William Saliba says Arsenal will be out for revenge when Manchester United visit the Emirates on Sunday after the Red Devils inflicted a painful defeat on the Gunners in September.
Despite being the better side at Old Trafford, the Gunners were downed 3-1 as Erik Ten Hag’s side rode out Bukayo Saka’s equaliser to secure the points with a counter-attacking masterclass.
Arsenal have been near-enough spotless since that blip and with a week to hone their game plan are confident they can further tighten their grip on top spot. As things stand, the gap is eight points with the halfway point now in sight.
United could come into the match in second place if they beat Crystal Palace on Wednesday and Sp*rs beat Manchester City 24 hours later. That could add even more spice to a match that is shaping up to be a classic.
“We know we have a big game this week. We know they beat us,” Saliba told the Evening Standard after Sunday’s 2-0 win at Sp*rs.
“They are the only team to beat us this season in the Premier League and we want to beat them again at home.
“We will prepare very good for this game I think, and I hope we will win in front of our fans.”
Saliba also believes Arsenal can cope with the pressure of leading the table, so long as they continue to focus.
“There’s no pressure because we play for that,” he said. “It’s better to have this pressure when you are at the top than when you are down at the bottom.
“It’s better to keep going like this and we don’t have to have pressure. We are focused on ourselves. We are not focused on our rivals. We have to keep going like this and stay focused only on our ourselves.
“It’s never enough. We know we have a lot of games to go. We have to be focused because things can change quickly.”
Saliba also confirmed that contract talks with the club are ongoing. Arsenal are very keen to tie down the centre back to a new long-term deal on improved terms knowing he enters the final year of his current contract in July.
Given his form, numerous clubs are monitoring his situation but it sounds as though he’s enjoying life in north London.
“After the summer, when I saw the team and the mentality, I tell myself: ‘Yeah, we can do something this season’,” he said.
“I am so happy here. The club is speaking with my agent and me, the only thing I can do is [focus on my football]. I am so happy here.”
Let’s keep him happy and sign him up! Big player in very many ways.
Revenge of the loss against United (with its dodgy refereeing decisions) would be great, another big step forward.
We’d all like a happy Willy!
Especially a left testicle !!!
Is that your nickname for Gabriel?
What a relief to read those quotes. Let’s keep our Willy happy for many seasons to.. come. Sign da ting!
This makes me happy. We are ahead of schedule. If we keep our best players and add intelligently we are here to stay.
It feels like we hit on gold like pool did with salah vvd fab etc but 4 years younger
We need to add a striker. We were too happy yesterday and were blind of Nketiah’s inability to dominate opposing defences. I noticed that Odegaard did not have too much of confidence in him.
Really? How many clubs other then city have a better back up striker then Eddie? Thought he was superb only thing missing was a goal .
I truly believe now that we are the best team in the league.
City can destroy anybody on a good day, but on our day, we’ll beat anybody including City, who do give up lots of chances.
As for Sunday, Utd will be tough but we’ll get the 3 points
A fair assessment.
I actually fancy us to get a draw at the Etihad and beat them at the Emirates.
Always knew Saliba would be “top, top quality”… but I also thought he would never play for us after we messed him around so much. Him signing a new contract would be a massive win for the club.
We didn’t mess him around. The Boss had a plan. The plan worked.
Sorry mate, we messed him about. He had every reason, at one point, to wonder why we had signed him in the first place. Especially while we had Mustafi and David Luiz provoking canned laughter every ten seconds.
I do have to smile at the amount of revision to suit that makes it’s way onto this page.
Any win against united would be welcome. But I can’t be the only one to imagine that a revenge for the 8-2 is long overdue. I’d very much like arsenal to race into an early 4-0 lead, then go gunho and reach double figures by minute 90
Actually I’d quite like that too, now that you mention it
I don’t mind upping that with 8-0
8-2 would definitely be a lovely score line.
If you’re going to get into the realms of fantasy (?!) then let’s give United the two goal start inside the first five minutes – and then Gary Neville, who has nearly self combusted with excitement, suffers the death of a thousand cuts as we run riot in the second half with eight goals. 😂
Spare a moment of your day to think of the Football Manager galaxy brains in comments who were saying we should sell Saliba last summer.
