Friday, June 2, 2023

“I’ve been very average” – Saliba reflects on recent form

William Saliba says his performances for Marseille in February were ‘average’ and that he has ‘no excuses’ for his form.

Tipped to mount a title challenge off the back of good form in December and January, Jorge Sampaoli’s side fell apart last month, crashing out of the Coupe de France to Nice and losing to Lyon and Clermont in Ligue 1.

While it wasn’t all bad news – there was a convincing 6-1 aggregate win over Qarabag in the Europa League, as well as four points gained against Troyes and Metz – they’ve since gone down to Monaco at home to lose further ground on league leaders PSG.

For Saliba, who has sat out just three games all season, the recent form both personal and collective has been hard to take.

“Since February, I’ve been very average,” he told RMC Sport (translated by Sport Witness).

“There’s no need to hide. I know that I need to work, I’m a young player, but it’s no excuse. I’m going to give everything to get back to my good level.”

There have been rumours in recent weeks that Arsenal are keen to hand Saliba a new contract this summer. The France under-21 international is yet to make a senior appearance since signing from Saint-Etienne to great fanfare in 2019. His current deal ends in 2024.

Marseille, unsurprisingly, would like to keep Saliba, but he’s being polite about that at the moment.

“We’ll sit down at the end of the season,” he said when asked about his future.

“We’ve had a difficult month of February. We’ve started March badly, but we’ll soon find the taste of victory again and especially the good style of play we had at the start of the season.”

Given he’s only 20, we suspect William is being a little hard on himself. On a recent episode of the Arsecast, French football expert Matt Spiro was glowing in his endorsement of the player having watched the centre back rack up 36 appearances this season already.

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Well sell him
We don’t need average players

We are now top 4 you know




One of the best young centre backs around, a unit and good on the ball and you want to bin him off……

Brady’s bunch

Think It might be satire


Sarcasm folks.


Wow, surprised only 4 got it…

Man Manny

Maybe the 4 means it’s not as obvious as you think.


Too soon to even joke about top 4 I feel. My nerves keep willing the week on so I can see the Arsenal play and can tick off getting just that bit closer. I never thought I’d be so invested, but I so want this team to do it now.


Sure many of us ‘got it’ and went– ‘meh’


guess it wasn’t really that funny or clever




I’m assuming this is sarcasm. Harsh on the downvotes people!




These things can be quite difficult to read in to, but Im quite sure these comment is a joke. Not a very good joke but a joke none the less…


That’s quite bold of him to acknowledge that. Really hope he’s given a chance next year, his potential is immense and he seems to have gained some maturity over the past few months.
Plus we absolutely can’t be without ANY French player next year, that would kill Arsène.


No worries as I’m sure we’ll sign Mbappe in the summer window…

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Arsene if anyone was the first to say that a player’s passport is irrelevant.


This is the exact attitude that guatantees greatness. Unfortunately you need to be very very self assured to reach the very very room hoping it comes to him soon

Merlin’s Panini

I have no idea where the very very room is let alone able to reach it.


Up the stairs, down the corridor, 3rd door on the right. Watch out for the swans guarding it.

Merlin’s Panini



Somebody else confusing “average” and “mean”.

Crash Fistfight

Say what? Isn’t “mean” a type of “average”? I thought there were 3 types: mean, median and mode?


Can’t wait to have him in the squad, fighting for a place next season 👊💥

Giovanni Hovno

Unrelated but it’s been on my mind a while. It is a shame that Wenger’s legacy got ruined a bit at the end of his career but at least Highbury era never got ruined. The Wenger Highbury era will forever be legendary. Nothing can take that away. As it fades into the distance it only becomes more impressive. Now it is our turn to forge a bright new Arteta /era. And what makes this really great, is that whilst we are doing this, ManUre are destroying not only the atmosphere and grandeur of Old Trafford but they’re also doing it… Read more »


Those are very good points!


Looks as if he’s Partey-ing too much!

Teryima Adi

Great pun😃


A direct message to Arteta…” I heard when Party admitted he could do better and I know I can do better! I am ready to be a gooner.”


