Arsenal legend Emmanuel Petit has raised questions about the mindset of Ben White after the English defender’s mysterious exit from the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
White, 25, headed home from England’s camp in Al Wakrah, Qatar, just before their 3-0 win over Wales in their final group game. Neither Arsenal nor the Three Lions or White has revealed the reasons for his departure, leaving Petit bemused.
He told Mega Casino:
“Ben White … What happened to him was really weird. He left the national team because he had an argument with someone? Come on, it’s a World Cup!”
Reports suggested that White had fallen out with assistant coach Steve Holland. However, England boss Gareth Southgate didn’t want to give those rumours any credibility.
Petit reckons the situation must be serious given that it happened at a FIFA World Cup while representing his country:
“This is a once in a lifetime event. If something happened, it must have been very serious for him to leave. We all know what it means to wear the national shirt.”
The Frenchman then wondered about White’s state of mind:
“How will his state of mind be?” Will he be the same player after he took the big decision to leave the England squad? Will he get a nasty reception when he plays in away stadiums?”
Petit concluded by claiming that the events that transpired were unprecedented:
“This is unprecedented in the history of football, and I have no idea what will happen when the teams go back.”
Ben White’s message to Arsenal fans #AFC
White made no appearance for the Three Lions during the World Cup. He was part of the England squad that finished runners-up at the European Championships in 2021. The Gunners defender has earned four international caps.
David Beckham on England’s FIFA World Cup campaign
Former Three Lions captain Beckham was full of praise for Bukayo Saka and Jude Bellingham following their impressive FIFA World Cup campaign.
Beckham termed the duo as quality and spoke of his excitement for England’s future. He told Beanymansports:
“We have got players who have been part of this team now for many years. You look at the quality of Bukayo Saka and then you look at the quality of Jude Bellingham and the players that we have coming through in our country.”
England’s ages at the next World Cup:
🏴 Bukayo Saka (25)
🏴 Mason Mount (27)
🏴 Trent Alexander-Arnold (28)
🏴 Declan Rice (27)
🏴 Marcus Rashford (29)
🏴 Ben White (29)
🏴 Jude Bellingham (23)
🏴 Phil Foden (26)
Ready to hit their prime
England were knocked out in the quarterfinals after a 2-1 defeat to eventual runners-up France. Nevertheless, Beckham believes that the side’s experience gained in the tournament would augur well for the future:
“I think it’s a real positive. These tournaments whether you win them or get knocked out early, it’s always an experience that you can take on to the next game or the next tournament.”
The Three Lions had reached the semis at the FIFA World Cup four years ago but failed to emulate that in Qatar.
To read more news, click here.