Saturday, January 28, 2023

White: My heart skipped a beat

With Arsenal 1-0 up over Burnley at Turf Moor on Saturday, Ben White played pass back to Aaron Ramsdale.

It was underhit, and when the keeper appeared to have caught Matej Vydra, referee Anthony Taylor pointed to the spot. Thankfully, VAR proved that Ramsdale got the ball first, and the decision was overturned.

On a tricky day for the £50m signing, the former Brighton man admitted he feared the worst.

“It was a tough one, my heart skipped a beat for a second,” he told

“It was really, really dry out there today and my pass back didn’t get there at all. Luckily Aaron came to save me.”

White was pleased with another clean sheet alongside new partner Gabriel, and a new look Arsenal defensive unit with Ramsdale, Tierney, and fellow signing Takehiro Tomiyasu.

“I think clean sheets are really important,” he said.

“If you get that, you’ve got a good chance of winning. We’ve got the quality up front so if we’re keeping a clean sheet, we’re always going to win a game.”

It wasn’t Ben’s only difficult moment of the day, but he also contributed to the clean sheet – making 6 clearances and 4 interceptions, and he actually made won more aerial duels than the impressive Gabriel.

Let’s hope those mistakes are out of his system now, and with a North London derby next weekend, he cuts them out completely!

Check out Burnley 0-1 Arsenal – player ratings

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I thought he was really casual with a lot of the defending today, the loose pass to ramsdale was only 1 symptom of it. I remember burnley also having a 1-2 just outside our box and ben white being spun around clueless and gabriel sorting it out. He also didnt do any of the things he was brought in to do in the first place, like progress the ball from defense by dribbling the ball or attempting to bypass the midfield with a cross-field pass or hasten playing out from the back. He was slow and ponderous. Ben white looked… Read more »

Lack of Perspective

Sinfully boring outlook.


I’m trying to stay positive, he’s just arrived and was alright last week, but if you told me that was Xhaka out there I would have believed you.


He still looks a bit shaky, but he’s a defender who is constantly trying to move the ball forward, so some of that comes with the territory. A little like the early days of Koscielny. He doesn’t seem to have the suicidal habit of trying to ‘recover’ with an insane poorly-timed badly-angled slide tackle (*cough* Shkodran), which is good.

With a bit of time, and some sensible tactical choices (no Xhaka please), Gabriel and White could do a decent impression of Mertesacker and Koscielny.


Found it odd that Ben White was bought to pass and carry out from the back, yet Partey and Odegaard kept dropping to pick the ball up from right off his feet. What is Arteta working on all week?

Frank Bascombe

Getting three points.


His hair and his scripts.


We won… or didn’t you notice?


I’m with you mate. He’s shite. I’ve watched him play 3 whole games now and despite his obvious quality in the ball, his room to improve and the fact that we’ve kept clean sheets in two of the three games – it’s clear he’s shite.

We should give up. Sell him and bring that nice humble and not at all disruptive young man Saliba back home from exile.


Saliba is a 20-year-old who has never played against a team like Burnley in his life. He ain’t no miracle man.

Hamburg Gooner

You mean, he might need a bit of time? and I thought he is the world beater of all world beaters ..

Hank Scorpio

I don’t think people see Saliba as a miracle man and I’m not sure what your point is. Saliba has played against better teams than Burnley. He’s also much bigger and heavier than White and is quick. Different leagues granted but his defensive stats were better than White’s last season. Ball progression is a strength too. He had a great loan spell last season and has started off well this season. As for upside, Saliba is younger and I see him surpassing White. Hopefully he does so with us.


l soubt it after the way we have treated him!!!


I’ve watched Saliba four times this season for Marseille, including today at home to Rennes. He has been consistently solid and improves subtly with each start. He keeps it simple and is rarely beaten. He’s not flashy but doesn’t make a lot of mistakes. There is a fluidity to his style of play that’s impressive for a 20 year old CB. He plays in a three for Marseille though and it should be said he gets a lot of support defensively. He passes the ball accurately and gets forward pretty well; he could’ve done much better with two open headers… Read more »


Someone really needs to ask Saliba whether he wants to play for Arsenal or in England.


I think that’s the point of Johnny’s sarcasm.


*Johnno . Spell check.

President Eckener

It would seem that at the start of a new season, many people have not recalibrated their sarcasm detectors properly.

Santi’s Thigh Grab

Hahaha yep.


