“I fully trust him” – White earns Arteta backing ahead of Burnley test

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Mikel Arteta says he’s pleased with the way Ben White has settled at Arsenal but admits the defender faces a tough challenge at Burnley on Saturday.

Signed in the summer for £50 million from Brighton, the 23-year-old has experienced a disjointed start to life at the Emirates with a shaky debut followed by a positive Covid-19 diagnosis which ruled him out of matches against Chelsea and Manchester City.

Given the focus on the manager and the Gunners other new faces, his return to the lineup against Norwich flew under the radar a little. A clean sheet certainly helped, but rest assured, the microscopes will be out again at the Hawthorns Turf Moor as the England international faces Sean Dyche’s Bash Brothers; Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes.

Asked how White will cope with the physical and aerial style favoured by the Clarets, Arteta said: “He needs to play his game. I fully trust him.

“He knows what he’s going to face and not just him, every defender against any opponent in the Premier League, you’re going to be exposed. He needs to do what he’s good at and the things he can improve, improve them.

“When you jump against Wood, 10 times in the air with a ball flying every time in the air, it’s pretty difficult to win every duel to be fair. So it’s about that duel and what happens around him as well.”

Overall, Arteta has been impressed with the way White is handling his new surroundings.

“I think he’s coping really well,” said the Spaniard, “I don’t see any stress or him trying to act in a different way or to do things that he doesn’t need to do.

“I think he’s adapted incredibly well to our way of playing, to the boys and to what this club is all about. I’m very pleased with him.”

As Arsenal supporters, we’re programmed these days to fear the worst when up against sides who are (a) good or (b) shit but massive lumps. It’s going to take some time for the current crop of players to change that but it’s not like we’re completely devoid of lads capable of putting themselves about a bit.

Brazillian Gabriel is no shrinking violet and new boy Takehiro Tomiyasu has already shown his willingness to fly into a challenge. An alert midfield eager to win second balls will also be vital; something Everton demonstrated for their third goal against Burnley on Monday night. Not kicking the ball against Chris Wood inside our own six-yard box would also be a sign of progress.

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James Down

At the Hawthorns???

Bleeding gums murphy

An alert midfield. Thank god Xhaka is not in it.

myrtle

No Xhaka, no problem.

Sly

Turf Moor, not Hawthorns

*wheels away in euphoria and punches the pedant pendant (corner flag)*

Sheldon

This week has seemed really long. This midweek interlull is worse than I imagined.

karl

I think we have to admit to actually missing the Europa League.

davorsuker

*Champions League

karl

Unless we can get past the group stages, I don’t really miss getting an extra beating.

Zenithreptile

I’ve quote enjoyed watching sides that play decent football and being invested in the result of games. It’s like an extension of the summer.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

The positives and negatives have been said to death, but I do miss the midweek European evenings.

If we had played last night for example in the conference league instead of Sp*rs we could have seen something like Leno, Cedric, Chambers, Mari, Tavares, Pepe, Maitland-Niles, Xhaka, Martinelli, Lacazette, Balogun.

And save the first team for Burnley.

Goonerink

Pepe is first team so id of expected maybe someone like Emile to start on the wing.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

These long weeks are where we have to take advantage. Our ‘Europa’ rivals if you will – Spuds, West Ham, Leicester – all have tricky games on Sunday so this weekend is a great chance to close the gap.

Wrighty’s hats

Agreed, if there’s something of a silver lining to all of this (ie no Europe), it’s that we can concentrate on the league without distractions, have more time to focus on becoming an actual team, there are fewer games in which to lose players to injury, and lastly, there really will be no excuses for playing poorly (I’m choosing to just put the first 3 games down to a start-of-the-season anomaly, more for my own self-preservation and faith in Arsenal than anything). If we can’t do it (come out of this season respectably, a lot better than 8th) without midweek… Read more »

Man Manny

It will be a tough duel, no doubt, but if we have hopes of getting back into Europe, these are the kind of games we should bank 3 points from.
We are better than them man for
man.
Keep the back five from Norwich; play Partey and Lokonga behind Odegaard, ESR and Pepe.
Auba goes top.
Saka and ANN drop to the bench.

Sly

It says my comment is ‘Awaiting for approval’, there is no need for the ‘for’.

