Benjamin White - English Virgil or also just blonde?

GunnerShy

Well-Known Member
Given White’s price tag, and the affinity Saliba has garnered (even without playing), I can understand why people expected a centre-back that was going to hit the ground running with no material for improvement. But that isn’t Ben White.

We bought White because he is a good player now with potential to be a great player in the near, medium and long term future.

On the ball, Ben is exceptional. Whether that is ball carrying, distributing or evading pressure. I haven’t seen an Arsenal defender as good as him at that in many years. That quality is necessary under Arteta’s positional play scheme. Just consider this:


Defensively he reminds me a young Koscielny. Solid one v one, good pace, capable defending wide and high and is very comfortable on the front foot. Where he has to make serious advances is aerially. White is not bad there but he is far from dominant. Being surrounded by Gabriel and Tomiyasu will certainly help mitigate his current area for development short term too.

Give White time. We have a potentially outstanding modern CB on our hands.
He is an ordinary defender. Goes hiding in the box. Even yesterday, he just seemed to lose his man all too often in the box.

He was good on the ball against Norwich. Added a dimension to our attack and general play.

Against Burnley yesterday, in all honesty I don't think he added much more than Holding would have, hopefully it was just the game, because we will play more sides who set up compactly like Burnley than sides like Norwich who go toe to toe.

I asked the question at the time, can he defend in a four. The answer is, no, not really. Left a lot of work to Gabriel yesterday. That's not sustainable. The caveat is that 3 games is no sample size and he should get better. But I'm unconvinced he will offer more than Saliba as a package and in a few years Saliba will be much better. But sadly, probably at a champions league club.
 

tap-in

Nothing Wrong With Me
I was always confused by the Ben White signing. Surely we could have brought a much better CB for £50m, or better still, spend it on an ACM and stick with Holding until Saliba comes home.
 

Atlas

Lost a sausage bet on Xhaka 😭
Well the bar at this club is so low that he will get a couple of season to slowly find his way. No pressure lad it’s not like we are challenging for anything here until the next manager comes in.
 

RunTheTrap

Nobody laughs on my "jokes" 😫
I don’t even think White was our first choice. I remember we were being linked with Tapsoba for £60 million. At least he’s big and has a good size to him. *pause*. Then we got linked to Kounde. Then the links to White came and here he is. If you wanna go back further then we could look at Upamaecano. This transfer has been something Arsenal have wanted to do for years, but what is it about White that made the club jump for him? I see no exceptional qualities to his game as a defender and I think his ball-playing is overrated. He hits a nice diagonal and can run with the ball but it’s not like he regularly breaks lines with his passes. Does he even play nice disguise passes like Partey? I haven’t seen it yet.

I just want some people’s view on something. Who would you say in the last decade is the best ball-playing CB and do you honestly believe White can reach that level? David Luiz, Hummels, Pique, Boateng???
 

tap-in

Nothing Wrong With Me
The jury is still out on this guy. I will wait at least 1/2 a season to have a firm opinion but his performances so far are definitely not reassuring.

I also never judge too soon. The issue I have with this signing though, apart from the price, is that he won only 51% of areal duels last season. He's not suddenly going to grow a foot so that will always be an issue. When you look at CB's surely areal ability is one thing you look at.
 

Impact

Well-Known Member
I actually think this is wrong. 30 min against Norwich and a couple of minutes against Burnley only means that a high line is not a primary plan for Arteta and never has been since he took over. We have technical quality and pace at the back now (except for Tierney but Tavares looks confident) so that's definitely not an excuse anymore.
As soon as we have any sort of advantage we end up parking a bus in front of our goal, inviting all the pressure and we are riding our luck atm because this will backfire very soon. We don't have Chiellini and Bonucci as CB's to deal with the long pressure.

I just disagree. The simple point is we haven’t had the quality to sustain the manager’s game plan. We are not sitting back by choice. It’s because other teams have been able to assert their game against us.
 

