Wenger: Gabriel gaining confidence

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Arsene Wenger says that Gabriel is benefiting from playing more regularly, having started three games in succession for the first time since October.

A then four game run was interrupted by his Stamford Bridge red card, and the Arsenal manager reverted to his preferred partnership of Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker. Ironically, it was the BFG’s red card against the same opposition that opened the door for the Brazilian once more, and he’s started every game since.

He’s performed quite well overall, but has had some iffy moments, but Wenger believes he’s gaining from playing more often.

“Gabriel has done well,” he said. “He has performed well and overall I think the confidence comes with games, which is interesting.”

Whether that’s a hint that he’s willing to stick with the 25 year old ahead of Mertesacker remains to be seen, but many tip him to play next weekend against Leicester to help cope with the pace of the league leaders’ attack.

There was praise too from Laurent Koscielny who spoke about his partner’s willingness to get involved.

“You know Gabby, he is a very good player,” he told the official site. “He likes his duels and he can play with the ball and passes.

“He played very well but the whole back four played well because we stayed together.”

Anyway, whatever happens, it’s interesting that we have options now in the squad, and hopefully that competition will be a positive in terms of performances.

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43 COMMENTS

  1. Gabriel’s chin looks super pointy in that picture.

    But I digress. His pace will be crucial in next Sunday’s game. It’s either stick with Gabriel and Koscielny or if Mertesacker is restored to the lineup, the back four will have to be extremely careful how high of a line they play.

    Even with Gabriel and Koscienly, they will have to be quite weary of Leicester on the counter. But I’d imagine Wenger sticks with the current back four for this game.

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  2. Seems to be some good healthy competition amongst the CBs at the moment – loved Per’s reaction to the win yesterday, celebrating on the pitch like he’d played every minute. Gabriel doing pretty well at the moment, and one would imagine he may well get the nod against Leicester with the pace they have up front. Though I feel like he’ll need to be a bit more confident and decisive on the ball, you don’t want your CBs dilly-dallying on the ball when you’re playing a team like Leicester.

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  3. A strange time to be tinkering with the team..but I do think this is for the best. As much as I like per…He’s just too slow for certain games.

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  4. This pace argument against the big German is over hyped and can easily be handled by better positioning, his send off against Costa was not about pace because Costa wasn’t fast either…but my thumbs up to either of our three central defender..

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    • His position is world class, which is what’s so great about Per.. And his reading of the game. But you can’t deny that his pace can be scary to watch as a supporter at times.

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    • I agree 100%…..overhyped!

      You just don’t achieve what he has achieved so far in his career without having adequate compensating mechanisms for what ever is perceived to be your shortcomings as a defender. why else would he have so many caps in a world cup winning squad?

      I like gabriel a lot and i believe he brings something different, from per, no doubt, to our centre half partnership, which of course gives arsene a healthy dilemma on which partnership to play for each opposition, and that imo is a good thing…..for the squad…for arsenal.

      I personally however have no worries about Per, being played against any opposition. he might not be a kos or gab in terms of pace, but this can be easily compensated by better positioning and reading of the play ahead……..i admit, sometimes he gets it wrong (usually when arsenal is under pressure for points and he is understandably over eager in pressing and keeping a high line to help the team quickly recycle the ball) but he gets it right most of the time!…..plus because of his unique height, he gives something diffferent to the team in defending set pieces as he is usually very commanding of the 18yard box when it comes to defending aerial balls. I back him a 100% to come good every time he plays, regardless of his so called “lack pace”.

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  5. Gabby is a boss. His cut-throat challenge against lakaku in his first game (I think) is legendary. Not the best looking fellow ever to wear our blessed shirt but a beast of a defender.

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      • Everyone knows that Arsenal’s powers are in the hair, not looks. No-one can even compete with the “men’s steam-room” smouldering looks of Giroud.

        Now that Gabriel has sorted out his barnet with an official Arsenal barber, he’s in the team. No coincidence.

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    • Nonsense! Anyone who pulls on a Arsenal shirt instantly becomes handsome. OK, perhaps not Costa but he’s the one exception.

