to explain why he has struggled to adapt to life at Arsenal following his free transfer from Chelsea last summer.

The Brazilian was expected to hit the ground running at the Emirates after moving from their London rivals, having already spent a successful seven years in the Premier League.

But things certainly haven’t turned out that way and Willian has in fact come in for immense criticism for his lacklustre and uninspiring displays – failing to score while creating just three assists in 18 matches in all competitions this season.

And the experienced 32-year-old has since admitted that he has struggled to adapt to a new philosophy having been at Chelsea for so long.

Speaking in the club’s matchday programme ahead of Arsenal’s 0-0 draw at home to Crystal Palace, Willian admitted: ‘Well it’s never easy changing club, especially after being somewhere for so long.

‘I was at Chelsea for seven years before coming to Arsenal and then you have a new club, new people, a new philosophy.

‘Things are different so I’m still adapting but I feel good, I have been learning a lot – a new footballing philosophy.

‘Everyone is great here. I know I can improve a lot, and of course my performances on the pitch can be a lot better.’

Willian produced two of his three assists on the opening day of the Premier League season at Fulham, and there was huge optimism that he could be the man to help get Arsenal firing in front of goal.

But that has been far from the case, and Willian now finds himself out of the starting line-up for the Gunners.

Willian added: ‘The first game was great for me, against Fulham, I felt I had a good performance and gave two assists. And then, I don’t know.

‘I’m always trying to do my best, sometimes things don’t go the way you want. You have to say it’s a part of football and a part of life.

‘Sometimes you have good moments, other times you have bad moments, you have to learn from that.

‘And right now, I know I’m far away from being at my best, but I’m determined to work hard and change this.’

The Brazilian also thanked manager Mikel Arteta for sticking by him during his hard times so far.

‘Of course we talk about lots of things together, and I know I have his support,’ Willian added.

‘That’s great for me, and to have the support of the club, so what I can do is always work hard, give my best in training to try to improve myself. This is the only way to get back to good performances.’

Willian was an unused substitute as Arsenal played out a goalless draw at home to Crystal Palace on Thursday in the Premier League.

In the league encounter at West Brom prior to Palace, the Brazilian featured for just under 20 minutes with Arsenal already 4-0 in the lead.

Willian will be desperate for more game time when the Gunners host Newcastle on Monday night as they look to return to winning ways in the Premier League.

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