Report claims Man City star ‘inflamed’ White, Holland conflict as ‘real truth’ on England snub emerges

Lewis Oldham
Ben White alongside an England badge with a crack running down the middle
Ben White opted to reject an England call-up.

Arsenal star Ben White reportedly ‘felt disrespected’ by England assistant boss Steve Holland while a Manchester City player ‘inflamed’ their conflict.

The Gunners paid around £50m to sign White from Brighton in 2021 and he has proven to be a sensational signing.

England rejection…

White was initially signed as a centre-back but he has successfully transitioned into a right-back and he has been in fine form this season.

Gareth Southgate felt the 26-year-old was deserving of an England call-up for the March international break but the defender decided against heading on international duty.

The Arsenal star has not featured for England since he was sent home early from the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Southgate has remained tight-lipped on the reasoning for this decision but subsequent reports claimed White had a bust-up with assistant boss Holland.

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A recent report from The Athletic claimed Holland’s issues with White started as the Arsenal defender ‘found it difficult being out of the side’.

A detailed report from Sami Mokbel of The Daily Mail has now revealed the ‘real truth’ about the White situation.

It is claimed that before the 2022 World Cup, Southgate and his staff were aware that White may struggle to settle as part of the England squad.

An insider said: ‘It was a concern, but it wasn’t enough of a concern to preclude his selection. But it was clear he wasn’t enjoying it’.

Regarding Holland and how he deals with players, a ‘well-placed source’ added: ‘Steve gels well with some players, others he doesn’t.

‘Steve doesn’t necessarily see his role to be friends with the players. In terms of relationship building, that is more Gareth’s responsibility.’

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White ‘felt disrespected…’

According to ‘multiple’ of The Daily Mail‘s ‘sources’, the ‘root of the issue is a verbal confrontation during a squad meeting at the team’s Al Wakrah base in Qatar’. The report explains.

‘Multiple sources have expressed contrasting reflections, amid claims the root of the issue is a verbal confrontation during a squad meeting at the team’s Al Wakrah base in Qatar during which White could not provide the answer to a question from Holland with regards to Arsenal’s season.

‘Verbals ensued, inflamed by the fact Kyle Walker was asked the same question with regards to Manchester City and answered immediately.

‘According to sources, the fact the incident transpired in front of the squad resulted in White feeling disrespected and on November 30 he flew home.’

It is also noted that ‘White considers the chapter closed and would prefer people to respect his decision’ so there ‘appears little hope of a reconciliation during the Southgate/Holland reign’.

A source added: ‘His relationship with Steve was a part of it, but there are other layers to it.’