“It hurt me, it affected me” – Saliba opens up on lack of opportunities at Arsenal

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William Saliba says he was left ‘hurt’ by a lack of game time at Arsenal and admits he’s very surprised to be playing football in France again so soon.

Recruited for £27 million from Saint Etienne in the summer of 2018, the centre-back was given a year in Ligue 1 to garner further experience before being recalled by the Gunners in July.

Arsenal fans assumed that the 19-year-old was being lined up to challenge for a first team spot but after a couple of pre-season appearances, Mikel Arteta, who at the time had eight other centre-backs on the books, told the defender he wasn’t ready.

To rub salt in Saliba’s wounds, Saint Etienne couldn’t get the paperwork completed on a second loan move and, post-transfer deadline day, he wasn’t registered for either the Premier League or Europa League squads. It was, to put it kindly, a total cock-up on Arsenal’s part.

Eager to salvage something from the season, Saliba agreed to join Nice earlier this month and he’s already enjoying regular football.

“Honestly, if you told me a year ago, I honestly would not have believed you,” he told TF1 [translated by Get France Football News] when asked about the prospect of lining up for another French club against Saint Etienne on Sunday.

“I really, really, really didn’t think that I would be transferred for €30m and to think that I would arrive, where people were expecting a lot from me and the fans were excited about me, and you find yourself in the reserves, play zero, zero nothing in the Europa League or the league. I was in the squad once in the League Cup.

“It hurt me, it affected me. I don’t think I left too early. When you feel ready you have to go. I don’t think I left too early. These things happen. I believe in myself.”

Quite how much damage we’ve done to our relationship with Saliba remains to be seen. At least he’s enjoying himself on the pitch again.

“For me the best choice, the best decision was to join OGC Nice because there is a good project, a good team, a good level of ambition, who like to play in a certain way,” he said.

“It feels good to play and to have consistent game time, I am young, I am 19, and it is by playing matches like this that you improve. You see what mistakes you make and you correct them.”

He added: “I don’t know [about the future]. I have learned now that it is better not to look too far in the future. So I am focused on just these 6 months to try to give absolutely everything and for the rest, we will see.”

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Dave

Doubt he’ll be back then! We’ve got Gabs, Mari and Holding so not too fussed.

Alf Garnett

No offence mate, but that conclusion is pretty fucking bad.

beNZed

Worst.
Analysis.
Ever.

Johnny 4 Hats

This interview genuinely saddens me.

Not how Arsenal should behave.

I think Arteta needs to have a very empathetic and compassionate word come June and try and start again with a clean slate.

We look really bad here. This is a huge embarrassment for the club.

Qwaliteee

Spot on as ever, J4H.

Maxcat

Arteta continues to be an embarrassment to the club.

Richard Compton

Drivel!

ALEXISANTISAKANELLI

Arteta have handled this poorly his management skills needs to improve maybe he’s a good coach but his job title is manager how can you give someone who’s still learning to manage the title and position of a manager?? maybe he should’ve remained a coach and gather some more managerial experience from that first… by the looks of things it looks like Arteta needs to improve in this area. Also he tells a lot of white lies like yesterday he said he Brought on Willian for Martinelli because of somethings we wanted to do and he thinks Willian is better… Read more »

Daveo

Seriously. Monumental level fuck, even by arsenal’s standards. The decision to leave him out of Europe squad was Arteta’s biggest cockup as a manager. Let’s hope it remains so. We’ll be lucky if we can salvage his career at arsenal.

Cechmate

I’m not sure about this being the biggest cockup, I have a bad feeling about AMN situation. Here’s a guy that played pretty towards the end of the season, wanted to leave, would have fetched 20M but Arteta stopped him and then is hardly playing him. He is not being played, so he is not developing & his value is also coming down. Instead of developing young players we are now persistently playing 30 yr olds even if they perform not so well, which is worrying. Young ones that are playing well aren’t ones that have been developed by him… Read more »

Pea14

And on tip of that, we even rejected his opportunity to play in his cup final in France. Totally cocked up big time.

Let’s hope for the better next season with Saliba being one of our 4 CB

Tanned arse

Absolutely and so unnecessary

Tumang

I think he has shown himself to be someone who cannot be trusted. He spoke about non negotiables and whatnot and yet, he treated players differently. Perhaps it’s part of being a novice who knows.

Heavenly Chapecoense

Wait until somebody tells you Arteta said: “Saliba will play a big role in the future of the club”. The phony communication I pointed out from day one and got downvoted massively for.

thw14

“I have learned now that it is better not to look too far in the future.”

I’m simultaneously happy for his own mental well-being that he’s come to accept this, and really really sad that we’re the club at which he’s had that bitter lesson. 19 is no age to have this much wisdom forced upon you.

