Central defenders of Gabriel Magalhaes and Willian Saliba have been a big part of Arsenal’s success this season, with the Gunners sitting top of the table as March begins. They are the first choice central defense pairing, where they have often made wonderful music together for Mikel Arteta’s side.
However, it looked like they were clashing with one another after Saturday’s 1-0 win at Leicester City. The tv cameras caught the duo in a shoving match, after what looked like a brief argument.
Arsenal vs Everton FC FYIs
Kick: Wednesday, March 1, 2023 7:45 PM UK time, Emirates Stadium, London, UK
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Form Guide: Arsenal WWLDW Everton FC LWLWL
Premier League Standings: Arsenal 1st, 57 points Everton FC 18th, 21 points
Google Result Probability: Arsenal 71% Everton FC 11% Draw 18%
Flashback to the World Cup, where the Frenchman Saliba explicitly stated his hopes that Brazil (Gabriel’s nation) get eliminated from the tournament early.
So is there bad blood now between the two? Do they have an issue with one another?
What was the confrontation between Saliba and Gabriel at the end, was there a problem?
“They are happy marriage,” Arteta said in response to a reporter question on the topic today.
“They love playing with each other but they are really demanding of each other and everything is fine.”
So much ado about nothing, in regards to Gabriel and Saliba? Arteta was also asked by a journalist “do you like your players to challenge each other?
“Yeah, I don’t want robots, I want players with feeling, with passion that they demand each other, but at the end, they have that chemistry and those two certainly they have that chemistry on and off the field and I love that even when we’re winning they want us to do better.”
That was probably the major takeaway from Arteta’s press conference today, ahead of tomorrow’s midweek league clash versus Everton. The other notable moment was an update on midfielder Thomas Partey. He is apparently a doubt for the match on Wednesday night.
“He hasn’t obviously trained much, only had a session and he will train today. It’s what it is, he was out for a couple of weeks and he needs to get the rhythm.
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Sports Bank. He’s also the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
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