William Saliba saga by dgr8xt
Hello all. I want to address what I believe to be a debatable narrative which has been repeated by Arsenal fans world over about the handling of Saliba by our coach.
It seems likely that we would not be playing in the Champions League next season, barring a cataclysmic miracle of biblical proportions. Although I’m predicting that both Tottenham and The Arsenal will lose on the final day. It’s just my personal prediction.
To the main point of this writeup, I’m still not convinced on how a manager gets credit for developing a player he never signed or gave a debut? Let’s consider the following:
- After just 19 senior appearances for Saint Etienne, Emery won the race for Saliba against many other interested clubs and was willing to bend to Saint Etienne’s demands of an immediate loan back, cos he knew that in a year’s time, the player will be beyond our reach, while signing an emergency David Luiz to hold the fort until his arrival
- Saliba arrives to an Emery-less Arsenal and is sent to the U23s for 6 months by our coach without being registered to make even a league cup appearance.
- In January, Saliba goes on loan to Nice and becomes their best player for the remainder of the season, winning the club’s player of the month in his first 6 matches.
- Saliba returns to Arsenal and is sent away (again) to Marseille cos he was deemed not ready to play in the Premier League, while a certain big money defender arrived the Emirates.
- While in France, Saliba gets a national team call up, selected in Ligue 1 team of the season and wins the best Young player in the league, all while making the 8th most appearance in Ligue 1, most appearances for an U21 defender in all of Europe and more appearances than any of our players has managed this season.
Back at The Arsenal, the coach who refused him a debut gets all the credit for all his showing (with other managers) in another league.
I do recognize the loss of his mother, but his loan to Marseille cannot be excused. Also, it seems the family bereavement didn’t stop him from earning rave reviews in France, but apparently would have greatly hindered him at The Arsenal (weird I would say). Our coach has been credited by some for choosing the “right club” for him whereas, the reporting outlets at the time stated that he chose by himself to return to France with Marseille. The big money signing of the ‘certain defender’ apparently showed how the coach never trusted Saliba, but somehow, he gets the credit for the player’s showing and “…carving a career path for him”, according to the words of some of our very dear fans (I respect their opinions).
My question is that if Saliba wasn’t ready to learn while playing in the EPL, how come Lokonga and Tavares were allowed the same baptism of fire, if that’s what it is?
And if the coach gets all the credit, how come he’s also not getting the stick for the unproductive loans of players, an example of which is Ainsley Maitland Niles?
I believe in giving credit to whom it’s due, but I see the same trend and wonder why our coach gets all the credit for winning two trophies in his first six months while the very same players who won those very same trophies are called undisciplined, toxic, dross and underperforming.
Saliba in my opinion is better than the ‘certain defender’ and obviously has a higher ceiling. Had he performed badly, our coach would have been justified for sending him away as some were doing whenever Marseille lost a match, and he would have been praised for clearing out the useless, undisciplined, underperforming, dross players.
Again, I respect their opinions, but I believe that such line of thinking is not exactly correct. Now that Saliba performed well, it has been billed as our manager’s masterclass. Yeah. Right. It’s really an Arteta masterclass.
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