MX23RW : Wednesday, May 22 19:32:56| >> :600:11696267:11696267:

Dad's the word for Arsenal starlet Joe Willock

Dad's the word for Arsenal starlet Joe Willock
© Reuters
Willock's older brothers Chris and Matty are also professional footballers.

Arsenal boss Unai Emery was full of praise for Joe Willock's performance against Blackpool but the teenager was reserving judgement until he had heard from an even more important figure – his dad Charles.

Willock marked his third senior appearance of the season with the first two goals in a 3-0 FA Cup success against Blackpool, adding to the goal he scored earlier in the campaign in the Europa League clash with Vorskla Poltava.

The 19-year-old has also been a regular presence on the bench in the Premier League in recent weeks and is helping to fulfil a remarkable family dream.

Arsenal's Joe Willock (right) celebrates
Arsenal's Joe Willock (right) celebrates (Anthony Devlin/PA)

Willock's two brothers, 22-year-old Matty and 20-year-old Chris, are also professional players with high-profile clubs – Matty at Manchester United and Chris with Benfica.

Willock's parents gave up their jobs to concentrate on their sons' burgeoning football careers, with Charles the driving force.

"My dad has just been football crazy since we were very young," said Willock. "He used to take us to the park before training and after training. It has been hard work.

"Growing up he was the only person I ever cared about commenting on one of my matches. I will go home now and if he has said I've played bad I don't really listen to anyone else except my dad because he has always guided me in the right way.

"He has kicked every ball and always been watching me and us. He is very proud that all the hard work and sacrifices are paying off. I am just trying to repay them every day."

The brothers all began at Arsenal but Matty was released aged 15 while Chris left in 2017 and headed to Portugal. Neither has yet made a first-team breakthrough although, like Joe, Chris has been a regular in the England age groups.

All three appeared on the same pitch in May 2017 when Manchester United played a reserve game against Arsenal.

Joe said: "It's a friendly rivalry. Obviously we all want each other to do well. We're always pushing each other on. When we were younger we had a dream together and we are just trying to fulfil it.

Brother Matt has been on loan at St Mirren from Manchester United
Brother Matt has been on loan at St Mirren from Manchester United (Graham Stuart/PA)

"Sometimes you have to go abroad to get a chance, sometimes you have to go up north. My brother can give us some experience from Portugal – he's been alone a few times – and he can give me experience from that aspect so gathering all that experience as a younger brother is always good."

Judging by his progress over the last couple of seasons, Willock may well turn out to have the most prominent career of the trio.

After 11 first-team appearances last season – including a chastening FA Cup debut in defeat by Nottingham Forest – Willock has emerged as a real goalscoring threat at first-team and under-21 level this campaign.

"It was one of my aims at the start of the season to push on and try to get in the box more and get a few more goals and help the team to victory so all the hard work is paying off," he said.

"It is going well for me. Hopefully I'm showing what I can do when I get the opportunities. Obviously I have always wanted play more in the Premier League and stuff so I am just being patient."


Click here for more stories about Joe Willock

Click here for more stories about Arsenal

Share this article now:
Alex Iwobi in action for Arsenal on January 1, 2019
Read Next:
Iwobi: Young Gunners are giving Emery selection headache
>

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
/esi/758/0/index.html - esi:0:site:0:-p-: {0}: - :T758:-: {0}: < ! - - T  758 {0} - - >  : 
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CManchester CityMan City38322495237298
2Liverpool38307189226797
3Chelsea38219863392472
4Tottenham HotspurSpurs382321367392871
5Arsenal382171073512270
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd381991065541166
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38169134746157
8Everton38159145446854
9Leicester CityLeicester38157165148352
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham38157165255-352
11Watford38148165259-750
12Crystal Palace38147175153-249
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle38129174248-645
14Bournemouth38136195670-1445
15Burnley38117204568-2340
16Southampton38912174565-2039
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton3899203560-2536
RCardiff CityCardiff38104243469-3534
RFulham3875263481-4726
RHuddersfield TownHuddersfield3837282276-5416

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Login, I already have my ad-free pass
Log in to customise Sports Mole
Buy ad-free access (show me the options)
Buy monthly ad-free access for £1.20/month
Buy yearly ad-free access for £12 (2 months free)
Settings - Logout - Manage your account
Settings - Logout - Manage your account