Artetas Assistant

It’s the right age for a monster like Saliba

A Different George

I agree, but I am also concerned that a pattern is emerging. Each situation is different, and maybe there is no pattern, but no one can be happy about what happened with Koscielny, with Monreal (in fact, I am baffled about what happened with Monreal), with Ozil (unless you believe it was 100 percent Ozil’s fault and that nothing the club did played any part; I am not saying Ozil is blameless). And I am not sure we treated Sokratis as he deserved (until the end)–not saying he should have played, that is a legitimate coaching decision, but to leave… Read more »

Mpls

There is no equating this Saliba thing with Sokratis and the older players leaving. Apples and oranges. Forever and a day supporters have been whining that we need a manager / leadership that will ‘have a spine’ and ‘make the tough decisions’ and ‘get rid of the dead wood’ (I don’t consider Monreal in that boat, but he was getting older and showing signs). Well, we’ve got it. This club has long had a stance on contracts with older players. On the occasions lately where we’ve bent those rules, we’ve gotten bent over the barrel. Ozil? Willian, anyone? Willian may… Read more »

A Different George

Monreal left in such a hurry, and at such an odd moment in terms of left-fullback availability, that I think something was wrong. With Koscielny, there is no dispute that something was wrong. Nor with Ozil. Nor with Saliba. I don’t want to argue about Sokratis, because that wasn’t my point.

Jonathan Murrin

Or maybe hes just not good enough for arsenal. Artetas eye for martinelli, saka, smith rowe has been accurate enough

Neil

Totally agree … and that transfer fee! I like Arteta, but either he’s done a poor job managing players who have been frozen out, or he’s badly communicated with the press about how such situations have been handled.

ALEXISANTISAKANELLI

SO I guess his statement just proves Arteta has been lying to us about his situation. Arteta said he was having family issues and there were rumors he lost his mother etc and other factors and his mind wasn’t right to play etc This just proves that was not the case or at least not as Arteta put it to us and that he was absolutely expecting to be selected and given a chance. such shame and poor handling from Arteta to be fair. I thought he deserved to be in the squad earlier in the season in those europa… Read more »

Once a gunner

If he actually lost one of his loved ones it can affect his performance on the field he himself might not know, but the coach knows this. With the high expectations on him as we the fans if he made any mistake it can kills his career with us, is better for him to be in a right frame of mind and to play for us. Look at Sanagna’s case u will understand what I’m saying.

fmikael

Yup, and then some of the same ppl who are fiercely supporting his inclusion now, would be the same one that would be ridiculing him. I agree that he could have been included in the Europa league squad. But based on the highlights of the 4 matches I’ve seen of him so far in France, I wouldn’t stick my neck out and say that he deserved a starting spot..It’s probably a rhythm thing, and its such a small sample of games…. so I am going to wait out and see how he performed in France this coming 4 months before… Read more »

Biggles

Yes, but Arsenal handled things very badly and as a club who will be on the lookout for other young players, it won’t do our reputation with that target audience much good: “Arsenal are interested in you, but do you remember Saliba etc.”. They may not be “too fussed” either.

Futsboller

My goodness, the bellyaching on this page about a 19-year-old who wants more playing time. Rather incredible.

By this time next year, Saliba will be providing quotes about how happy he is at Arsenal and how he has the manager’s faith, and how he’s just going to keep his head down and continue to work hard for the team.

Johnny 4 Hats

Maybe. Let’s hope so. How about you go back to your 18 year old self and imagine what your biggest dream was back then. That thing that you sacrificed large parts of your youth to achieve. I doubt any of us have done that much for a dream. And then imagine getting that thing, only to be told that you weren’t in fact good enough to deserve the thing and you were surplus to requirements. I hear a guy who’s been pretty badly hurt. And I am to believe there was some personal tragedy in there too. And I don’t… Read more »

Futsboller

The dream of playing for Arsenal isn’t over, unless Saliba wants it to be.

Biggles

I don’t think that dream is quite what is was if you look at our current “offer” anyway. Several other clubs now in this country and many across Europe can give him a lot more – guaranteed (CL for example) in several cases. I don’t think we should be too hung up on “the dream” – we are not what we used to be, sad though that is, and moving away isn’t quite a difficult a decision as it may have been once.

Dublin gunner

Sacrificed part of his youth? I played football all the time as a kid ,I didn’t feel like I was sacrificing anything, I did it cause I enjoyed it and most kids would love to be in his shoes getting paid to do something he loves.Hopefully he will be back next year better off from his loan deal and with less players to compete with for that starting spot.

db10s

This kid was suppose to be the Mbappe of defenders. If my career had that trajectory I’d be pissed I just wasted 6 months doing nothing.

But maybe there’s more to it then what we know.

SarcasmB0t

Arsenal spent 30 million euros to acquire said 19-year-old, hence the “bellyaching”.

And speaking of incredible, I find the level of investment on this site in a 37-year-old unproven manager fairly incredible.

The only reason you get a manager this young is precisely so you DON’T have to become invested – if they do well, great, if they don’t, they shouldn’t be too expensive to sack.

The way some people here defend his every fuck-up, you’d think he’s Johan Cruyff and we’re Barcelona.

Futsboller

Saliba is a long-term investment. Arteta is a long-term investment. It is acceptable to support both of them.

Biggles

Frankly, you would be hard pressed to think that Saliba was a “long-term investment” as you say, based on the things that have happened to him since joining us.

Futsboller

He’s under contract with us until July 2024. It is January 2021 and he’s 19 years old, and he’s under contract with us for 3.5 more years.

Seriously, why the bellyaching? We’re second in the league behind City for fewest goals allowed, we’re beginning to strike a balance between youth and experience in the first team, and we’re playing much better football more consistently of late. When Saliba comes back to the team and has a full pre-season with us, he’ll make his mark. All of this will be forgotten.