Keown’s analysis on MoTD was helpful. That showed some good reading of the game, nicking the ball off the toe, being in the right place. White won’t ‘look’ like a CB to some. He’ll probably never have Gabriel’s presence, or dominate in the air. He’ll have to improve in these areas, I’m sure he knows that. Defending’s always been about operating as a unit (especially true with the famous back 4) and this group (inc keeper) seem to have a good blend. We’ll see. Burnley away is the typical frenetic, challenging match that can make the ‘elegant’ type of defender… Read more »


I’m so glad we signed him. Fantastic defender.

Johnny 4 Hats

A performance like that for any other player and you’d think Arteta would send him to the sin bin for the next few months.

But I sincerely hope he doesn’t and doubt he will. Alright, he’s got a £50m price tag, but he’s still a kid in defender terms. There will be days like this. The important thing is he puts in a good performance against the spuds before fan sentiment turns a little sour.

Chin up lad. You did fine. Clean sheet. Move on.


He’s had some iffy moments but I think it’s clear to see there’s a great defender in there.

There seems to be something building at the club. Not just the players, but the atmosphere was amazing again today. The boys who went away did the club proud

Mikels Arteta

Looks like he may need to develop physically a little more throughout the season


Yes, given the paltry 2-3 matches together our back 5 have had, I’m feeling good it will sort out. As far as the criticisms of White playing out of the back, Burnley are a team that marks up and disrupts to a premier league level. That’s their one trick pony and they ride it hard. We had difficulty all over the pitch trying to find open passes, and we’re not the only ones who will experience that this season by a long shot. Yes, some of our movement could have been better, but a good amount of it was due… Read more »


Agreed – this was something of a benchmark baptism of fire for what should become our first choice back 5 (Rambo incl).
All things considered, they did bloody well.

Alex Nagy

Picturing Mustafi pointing and blaming others after a similar mistake. I feel like we’ve definitely moved forwards the last 18 months. COYG


If Mustafi had played, we would have lost this game.


I also think Leno wouldn’t have been anywhere near as sharp off his line to snuff it out? Maybe a tad harsh, but just a gut feel about Rambo’s showing serious confidence and the steel to dominate his box.


Having a very dry pitch is a sign of how afraid Sean Dickie was. See the bonus rating for my exact thoughts


Thank goodness Odegaard brought the lube …

Was that wrong to say?


Odegaard bringing the lube for the Burnley gaffer[s] dickie. Well played actually.


I don’t think Luiz or Xhaka gets away with that mistake. Have no scientific proof but that’s just the way it is.

Wiltoooooooooord !!!

Everyone can mistakes in game, they learn and move on. In that regard White’s comments show he realised that.
With xhaka and Luiz people probably grew tired of the similarities and frequency of such mistakes

Wiltoooooooooord !!!

Can make*


Arteta wants a team that passes out from the back. Of course you’re going to have some iffy moments in EVERY game, particularly against a side that presses as fiercely as Burnley. Get used to them. There are going to be plenty more. Unless, of course, you want Ben White to hoof the ball upfield. Problem solved, but a new one created upfield.


Not to mention that we have a team of kids.

As they develop emotionally and physically their consistency will fluctuate. White is getting pelters above, but Saka was absolutely shocking today.

We’re going to need patience this season more than ever.

A Different George

Does anyone remember when we beat Liverpool? Our first goal was when their shit centre half dwelled on the ball too long and we nicked it. Our second was when their shit keeper did even worse. Two huge brain farts. Totally unacceptable. I can’t believe Klopp ever let those two play again. You know, Van Dijk and Ederson.

The Arsenal

Haven’t been overly impressed so far but their is a potentially great player in there. He seems a little nervous right now.. But he and Gabriel look a solid partnership. Arteta needs to settle on this back four rather than tinkering, especially in the league.


Give the lad (coz’ that’s just what he is) a break – he has to be aware of his price tag, the media bollocks around it, and it must add to the ordinary pressure of wanting to do well at a new club. Compound that with the Covid issue, and how his ‘new club’ has started the season with a 0-9 GD… hardly the ideal soft landing, is it now! He will get better. He will gel with Gabi and Tomi to form a tight unit – I have a good feeling about that. And Saliba coming back, assuming he… Read more »


The media will continually look for every opportunity to rubbish Ben White and simply because he had the cheek, the audacity even to go and join Arsenal, with all the usual suspects and no marks like Danny Mills et al, piling in every chance they get.

The don’t really need any help from Arsenal fans.


