Sunday, February 25, 2024

White: There’s so much fight in this team

Ben White took the man-of-the-match award as he marshalled Arsenal’s defence to an impressive 0-0 draw at Anfield.

The Gunners held out for a clean sheet despite going down to 10 minutes on 24 minutes when Granit Xhaka was given a straight red card.

While White enjoyed frustrating the home team, he admitted afterwards to Sky Sports it was hard night’s work.

On playing with 10 men for so long…

It’s not ideal, is it? There’s so much fight in this team, it showed today. We dug deep and we got the result that we needed really.

On whether it was a red card…

I dunno, he’s looking at the ball and he doesn’t know where the man is, but it is what it is. The boys done well today.

On regrouping after the red…

We were trying not to concede, it’s hard enough coming here with 11 men so to get one sent off straight away is not good. Absolutely superb from everyone today.

On how easy it was to play in a back three…

Not easy at all, especially against a team like Liverpool. It’s tough, you have to concentrate the whole game. We had a bit of luck and the result is well deserved.

On it being exhausting…

Yeah, that was terrible. It’s nice to defend like that as a defender and to keep a clean sheet and go home with a point for the next game. [it’s a cup game, Benjamin!]

On Minamino’s late effort…

Yeah, I was on the goalline and ready to try and block it but I didn’t have to.

On losing on Sunday but then playing well today…

That’s football isn’t it? Some days it’s your day and some days it isn’t. Today it was.

On the second leg being set up nicely…

Yeah, for sure. We were confident coming here. We’re going to give it our all in the next game.

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Liverpool have tested negative for scoring a goal!


It seems they were falsely positive in trying to improve their chances by cheating last week


Xhaka’ red card turned out to be a false positive for them.


True Grit! Love it.
This what we have been missing as a team.
Don’t fuck with The Arsenal

Johnny 4 Hats

Just watched this interview. Never actually heard White talk after a game before.

Man, he is a real cool fish. I like that. Unemotional. Professional. Honest.

I thought he was going to talk like Joey Essex.

Alan Sunderland

Agree, my vote for next captain.

Santi's Thigh Grab

He ticks all the boxes for captain IMO: Defender so can see the whole game going on in front of him and can call out missed assignments, positioning etc. English, so he can get on with the refs and maybe have some level of influence, even more so if he becomes part of the English first 11; One of our better players and makes our offense deadly moving back to front, he will only grow in importance for our side; Has a level head, conducts himself well, will represent the club well and its values. He’s the one for me.… Read more »


Courageous performance, like against City but with a bit more luck. If we can continue to show this fight throughout the rest of the season, it will bode well for our top 4 chances.

Jeremy DG

He so tired he’s forgotten what competition he’s playing in. 10/10

Heavy Gunner

I bet you would too, Jeremy..;0))

Jeremy DG

I was only watching and I needed a lie down


Great performance despite Granit letting the side down massively. They are all going to be fucking knackered for the game on Sunday. He is a squad player at best. He needs replacing ASAP. Well done to the team!
Time to draft in Wilshere on a pay as you play until the end of the season in my opinion.


No matter how slow, or injury prone Wilshere is, hed be an upgrade on granit fucking xhaka.


For me this wasn’t a case of Xhaka letting the side down.

It starkly highlighted his limitations (slow and clumsy), but it wasn’t the rash, needless challenges we’ve seen before, it was an honest attempt at a tackle he had to make.

For me the issue here is more why he’s the man making it, if we know his limitations why are we leaving him in a position where he’s the last man?

Alan Sunderland

Exactly we played a back 4, none of which got there before him.


There is something to be learnt from this. If we had gone to this kind of match with a 5 3 2 and kept 11 on the pitch, it might have worked.

Funsho Patrick

Xhaka’s a red card magnet! Has to be held accountable going forward…


I am no fan of his, but referees (and even commentators) have this pre-conceived narrative about him. It’s sad.

Compare what happened today to the Ben Godfrey on Tomiyasu and McAurthur on Saka cases… the ref gave those players the benefit of the doubt. But once it’s Xhaka or Arsenal, their leniency tends to fly out the window. We have to start really taking this referee bias seriously, it’s disgusting.

That’s not to exonerate Xhaka, mind.


Almost conventional wisdom at this point. But perception is reality when it comes to Xhaka– and Arsenal can’t afford that reality.


He was the last defender and clearly took the man out, preventing a goal scoring opportunity on the edge of the box. There really was no option – either straight red or no foul.


There’s been some blatant red cards that referees – and more often VAR – have missed against Arsenal this season, but Xhaka’s red card was stonewall… it was basically a flying kick, on top of being the last man back there. In my opinion referees actually give him the benefit of the doubt, because they know he’s dumb / clumsy, with a touch of cynicism, not actually dirty / nasty… I’ve definitely seen more games when he probably should have been sent off and wasn’t, than when he was sent off and shouldn’t have been. Partly because there aren’t any… Read more »

A Different George

This is all wrong–I’m sure he got the card for a foul denying a goal-scoring opportunity, not for the seriousness of the foul itself. There was no other defender within 30 yards. Without the foul, Jota would have been in on Ramsdale alone. If it was a foul–and it very clearly was–it must be a red card.