Winston

We’re first in the league in alphabetical order!

SarcasmB0t

The problem is the person doing the “bellyaching” is Saliba himself.

He said: ““It hurt me, it affected me,” not: “Yeah, it was no big deal, forget about it.”
Admit it, Arteta and Edu fucked this up. If they hadn’t been complete muppets, Saliba would have either played in the Europa League, or else gone on loan.

Unfortunately, the job was too big for them and they couldn’t make the right decisions in time.

It happens. I also sucked in my first job.

I’m now much happier somewhere else.

Futsboller

He’ll get over it; he’s a professional.

A P

Wow, do we get into the CL based on your made up league table?

Chris

Absolutely, find it hard to believe how short sighted some people can be

SarcasmB0t

Um, but Saliba is a long-term investment because we’ve paid beaucoup bucks for him. Where’d this “Arteta is a long-term investment” sentiment come from? Sure, he’s won the cup. That was great, thanks for the memories and all that. But as far as I’m concerned, if things revert to where we were at the beginning of the season, he should go. If he keeps driving talented players away, he should go. And if he keeps asking for expensive 30-somethings who he will keep playing even though they suck, he should also go. I’m perfectly ambivalent about him. Like I’ve said… Read more »

Futsboller

His promotion to manager by the club seemed to be a vote of confidence and the message about Arteta from brass has always indicated that it is a multi-year investment in him, despite it’s risks.

I don’t think we have the position of “savior” at the club any longer, but I might be mistaken.

Dublin gunner

Your totally right buddy. They chose a guy for the future that will be going through a total rebuild with little funds and a lot of dead wood to get rid of.I think he is doing a great job all things considered. I think a lot of fans of ozil are still hurt by his departure .

A P

I have said it before that I want Arteta to succeed here because it means Arsenal will do well. But Arteta still has to prove himself.

Same for Saliba, but only if Arteta lets him.

Dublin gunner

You don’t have a clue

Mpls

Was Willian worth what we paid for him? Sometimes you pay 30 million for a player and they don’t pan out or are not ready yet. Pepe has taken a while to get closer to expectations people place on dollar values. Well, maybe Saliba fell victim to his own legend. Maybe he didn’t play like a 30m player. Maybe he was just expecting it and not working for it. Maybe, just maybe, he really wasn’t ready. They tried for a loan, Etienne failed on their end. His quote: “I really, really, really didn’t think that I would be transferred for… Read more »

SarcasmB0t

Willian is not an investment. He is at an age where value depreciates. Spending that much money on him was utterly moronic, as I’m sure you agree. The person who didn’t agree was our “long-term investment” manager, and that’s a problem. Arteta has driven Guendouzi out of the club, he hasn’t given any playing time to Saliba – and whateveer your narrative about how “he fell victim to his own legend,” he’d played well in France before, he’s playing well in France now. No fucking way was he not good enough to play against Molde and Dundalk. You’re saying he… Read more »

Dublin gunner

When we signed willian everyone on here thought it was a no brained, maybe the contract length and wages was a worrying point but no one could fathom his performances this season.

Mpls

Sometimes you have to ask questions rather than just hop on a boat waving a “manager out” flag. Disagree all you want, of course, but You don’t know what went on in training any more than I do. Whose assessment are you going to hang your hat on? A manager who knows this club inside and out, and who has been surrounded by some of the best of the best and helped manage them? Or a 19 year old complaining about playing time in a position where players typically don’t mature until their mid 20’s at earliest who can’t believe… Read more »

Mpls

As for Guendouzi, he was a toxic presence by all accounts and needed to go. He didn’t bring what he thought he brought, and he was detrimental to club harmony. Arteta has a long reputation for not tolerating that, and as coach and then manager that’s his job.

Hank Scorpio

And there’s a litany of fuck-ups to defend. All good though as long as the damage isn’t too bad and you learn from it. I guess we’ll have to wait to see how much damage has been done in this instance.

Richard Compton

Quite right!

Dublin gunner

Yeah but do you remember Saka, Smith Rowe,martineli and Eddie. If I was a talented young player I would like to play for arsenal as you know if your good enough you will get a chance.If Arteta felt saliba was ready he would of played him. Dont forget arsenal had 8 centre half’s at the start of the season.

Prakhar

This all is happening so Arsenal save 5 million pounds or euros. Saliba playing in debut season makes Arsenal pay extra 5 million due to contract clause. That is it. That is all there is to it.

Arsenal’s plan was to ship him away so 5 million saved and Saliba development gained, but they then cocked that up. But important thing to remember is that its all about the 5 million in a terrible business environment.

Sparkyrowe

This was the guy who suggested we sell Aubamayang last week. Troll

TEMI AFOLABI

He doesn’t play in the same position with Gabriel and Mari (left centre-back). Only Holding plays in the right centre-back as Saliba. Mustafi is likely to be replaced by Saliba in Summer after his exit.
It’s the limitation on the allowable maximum of 17 foreign players that can be registered by the club, which is the hindrance on Saliba’s progress at Arsenal.