Better than that, the brain ache who wondered if we shouldn’t be cashing in on Saka….
Some mothers really do ‘ave ‘em…..
To be fair, if it was up to you, Arteta would have been sacked 3 games into last season
….whilst you knew all along that what’s happened since then would all unfold? Come on mate, three games into 2021/22 we were stinking the place out. We can all be Herbert Chapmans with the benefit of hindsight. We all get things wrong, but in my book wanting the manager out when it clearly wasn’t working is nowhere as crass as wanting to cash in on a blossoming world class player. And, as you may also recollect, when we went on to trash the Spuds the following month, I was big enough to admit that I had got Arteta wrong and… Read more »
I remember that all very clearly as well. You were Arteta out but now are one of the managers biggest supporters. Fair play for coming around.
No need to be so defensive. I’m sure you see the point I was making, and that’s all it was
“So so happy”, but in wilo’s voice instead of pep’s
Had a mate of mine who is a Utd fan over for dinner with his missus, saying to me “I wanted Arsenal to win the title, but Utd are in the race now.”
He’s a good mate and I keep any banter good natured so I chose to smile and say “Well, you never know, a lot of football still to be played.”
However, I confess here and now to thinking ‘Utd in the title race? Not after next fucking Sunday they won’t be pal’ 😂
Good mate! My cousin, a pools fan, would rather City win the league than us. Bad cousin!
With the scousers it becomes a north and south thing, when Arsenal are involved in the title race.
Plus they’ve still got a huge chip on their shoulders about Anfield ‘89.
One minute! 😂
You could send him a big “FUCK YOU”, I think.
It is interesting how pundits keep seeing Arsenal’s next game as the “true test of their title credentials.” Last week it was Sp*rs; this week it’s United. If we take the three points – which I expect us to – it will move to City.
I don’t care as long as the boys keep doing the business on the field. I hope and pray Edu and his team can do theirs in the market. That is the little cloud hanging over our title dream. The injury gods have been kind so far.
Bring on Sunday!
It’s because the media are like dogs on heat for our next loss to happen. They can’t wait, the sad cunts. Which is why I’m hoping that Mikel is telling them all to ignore the media at all costs. How we react to our next defeat (which will undoubtedly be met with the entire football world and the media having multiple orgasms) will be important. We will need to keep focused and shut out the mass hysteria online and in the tv studios. Given Martin Odegaard’s dismissal of ‘other teams’ it seems that Mikel has already got the lads thinking… Read more »
I agree. But what next defeat?
Let’s hope that’s the case. 🤞
The one that keeps grating me is the “but remember, you’ve still gotta play City twice” line as if that isn’t as big an obsticle (if not bigger) for City as it is for us.
If we beat Utd this weekend, City will be shitting themselves – if they aren’t already.
I fancy us to beat them at the Emirates and get a draw at theirs.
Yes, but we’ve still to play a fair number of these “title credential” games. It’s true that we’ve done very well in them so far, losing only to Utd, but we can’t afford to get complacent because of that. In my opinion, we stand as much of a chance dropping points to “unexpected” teams as we do to the more obvious dangers like Utd in this case. Quite how well we do in the second half of the season is, to an extent, in Edu’s hands now. According to the media this morning, we’re “interested” in half a team’s worth… Read more »
I was wondering if/when the “R” word (revenge) would be raised by a player. That’s what we wanted against Newcastle, but as we know we didn’t get it. Utd will be at least as tough I suspect as they’re on a good run currently. I think we’ll probably get all the points on Sunday, but we’ll need to be on top form, revenge-minded or not. On Saliba’s own future, he sounds very positive so let’s hope that’s translated into a new contract soon. We’ve still got three key players, including him, yet to sign up. No need to panic yet… Read more »
We’re becoming a vengeful bunch. Freaking love it!
True. Nothing wrong with that – as long as we get it, of course.
One sidelight: Saliba’s loan at Marseille could very well have helped prepare him for the pressure of a North London Derby, as well as a title challenge. They are a very big club, probably still the best-supported in France, in a big stadium, with notoriously rabid supporters. The general level of quality is obviously below the Premier League, but the psychological elements are just as difficult.
We are mentally strong and without the handbrake 😁 Lovely days!