Has the World Cup had an affect on the form of William Saliba?

William Saliba was in terrific form before the World Cup and we expected him to start the competition for his country.

But he was the fourth-choice centre-back for a superb France team that reached the final of the competition and returned to Arsenal, having struggled for game time.

However, he was straight into the starting XI for the first game back against West Ham and caused a penalty.

In the next game against Brighton, he was also not in good form and was poor as the Seagulls scored a second goal.

The Sun rated him 5/10 and said he was

“All over the show for Ferguson’s goal, caught out too easily by a long ball forward and was out of position a little for Brighton’s first.”

Just Arsenal Opinion

The Saliba we had before the World Cup was one of the best in England, but he has struggled since he came back.

While he seems to be left exposed by his teammates sometimes, his reading of situations does not seem as sharp as it was before the break and needs to change for the better.

In this second half of the season, we need our players to be in top form and prove their worth before we can achieve our goals.

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15 Comments

  1. He’s been sat on his backside for the past few weeks before returning, that could have something to do with it.

  2. There’s nothing wrong with this lad.
    He is just showing that he is human who is prone to make errors and cannot be perfect. And as a matter of fact, that second goal wasn’t Saliba’s making but rather he mishit the ball and Ferguson was quick to get it off him. Just two games in, some are already suggesting that he should be benched. Come on, let’s chillax.

  3. Totally nothing wrong with Saliba. With him we are WINNING. Just appreciate we have got him. He has been a little rusty but we should value his ability.

  4. Hope negativity wouldn’t get to him at this crucial time that we need him to sign the contract,anybody who thinks Saliba is struggling with form is surely strucling mentally.

  5. Love Saliba, he’s a talent but can’t help feeling if it was Xhaka all hell would break loose! IJS…….

    1. Xhaka was used wrongly most of his Arsenal career, thanks to Arteta his real potential was unlocked. He made so many mistakes tbh

  6. Saliba is brilliant for his age, he lucks experience and composure sometimes. We do have two really good CBs, who still have 1 or 2 mistakes per game in them. Ramsdale didn’t convince me too, Turner may be the better option till he gets match fit.

  7. This is what I really hate about a section of Arsenal fans yes I’m talking to you Martin!!! The media posts some bullsh*t about one of our own and we jump on it and repost the same crap on a forum with visibility across the globe. All this despite Saliba coming back from the said errors and showing character, making VERY CRUCIAL interceptions in the SAME GAME! How about you focus on the positive and let Mikel and co deal with the negatives? It’s your right, but you’re pissing me off considering the target of the article is only 21.

    1. I hope that our fans don’t over do the negativity because our 21 year old CB is making some mistakes.
      But at the same time I keep trying to encourage our fans to be okay with evaluating , criticising our team / players / managers objectively.

      Lets not have double standards like we seem to have all the time. What I have and keep noticing is that as fans we have our favourite players / managers that we find difficult to analyse objectively. We all rate and like Saliba so we give him more leeway as compared to others. Not only Saliba, history shows that people let their personal biases cloud their objectivity when it comes to individuals they rate and those they don’t rate. We all do it sometimes.

      If that was Gabriel, Ben White, Tierney, Holding, Nketia, etc we would not hear the end of it. Saliba has made a few amateurish mistakes this season on top of also showing very accomplished defensive traits beyond his age. So normally because we really rate and want him to do well we ignore the mistakes psychologically and focus on the positives that we want to see.

      Saliba is only 21 and he is supposed to be making these types of mistakes. That’s normal and natural. So anyone that want to start stupidly criticising him is a joker. But all we need to do is curb our biases when it comes to our personal favourites VS Our Least favourites.

      We let our biases override our objectivity to much in a lot of these situations.

    2. FIFA is a (corrupt and sick) joke. Please excuse my extra words added to your realistic prolife. Not directed toward you, of course not!
      I agree about your post but would point out the fact that both JA admins constantly pander to the whims of the many far too hasty, critical Gooners, who cannot even allow a player one less good game before slaughtering him. He was superb up til the world cup and has had just a very minor blip since.
      Our fanbase is so self entitled and not worthy of being linked to our GREAT CLUB. NOT ALL OUR FANS OF COURSE; MANY ARE FINE , MATURE AND WISE.

      BUT MANY ARE A SICK JOKE, JUST LIKE FIFA. SIGH!

  8. Saliba is only 21 yo and lacks the experience

    he has played only a couple of seasons of first team football in France

    Fans are expecting to much of him…..

  9. Excellent analysis Goonster.I am not yet convinced that Saliba nor Gabriel will become top class centre backs but they clearly have the potential, and physical attributes needed to be successful.Ironically what Gabriel lacks in composure and positional sense he makes up for in his drive and aggressive will go win, whereas with Saliba ,he usually is skilled and composed on the ball but on occasions he tends to be too complacent as was the case against Brighton.With a degree of one on one coaching and hard work they could well become a great pairing for years to come.

  10. Everybody makes mistakes. Saliba also made some before the WC, but luckily they didn’t cost the team.
    He is a huge talent, and he will get even better.
    But no player will ever play without making a mistake here and there.

  11. As I said previously, playing a high defensive line is very risky.unlike in a team which defends deep,the defenders are always facing the danger.they have more time to decide what to do.when playing a high line,our CBs spend a lot of their time racing/tracking back, all you need is an unlucky rebound/touch and you get punished.the same thing with offside especially with VAR,it is a matter of inches between on and offside.when it works it’s great but when it doesn’t, well.

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