Typical tantrums

I Don’t get it, why all the down votes? Saliba is already two years into his 5 year contract, next year is the only year where we can convince him to stay(might go out on loan again, feels like arteta doesn’t really trust / rate him) with all that’s happened to him at arsenal, I really don’t see him staying on. It’s either sell him or sign him up, if we do sell him I hope we sell for a healthy surplus. I gotta say though, saliba situation has been handled very poorly by the club.

A P

Thanks Arteta!

C.B.

It’s all very weird. Why pay that much for someone without knowing all about him? Why not play him more in lower competitions?

I hope he proves himself and comes back to play at Arsenal but can’t say I’m optimistic about that.

C.B.

He’s an Arsenal supporter too, makes it even stranger.

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

He wasn’t Arteta’s signing though.
Hopefully we get rid of Luiz and Mustafi at the end of the season, and Saliba can be one of four centre backs moving forward. From the 2 games I’ve watched him in this season on loan, he hasn’t looked out of place in any way

Francesc

Answer to your first question in Raul, a fuck up by Raul

John

Leicester was able to pluck a 20 year old player from the French league and have him excel in the middle of defense right away. Is Fofana a much superior player to Saliba, or have they just been much better at integrating him into their squad? Seems very much like the latter to me.

maxcat

NEED to get rid of Arteta
…how many young footballers are reading this?…it is Arteta’s control problems vs Arsenal’s ability to attract the best players…what would you choose?
Hooked Martinelli at the half for Willian…the future for a stop gap..why? Because Martinelli was playing ball and not listening to his shouting from the sidelines?

Russ

Right…

I don’t even think Arteta recruited Saliba, I’m not say it was handled properly by any stretch but saying we need to get rid of Arteta is just bonkers.

Maxcat

Handled properly? It is an embarrassment. Absolutely no way of talking it down.
Claims of family bereavement, then you chuck him away to the reserves, instead of supporting him. He is a 19 yr old kid. No excuses.

arseblog

They’re not claims. It’s what happened.

Winston

maybe he’s one of the other who didn’t agree a pay cut

arseblog

No.

MrT

Spot on !!!

Biff

I dont think Arteta should be sacked. But I am worried about his ability to handle situations like this. Many have tried to rationalize the Saliba situation and claim it is not such a big deal. But it clearly was for the player. When you have payed 30 million for a player, why not at least use him in a few Europa league games just to give him a chance, instead of using players who are clearly on the way out anyway. Last weekend Martinelli was ready to come on for Pepe. When ESR could not continue MA put on… Read more »

Russ

I do agree Biff but we don’t know or see what exactly goes on behind the scenes so there might have been more to Willian coming on at half time than we know?

I think Arteta is definitely still finding his feet as a manager but he does seem to be learning from some recent mistakes I think.

Yes, the Saliba situation is bad but lets hope he comes good next season back with us doing well and we can all move on. He seems like an intelligent lad so hopefully this won’t effect him too much.

KingKolo

I agree with this analysis. Arteta expects something from teenagers he doesn’t expect from others. He needs to take a leaf out of Arsene’s development book. What Wenger would be doing with Martinelli now would be special.

indiegooner

“Play well or get replaced by Willian” – if that won’t motivate you, nothing would.

Bob's Mexican Cousin

Not handling the situation on the pitch too well either. We should be top4 not tophalf

Biggles

It was handled very badly by the club but I’m not sure that we can leap to putting the whole blame on Arteta though. However, it’s a lesson that should be learned by everyone dealing with aspects of player recruitment at Arsenal as it does our reputation no good.

ThreadRipper

I don’t think Arteta plays players on merit. He looks so stubborn and kind of do stupid things just to prove his point. Martinelli and Saliba have potential to be big players for the club and I am worried Arteta will ruin it just because of his ego. Saliba, Martinelli, Guendouzi.. all players signed by Emery and now being treated unfairly by Arteta.

ThreadRipper

Also, I didn’t believe at all when Arteta said in the beginning that saliba is not yet upto the task. Look at the way Fofana is playing now. Saliba was rated much higher back then. Ofcourse Saliba would be pissed off seeing that.

TCGNR

Just FYI – last time I watched Foxes, Fofana literally made two terrible touches leading to a good chance or a goal for the opposition. He’s not exactly Maldini, jeez. Also, Arsenal are currently conceding less than a goal a game. Our defense is crucial, and if Arteta (who knows a LOT more than you do) didn’t think Saliba was up to the task, he was probably right. People need to get over Fofana, he’s an adequate defender, period.

Parblo Gaviria

I don’t think it is a good example that Fofana made three mistakes in one game. I am sure even the great Maldini could make mistakes. We all know these young lads are going to make mistakes, but they have to play, to learn from those mistakes. Also, I Don’t think it should only be case of making clean sheets, for the defence. Attack starts in defence, hence we need good ball-playing defenders, if we want to reign supreme.

ThreadRipper

Arteta probably thinks Willian is our savior too.

Tapps

100% this!

Dublin gunner

At last someone talking with a bit of sense, we have been really good at the back.some of the fans are so fickle talking about sacking arteta just when he seems to be getting them playing well on both sides of the ball.

J2W

Let’s look at a different person with a different life and compare them, why aren’t they doing the same?!

Christ alive this thread shows you how utterly ridiculous expectations are for modern football fans.

In what world does an unhappy 19 year old’s view supersede an experienced ex player and manager who has all the facts.