Mrs Bergkamp

Established Member
Trusted ✔️
He had about four poor moments that on another day get punished. What stood out for me is how slow he was to play the ball out from the back and how average he seemed on it. On the plus side, he was really good in the air. He needs to switch on quick and with Gabriel in beast mode, he has another level to aim at.
 

GunnerShy

Well-Known Member
He had about four poor moments that on another day get punished. What stood out for me is how slow he was to play the ball out from the back and how average he seemed on it. On the plus side, he was really good in the air. He needs to switch on quick and with Gabriel in beast mode, he has another level to aim at.
Glad others thought his ball playing was ordinary.

Defensively he was shocking. Went missing on more than one occasion in the box. I think his instruction must have been to man mark Hollow Man.

He definitely needs a larger sample size. The problem we will have, is that with Saliba back next season, with his superior physical attributes and Gabriel being a far better defender, suddenly you have a £50m CB as a reserve. That won't reflect well on MA. Then it's political.
 

Rasmi

Well-Known Member
Never seen an overreaction like this but I can imagine this is exactly how City fans reacted when Stones first played for them.

Time will tell.
And it took years for him to become good and waas benched. Wasnt even first choice last season until laporte had big injury
 

Wryer

Well-Known Member
Still really early stages.

He's really good at what he does - distribution.

But, I'm afraid we have another player that needs all the elements going for him to have a good game - type of opposition, formation, players around him, etc.

But still, way early to conclude. 10 games will probably be more reasonable, and even that - we've seen players improve or even deteriorate. Mustafi was prime Cannavaro in his early games.
 

RunTheTrap

Nobody laughs on my "jokes" 😫
Glad others thought his ball playing was ordinary.

Defensively he was shocking. Went missing on more than one occasion in the box. I think his instruction must have been to man mark Hollow Man.

He definitely needs a larger sample size. The problem we will have, is that with Saliba back next season, with his superior physical attributes and Gabriel being a far better defender, suddenly you have a £50m CB as a reserve. That won't reflect well on MA. Then it's political.
Bold of you to assume Saliba will be with us next season. You don't spend £50m on a CB and then bench him for someone younger and cheaper. Saliba won't be happy being a bench player when he knows he is superior to White in almost every aspect. Unless White moves into midfield or we switch to a back permanently, Saliba will be the sacrificial lamb.
 

Artisan

Not Emery's Old Pal
Remember when Saliba was sent out on loan for 3 years because club was afraid he would play exactly like this?
Ultimately that's the biggest issue with White, we've binned a superior defender and a far superior talent in favour of White. On top of his massive 50mil price tag, he is being compared to one of the biggest CB talent in Europe. Being decent is not gonna cut it.
 

SingmeasongSong

Right Sometimes
If it's Saliba-Gabriel for CB next season, I'm happy as one can be.

For all my love of Saliba, I still admire the traits that White brings with his game.
Think he's pretty unique and has some talents pretty much no defensive player in the league has to that level.

Wouldnt mind him being a deep lying midfielder for us as well, he's done it very well after all prior to the move.
He's got so much in his locker, he'll find a spot and be brilliant eventually.
 

AbouCuéllar

Wishes to get banned elsewhere
If I speak...


Here's the thing, you're a delusional weirdo and I don't want to continue engaging with you so I'm not going to. For the normal people who want to give Ben White a bit more time before coming to terms with his level, if he turns it around, you can refer back to anything I said and indeed I will acknowledge that I was too quick to judge him just as I have acknowledged when I've been wrong on a myriad of things on this forum.
Yeah mate, I'm delusional.

Would love to see a reel of Ben White's involvements on the ball against Burnley. Some class stuff in there.

Feels like a massive agenda against him right now since he was our big signing and people want a stick to beat Arteta with (that + needing him to be bad to continue using the Saliba stick to beat him with + some people just failing to understand the importance of a CB with that kind of quality on the ball, and you have a lot of the reaction on this forum explained, IMO). Since he made a mistake (the kind all the top defenders have made a few times) it is the perfect opportunity for people to push their agenda and miss the details of the game.

