Ben White finally breaks silence on the critics he received after horrible performance against Brentford at the beginning of the season

Ben White has spoken about the criticism he received from Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher following Arsenal’s defeat to Brentford back in August.

The Gunners endured a difficult start to their campaign, losing 2-0 to Thomas Frank’s side during their Premier League opener. It was White’s debut for the north London outfit after signing for a reported £50million just a few weeks earlier.

The England international received considerable criticism from Manchester United legend Neville, who argued that physical opposition strikers could target him whilst Liverpool hero Carragher doubted whether or not the 24-year-old could compensate for his so-called poor aerial ability. Now, the Arsenal centre-back has delivered his thoughts on the criticism he faced, admitting that it helps give him an incentive to prove his doubters wrong.

Speaking to The Independent, he said: “The start of the season was tough. We had the first game and it wasn’t ideal for me, I didn’t play very well and then I got Covid so I was out for another two games. It was hard to get started.”

When asked about Carragher and Neville’s comments, he added: “I saw it. I think it was the first time I’ve actually been singled out [for criticism].

“It’s never a nice feeling, it is not very good, but it just gives me more incentive to go out there and do well. Obviously, you have to look at it and see what they’ve said and some of the stuff they said was true that game.

“It wasn’t my best. I think if I thought about it too much or kept listening to it back all the time it would only affect me, so I think I’d rather just leave it and move on and try to do better.”

The former Brighton star has since established himself as one of the Premier League’s most consistent centre-backs, registering a whopping 13 clean sheets in his next 25 league outings – forming an excellent partnership with Brazilian centre-back Gabriel Magalhaes in the heart of Mikel Arteta’s defence.