Chris

Because you can definitely compare two players in two different teams with different mentalities and draw a sensible conclusion. 🙄

Martin

Why are Guendouzi and Martinelli being treated unfairly? Guendouzi is totally undisciplined and his performances deteriorated. Martinelli has just come back from a serious injury and is being treated carefully.

ThreadRipper

Performance deteriorated? That means he was once capable of performing good enough for us. I am not his fan and I don’t particularly like his playing style. But it’s not the way to manage a talented young player. It’s the responsibility of the manager to iron out the defects in him and make him a better player. If Arteta was any good as a man manager, a better version of Guendouzi would have played for us this season. For Martinelli, if it was to protect him, why did he say it was a tactical substitution? And why is he consistently… Read more »

Mpls

Let’s not forget two things:
First, a Guendouzi downed tools and demanded a transfer when he didn’t like being disciplined or the way things were going.

Second, our play, possession, and pressure improved second half against United after bringing Willian on. Possession and combination play visibly improved a lot on the left side. The tactics worked. Martinelli is not a tiki taka possession player, and we needed some to turn the pressure onto them.

Do we want a certain player to get another 10 minutes or whatever playing time they want, or do we want some kind of a result?

Greg in Seattle

The Saliba/CB-logjam was the prior regime’s doing. Unfortunate the way it’s gone as is being discussed here.

Martinelli is working back from injury and you can’t give the star treatment too soon (though a change yesterday at 55 mins would have been more diplomatic). Yet he’s written into the team sheet repeatedly and no one doubts his importance.

Guendouzi is, by all accounts, a massive dick with a maturity problem.

Francesc

Ozil FC member spotted

Qwaliteee

Time to move on mate.

You Ozil Haters just can’t let it go, can you?

jimbo

dont think ozil was mentioned. Arteta is making a mess of some great young talent by his lack of man management skills.

A P

Lame.

Dublin gunner

Yeah 100% all the butt Hurt ozil fans trying to get Arteta sacked. Get over it or go support Fenerbache.

Timi

Arteta really is a problem! His man management is so poor it is shocking!!! Arsenal will have to choose between a crop of good players with capacity to improve or an average coach with an oversized ego.

Jeremy

Jesus. Sack Arteta. Who do you think would have been better than him with the shitshow he inherited? A young forward thinking manager, an ex arsenal player and one who everyone says has the potential to be a world beater. He’s had ups and downs but won 2 trophies in his first year, made us defensively sound and now we are just starting to see the attack click and you want him sacked because of one side of a story from a player he didn’t even sign. Who would you replace him with? What did you expect – to have… Read more »

Qwaliteee

Under Arteta, we were almost knocking on the door of the ‘Championship’ (the old Division 2 as far as I’m concerned) in case it had slipped your recent memory.

Tapps

We were but we’re not now. Because Arteta worked out what the problem was and resolved it.

Dublin gunner

I know you’ve been a season ticket holder for 100 years now but the guy has rectified the league position and we seem to be on the up and what are people going on about he’s having a bad effect on the youngsters.Saka plays when fit same as Smith Rowe and martinelli even though he’s only back from a longterm injury.

TCGNR

The ‘sack Arteta’ hot takes on this site are cringey.

jimbo

for the last time THE COMMUNITY SHIELD IS NOT A TROPHY!

Mpls

Ok then, he fucking beat Klopp’s Liverpool first competitive match of the season, and won the Fa Cup. I think I can find another inconsequential hair for you to split if you’d like.

MrT

The reason why certain Arsenal fans want him to be ‘ sacked ‘ is because his Man Management & favouritism towards certain players… ( The players he chose & signed )
Majority of Arsenal fans who dislike Arteta would love to have ‘ Raplh Hasenhuttl ‘ as our new coach.

Hank Scorpio

Stop making excuses. I’m not in the Sack Arteta camp but reality is we have flirted with relegation and that’s on him and not because he ‘inherited a shitshow’ but because of his stubbornness and tactical rigidity. He’s made plenty of fuck ups along the way. To be expected when you have zero management experience I suppose. Finding an attacking formula that works was down to dumb luck and nothing else really. It will be interesting to see if he has the man management skills to retrieve this as it’s clearly affected the player. His man management skills have been… Read more »

Dublin gunner

Go support Southampton then,they have some good young players coming through

Tapps

My thoughts entirely Jeremy!

Dublin gunner

Well said buddy,I’ve read a few of your comments and you always talk a lot of sense.

TCGNR

What an embarrassing take.

Martin

Martinelli did very little apart from one important header in defence. Putting Willian on improved our performance and he made some important contributions. Tactically Arteta was right. I’m no fan of Willian but give credit where it’s due

Parblo Gaviria

I don’t think the issue is on Martinelli vs Willian, but on the management of Martinelli. Some feel that he should have been given a few minutes to improve, unless he took him out becoz of an injury.

JJ Abrams is not a good film maker

Are you Tracey from the Athletic’s Arsenal articles comments? There’s similarities in both of your unhinged Arteta hatreds.

Alex

This guy was signed to be our VVD and I for one would like to know WTF has happened and who is accountable

Hank Scorpio

Who is accountable? The person picking the squads?

