Carragher lauds Arteta for ‘exposing nonsense misconception’; claims duo have ‘elevated’ Arsenal

Carragher praises Saliba Credit: PA Images
Carragher praises Saliba Credit: PA Images

Jamie Carragher has praised Mikel Arteta and Arsenal as he has compared them to Liverpool ahead of this weekend’s Premier League game at the Emirates.

The Gunners have enjoyed an excellent start to the new campaign. They sit top of the Premier League ahead of this weekend’s game against Liverpool.

Arsenal have won nine of their ten games across all competitions this term and their only defeat came against Man Utd at Old Trafford.

They will no doubt be looking to make a statement when they face Jurgen Klopp’s side, who have struggled so far this term.

The Londoners have moved to another level this season, with William Saliba one player who has taken the Premier League by storm.

The centre-back returned to Arsenal in the summer after a stellar loan spell at Marseille.

Carragher thinks it is too soon to compare Saliba to Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk, but he and Gabriel Jesus have been able to “elevate” Arsenal this term.

Arteta’s side finished fifth in 2021/22 but they now look likely to earn a place in the Champions League.

It was often suggested that Arsenal were “years behind” the likes of Liverpool and Man City.

But Carragher thinks this is “nonsense” and he has praised Arteta for “exposing” this “common misconception” so far this season.

“Like Liverpool under Klopp, Arteta has exposed a common misconception – that a big club languishing outside the Champions League places is ‘years behind’ its rivals,” Carragher wrote for The Telegraph.

“Whenever I hear that argument – whether it is aimed at Arsenal over the last few years, or Manchester United after a heavy defeat by Manchester City last weekend – I always think it is nonsense.

“It has been regularly shown that a side needs just two or three high-class additions to take them to the next level, and the biggest clubs have the resources to find game-changers who can inspire a revival.

“For Liverpool, those signings were Virgil van Dijk in January 2018 and Alisson Becker six months later.

“At Arsenal, the integration of William Saliba and signing of Gabriel Jesus have elevated the team’s performances to a point where they look like a top-four team again.

“Saliba is a modern centre-back in the Van Dijk mould. He is fast enough to deal with the quickest strikers, aerially strong to cope with target men, and comfortable in possession to ensure his side can play from the back.

“Yes, these are early days and Saliba has a long way to go to match Van Dijk’s long-term influence at Liverpool, but he has had an immediate impact on how structurally sound a previously flaky defence looks.”

READ MORE: Big Weekend – Arsenal v Liverpool, Casemiro, Tottenham, Cooper, Der Klassiker


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