Neville praises Mikel Arteta for brave Ben White decision in Arsenal win
Gary Neville has praised Mikel Arteta for the brave decision to take off Ben White at half-time during Arsenal’s win over Manchester United, noting that the right-back was struggling to cope with Marcus Rashford at the Emirates – in comments to Sky Sports (broadcast on 22/1; 19:42).
The Gunners can perhaps dare to dream that they have put one hand on the Premier League trophy. A late Eddie Nketiah goal gave them a dramatic 3-2 victory to extend their lead at the top of the table.
What was so impressive about Arsenal was how they fought back from going a goal down. Rashford did brilliantly to beat Aaron Ramsdale from distance. And he certainly looked to be the most dangerous United player on the pitch.
Neville praises Arteta for Ben White decision
It was one of the first times where White has looked poor at right-back this season. The England international picked up a yellow card for a rash challenge on the forward.
And seemingly with that in mind, Arteta decided to replace White at half-time. Takehiro Tomiyasu came on for the Gunners. It was the shortest appearance White has had all season in the league.
It was a big call. And after the 3-2 win, Neville suggested that Arteta deserves real credit for making the change.
“He was brave at half-time Mikel Arteta, because Ben White has been really good this season but he was getting a tough time from Rashford in the first half,” he told Sky Sports.
“He subbed Ben White, he was struggling, but he still made the big decision to do it. He could have left him on and he didn’t do and that was brave.”
In many ways, it is so impressive that White has gone this long without really struggling at right-back. Few expected the 25-year-old to be deployed in that position before the season started.
He has kept Tomiyasu out of the starting lineup in that role for the entire campaign. And there is definitely no shame in having problems coping with Rashford.
Rashford has been in unbelievable form so far this season. He now has 17 goals in all competitions. And he really looks to be back to his very best.
Mind you, Arteta is proving to get most of the big decisions correct right now.