Mpls

Van Dijk was 26 when Liverpool signed him, already adjusted and proven in the PL, hitting his prime. Not a 19 y.o. coming in from France. No way Saliba was going to stroll in like Van Dijk.

beNZed

I really hope we can un-fuck this situation, and if Arteta’s conclusion was “you’re not ready” then I question it. Not ready for the PL, perhaps. Not ready for one of the easiest EL groups ever seen, and league cup games against Ipswich Nunnery 2nd XI? Not correct at all.

Surely, please dark lord below, if Luiz goes (likely) along with Sokratis, Mustafi and possibly Chambers too, he’s back in the mix. If we don’t have a Gabriel-Mari-Holding-Saliba CB foursome next season I am going to be annoyed.

afl

I am afraid you’re going to be annoyed. For all the talk at the beginig how MA is great with young players he is litetally destroying the future of young players at Arsenal. No way Saliba will ever commit his future to a team managed by MA. And nobody can blame him. Last night we played Manu and in first half we defended with 11 eleven players including our front three (pepe,laca and martineli) which was obviously tactical decision and in the second half when we were much more ofensively oriented, MA has brought in Willian for Martineli. I am… Read more »

Graham

To build his own reputation and career Arteta has to be successful to some degree. Of course bringing on Willian or sending Saliba back to France doesn’t seem consistent with reality, but we are seeing great things from Gabriel, Saka, Holding, Tierney, and flashes of Martinelli (coming back from an extremely serious injury he will also need time). He is a young manager with a big ego. I suspect he could do with a dose of humility, but I do believe he will be good for Arsenal overall. If not, he probably has one more season. Currently, we are on… Read more »

Timi

God bless you. Spot on. Arteta is not building anything at Arsenal except his career!!!

Graham

To build his career he needs to be successful.

Otherwise, he gets sacked, jumps around a few different clubs at a progressively lower level than Arsenal, before disappearing.

That’s not building much of a career.

I don’t know that I love his personality, but I see a man who wants to win.

EmileSmithRowsicky

Earth to Gooners… when Arteta wins we win. Exceptional young players are wanting to play for him. Previous players of merit loved playing for him, and improved under him. We played well yesterday, not great but quite well. For once Willian looked very good. Things are better, there will be bumps but we show a) consistent improvement b) a darn good defense so far c) attracting and benefitting from MANY young exceptional players d) we are winning and competing with offensive vigor E) we did not hire Morinho. All reasons for cautious to gleeful optimism. On a final note, a… Read more »

TOGooner

Well then I hope that careerist prick selfishly wins all the trophies as Arsenal’s manager.

TCGNR

We outshot and generally out-played United with Willian on second half. “Destroying the future,” my goodness. Take a break, dude.

jimbo

yet united stil had the best 2 chances of the game

Martin

It was merely the fact that bringing on Willian changed the way we played and was a great tactical switch. Martinelli had hardly contributed and Willian actually played his part.

Dublin gunner

This is the type of shit why arsenal fans are a laughing stock. Stupid uneducated fickle fans that know fu#k all about football apart from the new shiny signings.If he’s good enough he will play.

Biggles

I wouldn’t blame him at all if he wanted to leave in the Summer. The whole episode has been an embarrassment to the club who appear to have handled things in a very amateurish way.

I know it’s easy to go back to “the good old days”, but Arsenal did have a (justifiable) reputation for being the most “professional” club in the league, doing the right thing etc., even if it cost us. The Saliba shambles certainly suggests otherwise now.

ChickPEA

The whole situation is clearly an embarrassment now, but hopefully a good four months at Nice, a few good games at the beginning of next season and it will all be water under the bridge soon. The boy still has huge potential after all, and it seems some character too.

SarcasmB0t

WHAT?!?

I thought Arteta said Saliba hadn’t been registered to protect him.

This cannot be true – Arteta would never blatantly lie to our faces about a bad decision he’s made.

Maxcat

Yes he would. He is a controlling prat.
All managers are control freaks, but he is controlling and vindictive, then goes around grinning trying to appear to be reasonable.

TOGooner

His name is literally sarcasmbot dude

Appels&Pere

All you’re comments sounds as if you had a one night stand with Arteta and now you’re sad he didn’t call.

A P

Yea! We need 5 GKs in the EL squad ok! Just in case the first 4 get injured or something /s

Murphy was an Arsenal Fan

Arsenal’s most recent acquisitions from Ligue 1 were a tad bit too hasty, especially in the insane market that it was. Both good, neither necessarily worth the 100m outlay

Alex

Yeah I suppose you think Milkhi wasn’t that good either – literally tearing it up now he’s left us. Maybe Pepe would be doing better if he were in a system set up for him with a manager trying to use him properly. Maybe it’s not that simple xx

Dan P

Arteta handled this really poorly and giving Mustafi minutes over Saliba was a ridiculous decision. He did the same with Guendouzi who yes had an attitude but is also a very promising player so to just discard him is poor. Arteta is a good coach but still has lots to learn to be a good manager. I hope for Arsenal’s sake both Saliba and Guendouzi do still have a future with us as we will regret it if not.

ThreadRipper

This exactly. He had the option to develop and get the best out of Guendouzi and make him a better player and person, but he chose the easier route and probably the one that didn’t help Guendouzi as a player at that time. Thats not the sign of a good football manager.

