Mikel Arteta defends Arsenal players after Claudio Ranieri accusation
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Arsenal legend Ian Wright has singled out three Gunners players who have been influential in the change of fortunes for Mikel Arteta. Arsenal are unbeaten in their last 10 matches in all competitions. They have conceded just four goals in that time, keeping seven clean sheets.
Arteta has been able to call upon his first-choice centre-back pairing for the majority of those matches.
Summer signing Ben White overcame illness and Gabriel returned from a knee injury which caused him to miss the start of the season.
The duo have provided a strong platform at the back, with goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale impressing behind them.
Wright has been particularly surprised with the impact Ramsdale has made, both with his performances but also his character.
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“I think they must be even more surprised with what he brings to that dressing room,” he said on the Kelly and Wrighty Show.
“You can see it when he’s playing. What you do see is how the players just continually come round him.
“He’s a rallier and it’s something that Arsenal have needed.
“People constantly talked about Arsenal when it wasn’t going well [that there was] no leaders, no characters in the dressing room.
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“They are a very introverted kind of group of players and he seems to be bringing out the best in those players.”
But Wright was quick to point out how good White and Gabriel have been at the back.
He says the duo have got it all in terms of what is needed for a modern-day centre-back.
Wright added: “I love the fact even with Benjamin White when he’s coming out and he said: ‘I don’t watch much football, I just play football’.
“I love the fact that he’s brave enough and strong enough to admit that because he can deal with what comes with that.
“But when you look at his performances next to Gabriel, it’s very solid with the goalkeeper. It’s a very good team, those three are very solid.
“They’re footballing centre-halves – into Thomas Partey, into Sambi Lokonga.
“Now Arsenal are looking like, with the structure and the way the team is playing, you can see if it has to go long they’ll do that, but if a defender has to run it into the midfield and then go from there, we saw Ben White setting up Emile Smith Rowe’s goal the other day.
“So we’re looking at a team now with a lot of confidence.”
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