Declan Rice has high praise for Saliba, but says “the one who’s really surprised me is actually Gabriel”

Even though everyone is focused on Arsenal’s impressive attacking form, with 25 goals in the last six league games, it’s important to acknowledge their solid defensive performances as well.

Since the winter break, Arsenal has only let in three goals in six league games. It’s definitely impressive, and it’s surprising that it isn’t highlighted more.

Luckily, Declan Rice pointed out the brilliance of the Arsenal central defenders following the 4-1 Newcastle victory. The Arsenal record signing described Arsenal defender William Saliba as an exceptional player and shared that, like many others, he had heard about the Frenchman’s talent. And in the last few months, Saliba has impressed him. The former West Ham man also praised the resurgent Gabriel Maghalaese for his impressive performance in Arsenal’s defence, highlighting the Brazilian’s determination to win every duel.

“I can’t speak highly enough of them, I’m not going to sit here and lie,” Rice said on TNT. “I think Saliba is unbelievable, obviously I heard about all the talk of him before I came here and the one who’s really surprised me is actually Gabriel.

“He’s so aggressive, so strong, really wants it all the time, never loses a duel.

“When you’ve got two centre-backs like that who want it, play aggressive, it really helps and gives you confidence.”

According to popular belief, having a strong defence is crucial for success in the Premier League. Arsenal has been solid at the back, keeping the most clean sheets (10) and conceding the fewest goals (23) in 26 league games.

For how solid the Arsenal defence has been, it wouldn’t be surprising if they end up winning the league. Come May, if Arsenal lift the league I’m sure that our defensive superiority will be a major reson for our success.

Darren N

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  1. Am happy to hear this coming not only from a top player but one who currently plays along side the Brazilian.

    I for one could never understand how various armchair managers and fans alike consistently targeted him for criticism, though he was often the one to face the music.

    Brave, strong and aggressive he relinquish the physical side as center forwards always aware of his presence.

  2. Our two center back stalwarts are commendable. And the interesting thing about them is they hardly get booked. Our wish is that they stay fit till the end of the season.

  3. AS they say, a good attack wins you games but a solid defence wins you titles. Saliba and Gabriel have done an astounding job this season and long may it continue. Also one should not forget Ben White and the ever improving Kiwier, so we have a solid defensive unit this season and for the seasons to come.

  4. Massive squad appreciation coming out…tells us what a squad improving learning hunger for scoring and clean sheets…old arsenal few years back will b down after Porto match and either draw or lose to Newcastle..but wait a minute not this team anchor by the coaching crew (set piece coach imput for instance) speaks consistency efficiency learning relentlessly building team confidence…C.O.Y.G!!!…dats the spirit with the invincible squad…

  5. Darren N, it’s not “popular belief” that a defence is essential for success. It’s a nailed on certainty.
    Declan’s correct, our central defenders are immense, and you wouldn’t want mess with Gabriel.

  6. Looking back at Saliba’s season end injury that he had late last season’s run in matches. And as he has now this season started all the Arsenal’s 25 Epl matches this season.
    Will it be correct if I say to Arteta to give him a game rest for Sheff Utd at away next Monday night?
    Because I have noticed he looking to a little bit fatigued. That has seen him become sloppy in his game a times in very recent Arsenal’s matches.
    So that what happened to him during last season’s run in when he had a serious back injury due his been over played can be averted from repeating.
    And I think If Zinchenko and Tomiyansu are available for Sheff Utd. Kiwior can be moved to ccentreback pairing with Magalhaes for the match. So that Saliba will be on the bench for the match. And he may not come of it to play.

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