Alan Sunderland

That’s the problem, why was he the only one to cover the run of jota.


Glad he didn’t need to save that effort late on. Immense performance and we have to say that he and Gabriel are becoming something special.

Funsho Patrick

We officially have the midfield crisis I predicted a week ago…I hope Smith Rowe makes it for the NLD derby..we better bring in Arthur Melo or whoever as well….time to put those mugsmashers to the sword at the Emirates next week… weldone gunners..

Alex Manninger

Should continue with a back 3 on Sunday. No midfielders left anyway…


Good boy, there is never any fault with one player. It is always group, sounds better that way.

Heavy Gunner

Top bloke, our Benjamin. Not only his effort level tonight but the fact that he’s not trying to pass the buck onto the twat who made the whole team have to work their arses off to achieve the result. Keep it up, lads; we’ve got a shiny future if you keep up the attitude.

Arsene for CEO

What’s really sad is that Xhaka doesn’t understand the fans problem with him. If he could just admit in an interview that he understands that he’s prone to “error” to put it mildly, and maybe explain how hard he’s worked an failed at it and how he shares in our frustrations with him, we would at least be able to appreciate him as a person (and a good passer). But he’s set in stone. I hope the urgency of quality midfield reinforcement is unquestionably clear now. Amazing from the rest of the lads btw, the team is getting better everyday,… Read more »

Santi's Thigh Grab

He lacks the capacity to learn because he has a fragile ego, so he creates a narrative that allows him to move forward in life where the world is against him and he has to fight back. That means he is never wrong, so there is nothing for him to learn. He is essentially stuck with who he is at a certain development point in life. Arsenal cannot afford the Xhaka PL tax, time to be ruthless and let him go after the season. We have all seen this movie several times, we all know how it ends: mistake, hard… Read more »


Brave defending and management from Arteta – hopefully a top class midfield signing so we never have to suffer Xhaka again…


Credit to xhaka for showing his experience out there tonight, we were bareboned enough as it was.

I’m not at all annoyed with him or even surprised for that matter, on the contrary, I’m so encouraged at the thought of what this team could be like with him gone, replaced with someone with a higher IQ.

Jeremy DG

Yeh I think that’s the best way to look at it. Xhakas gonna do what he’s gonna do and unfortunately MA doesn’t have the numbers available in his squad to compensate for that. I’m sure he will soon though.

Dr. kNOw

Arteta could have had the numbers in the summer if he had looked at Xhaka and Elneny dispassionately. As good as The (Sinister?) Six have been, the inability to make it a Magnificent Seven with a Xhaka upgrade – even at the expense of Elneny alone – was the big blot on the summer’s recruitment. Now it’s biting the team in the arse.

Santi's Thigh Grab

There is no blot on the summers recruitment. Name another window where we brought in more players? A position or two or three was never going to get filled.

Alan Sunderland

Where was our back 4? Why was he the only one tracking jota. Would you have rather he didn’t make a challenge and jota scored?


Since when is a red card better than a goal in a two legged fixture? Not only that, but we go into the match against spurs with no midfield now.

Alan Sunderland

Tonight would be one example, I read on here all the time that we would be better off having nobody playing rather than xhaka. So it’s got to be a win win situation, no xhaka and 11 players versus spurs. No xhaka in 2nd leg versus liverpool what’s the problem?


Felt like a win tonight. There is so much I loved about this game: The defensive resolve, Martinelli’s work rate, Laca’s coolness (I still think we should offer him an extension), the fact that our marginalized players turned up on the day and most of all the away fans who sang their hearts out. Fingers crossed we can finish the job next week. F**k LFC COYG


Cant imagine Liverpool will be bursting with confidence coming to the Emirates to face 11 men when they couldnt beat 10 at Anfield.

A Different George

MOTM for me (maybe shared with Saka).

Someone On The Internet

The fight was amazing, but running our only available players ragged for one leg of the Mickey Mouse cup right before the North London derby almost feels like a loss to me. Really hope we’re somehow able to go again on Sunday.

Up North

Top guy and top performance of the team. But the question is after such a tough match, how do we play in the NLD? Hope Tomi/ESR are back and Odegaard ?
I would like us to play counterattack football on Sunday, lying deep and let Saka and Martinelli loose at their slow defence. Not pretty, but with a depleted squad and heavy legs I wouldn’t let the space open for the likes of Son and Kane.


I was following the Live blog but interested to know how we set up after GX was sent off. Holding came on. Did they go to back three with Sambi CM or did one of the CDs go into DM? If so which one.


Back 3 but it was more like a back 7 most of the time

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