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Ian Wright reacts to Ben White's North London derby performance
Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images

Ian Wright reacts to Ben White's North London derby performance

Ian Wright has told Match of the Day that Ben White was magnificent for Arsenal on Saturday, with the defender’s performance epitomising everything Mikel Arteta wants from his players.

The Gunners were sensational at the Emirates in the North London derby. Goals from Thomas Partey, Gabriel Jesus and Granit Xhaka helped Arsenal repeat the same scoreline from 12 months ago.

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Of course, this latest display was all the more impressive. Spurs were one of two sides who still boasted an undefeated record before the fixture. Meanwhile, Arsenal topped the table heading into the international break. So the stakes were even higher than usual.

Ben White was magnificent

Tottenham’s unbeaten record is in tatters. But many more probably now see the Gunners as genuine title contenders after their victory.

Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images

The performances all over the park were outstanding. Gabriel Jesus was mesmeric at times. William Saliba further enhanced his reputation as a Rolls-Royce of a defender. And Granit Xhaka’s redemption story continues to gain fresh chapters.

But Wright picked out another name when looking at the statistics from the game.

“When you look at the way Arsenal have improved, you look at more shots, more shots converted, higher turnovers. And what I saw in pre-season with them is the way they wanted to win the ball, possession won in the final third and turnovers,” he told Match of the Day.

“And the person who epitomised it more than anybody else today in the way they were playing was Ben White. I thought he was magnificent today. Tottenham gave him a lot of space. Tottenham were getting a lot of players back, but they weren’t really doing anything.”

‘The person who epitomised it more than anybody else’

Arsenal had real joy down their right flank all game. Bukayo Saka made a number of runs across the box where he managed to evade several challenges.

And White was the man who played the ball into Partey for the opening goal.

It is probably fair to say that White has not got the full credit he deserves for his form at right-back. He looks a natural in that role and continues to keep Takehiro Tomiyasu out of the side.

Paul Merson told Sportskeeda this week that he was shocked to see White left out of the most recent England squad.

He has certainly done his World Cup chances no harm at all after Saturday.

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