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  6. Oof. Thought I needed to lay off the wormwood akavit looking at that image until I remembered photoshop. Just subtle enough to twist the brain up a bit.

    Evil blogs. Evil.
    Fun.

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  7. He reminds me of koscielny in his first couple of years at the club. If he progresses in a similar fashion, which looks very poosiblr, we’ve got another top quality gem.

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  8. I wish he and Koscielny looked a bit bulkier. I know this is just superficial and it doesn’t change the fact they’re both very good defenders and I’m just being a knob, but it bothers me that our central defenders all look really skinny like Sol Campbell would knock them flat.

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      • I guess what this really stems from, more than anything, is that I really want one of them to punch Diego Costa in the face. And if they’ve got bigger muscles, it might hurt more.

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        • Bulk or no bulk he looked more than capable of handling himself in his last skirmish with Costa. I think it was when Chelsea last played (and lost to) Leicester and every man and his dog (including their youngsters) were kicking him for laughs that I realised what a coward he is. He looked genuinely frightened. Like a bully who unexpectedly lost his back up and realised his number’s up.

          In a fight between the two my money’s on Gabriel. Costa would try every dirty trick in the book but he’d be easing pickings. Gabriel grew up on a favela and is thus hard as nails while Costa grew up a cunt.

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          • Rugby players are even bigger and have both stamina and speed. Central defence isn’t a 90+ minute sprint anyway.

            There’s no real argument as to why our players don’t carry more muscle. A lot of our opposition often look quite a bit bigger and it doesn’t hinder them especially Man city and Chelsea.

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  9. OT, but well: “Why sky should be the limit when there are footprints on the moon” (Mathieu Flamini, philosopher, Marseille, France, 1984-)

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  10. Love Merty but if Gabby can learn how to read the game as well as he does and not forget his positioning a couple of times per game he will be a better option, and possibly world class.

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  11. Gab/Per and Kos will benefit from an on form Coq, Hector and Nacho in front of them. They all need to be tip top to deal with Leicester.

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  12. It’s the goals that matter not who is playing at the back. We trashed them 2-5 on September and guess who was playing beside Kos that day?

    Score goals and we will win.

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  13. Per needs to start against Leicester. We cannot afford to concede in set pieces. Also I expect us to do well in our set pieces aswell.
    Leicester have huth, Morgan and so many players who are efficient. We need giroud and per at their best.

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    • We’re playing at home, we shouldn’t be setting up to defend against set pieces, we shouldn’t give away too many corners if we absolutely batter them with our pace and quality. They’ll only have 30% possession anyway so we need to use it well and the odd corner given away once we’re 5-0 up won’t result in too many turtle heads.

      It’s their counter attack that is their strength, we need pace to deal with Vardy, Mahrez and Albrighton.

      Can’t wait!

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  14. I honestly thought he’s been pretty shaky and more than a bit error prone, but that’s got to be somewhat accounted for by his lack of match sharpness. While I wouldn’t say he is a better defender than Mertesacker, his pace means the team aren’t as restricted tactically to compensate for an obvious weakness and I think that can only be a good thing.

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  15. Article aside, can we talk about the picture used in the article and how ridiculously creepy and stretched out Joshua King’s (I think thats him) mouth looks!? Between that and Gabriel’s chin, this picture looks like something out of B-grade horror film!

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  16. Gabriel missed a tackle out wide which almost led to a goal but for Bellerin’s intervention, yet you don’t hear these clowns moaning at tedium about how fucking stupid that was.

    Instead Flamini gets stuck in and makes a potentially dangerous tackle that Coquelin himself is guilty of doing very frequently and you hear some people moaning on about it when Flamini did not misplace a pass all game and stayed discipline shielding the back four all game, put in a couple of crucial blocks in the box.

    All credit to Gabriel for improving but you can see the blatant double standards when it comes to Flamini.

    He is playing maybe because Coquelin isn’t fully ready for the pace of the game (He misplaced a couple of passes when coming on and lost the ball but again you don’t hear some people bleating on about it)

    Ridiculous.

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