“He doesn’t take football serious anymore” – Arsenal fans blast 25-year-old for ‘worst performance of the season’ during Everton defeat
Arsenal fans have blasted Ben White for his poor display in their team's 1-0 Premier League loss against Everton earlier today (4 February) at Goodison Park.
The Englishman has been used exclusively at right-back this season by manager Mikel Arteta. White was, of course, a centre-back during his stay at Brighton & Hove Albion before his move to north London in 2021.
He isn't the most agile going forward and neither does he have the blistering pace one would associate with natural attacking full-backs. But he is defensively solid and has largely impressed during this campaign.
He has started in all of their 20 league games this season as the Gunners sit top of the Premier League table. However, they squandered the chance to build an eight-point gap between themselves and second-placed Manchester City.
Former Burnley players Dwight McNeil and James Tarkowski combined to score the only goal of their first game under new boss Sean Dyche. The Everton centre-back's header from a looping corner kick on the hour mark handed the Gunners just their second league defeat of the season.
Arsenal looked devoid of ideas going forward and were largely poor as a team, but fans were quick to hold White accountable for his poor display. He provided nothing going forward and was often careless with possession at the back.
Some labeled it as his worst performance of the campaign, while others questioned Arteta's decision to bench Takehiro Tomiyasu. The Japan international replaced the 25-year-old in the 85th minute of the match.
Here are some of the reactions from frustrated Arsenal fans after a damaging defeat at the hands of 18th-placed Everton.
Takehiro Tomiyasu offered his take on Ben White starting ahead of him at Arsenal
Takehiro Tomiyasu has been ousted from the starting XI courtesy of William Saliba and Ben White.
The French centre-back's progress as a centre-back has shifted the former Brighton & Hove Albion player to the right-hand flank. While Tomiyasu has featured in 16 league games this campaign, it has amounted to just 502 minutes of action.
However, the former Bologna defender doesn't seem to mind the competition for his spot. Speaking before the 1-0 loss against the Toffees, he told GOAL (h/t ArsenalTrueFans):
"You have to accept the reality. Ben White has been doing very well. He is fantastic. Of course, I want to play from the start.
"The only thing I can do is prove my value on the pitch and show what I can do. I just want to help the team. It doesn’t matter if I’m playing from the start or not."
It remains to be seen if White's recent displays will force Arteta to play Tomiyasu down the right flank.