Saturday, December 3, 2022

“You don’t really see that” – Arteta hails Saliba after debut

William Saliba may have had to wait three years for his Arsenal debut but when it came it was very impressive.

The France international was a towering presence in the centre of defence as he helped the Gunners to a 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace.

Strong in the air and composed with the ball at his feet, the 21-year-old won the man of the match award and then had the boss purring in his post-match press conference.

“You don’t really see that at 21 years old, a debut in the Premier League against this opponent, these physical players and resolve the situation the way he’s done it with that composure, with that calmness and with that presence. Big credit to the boy.”

On what he said to the player before the game, Arteta continued: “Let him be and let him play, it’s the way he has done it. The way we’ve tried to develop that player with his knowledge.

“At 19 years old to sign him and bring him back two years later is unusual. He’s been so determined and willing to come here and now prove the point that he’s ready. Now we are exposing the player in a really difficult environment where he can navigate and be comfortable and enjoy as well.”

Arteta also had warm words for fellow debutant Gabriel Jesus.

“He was electric, he was really mobile, really determined, really ‘I’m going to hurt the opponent’, he tramsits that and that creates uncertainty, it creates spaces and movement for his teammates. It’s great to have him.”

In his interview with Sky Sports, the manager noted that there were several elements to Arsenal’s game that need improving. Having started very sharply, the Gunners were under the cosh for much of the second half and only secured the points late on with a goal against the run of play.

“We need to be more ruthless in front of goal,” explained Arteta. “We had a situation to finish things better, even in the second half but it’s something that has to come. We’ve been scoring a lot of goals [in pre-season] and today, we lacked a little edge in the final ball, we didn’t finish enough final actions and then they had some transition moments, which is what they like to do. There were parts of the game, we have to do better.”

He continued: “Last year, the efficiency in the final third wasn’t good enough for the amount of chances we created. Where those situations finished it wasn’t good enough, nowhere near the top teams. We have to improve that and still we have to do that better but you see, you feel in the final third when we are there that something is going to happen and that creates fear in the opponents.”

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Walter White

Tie him down. What a player Saliba is.


I don’t get why Gabriel was so nervous, he had Stone Cold Willy Saliba next to him, take some tips from the lad & chill. But yeah seriously, give him a life time contract now, plays like a pro with 10-15 years of experience under his belt


I think Gabriel has always looked abit nervous when not alongside white, will take sometime to form a partnership with Saliba.


Team selections in the back are going to be very interesting this season especially between White and Saliba.


White did well against their star player Zaha, who was quiet as a result, but no one is going to move Saliba out of centre back.

Group Captain Mandrake

The nice thing is that they don’t HAVE to move him out. They have enough quality that they can sit guys for a game just to get them rest and keep them out of Wenger’s infamous red zone. It’s a nice problem to have (finally).

Cliff Bastin

White annoying the hell out of Zaha all game was beautiful.


Zahanis always annoyed. Soon as he gets fouled, he starts complaining to the refs. I don’t like it at all.


You can generally tell how good a job his marker is doing by how much Wilf throws his hands in the air & screams for non existent fouls & Benjamin did it to perfection last night. Love to know where Sky got the view he was terrorising him though, it’s all well & good pinging balls to him but if his having to cut inside & play it back or into midfield then I wouldn’t exactly call it “terrorising”


Sky were just disappointed by the result, comments like those just make the result even more enjoyable.


I’d never noticed it before last night but Sky treat Zaha like his Messi. Is it just like that against us or do they do it every time Palace are on?

Alan Sunderland

Against us mate, they had their script written before the spurs game, and the referee obliged first chance he got with the penalty. Last night they were there ready and hoping to be singing glad all over.


honestly this guy is an anomaly. academies are chucking out attacking talent by the bucketload but at the back it’s a different story. I think that by the end of the season he will be regarded as one of the very best centre backs in the world, young or otherwise. absolute priority to get him signed up for the long term🤞

djourou's nutmeg

no pressure huh? give the lad a break


Next year it will be only 1 year left, and if he doesn’t extend by then, all those comments like “we were right to send him on loan” will turn to sh*t.

Alan Sunderland

He’ll sign, so will saka. It’s all bullshit about the Marseille executive being in London trying to buy him, he was there to loan nuno. Arsenal have done what they needed to do in transfer window, the tabloids don’t like that and will try from now until the end of the window to create a story about arsenal. The same way dumb and dumber did last night. They’ve been practising glad all over for weeks, had their narratives all set, ben white was the player they thought would prove them right, but he played very well and they couldn’t let… Read more »


I hope so Alan. It will be a peace of mind.


you think this is the real Alan Sunderland?


I doubt he’s reading this. but in case he is then hi William, love you 👋


Id go so far to say i wouldnt swap him for any defender there is. What a player.


We should clone this guy and infuse it to the Arsenal DNA. It’s like he has Ozil’s calmness, Mertesacker’s intelligence with Koscielny’s aggression.


Martinelli needs to step up with his finishing


He scored


Probably Francesc refers to the one he missed.
He could have done better on that, but remember he is still so young, and I think he is terrific. He has a bright future no doubt.


Saliba: Madrid by next summer.

Odegaard: Please shoot when you’re 9 yards from goal with no defenders in front of you.

The Beast

Or we could just enjoy his performances & not fret over stuff that hasn’t happened.

Robert Fisher

Arsenals year to be Kings

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Saliba v Vardy next week will be fun.

Guns Up

Not for Vardy!!


Gabriel is great but he’s often pretty reckless, lacking composure and gives the team the jitters for no reason. We had total control until a couple of moments from him and Ramsdale handed it to Palace.
Saliba on the other hand, was absolutely brilliant and if he keeps that up, I could see Gabriel losing his place on occasion, with White generally being more consistent and better on the ball I feel. Tomiyasu is also our best RB so it’ll be interesting to see what happens this season with everyone fit. You can’t drop Saliba after performances like that.


You just said my mind: Ramsdale and Gabriel jitters…
That’s when CP started piling the pressure on us… Saliba made me Salivate

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