Exactly! People complain about Saliba going on loan, then demonstrate the unreasonable scrutiny and criticism on a every CB decision that Arteta cites as why he felt a 20 yr old may need to develop elsewhere! Fofana gets cited, but you can make mistakes as Leicester and it’s fine because expectations are that much lower, so it’s less of a risk. White has that extra experience so hopefully understands there will be a section just waiting to call out any mistake. Fair play to Arteta, most attacking line up we’ve seen in years yesterday, obvs early days but the intent… Read more »

The half

Great comment


Couldn’t professional footballers figure out during pre-game warmups that the field was dry and adjust? Passing was terrible all game. Did we ever hit someone in stride?

Timorous Me

I agree our guys could have done better, but it wasn’t THAT dire, and anyway, these players are operating on instinct, particularly in moments where they’re under pressure or don’t have time to process everything. And when 99% of the time you’re passing on a normal pitch, your instinct will be to play as if you’re on normal grass.

Dave Cee

Exactly this, I play billiards and it is the same when I play on a slow table. It takes a few games to adjust to the different speed of the cloth and adapt your game to it. Even then you still need to make a conscious decision to hit the ball harder when all your instincts are saying to hit it like I always do…and that is without someone closing me down and trying to nab the ball at the same time

Disarmed Gunner

Waste of 50 million. Only at Arsenal.


My opinion is that he’s not a waste of 50 million.

Hank Scorpio

I didn’t think he was worth 50mil and wasn’t keen on us signing him given his defensive stats were not great compared to what we have and to other options. Writing the guy off after 3 games is just silly though. It’s like you want him to be terrible. If you want the club succeed then you should want White to be a success.


What is a 50 million defender? Stones cost 50 and it’s taken him a few seasons, Bailey, lindelof, Ake and Laporte all cost big bucks and it’s not like they are world established superstars. The few like van dyk, adams, Campbell are unicorns who make everyone better. If you can’t find a unicorn it’s about finding partnerships that click.

Hank Scorpio

Those cases are a bit different in my view because the likes of City have no issues burning money until they get it right. We don’t have that luxury. Agreed about partnerships though.


All players are a risk. Gabriel looks a 50 million player now but had a season to bed himself in. I think the 50 million was the premium for a ball playing defender, for example PSG paid 50million for Luiz years ago. I hope he does well but I’m not worried that he becomes van dyk once his ball playing gets us playing better as a Unit

Ljungberg's Back Tattoo

Great comments! and a lot of world established superstar CB:s have their prime years between 28 – 34 years of age, like Diego Godin and Fabio Cannavaro

Cyprus The Immortal Gooner

Tbf he doesn’t look like a 50m defender now and it seems we overpaid. Hope he settles in and becomes a 50m defender in a couple of seasons. Can only get better…

Announce Bendtner

Maybe we should judge him on results. That’s what we all want right? Good results, clean sheets.


Acid test will be the Spuds next week.

Win or draw that – and I say we may have something to ‘build’ on.

Lose and it’ll be patently clear that this manager has not moved this club’s aspirations on one jot since he joined – the FA Cup notwithstanding.

Santi’s Thigh Grab

What? Assess his performance based on games won and clean sheets? Are you mad?


Ermmm, hello?

Eighth from bottom?

  • P 5
  • W 2
  • D 0
  • L 3
  • GF 2
  • GA 9
  • GD -7

And the football equivalent of a mug of Horlicks and a quiet night in tidying your sock drawer.

Not exactly Arsene’s Invincibles is it …..?


I’m glad we bought him, he will be a success at Arsenal I’m sure, but overall he had a poor game yesterday. It happens to everyone. Let’s hope he’s more focused and energetic in the NLD.


Low-key mustafi

Santi’s Thigh Grab

Low key crap comment.


Can we please forget the price tag and appreciate the defender we’ve got? We all know there’s a lot of factors determining a player’s tag not just talent alone. (Age, nationality, selling league, selling club, debt, player remaining contract, contract clauses etc) If Gabriel were to be English he’d definitely be worth more than white. What then does it mean to be a 50mil defender? White is young, the talent is there and I’m very ok with that. He’d have a few iffy moments and that’s ok. But to bring up his price tag everytime he’s not had a fantastic… Read more »


His talent is majorly offensive.
He currently doesn’t cut it in a drag down, scrappy game with aerial bombardment.
That is the issue. He won a lot of headers, yes. But he got beat a majority of the time when he was in a contest. That back pass isn’t an issue as the pitch was bone-dry.
But we didn’t see the forward passes today.
He has had 3 suspect games, Brentford, Norwich and now Burnley.
We await a good performance, hopefully Sp*rs. But him getting turned over in the NLD would be something else…


It;s the ‘look what Pepe cost’ gang, mate – they honestly believe players’ bear some responsibility for what their clubs charge for them.


