Saliba is ‘not yet’ an important Premier League defender, says Carragher

Swept away by Brighton on Sunday’s Premier League Matchday 36, Arsenal arguably said goodbye to the title after leading the league for much of the season. The Gunners collapsed in 2023, in particular due to the injury of William Saliba? “A myth”, for Jamie Carragher.

Sunday May 14, Arsenal surely said goodbye to their title dreams. Severely beaten by Brighton (3-0) on the 36th day of the Premier League, the Gunners are four points behind Manchester City, who have a game in hand. Only one victory is missing for the Skyblues to formalize their ninth national crown, the third in a row. A disappointment for the men of Mikel Arteta, at the top of the rankings for more than 200 days.

Coincidentally, Arsenal’s form has started to decline since William Saliba’s injury in late March. In the last seven games, the Londoners have only taken nine points and suffered a heavy setback against Pep Guardiola’s proteges (1-4). A result certainly decisive in the race for the title.

The defense took on water in the second half of the season

Still, Jamie Carragher believes Arsenal’s problems came before the France international’s injury. “The defense was the big absentee. When you think of the Premier League winners, there were important defenders, like Vincent Kompany, Virgil van Dijk, Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand, Jaap Stam, John Terry, he said. “He said on Monday Night Football on Sky Sports. When I look at Arsenal’s centre-backs, I don’t think they have one yet, although Saliba could become one.”

Supporting statistics, the former Liverpool back showed that the Gunners’ flaws arrived as soon as they returned from the World Cup. Before the World Cup, Arsenal had the best defense in the championship (11 goals conceded, 7 clean sheets). On the return from Qatar with Saliba, the Londoners conceded a lot of goals (10th defense between December and March with 14 goals conceded), before plunging after the Frenchman’s injury (17 goals conceded, 12th PL team).

“After the World Cup, they looked completely different defensively,” Carragher continued. lost the league. With Saliba they were still in the lead, but this idea that they weren’t conceding goals, or didn’t look vulnerable with Saliba as a centre-back, that’s a myth.”

Best articles

Leave a Comment