*fastidiously flings self into the adoring didactic crowd*

Tiny

Good of Burnley to agree to play the match in the West Midlands rather than make us travel all the way up the M6

Leftie

It’s Turf Moor, not Hawthorns, though.

Jeremy DG

I really despise these shit, northern dirty teams who position themselves as physical and workmanlike when in fact they are just the brexit of football. You can bet your house Dyche will double down on the criticism he’s received in the last week and send his players out to hurt the likes of Partey and co. You can guarantee his pre match talk will consist of comments such as ‘Arsenal don’t like it up em’ and ‘soft touch’. The gravel gargling ginger ball bag.

Johnny 4 Hats

Let’s hope Ben can see the Wood for the Mee.

John C

Teams can play how they like as can we, being big and physical isn’t against the rules of football. Just because we chose to lean into the light weight, balletic football in some sort of one team protest during Wenger’s last decade in charge doesn’t make it right, in fact it was to our detriment. The irony was that Wenger’s successful teams were full of big lumps, Adams, Keown, Campbell, Vieira, Petit, Gilberto, Edu all big physical lumps. Wenger developed a a horribly destructive contrarian streak post 2005 where he made a virtue of spending no money, and rejected the… Read more »

Jeremy

I have no problem with physical play and agree with everything you say re Wenger’s last decade. However, I do have issues with snide dirty play. For every weak display by us, there was a Ramsey or an Eduardo incident. I guess we will see which side of the line Burnely sit on depending on how many contact injuries we come away with tomorrow.

John C

For far too long we showed visible distress to physical play which just encouraged more of the same and unfortunately there were some nasty injuries. However one of the reasons i think we’ve had such a big turn around in players is to remove precisely that reaction and culture from the club.

Ben White has played Burnley before and extensively in the lower leagues so it’s hardly going to be a new experience for him. My guess is he’ll be fine, it’s not like he’s just stepped off the boat from a much less physical league.

allezkev

Ben White did just fine at Leeds and they aren’t exactly shrinking violets.

What Burnley do isn’t as important as to how the referee reacts to it, that’s always my worry and as for VAR we might as well bin it…

A Different George

I don’t think Burnley has been in the lower leagues since White became a professional. I think that this is probably Wenger’s fault.

John C

You’re better than that, surely you’re reading and comprehension skills are up to the required standard to understand what I’ve written?

DPK

‘For every weak display by us, there was a Ramsey or an Eduardo incident’

That’s just not true, come on

Qwaliteee

You Wenger hatred knows no bounds.

Pathetic.

Qwaliteee

*Your

John C

No hatred, just a accurate account of what happened.

I think telling the truth is highly important and needed to counter the false narratives.

DPK

The problem in the Brentford game wasn’t how brentford played, it was our reaction to it. Same will go for tomorrow. If Burnley bully us & we lose, that will be our fault, not theirs. Lessons need to have been learned. If they haven’t, then Arteta is in huge trouble.

karl

Arteta has tall and robust defenders available, although Saliba has gone for now. It is up to him in how to deal with these teams.

Tomiyasu will surely help Ben out.

Reiss Neverseen vs the DicTeta

I’ll be honest Jeremy, I’m not sure what Brexit has to do with Burnley’s dirty style of football😁😁. Every league has those dirty teams that teams dislike playing against. Ligue 1 has Angers. La Liga has Getafe. Bundesliga has Union Berlin etc. If anything, the (Euro-skeptic) “Brexit” mentality is arguably more entrenched at the administrative levels of English football. E.g the EPL only introducing VAR two years after many of the other big leagues did. Or, choosing to scrap the 5 substitutions rule when the rest of Europe kept it to mitigate two years worth of fixture congestion. I think… Read more »

Rocastle7

It will be alright, cos we’ve got Ben White

magirlyeyes

I’d feel more confident with Saliba back there!

Jarghs

Yeah but it doesn’t rhyme

magirlyeyes

Is White up for the fight?

Jarghs

Much better

Saleth

Tomiyasu as RCB and White as RB against Burnley? This way we can minimize Burnley’s aerial threat and also it won’t affect our passing game. White has played RB at Brighton before.

