Teen star Joe Willock bags family bragging rights after shining in Arsenal’s FA Cup win at Blackpool
- Joe Willock grabbed the family bragging rights after shining in Arsenal victory
- The youngster’s two older brothers are both professional footballers as well
- But it was Joe, the youngest of the three, who was the focus this weekend
- The midfielder scored twice as Arsenal beat Blackpool in the FA Cup third round
The internet football platform Wyscout is a wondrous tool. Any clip from any game you could ever wish for from across Europe is at your fingertips.
Managers, analysts and players pore over the treasure trove of footage — and so does Joe Willock’s dad. It is the only way he can keep up with the progress of all three of his sons. They have all been playing in different countries this season.
The youngest, 19-year-old Joe, was the focus this weekend after a brace for Arsenal at Blackpool — his most high-profile goals for the club.
Joe Willock grabbed a brace on Saturday evening as Arsenal beat Blackpool in the FA Cup
There is also Matty, 22, a Manchester United academy graduate who was recently on loan at St Mirren. Chris, 20, who also came through at Arsenal, signed for Benfica in 2017.
For father Charles Willock, the £50 monthly subscription on this scouting tool is worth it.
‘He looks at all our games and every individual clip over and over again,’ Joe smiled after his two poacher’s finishes at Bloomfield Road.
A congratulatory message arrived on Saturday night but the 19-year-old had to wait until Charles reviewed the tape thoroughly for the full debrief.
Willock was sharp, showing promise and repaying Unai Emery after being afforded a third start of the season. The family surely cannot have too many complaints and this is in stark contrast to the criticism that came his way after last year’s third-round 4-2 humbling by Nottingham Forest.
Arsenal’s Joe (L) and Chris (R) face Man United’s Matty in an U23s clash at the Emirates in 2017
‘Growing up, he was the only person I ever cared about commenting on one of my matches,’ Willock said. ‘I will go home and if he has said I’ve played badly… I don’t really listen to anyone else except my dad because he has always guided me in the right way.’
Willock Snr is rightly proud. Joe has scored three goals in as many appearances for Emery — plus three in the EFL Trophy for the Under 21s — and looks like kicking on. The hope is the trio of sons do it together.
‘My mum and dad gave up their jobs and we went through a period where we didn’t have any money because we had to go to football,’ Willock said.
‘My mum and dad couldn’t work all the time so they were dropping us here and dropping us there. They have made a lot of sacrifices to get to this point so I am just trying to repay them.
‘He has kicked every ball and always been watching me and us. It’s all paying off for the family.’
The 19-year-old nets his second on Saturday evening with a nice easy tap in at the back post
Willock has spent many hours at London Colney this term perfecting the art of timing runs into the box, and that was evident against Blackpool. He told Matty and Chris about his exploits over Whatsapp.
MAGIC OF THE CUP VERDICT: 1/5
Never going to be electric given will of home fans to continue their boycott.
‘Sometimes you have to go abroad to get a chance, sometimes you have to go up north,’ he added. ‘It is hard but that’s what we want to do — become footballers. When we were younger we had a dream together and we are just trying to fulfil it.
‘It is good my brother can give us some experience from Portugal —he’s been alone a few times — and he can offer me experience from that aspect. Gathering that as a younger brother is always good.’
Joe’s brother, Chris, 20, who also came through at Arsenal, signed for Benfica back in 2017