In his latest column for the Fancast, @DeanMears defends Willian amidst criticism from some on social media.
The rise of social media has been mainly positive for most people. It’s allowed so many Chelsea supporters to connect and create real friendships.
However, it’s also created a platform for some always to criticise and gain “popularity” in the Twitter-verse for their hot takes. Several players have been victim to the trolls, but one current player seems to have been moved to the head of the queue for abuse – Willian.
After he famously got the call from Abramovich after Spurs had brought his flight, Willian has been a mainstay in the Chelsea side since his arrival in 2013. The Brazilian has now made 250 appearances for the Blues and has recently been given the captains armband in the absence of Cesar Azpilicueta.
Willian can be a frustrating player because he doesn’t always produce the end product that we all know he’s capable of. And that goalscoring record is the stat that always gets thrown at him by those who replied to Chelsea FC’s tweet congratulating Willian on his 250th appearance by saying “250 too many”.
There was also a tweet that picked up a lot of likes and retweets which took a dig at Willian which claimed that Adam Johnson had more Premier League goals than Willian despite being in prison since 2016.
Which may be factually correct as Johnson has scored 32 Premier League goals to Willian’s 27. But, it fails to mention that Johnson had 13 seasons to score that many goals compared to Willian’s 6. And, if you look at Johnson’s record after the same number of seasons, Willian has scored 24 more goals than him.
One of the worst parts of Twitter is that a good lie can get so many views and interactions before you start seeing the truth in any replies. Haters of Willian look at his recent scoring records which I agree aren’t good enough and claim he’s a waste of a place in the team.
The numbers reached by Messi and Ronaldo are freaks of nature. People should look at the overall picture before making their ridiculous tweets or videos.
Those claiming Willian should be sold think they know more about professional football than Jose Mourinho, Guus Hiddink, Antonio Conte and Maurizio Sarri. All of whom continue to pick Willian in their teams despite their differing philosophies and way of playing.
Willian has proved his worth to all of these managers and been able to reach the level that those managers are demanding. An interesting stat that popped up during the Monday Night Football game on Sky between Tottenham and Man City was a list of most created chances this season.
Hazard was 4th with 25, Willian was 2nd with 28, only David Silva has more. So, when you’re wondering what Willian does for the team, there it is.
He creates chances. More often than the player widely regarded as the best in world football right now. But, those figures don’t suit the agenda of those hoping for a full starting XI of academy graduates or players they’ve signed on FIFA.
As the legendary CFCUK editor DJ says, I’d like to see you but some boots on and do better. Stats can tell a story but never the whole picture, sometimes to need to use your eyes to see what’s happening on the pitch rather than what’s written on paper.
Willian has been a stand out performer this season, and like most players under Sarri is improving. If he did score 15/20 goals a season, he’d be talked about like Hazard.
Willian is one of Sarri’s first names on the team sheet and with the football we are playing there’s no reason why he can’t reach at least double figures for goals.
And, it’s our job to support the team so players can reach those sorts of targets. Those on twitter would be good to remember what the word supporter means.
Written by Dean Mears – @DeanMears