The 26-year-old described Brentford’s 2-0 win over Arsenal on the opening day of last season as a “nice kickabout with the boys” on Twitter.
The recent Amazon All or Nothing documentary on Arsenal revealed that boss Mikel Arteta showed that tweet to his players to inspire them before the reverse fixture in February, a game they won 2-1.
And following Arsenal’s 3-0 win at the Gtech Community Stadium on Sunday — a match which ended with the away supporters chanting “Ivan Toney, a stroll in the park” — defender Gabriel mimicked Toney with the same tweet as his original.
Asked what he made of the situation when speaking at St George’s Park on Tuesday afternoon, Toney said: “I think once was funny, the second time was a bit cringey!
“Nah, listen, I bit my tongue. I wanted to reply, I wanted to nibble, but fair play they played very well. They are a different Arsenal side from what we played before. They are going very well so fair play to them. They are going well.”
Toney was last week called up to the England senior squad for the first time after scoring five goals so far this season including a hat trick in Brentford’s 5-2 win over Leeds United earlier this month.
The 26-year-old had struggled to make an impact at the highest level as his career at Newcastle United, who he joined in 2015, stalled through loan spells at Barnsley, Shrewsbury, Scunthorpe and Wigan before joining Peterborough in 2018.
However, the striker signed for Brentford in a deal worth £5 million in September 2020 and he has not looked back, scoring 48 league goals in 85 appearances to date.
“I never doubted [I’d get an England call-up],” he said. “I feel like I had full confidence in myself. You have just got to keep working hard and it just makes it that much sweeter when you do get the chance. I never played for any of the other age groups so going straight to the senior squad is a big achievement.
“I was actually driving to training [when I found out]. The Brentford gaffer [Thomas Frank] called me and I was running a bit late so I was thinking he was calling me about my timekeeping.
“He just said ‘I have the privileged to tell you you’ve been called up for the England senior squad.’
“For once in my life, I had nothing to say. I was driving and, not zoned out as that wouldn’t have been the best thing to do, [but] I was just driving to training thinking ‘wow, I’m actually going to play with the England senior squad.’
“It didn’t really register. I was answering the gaffer’s questions, he said ‘how do you feel.’ And I was like ‘good.’ It still hasn’t sunk in. but when I came off the phone, I rang my parents straight away. We have a family group chat. I video called everybody, broke the news and there was screaming for about 20 minutes.”