Bob

What I don’t get is that White is 6ft tall, the way everyone talks about him you’d think he’s 5ft!

magirlyeyes

1.82. He is pretty small for a premier league center back and Gabriel is nearly 10cm taller.
White’s career heading stats don’t look great at all and his aerial ability certainly gives me cause for concern for this weekend.

DPK

But Tomiyasu is a tall 6ft & White is a short 6ft so definitely makes sense to switch them😂

It seems really bizarre to me that we would spend 50m on a centre half & 20m on a RB and one game in, someone wants to switch their positions.

Wrighty’s hats

Reminds me of that thing adults sometimes use to trick kids, which is heavier, 1kg of feathers or 1kg of sand?

Mcheza

What is bizzare to me is that we didn’t go for options that ticked all the boxes. I’d have liked my defender to be all rounded. The question is whether white can develop the nose for positioning the aerial challenges like Kos/Ake/kounde/cannavaro/kolo.

DPK

Yeah, it’s really bizarre that we didn’t go for the 6ft4 centre half who is physically a monster, brilliant in the air, super quick & can pass the ball like Xavi. There’s surely loads of them around, all going cheap !

Hank Scorpio

Saliba is 6’4 and can pass.

Reiss Neverseen vs the DicTeta

Ben White – 185cm, 77kg
Takehiro Tomiyasu – 188cm, 85kg

Ben is (more or less) in the same height range as Tarkowski, Mee, Rodriguez, Barnes and Vydra. The general concern seems to be with his heading ability, though I think this can be improved on gradually.

My personal concern is that he’s a bit of a lightweight as a CB compared to his peers. In comparison Gabriel has like an extra 10kg of mass which is super helpful in aerial and ground duels.

Hank Scorpio

Tomiyasu is 6’2 & White is just under 6ft.

allezkev

It’s a media narrative, since White signed for Arsenal they’ve been dissing him, it’s how it is and why NewsNow is full of garbage…

Reiss Neverseen vs the DicTeta

It’s the lack of body mass (compared to bigger players) that makes him appear smaller than he really is.

Eris

I think we need to focus on our record at Turf Moor (not lost there since 1973) and play our game, focusing less on this opposition. It is such an attitude that helps player confidence to get the win. My view.

Vaibhav

That is about right and Mikel is a culprit for that. He pays too much emphasis to whom we are going to play which is not right if you have an established philosophy or approach towards our gameplay. Need to focus more on our strengths and weakness than worrying about opposition all the time. Emery did that a lot as well.

Wrighty's hats

Isn’t it worthwhile tailoring your approach according to the opposition? Sure you can have an established philosophy to playing, which I would tend to agree that we haven’t established yet with this set of players, but you can’t really believe that we would use the same approach to play Burnley and Chelsea?

Reiss Neverseen vs the DicTeta

I sincerely hope the team doesn’t focus on any long-standing records. Not trying to be the devil’s advocate but Arteta has broken so many of these negative records in the last year of football that I just don’t see the point. Though, like you, I hope they just execute their game-plan and go home triumphant.

A Different George

I have seen White play two league games for Arsenal. In the first, he was no worse than anyone else (go watch all those duels he supposedly lost; not really very many). In the second, he was excellent, though not severely tested. So, I am ready to make a final decision on how good he will be over the next half-decade or more. The fact that I didn’t really pay any attention to how he played for Brighton, or that I don’t know how he looks in training, is irrelevant. I know how much he cost. I know he is… Read more »

Vaibhav

Mavropanos is nowhere near in class with White. Watch Stuttgart games for a change, you will know.

DPK

Whoosh!!

Hank Scorpio

I’ve seen Mavropanos play. He’s a decent defender. Statistically he also did far better than White defensively.
https://www.planetfootball.com/quick-reads/comparing-ben-whites-2020-21-stats-to-arsenals-current-centre-backs/
Note the headers won. For the money we’ve spent he needs to be our best central defender from the beginning.

SarcasmB0T

I hope he does well. These kinds of games are what he’s ultimately going to be judged on.

Their shit fans did fly the plane saying White Lives Matter, so I’d love the irony of White tearing them a new asshole.

Guy

Lets hope Partey does a Ceballos against Stokeley. And that we escape with all legs intact.