Rio Ferdinand “loved” seeing Arsenal centre-back Gabriel taunt Ivan Toney on Twitter after the Gunners exacted Premier League revenge on Brentford last Sunday.
Mikel Arteta’s side cruised to a 3-0 victory at the Gtech Community Stadium and it took a matter of minutes after the final whistle before Gabriel opened up his social media account. He wrote, “Nice kick about with the boys,” in what was a clear reference to Toney’s tweet using the same words from 13 months earlier, following the Bees’ 2-0 opening-day win over Arsenal.
The Brentford striker has described Gabriel’s actions as “a bit cringey” and confessed he “wanted to nibble”. He also admitted the Gunners “played very well”, proving there is no serious bad blood between the newly-called-up England international and the North London club.
Ferdinand is the newest bystander to provide his opinion on the joking rivalry between Toney and Arsenal, which has created quite a commotion. The former Manchester United player said he is a major fan of Gabriel’s reaction and insisted that no matter what punishment he received, he would have posted the same kind of tweets while he was playing.
“Do you know what? I loved Gabriel’s tweet. I loved that banter,” Ferdinand told his VIBE YouTube channel. “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.”
Although he is embroiled in a light-hearted war of words with Arsenal, Toney is focussed on seizing his chance in the England set-up against Italy and Germany in the Nations League on Friday and Monday respectively, with the World Cup in Qatar less than two months away.
“I was running a bit late so thought he was calling about my timekeeping. Then he said: ‘I have the privilege to say you have been called up to the England senior squad.’ For once in my life I had nothing to say, I was just thinking: ‘Wow I am actually going to play with the England team.’
“It took me a while to register and I was just answering the gaffer’s questions. Then I came off the phone and rang my parents. We have a family group chat. I broke the news and they were just screaming for 20 minutes. Everyone going crazy. It was a massive moment for my whole family.”