‘Stroll in the park’ – Saliba’s role in keeping England’s Toney quiet praised

William Saliba has been praised for dominating Ivan Toney during Arsenal’s win over Brentford on Sunday, casting the latter’s England selection into question.

The Bees striker has been named as the back-up striker in Gareth Southgate’s latest squad, with this his last chance to look at his options before naming his World Cup squad for Qatar.

Toney usually impressed using his strength and movement to keep defenders on their toes, but this weekend he was forced into submission by the Gunners, with Saliba key in keeping him quiet.

Our young star’s performance hasn’t gone unnoticed either, with Garth Crooks picking him for his Team of the Week with the BBC.

“I must say I expected a little more from Brentford, as I did from Ivan Toney considering his recent selection for the England team,” Crooks wrote in his regular column. “However, both Brentford and Toney had to contend with William Saliba, who looks very dangerous in the opposition penalty area and as solid as a rock in his own.

“If Toney is going to be taken seriously as a starter for the national team, he is going to have to make life much harder for defenders like Saliba. This was a stroll in the park for the Frenchman. It is not always about scoring goals for strikers, but it is about putting yourself about sometimes.”

Saliba has been a breath of fresh air since making his debut in our opening game against Crystal Palace, and is clearly wise betond his years.

He just seems built for the job in hand, and it was some statement to keep the highly physical presence of Toney to the minimum.

Will forwards now be worried about the prospect of having to face us?


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Tags Garth Crooks William Saliba


    1. He stopped mbape in his tracks last season in France, so am sure with a good support from other members of arsenal defence, he’s equal to the task.

      1. @John Andrews
        Mbappe isn’t the beast Haaland is. In the UEFA Nations League match Denmark v France, Danish striker Cornelius outmuscled Saliba and scored on him”twice”. And Haaland is bigger than Cornelius.
        I’m not sayin the kid wn’t be able to cope with him. I’m just interested in seeing how he will…

    2. Going to be a great test for the lad, hopefully he will learn alot from facing him. He seems to have leaned alot from the United game, his character is superb up to now. So glad he went to France and gained the experience rather than sitting on and off our bench. Continuity is key in a youngsters development, look at Martinelli since he shaken off those niggley injuries.

    3. The guy has been doing it with the likes of Messi ,Mbape in France, so for him it’s now a usual business. Only we pray he remains fit for the rest of the season.

      1. Agreed Arsenal will have to manage him well now, at such a young age his body his still developing. Having lots of fixtures is good for his development but we need to keep tabs on his physical levels throughout the season

      2. True that!but since he was doing it in France,his detractors were saying wait until he plays in the PL.. he’ll be found wanted…..or his heading is weak or that he keeps the ball too long,he never tackles or goes to ground blah blah blah…he does not have to if his positioning is good.

        1. Who were these Saliba detractors?
          Nearly 100% of our fanbase has rated Saliba since we signed him in 2019.

          We were all baffled/ surprised that Arteta sent him out on loan to France last season but we just accepted situation because Arteta is the manager and it was his decision. We all couldn’t do anything about Arteta’s decision.

  1. He’s amazing ,which some of us already knew over the past 2 seasons , the worry is he hasn’t signed a new contract ,same as Saka ,the club suggested that they would both sign before the season started ,now we are already 7 games in and no further along .

  2. Saliba is brilliant and that extra year in France has done him the world of good. He has been a revelation at the back, I am sure for Gabriel along side him and the attackers is such a relief they know he is in there being a boss defending we can attack more often.

    Hopefully we hear the extensions in the close future of Saliba, Saka, Martinelli and Partey.

    Reason I put Partey as we havnt had him on the pitch alot, so a small 2yr extension to make up for time lost would be super news as he is the man in the middle for us no doubt…

    Saka & Martinelli both want to stay and William is leaning that way also if interviews go anything to go by.

    Those 4 on new deals would be brilliant. Nice to be top over this International break plus we have 2 huge games when we return against Spurs & Liverpool, after those games we will know where we are at and what is needed in January.

  3. Saliba will be a giant in the game… simple as that, in my opinion.

    I want to see how our defence deals with Kane and Son – it was the latter’s speed that ensured we lost out on the CL spot.

  4. Just keep wondering what Saliba was doing in France last season, he could have been the difference for getting us to play champions league last season.
    We just have to give it Xaka this season,what a player,Arteta must have work his magic on him.The team is rocking,very proud to be an Arsenal supporter.Keep it up guys.

  5. Since the day we signed him, I have been happy and confidence about him, in fact I was praying that he should choose us over spurs, thanks to Emery and those in charge of transfer that term to the extent that we agreed to loan him back to saint…
    His achievement in France, he assisted saint to a cup final, he helped nice to be recognised in French league and took Marseille to Champions league.
    Without him Marseille has not won any match in Champions league ( even with the signing of Bailey).
    The guy is very good, great and calm, and I believe one day, he will be world class( by winning premier league for and Champions league)…
    The guy will sign the new contract as I know he is an Arsenal fan(since child hood) and Arsenal run in his blood….

  6. I was discussing with a Manchester united fan this morning and he said, one thing arsenal have going for them is their new recruitment policy, they go for players with points to proof, eager to make a name, not mega stars who care less than their win bonus and few sponsorship and ego.

    Then a manager who seek to prove himself too, he said we lost against his team, as a result of our high line, we pressed too much, and admitted to reff being influenced by the marmont crowd at old trafford, reason penalty call was ignored among other unjust decisions.

    I had to reflect on all he said …. afterwards and realise that indeed the set of players we have presently aside the city boys are way too hungry for champions league spot and according to him, “the arsenal boys makes their opponent run around alot” 🤣

  7. With my limited football knowledge of the game only Van Dike of Pool , I would value more than Saliba on current form.

    After taking into account his age and his natural ability, his sheer potential, this kid is already a marquee defender who is only going to get better

    1. Since the start of the season,Salina has been much better than VVD. The guy has been unrecognisable from past seasons,we all remember Milner giving him a tongue lashing few weeks ago.

  8. First of all credit must go to arteta for his bold decision in sending him back on loan to Marseille in France. And that has helped his game a lot. I watched him against PSG last season and one other match like that, I think Lille. His performance in those games was top notch. I believe in him arsenal has got a trojan in that defense. I he’s got a point to prove when city and our north London neighbor’s come calling.he has shown a lot of maturity in his game.

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