Mikel Arteta tactics questioned as Jamie Redknapp outlines good and bad of Arsenal star

Ben White William Saliba Arsenal 2022 TEAMtalk1

Jamie Redknapp felt Arsenal saw the best and worst of Ben White in the 1-1 draw at Southampton and believes the result will act as a wake-up call.

The Gunners were looking to extend their lead at the top of the Premier League table to four points. And it seemed as though they might achieve that aim when Granit Xhaka opened the scoring in just the 11th minute. The visitors led at half-time but Stuart Armstrong’s second-half equaliser ensured the points were shared at St Mary’s.

The Scotland international’s finish was the final piece of a superb move involving Adam Armstrong and Mohamed Elyounoussi.

It means that Mikel Arteta’s side are two points better off than champions Manchester City with Saints in 15th.

Redknapp was on Sky Sports pundit duty and analysed the Southampton goal. White was used as a right back by the Spanish tactician for the south-coast clash

And the former Tottenham midfielder felt his inexperience playing on the flank contributed to the leveller.

“We were saying with Saliba and Gabriel as the two centre-backs, Ben White gets drawn across and he doesn’t know whether to run across,” he said.

“He comes across and there he’s a centre-back, you’ve got to stay as a centre-back, he sees him too late and by that time it’s a goal.”

But the former Liverpool ace was in no doubt about the validity of the result.

“Southampton deserved it,” he added. “Showed great character, under a lot of pressure, I thought they were impressive in the second half and deserved it.”

White blows hot and cold

The result saw Arsenal draw for the first time in the league this term. They have won nine and lost just once to keep their noises in front of the chasing pack.

Arteta has the nucleus of a side that could challenge for honours in the coming years.

White was recruited in the summer of 2021, with the Emirates outfit paying Brighton £50m for his services.

And Redknapp was quick to point out that there were also plenty of good things to admire about the versatile stopper.

“They played some great stuff,” he added. “White and [Bukayo] Saka linking up, Xhaka picking up positions in good areas.”

And the man who won 17 England caps feels the result might act as a spur for the team going forward.

He continued: “It’s a great finish, great movement and it happened time and time again. Could it be two or three?

“But they ran out, seemed to be a bit of a reality check for them.”

Arsenal’s next test comes in the Europa League on Thursday when they face PSV Eindhoven in the Netherlands.

And in seven days time they will welcome a revitalised Nottingham Forest side to the Emirates after they shocked Liverpool on Saturday.

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