Football News

“I love to see it” – Rio Ferdinand defends Gabriel tweet after Arsenal beat Brentford but Ivan Toney finds it a bit cringy

By Harry Edwards

Published: 9:33, 21 September 2022

Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has admitted he loved Gabriel’s tweet after Arsenal beat Brentford in the Premier League at the weekend.

The Gunners went into the international break top of the league with six wins from their opening seven games, losing only to Manchester United at the start of September. But Mikel Arteta’s side bounced back from that defeat to beat Brentford 3-0 at the Brentford Community Stadium, completely dominating their London rivals.

It was a complete contrast to Arsenal’s last visit to Brentford on the opening day of the 2021/22 Premier League season. Then, on Brentford’s return to the top-flight, the Bees blew Arsenal away with a 2-0 victory thanks to goals from Sergi Canos and Christian Norgaard.

After that match, Brentford striker Ivan Toney tweeted: “Nice kick about with the boys,” celebrating the victory after the Bees were given very little chance of beating Arsenal.

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Although Toney didn’t score in that game, the Englishman picked up the Player of the Match award and was praised for his performance, but Arsenal fans (and players it seems) were awaiting their revenge.

Fast forward to September 2022 and Arsenal’s return to the Brentford Community Stadium saw them dominate the match and come away deserved 3-0 winners with William Saliba, Gabriel Jesus and Fabio Vieira scoring. And while Arsenal had already beaten Brentford at the Emirates last season, this was the revenge match.

“Nice kick about with the boys,” Arsenal defender Gabriel tweeted in celebration after the victory, a tongue-in-cheek response to Toney’s tweet that had been 13 months in the making.

The tweet brought mixed reactions on Twitter with Arsenal fans naturally loving it and others praising the humour, but some called Gabriel out for the pettiness, going as far as saying it lacked class given the gulf between the two sides.

Ferdinand has firmly on Gabriel’s side, claiming he would have done the same if he was still playing.

“Do you know what? I loved Gabriel’s tweet. I loved that banter,” he said on his YouTube show.

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“Toney hammered them last season with his tweet, now it’s Arsenal’s turn. It was lovely, I love to see it.

“If I was playing, that’s what I’d be doing all the time. I would be smoking people on Twitter before the game. I’d take the fines, I would.”

Toney also offered his reaction to the tweet, technically being the subject of Gabriel’s jibe, admitting he did want to nibble and reply.

“I think once was funny, second time a bit cringy but I bit my tongue, I wanted to reply, I wanted to nibble but fair play to them they played very well,” Toney told reporters.

“They are a different Arsenal side to what we played before and they played very well, fair play to them, they are doing well.”

But Toney will have put that to one side now as he enjoys his first England call up, looking to feature against either Italy or Germany in the international break and stake his claim for a spot in Gareth Southgate’s World Cup squad.