Dan P

There’s still hope but I seriously doubt he will give Guendouzi another chance which is a shame considering he’s given the likes of Xhaka plenty of chances. He also got lucky with Smith-Rowe, if Willian had been fit he would have played against Chelsea, instead Arteta was forced in to a corner which I believe is the reason he played him and then he subsequently has played really well since. My biggest fault with Arteta is he seems to pander to the more experienced players and lack the balls to upset them, why he consistently played Willian despite his inept… Read more »

Francesc

This is messed up

Qwaliteee

Another Arteta cock up. What’s new?

Ray Middleton

I have never seen Saliba play, only clips from You tube which isn’t the same however what galls more than anything is the lack of transfer negotiations by either the manager in place, the board who do the transfers or the technical director. We sold good plays for a lot less than we had hoped for and in the case of Pepe, we know we have overpaid for the player. If we sold Saliba for a profit, I can’t say that I would miss him however if we continue to handle the contracts like we have been doing, then someone… Read more »

Qwaliteee

I genuinely feel sorry for the lad. Through no fault of his own, this whole caper has been handled shoddily. Not The Arsenal Way.

Arteta and Edu are solely responsible for this and should be ashamed of themselves.

Hedgehog

What a massive troll you are. Sent to try to divide supporters from the club.

Qwaliteee

Another week. Another bout of name calling.

Boring.

Nanskwi

The rumours were people watched him and he wasn’t good enough. As mentioned in the article. If he’s good enough he gets in the squad. Why wouldn’t Arteta have picked him, why would he shoot him self in the foot by picking worse player in his place? Not loaning him out was a cock up on our part, a missed opportunity to develop the player and get him up to scratch. But the idea that he should of been in the squad because he cost a certain amount isn’t the way you put a squad together. Go away, get better.… Read more »

A P

There are also reports of people who watched him in the junior games (because what else could he play under Arteta) and said he has enough quality to play at a more senior level.

Tapps

None of the reports from U-23 games said this. I also watched a few of his games for Nice, and he’s not ready for the EPL.

KingKolo

This makes us look so bad. Arteta has learnt a lot from Pep but he should be remembering Arsene a little bit more… bit more empathy and wisdom needed

Qwaliteee

A bit more common sense wouldn’t go amiss too.

Arteta-tinted Glasses

Sokratis, Mustafi, Luiz, Mavropanos, Chambers all gone or will be gone by the summer. He has a place in the team. Hopefully, he will come back to fight for it.

YaGunnersYa

I hope we keep Chambers, but there will be a spot him available when Mustafi and Luiz depart. I’m not sure what the best way to extract value from Mavropanos’ contract is.

Gunner

Hi saliba I miss him but not big deal now

YaGunnersYa

He is ambitious and sets high expectations of himself. I have to admire that. He could have waited another half a season playing for the reserves but he knows he has to play first team football at this stage of his development. Arsenal have mishandled the situation on multiple fronts, but it’s not beyond repair. I hope he has a successful loan spell and then we can press the reset button and integrate him towards the starting XI next season. He has the attributes to become a top top centre back for our club if both Arsenal and Saliba work… Read more »

Rich

Love his attitude, he’s not snide about it

Wants to play regular football, in order to improve

Sounds like he has a good head on his shoulders

Hopefully the damage isn’t too severe, and he comes back next season ready to kick on, and provide quality competition

anonarse

“Recruited for £27 million from Saint Etienne in the summer of 2018 […]”

Pretty sure it was in 2019, not 2018.

Femi Femi Olamidé

The players trust looks to have been lost ans it’s one of those where Arteta will probably look back and say I messed this one up. He’s better than some players in the current squad at the very least

Ligue1Fan

For all the Arteta outrage, has anyone pointed out that Nice has lost almost every game Saliba played for them? While it’s obviously not all his fault (William has had both good and not so good moments), imagine what you’d say if an Arsenal team with Saliba experiences a similar losing streak.

Mark

I do hope we can see him in the squad next year. Still optimistic on his potential, just needs consistent game time. Look at the improvement in Holding this year with the consistent run of games. I think a quartet of Holding, Gabriel, Mari and Saliba could be a solid foundation for a number of years.

anonarse

Hope we can keep him, and that he can develop into a top class CB. However all the rumours linking in us to a CB is a little worrying. Add Chambers in the mix, and the competion is pretty hard already.

TEMI AFOLABI

He’s still got a bright future ahead with Arsenal for sure. His situation has been complicated being a young foreign player competing for an already congested right centre-back position. Holding and Chambers already have the advantage of being home grown players; while there are already 3 other senior foreign players (Luiz, Mustafi and Socrates) for the same position. If Saliba were to be a home grown player (there are 3 home grown players short currently), then he would’ve been registered to play in the EPL and UEFA Cup Matches. The inability to shift both Mustafi and Socrates in the summer… Read more »

Homer

This is totally in MA.

Fucking catastrophe. One of the bright young talents in Europe. And he hands that clown Luiz a huge contract.

He continues playing willian, who is utter cack.

Player mismanagement. On an epic scale.

onenil

And yet we keep getting results.

