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Arsenal: Charles Watts slams ‘rusty’ William Saliba amid poor performances

Journalist Charles Watts has slammed Arsenal defender William Saliba after another ‘rusty’ performance in the club’s most recent match.

What’s the latest?

The Gunners managed to extend their lead at the top of the Premier League table to seven points on Saturday as they claimed a 4-2 win over Brighton away from home.
Twice in the game, Mikel Arteta’s men lead by three goals, but twice they let the Seagulls cut the deficit to just two, which made for a nervy final stage of the game.
In particular, Saliba was guilty of making a big error for the home team’s second goal, failing to clear the ball before Evan Ferguson ran in behind to pull one back for Brighton.
Speaking on YouTube after the game, Watts was critical of the defender’s display, saying (9:54): “He’s definitely rusty Saliba, which is no surprise because only pay about 20 minutes while he was away for France in six weeks. He just hadn’t played much football.
“I think he’s come back, he was rusty against West Ham. He was definitely rusty [against Brighton], really uncharacteristic error for the second goal.”

Has William Saliba been below his best of late?

Yes

Yes

No

No

World Cup hangover?

Against West Ham, Saliba was also at fault for the opposition’s goal as he lunged in and brought down Jarrod Bowen inside his own box resulting in a penalty. Although, he did win every single one of his duels.

And so after this latest mistake, it’s easy to see why some criticism has been aimed at the centre-back. Of course, having been away with France at the World Cup, he may still be feeling the impact of that.

After all, he only played 28 minutes across the whole tournament, so won’t have great match fitness. But he could also be very disappointed by the way things panned out as his country lost to Argentina in the final and he didn’t come off the bench.

Elsewhere, we’ve seen Kalvin Phillips criticised by Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola after returning from the World Cup overweight, so perhaps a little rustiness from Saliba isn’t the worst thing in the world.

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Arsenal are top at Christmas but when was the last time they won the league title from this position?