The way he resists pressure from the attacker with calm, is able to step on the ball and dribble it when an attacker comes close to him and keep possession moving, those nice little passes between lines to Lokonga to break pressure...he's a huge addition to our team, I'm sorry if people can't see it through their agendas and anger and desire to rant and rave.

Given White’s price tag, and the affinity Saliba has garnered (even without playing), I can understand why people expected a centre-back that was going to hit the ground running with no material for improvement. But that isn’t Ben White.

We bought White because he is a good player now with potential to be a great player in the near, medium and long term future.

On the ball, Ben is exceptional. Whether that is ball carrying, distributing or evading pressure. I haven’t seen an Arsenal defender as good as him at that in many years. That quality is necessary under Arteta’s positional play scheme. Just consider this:


Defensively he reminds me a young Koscielny. Solid one v one, good pace, capable defending wide and high and is very comfortable on the front foot. Where he has to make serious advances is aerially. White is not bad there but he is far from dominant. Being surrounded by Gabriel and Tomiyasu will certainly help mitigate his current area for development short term too.

Give White time. We have a potentially outstanding modern CB on our hands.

Very nice post. I remembered that exact same quote when we signed him, too. It also happened that in that same game Holding was a hoof machine, and couldn't withstand the littlest of pressures from the back, making it incredibly difficult for us to get out playing from the back.
 

Mrs Bergkamp

Established Member
Trusted ✔️
Glad others thought his ball playing was ordinary.

Defensively he was shocking. Went missing on more than one occasion in the box. I think his instruction must have been to man mark Hollow Man.

He definitely needs a larger sample size. The problem we will have, is that with Saliba back next season, with his superior physical attributes and Gabriel being a far better defender, suddenly you have a £50m CB as a reserve. That won't reflect well on MA. Then it's political.
I don't want to jump all over him but he has to come good very quickly. One thing I forgot to mention is his lack of awareness. A couple of times he's just stood still in the box, frozen. He doesn't "smell danger". It's not just Saliba either. Mavro is quietly having a good season so far. He also has to learn how to play in a back 4. Per might have to dip in to help him.
 

AbouCuéllar

Wishes to get banned elsewhere

Found a compilation.

0:19, 1:03, 1:06, 1:15, 1:40, 1:47 are the moments I'm talking about that I love (they've missed at least one pass in between the lines to Lokonga that I liked), that just have nothing to do with what we're used to with the passing ability and composure on the ball we've seen with our CBs under Arteta.

Hard to understand how this performance is getting so much criticism when you see the defensive actions too (where the statistics are all telling us he had a very good game-- he and Gabriel got 7.57 and 7.58 ratings on whoscored, second after Ødegaard), which is what most of you who are criticising him are putting most emphasis on. Hard to not think there are agendas at work here...
 

OnlyOne

Who Mods the Mods?
Trusted ✔️
Yeah mate, I'm delusional.

Would love to see a reel of Ben White's involvements on the ball against Burnley. Some class stuff in there.

Feels like a massive agenda against him right now since he was our big signing and people want a stick to beat Arteta with (that + needing him to be bad to continue using the Saliba stick to beat him with + some people just failing to understand the importance of a CB with that kind of quality on the ball, and you have a lot of the reaction on this forum explained, IMO). Since he made a mistake (the kind all the top defenders have made a few times) it is the perfect opportunity for people to push their agenda and miss the details of the game.

The way he resists pressure from the attacker with calm, is able to step on the ball and dribble it when an attacker comes close to him and keep possession moving, those nice little passes between lines to Lokonga to break pressure...he's a huge addition to our team, I'm sorry if people can't see it through their agendas and anger and desire to rant and rave.



Very nice post. I remembered that exact same quote when we signed him, too. It also happened that in that same game Holding was a hoof machine, and couldn't withstand the littlest of pressures from the back, making it incredibly difficult for us to get out playing from the back.

Spot on, as I have said many a time once this forum forms an opinion that's it they'll never change it and use any stick they can to beat Arteta. I said it's hard to judge Arteta on a loss vs CL champions when we were missing 5/6 first teamers and AM lost it.
 

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