Glad to hear the stats because the takeaway from his performance was that it was poor. The aerial battles won and interceptions don’t stand out today, but the mistakes do. The impression he’s left in his first games with Arsenal is of a player who has talent on the ball but who’s mentality has been shaky. It’s very early in the season and in his Arsenal career. Hope his best is still to come.


We should be delighted with those 3 points. Better arsenal teams in the past have struggled or got lucky to win or draw at Turf Moor. City drew 0-0 yesterday with a zillion pounds worth of talent on the pitch and only had 1 shot on target, so let’s be grateful that you can’t have it all your own way all the time, we actually played better last year and deserved to win but ended up losing so hey ho.

Old Stimmo

Was a great game…no one was sent off………….


Due in no small part to a welcome situation of zero idiots on the team sheet – although Cedric and Mari were taking up otherwise valuable space on the bench.


Thought he had a decent second half, but still expected more on the ball than just passing it to Gabriel.


white will surprise everyone …. Give the guy a chance…. He isn’t casual he just rarely panics… as for dismissing this as a hollow victory that’s just ludicrous …. Burnley are no push overs they give 110% till the final whistle…. There physical and direct and they will beat teams in the top 6 this season this is true …. So today I will enjoy the aftermath of our victory and smile

come on you gunners

Arshavins left foot

R.I.P Jimmy Greaves. A legend as a player and brilliant as a pundit. Saint & Greavsie was one of the best partnerships on television. I think all arsenal will join in the applause for this great Spurs player next weekend.

Arshavins left foot

This is quite a iconic clip that will give a taste to the younger fans and trip down memory lane for the elders.


Great show, part of our generations childhood, thanks for the link.
Hoping Saint and Greavsie are reunited in the afterlife once again having a laugh together and maybe watching this afternoon’s game between Jimmy’s 2 clubs Tottenham and Chelsea.

Arshavins left foot

Did you notice the 2nd division battle off between Man City and Chelsea? How times have changed. One of the best moments of that clip was the great David Rocastle being named young player of our title winning year.


Yes fantastic, just about the time I was getting into supporting the Arsenal, a nice trip down memory lane.


Boycie has also passed away today. Actor John Challis has died aged 79. Another great show, great laughs.


…John Challis was an Arsenal supporter.


I’ll always remember watching “Saint and Greavesie” before I left for Highbury for a home game against Everton in 1984. It was the day that Arsenal unveiled a Jumbo Screen at the Clockend to put up match day info and play replays of goals – yes, they could do that. Ian Saint John asked Jimmy what he thought and with his customary Tottenham/Arsenal banter said “Well Saint, I suppose they can watch old black and white movies whilst they’re waiting for the result to come in….” A very funny guy, who will be missed by many I’m sure. I hope… Read more »


Brilliant stuff. Brought back a memory or two. What an incredible few weeks that title run in of 1989 proved to be.

Man City can go and fuck themselves, Anfield ‘89 will never be beaten for ‘Where Were You When That Happened?’ drama.


Lovely guy and a fantastic ambassador for the game – even if he did play for that lot up the road. That he played so well for England all the way through in the 1966 World Cup – only to miss the final – was tragic. He once happened to be at a game where I was turning out for my local town, Bishop’s Stortford. John Radford, then the manager of Bishop’s Stortford, brought him up to the players lounge afterwards to meet the lads. “Right, you lot,” said Raddy, in his broad Yorkshire, “Now here’s a proper fucking legend.… Read more »

Bill Hall

Need to give the lad a chance, it’s only two games into the season. Look how long it took Kos to settle!

Bill Hall

Doh that should have read only a few games into the season and he hasn’t played all of them


His strengths are obvious, but so are his weaknesses. With the right guidance he can become a top class defender. I said the same thing about Chambers 8 years ago though so here’s hoping.


Having moments of brilliance and moments of complete lack of concentration is perfectly fine for a striker.
But that’s the exact opposite you need of your centerbacks. You need regularity and focus.

Mustafa was the perfect example of inconsistent centerback. Looks great on replays because he can be dominant, have brilliant interceptions but once a game his brain go missing. That’s why ymwe couldn’t really rely on him.

I hope Ben White’s not like that. Because if he can clean the dumb mistakes, he’s gonna be a hell of a player.


Two adverts before I even got to the article, then another halfway through! not easy to read on an iPhone.


Hence forth the ground will be referred to as Moor Turf

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