A P

You must be a new supporter who joined us from mid December.

onenil

I remember being on the terraces at Highbury watching a talented youngster called Tony Adams

MojoWillneny

His comments signal that he’s understandably pissed. We completely botched his integration into the team. A careless mistake for a 500 thousand pound academy prospect, a totally unacceptable episode of incompetence for a 30 million pound player labeled by many the best youth prospect at his position in Europe. Remember also, we bungled Rekik’s original signing. H was supposed to have joined in the summer but similar floundering took place with his deal. All of this is possibly connected to Haus Femy’s resignation/sacking…? At any rate, so far Saliba’s doing well at Nice. Let’s see what six months of playing… Read more »

Dgs

When I think about the numbers of idiots Arsenal have been picking I cannot see why they left him completely out!

Dgs

Arteta is artless in the art of people skills.

Once a gunner

The situation made him wiser and become a man

Hi-brid

Didn’t we initially sign him and loan him back in summer 2019, not 2018?

anonarse

Yes, we did.

2highbury

This is just heartbreaking to read, he was let down by the whole club.

What gives me hope though is that we are coming out of this period of intense crisis with a strong team and a young manger who has withstood serious trials.

Gabigol

Beginning to think he was the dressing room leak that Mikel said he would kill.

Really very strange.

But then his signing was very strange too.

Perhaps we should be blaming Raul more than Edu for signing him in the first place. And then the blame is on Edu for messing up the loan move rather than Mikel for not playing him.

Now I’m certain that he must have done something to break one off Mikels non negotiable rules

Hedgehog

I am absolutely surprised by some of these comments. I am sure if he was good enough, could change games, could do the job a premier League defender needs to do then he would have played. The same as all the players not getting picked. I can see absolutely nothing in Arteta that leads me to believe he is not the right man for the job. We are getting there and have a decent possibility of getting to European places if not champions League. Saliba is clearly very immature with those comments.

Storm

This leaves bad taste. Saliba to leave on a free by the time his contact ends

Dave Roberts

He’s right to be upset about the events surrounding his transfer, followed by the giant goof up in not registering him. This is mostly Kroenke’s fault. They fire 55 of the staff, and surprise, surprise, no-one’s there to fill out the paperwork to loan out Saliba. Raul is to blame for paying over the odds for him, but where’s the oversight from the owners?
https://arseblog.news/2020/08/arsenal-seek-redundancies-as-billionaire-owners-show-their-true-colours/

jimbo

maybe the person who used to order the paper got fired and their was no paper, or the person who used to order then pens so we had no pen to fill out the paperwork. maybe gunnersauras used to do the paperwork and he got fired.
all down to knonke

Announce Bendtner

I’ve got faith in Arteta on this one. The money this club has spent recently doesn’t equate to quality. Arteta has the benefit of seeing his quality in training in a way we on the outside don’t. If manager says he’s not ready then he’s maybe not ready. He may have been ready and amazing. If so, we’ve missed out on quality defensive figure. Just remember Gabriel needed integrating into team and the current defensive record maybe justifies Arteta’s decision. Saliba is talking about making mistakes and learning, that’s what you can afford to do on loan. At 19 he… Read more »

jakseth

I will support Arteta but I don’t believe he is a great coach. The Saliba should have had a run. i mean how do you explain he is doing so well in France? Also Martinelli substitution against manu. What was that? Everybody thought it was due to injury. Absolutely not, just tactical Arteta said. Understandable if he played awfully, but it was not even the case. He was not at his best but he still had 3 keys moments in the first half. How do you justify kicking him out of the game without hitting his morale? Arteta needs be… Read more »

Mahendra Varman

Saliba was signed in the summer of 2019, bit 2018 as mentioned.

Mahendra Varman

Saliba was signed in 2019, not 2018 as mentioned

Dholio

We can still probably sell him for profit. Let’s just do that and move on. We ballsed this up big time and the player sounds like he would prefer a fresh start as well. Learn from this and move on.

Brady’s left foot

Sadly there has been a trend. As we know Arteta had 2 sides as a player. He wasn’t popular with everyone – it is said. Perhaps Montreal and Koscielny’s situations were possibly related to previous experiences when playing/dealing with Arteta, but it’s only speculation. Either way Arteta certainly seems to also have 2 sides as a manager. I think he needs to develop a bit more empathy and curb his ruthlessness in terms of player treatment unless absolutely necessary. A level of respect for all matches the qualities of this great club in my opinion.

Santori

Don’t understand several things. 1) How so many fans prefer to delude themselves every time there is a new signing. They will wank off to that player the shiny new toy. We saw that with Torreira, nothing he did could be wrong even if he was culpable for 7 goals over a 14 game period. Instead blame was directed at Xhaka for the slightest mispass. Again last game, Partey at times all over the shop. When Saliba was signed, I mentioned that he was being judged over 1 season on 19 senior appearances only. It would NOT be surprising if… Read more »

Colchester Cannon

Very sad about what Saliba has gone through. But football is about results and for too long we’ve been a bit on the soft side. Fact is Arteta has made us strong defensively after years of frustration for us all and Saliba hasn’t been missed or needed. We know he needed games to recover from his injury and gain match fitness, which he wouldn’t get sitting on the bench and playing a handful of EL games. Luiz is getting on so Saliba will replace him as the 4th CB. That is a strong 4 of Saliba, Gabriel, Mari & Holding.… Read more »