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The ‘special’ reaction to William Saliba’s own goal proves the culture has changed at Arsenal

Jack Kenmare

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The ‘special’ reaction to William Saliba’s own goal proves the culture has changed at Arsenal

Featured Image Credit: YouTube - Arsenal/Football Fan Scene

Mikel Arteta says the way Arsenal fans reacted to William Saliba's own goal against Leicester on Saturday was something he'd never seen in football before.

The Gunners continued their impressive start to the season with a 4-2 win against Brendan Rodgers' side, as goals from Gabriel Jesus [2], Granit Xhaka and Gabriel Martinelli sealed all three points.

Leicester did manage to claw their way back into the game in the 52nd minute, when French centre-back Saliba headed the ball past Aaron Ramsdale and into his own net to make it 2-1.

It could be argued that in years gone by, Arsenal fans would have turned against their players after such a mistake.

But the complete opposite happened on Saturday afternoon. In fact, a large propotion of supporters inside the Emirates backed Saliba by chanting his name and giving the defender a standing ovation.

Some fans believe it shows how 'the culture has changed' within the football club. Here are some reactions from social media...


After the full-time whistle, a delighted Mikel Arteta praised the crowd for their reaction to Saliba's own goal.

“I think the crowd was special, especially after Saliba’s own goal," he said.

"The way they reacted was something I’ve never seen in football; the amount of support and connection they are showing with us, and especially with William, lifted the team straight away. I have to thank them so much for that.

"From the first minute, they were electric. You feel like they are totally with us, totally engaged and it is so energising for the team.

"The boys keep talking about it - they can’t wait to play in front of this crowd, and it’s making a huge difference.”

Arsenal's technical director Edu Gaspar also handed praise to the home fans who backed Saliba following his mistake.

He posted a picture of Saturday's crowd alongside a caption saying: "What a great atmosphere today. But I have to say how BEAUTIFUL was the support for William Saliba. Well done to the fans. Beautiful day in all sense."

Image credit: Edu Gaspar/Instagram
Image credit: Edu Gaspar/Instagram

Arsenal boss Arteta is clearly a huge fan of Saliba. After his Man of the Match performance against Crystal Palace last weekend, the Spaniard backed the Frenchman to handle the pressures of playing Premier League football.

"I think he has his feet on the ground, that is not going to be an issue," Arteta said.

"Obviously we have talked about the expectation that he already created before joining the club, when he was on loan.

"He is very aware that everything that was happening around him and we have tried to manage that internally in a really quiet way and I think it is better to stay like this for him because he is 21 years of age and he has played one Premier League match."


Topics: William Saliba, Arsenal, Mikel Arteta, Leicester City, Premier League

Jack Kenmare
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