When you think of great Arsenal centre-backs, Tony Adams and Steve Bould invariably spring to mind.
Real warriors who would put in a shift in the trenches during every single game.
After paying £50m to Brighton and Hove Albion (per Sky Sports) for Ben White’s services, a reasonably hefty sum for a defender even at today’s prices, it wouldn’t be unfair to think that the Gunners believed that they might be getting an exponent in the Adams mould.
Whether White will come good is an unknown at this juncture, however, his initial form for the north Londoners has been poor, as just two headed clearances in his five games so far, per WhoScored, will attest.
A pass success rate of 84.7 percent isn’t too shabby and evidences a reasonably decent ball-playing centre-back – something all teams should be crying out for in the modern game – though it would seem the jury is still out on him.
In a recent interview with Sky Sports, White bizarrely admitted that Arsenal “didn’t feel like a big club when I came here,” and perhaps that conditioned his mindset as he looked to adapt to a completely new way of working under Mikel Arteta.
It’s an odd remark to make when you consider that the Gunners are one of the most storied clubs in the English top-flight, even if replicating their former glories can only be considered a pipe dream at present.
Getting the mental aspect of the game right is arguably as important as the physical endeavours for White, so the sooner he realises the magnitude of the club and his responsibilities, the better.