Where’s that quote from?


yeah i saw when partey had his interview.

I was just wondering where he got the quote that saliba had read it and commented.

A Different George

At twenty, playing centre half and always chosen for a big club with immense pressure and scrutiny that is fighting for a Champions League place. Couldn’t ask for a better loan.

Never Happen

Yes, exactly. It’s obvious that he has the potential and the only thing we need to know now is whether he can adapt to the slightly differing demands of the PL. Looking forward to him coming back in the summer and challenging for a place next season.


I think our side are also looking at his fitness and endurance levels. His performances are important but being able to finish his first full season with no injury worries will be great for his development..

Billy bob

On a side note, did anyone watch Real Madrid v Paris Spurs Germain?

Londons Red

Hahaha paris spud german

Teryima Adi

A la Partey😜


Even if he’s being harsh on himself, I can appreciate that he sets high standards for himself.

Merlin’s Panini

Sounds like a very motivated young man, able to assess his performances and his level. It’s a sign of maturity and humility. All despite people constantly singing his praises recently. He could easily have got big headed but it seems he’s stayed grounded. If he’s not in the squad next season I’ll be very surprised. Given he’s still only 20 and performing well at a top club in Ligue 1, there should be no doubt about him. Arteta said he wasn’t ready before but surely he is now.


I’ve never seen him play, but for some reason I’m absolutely convinced he would be an improvement on either of our current first choice center backs.


Our current centre backs are brilliant and they are only going to get better the more they play together. This is the first time in about 15 years that I have felt that we have a good and solid defensive unit. Saliba seems like he would be a hit here but I’m not sure who he would replace.

Al Gilmore

We have a constant narrative that 1. Saliba is a wonder player who would walk into our. Team 2. Arteta doesn’t rate him or just doesn’t like him simply because he wasnt ‘his’ signing 3. Saliba will leave & we will regret it forever. This narrative is peddled daily on clickbait media & regurgitated by fans usually ones who don’t like Arteta. Really the truth is he was a young raw talent who needed games at a certain level to iron out his flaws, get him game experience so that he would be ready to take on being a CB… Read more »

A Different George

I’ve also read stuff about how he should have been loaned to a Championship club, because that would ready him better for the physical style of the Premier League. First, of course, the French league is not Italy or Spain–except for PSG, the style is pretty physical. More important, he is playing in a famous team that is probably the biggest in France in terms of followers, in a big stadium, and in a meaningful race. That’s a lot more like playing for Arsenal than fighting for a playoff spot at Luton Town would be.


The truth is also that when they messed up the loan move, they didnt give him any spot in the squad but gave it instead to Mustafi & Kolasinac.
He could have played 6 europa league games and some cup games.
But he didnt.
And this is what fuelled the discussion.


If played 6 more Europa league games make any difference to him? Is this your point? becos of without the 6 more games so that Arteta/Edu’s management is being cristised…. thats how our fans react


Six starters and the possibility to play a game or at least make only for the bench?
That year it was a series of desicions Luiz Willian Mari Mustafi Kolasinac in the expense of the youth.
We play nice now but not then.
Supporting doesnt mean you forget


He definitely needs much more experience to be able to match White or Gabriel in the first choice starting line up. The intensity in the premier league is relentless and every weakness is analysed and if found wanting the media and opposition analysts are ruthless. For a 20yo player that could destroy him. Really depends on his character. I guess Mikel assessed how he would react and decided to protect him rather than expose him. Saka for example is a totally different story. He naturally overcomes obstacles and criticism. He also is highly intelligent and able to take on tactical… Read more »

Merlin’s Panini

Unrelated, but whatever you think of the Kroenke’s thank fuck they bought out Usmanov. Had it gone the other way we’d almost certainly be in the same situation as Chelsea right now, only our fans probably wouldn’t continue singing his name on the terraces…

Red shirt Theory Guy

Was it a protest? Red shorts/red kit to highlight the uneven red cards issued to Arsenal more than other clubs?? The mystery goes on … will we ever know?


I hope we keep this young man, I think he could be very good if given a chance.

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