Garth Crooks reacts to Ben White display in Arsenal's derby win
Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Garth Crooks reacts to Ben White display in Arsenal's derby win

Garth Crooks has included Ben White in his team of the week following Arsenal’s North London derby win, telling BBC Sport that the defender was quietly outstanding for the Gunners.

Mikel Arteta’s men have extended their lead at the top of the Premier League table, beating Tottenham 2-0 on their own ground on Sunday.

Photo by James Gill – Danehouse/Getty Images

The Gunners were superb against Antonio Conte’s men, producing big performances all over the pitch. Aaron Ramsdale was named as the man of the match. Thomas Partey and Martin Odegaard strolled throughout the game. And Bukayo Saka gave Ryan Sessegnon an absolutely torrid time.

Garth Crooks lauds Ben White after North London derby

But Crooks was keen to acknowledge the performance of another player, who perhaps went under the radar.

Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

White has been brilliant at right-back throughout the season. It is a role the 25-year-old looks completely comfortable in. And he is now one of the first names on the team sheet for his work in that position.

And Crooks suggested that he deserves a lot of credit for his display up against Son Heung-min on Sunday.

“Both Gabriel and William Saliba have featured in my teams this season but less so Ben White. I thought the defender was outstanding against Tottenham,” he told BBC Sport.

“He did his job quietly and effectively and dealt with the threat of Son Heung-min brilliantly. In fact there was a moment in the first half when he had Son in his pocket.”

It was always going to be interesting to see how Mikel Arteta handled his three front line centre-back options this season. Certainly, there was a lot of support for William Saliba ahead of his long-awaited debut for the side.

But White and Gabriel Magalhaes had formed a good partnership last season.

However, Arteta has found a way to fit all three in his side. And it does not appear that Arsenal are compromising in any way to get them all in the side.

White obviously has the ability to play as a third centre-back. But he looks just as comfortable flying down the line and offering support to Saka.

It is fair to say that putting him in that role has proved to be another masterstroke from Arteta.

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