By Nnamdi Onyeagwara

14th Aug, 2022 | 4:52pm

Mikel Arteta hails Arsenal fans for reaction to William Saliba own goal v Leicester

Mikel Arteta has praised Arsenal fans for their outstanding reaction to William Saliba’s own goal during their victory over Leicester.

The Gunners were fantastic on the day however in the 55th minute the 21-year-old defender, who had the dangerous Jamie Vardy lurking behind him, unfortunately, headed the ball past his goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale and into his own net.

However, the Arsenal home support got behind the youngster and he was met with a rousing round of applause and shouts of encouragement from the home fans.

This did not go unnoticed by his manager who said, as quoted by the Mirror: “I think the crowd was special, especially after Saliba’s own goal.

“The way they reacted was something I’ve never seen in football; the amount of support and connection they are showing with us, and especially with William, lifted the team straight away.

“I have to thank them so much for that.”

Positive Atmosphere

The fantastic response from the Emirates crowd is a result of the positive atmosphere that has been circulating the club in recent times.

After an improved season last year and a hugely successful transfer window thus far, the club seemed to be engulfed in optimism and excitement.

The youthful exuberance of young stars like Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli, Emile Smith-Rowe and Martin Odegaard has now been uplifted with star power from the likes of Gabriel Martinelli and Oleksandr Zinchencho.

The positive results, change of mentality and excitement has seeped through to the fans who would not have reacted like this in years go by when things were dark and the future was bleak.

Now, the fans are completely on board with this rebuild and the Arsenal project seems to be on the right track as of now.

Saliba, who recently put in a man-of-the-match performance against Crystal Palace in the season opener, is another one of the young stars the Gunners have in their ranks and the crowds reaction will do him a world of good.

In other Arsenal news, a scouting expert has predicted that Martinelli will have a breakthrough season this year.