Morning all.

I made an error. Thomas Partey hasn’t gone off on international duty. Neither has Gabriel as he’s withdrawn because of injury. If you say so Gabriel…. Not for one minute do I think Gabriel is injured, I think this is the player and Arsenal seeing the bigger picture. Same with Thomas Partey who I’d imagine doesn’t want to do anything to risk his chance of being involved in a title race or a big move in the summer. His last big move perhaps. It was Partey who asked to be excused from the game in order to gain full fitness following recent injuries.

Anyway, whatever the reason, it’s better for Arsenal to have both at the club.

France manager Didier Deschamps has been talking about William Saliba:

He hasn’t had a lot of game time with us. He is performing well for his club. At international level, he hasn’t always found himself in the best conditions in matches where I’ve rotated a lot. He isn’t in the same psychological situation with his club, where he doesn’t ask himself if he’ll play at the weekend. When he has game time with us, he tells himself he needs to play well because there are others behind him. He is not in a psychological situation that is the same as at his club. He has everything he needs to take the next step.

What an odd thing for a manager to say. I think we all know what goes on in PL football and how it compares with the international game. Well, when it comes to team/squad selection, there is little comparison really because an international manager doesn’t have to build a squad, he just gets to choose the best in whichever country he manages. He might have 10/15 players to choose from for one position whereas a club manager might have two. Maybe three if he’s lucky. An international manager can rotate, often without a drop in performance but a club manager doesn’t necessarily have such a luxury. A club manager’s job is tough, much tougher than an international manager in my opinion. If Deschamps doesn’t think Saliba is performing as well for France as he is Arsenal then that’s on him rather than the player. If he thinks Konate, Hernandez, Upamecano, and Todibo are better, fine, but there’s no need to throw Saliba under the bus is there?

I don’t really understand all the fuss being made after Ben White made himself unavailable for England either. It’s his choice and a choice which should be respected in my opinion. Why do ‘people’ believe every sportsperson wants to play for his/her country? You or I might see it as being an honour or a privilege but perhaps he just prefers to play club football and spend time with his family as much as he can. Perhaps he simply looks at this current England setup and doesn’t want to be a part of it. Arsenal fans should be delighted he’s rejected Gareth Southgate, I know I am.

To finish on a real high….

Photo from

Talking to

I am so happy to extend my contract because Arsenal is the best club in the world. It’s a dream to play for this club, so I’m happy. When I’m on the pitch I feel the love and energy from the supporters. We are connected a lot so I want to give them something back. I am playing for Arsenal, and this means I’m playing for the Arsenal supporters. That’s why I dedicate my life to this club and the supporters. I want to give them something back. The connection between players and supporters is a different level and that makes it more special.

He’s happy and I’d imagine the majority of Arsenal fans are too. Yes, I know he’s had his injury problems but he’s such a wonderfully gifted player who I thoroughly enjoy watching every time he’s on the pitch. Talented, multifunctional and at 25 years old, he has many years of football ahead of him. Those years will be at Arsenal FC.

Catch up in the comments.