On the eve of Arsenal’s match with Leicester, Mikel Arteta warned that young players like William Saliba would inevitably make in-game mistakes and that it was part of the price clubs pay for blooding youngsters in the heat of battle.
“I always said that especially with the young and development portfolio of players that we have in our squad, you have to pay a bill,” he explained.
“And that bill is that at some stage they’re going to make mistakes, they’re going to experience things for the first time and they have to go through that process.”
He also cautioned against overreaction good and bad towards players just making their way in the game.
24 hours later, Saliba, under little pressure, headed past his own goalkeeper to give Leicester a glimmer of hope of a comeback.
Quick to take the burden off the young Frenchman, the home fans immediately began singing his name in a show of support.
The chants were still echoing around the Emirates Stadium as the Gunners mounted their next attack which resulted in Granit Xhaka restoring the lead on the way to a 4-2 victory.
For Arteta, the moment after Saliba’s hiccup was particularly special.
“What they’ve done today with William Saliba is something that in my career I haven’t seen and that shows the connection and to really be there when it matters and when it’s difficult for somebody.
“We should be really proud to play in front of them because that was special.
“I think it really lifted the confidence of Wilo and how he played the last minutes after that and for the team as well.”
The boss was also thankful that the own goal wasn’t costly.
“The good thing is you pay the bill but you don’t really pay because you win the football match so it’s much easier to learn when that happens but I am happier today than I was at Crystal Palace with him because the way he played after that was incredible.”
Beautiful applause for him whenever he got the ball afterwards. Dare I say it The Emirates finally feels like home? Its that song isn’t it?
I’m so glad we didn’t get the 5 foot 9 centre back Martinez 😂😂 what a touch we got Zinchenco instead.
Martinez may come good, but looks completely out of his depth so far. Edu smokescreen worked to perfection!!! (in fairness, it’s harder for any defender to look his best next to that fucking oaf Maguire)
I don’t know if Martinez can cut it in the Premier League. He’s looked absolutely lost in his first two matches, subbed off at 70 minutes last week and half time today. Can’t believe Untied spurted out 57M for him and we got Zinchenko for just 30M.
Agreed on that one. There is no joined up thinking at United and their transfer policy is like a drunk throwing random punches in a bar.
I think we dodged a bullet with Martinez!
Arsenal can’t even play Martinez as a center back, we wanted him as a backup to Tierney, but I’m glad we got zinchenko
My thoughts exactly. We were in for him as LB/DCM, never as a CB. In some ways if he sinks it shows some nativity from TenHag even considering as a CB in the Premier league.
If I was to give benefit of the doubt, Arteta pushed for Willian before getting his shit together. Let’s see how fast TenHag learns, or if he’s afforded the time to do so. They have Liverpool next week if I’m not mistaken
You know I almost forgot Willian played for us before I read your comment.
did he though?
Might be the perfect time to get his signature on a contract for 10+ years haha. Arteta is a genius, he predicted this as well saying the bill we pay with young players is they make mistakes and to get behind them. What a guy!
I would be genuinely touched if I was Saliba. The fans backing him up like that will go a long way towards Arsenal getting that contract extension we are all craving…
Well said boss
It feels so good to be where we are right now. This is such an easy team to root for and it seems everybody is intoxicated right now, from the players to us. I watch United losing 4-0 to Brentford and I had that feeling not too long ago. The change over the past 18 months has been truly remarkable. It’s all coming together now and if we can continue to recruit this way then the sky’s the limit for this club. Winning becomes addictive and I will try not to be reactive if we have a shit loss, and… Read more »
Once again, it was Ben white’s action before saliba’s header that put saliba under pressure. I’ve seen a lot of other players paying for white’s mistake. He should have challenged for that header.
i don’t think he was under “little pressure”, if he didn’t clear the ball away it’d have been a goal by vardy. and the ball wasn’t very comfortable for him to clear away either. sure it’s a mistake and he should’ve done better, but for me in the own-goal scale this one is quite forgivable.
So proud of the supporters in that moment (and since the return after the pandemic, really). No way that reaction happens a few years ago, but that’s water under the bridge. You all have been fantastic – keep lifting the boys!!!!
Jesus was phenomenal… If he can keep that work rate and stay injury free… our final third can be a dream. Need Nketiah to knock on the door as well though.. would hate to be in a situation where we are ending with a Jesus burnout. Although Martinelli is a great back up… he is far too good running rings around defenders around that left wing. Funny how work rate and intensity can shown down talent (wishing Pepe could’ve brought that).
Kudos to the glorious fans at the Emirates for applauding Saliba after his mistake. That’s a 10/10 for them. That’s how you support your team.💪🏾👊🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾
He is quality 👌
that response from the crowd made him understand what it means to be a gunner. looking forward to watching him get applause for more conventional things.
Quality our supporters getting behind Will after mistake, support from us in stadium for team was best ive heard for a long long time, so positive, deservedly Jesus motm but Martinelli was a close 2nd, so love this player, runs his socks off, in 2 years time our Lewandowski
I’ve been impressed with the attitude of all the players so far. In previous seasons I feel they would have cracked under the pressure in both matches. They stood up in both of them when things got difficult.