Gabriel: Dreams can come true…but they didn’t at Arsenal

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Gabriel says he took an unfair share of the blame for Arsenal’s defensive troubles during his 18 months at the club and believes he should have been given more time to prove himself in the Premier League.

For most of the summer, it looked as though the Gunners would cash in on Calum Chambers and Shkodran Mustafi as Arsene Wenger tried to slim down his squad. In the end, it was the Brazilian who made way, signing a five year deal with Valencia for a fee in the region of £10 million.

The 27-year-old has been a regular starter since moving to the Mestalla and seems to be taking to his new surroundings with aplomb, however, he admits his premature exit from the Emirates has left a sour taste in his mouth.

“I deserved more of an opportunity,” Gabriel told Sky Sports. “Sometimes I played because my team-mates were injured. I did play and sometimes even after playing well, I’d go home sad, given that I was only playing because my team-mate was injured. I don’t think I deserved that.

“I think I had the ability to play and to start games because I deserved to do so, or because I did well in training, but that didn’t happen.

“Sometimes I’d play three or four games and if Arsenal lost, I’d be dropped and everyone on the outside would say, “It’s Gabriel’s fault.

“That wasn’t good for me. People thought, ‘When that guy plays, Arsenal always lose.’ When [Hector] Bellerin got injured, I played at right-back and Arsenal started to lose.

“I think I played in four or five games en route to the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City and I played brilliantly in that game. I played really well and I received plenty of praise. Then I think we faced Tottenham away and lost, I gave away a penalty in that game and lost my place in the team. I didn’t play again.

“I played in the last Premier League game because everyone was injured, all the centre-backs were out…I was quite down about how it went because of these reasons and it didn’t sit well with me.”

It’s always sad when a player’s ‘Dreams’ are ‘Out Of Reach’ but there’s no point asking ‘Should I Stay’ or ‘Give Me A Little More Time’ you ‘Don’t Need The Sun To Shine’ Gabriel, you’ll ‘Rise’ again. Probably.

Coat being got. Don’t worry.

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70 Comments on "Gabriel: Dreams can come true…but they didn’t at Arsenal"

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Assshavin

Really feel bad for him. He’s a decent player, but will probably only be remembered for what he did for Arsenal. It didnt help him either that whenever he got into the team, it was when the team was performing poorly (not because of him, hes a cb ffs). Maybe he lacked the brain to play the role that was asked of him. Cant really tell. But what i do know is that he was quick and had a decent height. So some talent was definitely there. Integration into the team didnt seem that good either.

Assshavin

Also some of the fans are just vile. The way some people talked about him after he allegedly injured Wilshere in training. Really crazy how some people just loose all sense of decency when they are behind a screen.

Pedant

W*nker.

OMG you are right!

Sorry that was totally uncalled for.

Olivier Girouds left testicle
Olivier Girouds left testicle

Well, I found this funny even if no one else did.

punter

Well, I remember him for falling to one of those cheap tricks by Costa vs Chelsea. Disaster waiting to happen on a football pitch. But he did show passion..and Wenger is not the kind of manager who actually makes one into a better defender, good decision overall to leave.

Godfrey Twatsloch

All he did was stand his ground against one of the biggest cheats in the entire game. The one to blame for that joke of a sending off (apart from Costa) was the shit ref to end all shit refs, the one and only Mike Dean.

Kafkush

True. And wasn’t the card rescinded?

Twatsloch

I think it stood but with the addition of that utter cunt Costa also getting a retrospective match ban.

Merlin\'s Panini

Nah, what happened was the card was rescinded and three match ban cleared but he was retrospectively banned for one game for refusing to leave the field immediately… for a sending off that shouldn’t have counted.
So basically he was punished by the idiots at the FA for being right…

Godfrey Twatsloch

I remember that now. At least Costa got himself a belated slap.

Although I don’t remember Mike Dean being reprimanded but you’d think words were had behind the scenes. Was it about a year later he was dropped to officiate a few Championship games for having been shit beyond words? Not saying he’s any good now but he seems to have wound his neck in considerably since then.

Martin

Yes it’s a pity that Aw didn’t make players such as Koscielny or Toure into better defenders.

HFB

lets not forget the role that odious former captain of ours played in that unfortunate episode.

Reality check

Valencia doing so well in La Liga shows Gabriel wasn’t all that bad. He had quality and crucially: character, he was 10/10 against city in the FA cup semi final. He was unfortunately a victim of misdirected frustration both by fans and the manager.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia
Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Wenger likes: Cech, Bellerin, Kos, Ramsey, Ozil, Welbeck and respects Sanchez and Giroud. That’s it. All others can be dropped or sold.

Dennis

U forgot Feo?

Teryima Adi

Spot on, Bro. Those are obviously his favourites.

Merlin\'s Panini

I’d probably put Monreal in there too. You don’t play someone out of their normal position like that if you don’t like them. Granted, Monreal has been superb at centre back since he’s been playing there.

Ozenal

Definitely had quality but didn’t fit into our playing style. Why did we sign a player who can’t play a simple wall pass?

Arun

During his initial days always thought he was going to make it here. Unfortunately didnt work out for him. It is tough for a defender at The Arsenal now a days plus he almost always injured when he started to look good.

ASHISH CHANDRA

Gabriel cannot pass the ball, and Arsenal cannot afford a defender who cannot pass. Mustafi is a worse defender, but his passing ability means that he plays…

Xhakalaca

Mustafi is better. Do you even watch games?

David

I can pass a ball. Can I play?

Gooneron

Throw a rock

Xhakalaca

Gabriel is a good defender but the language must have done bad to him.

Martin

MUstafi wouldn’t be a regular for Germany if he was a bad defender. He is now fulfilling his potential at Arsenal just as I think Gabriel would have done if he hadn’t been sold

Mootilated

It’s almost as if giving a player consistent game time will improve their ability to gel with their new team-mates. Who would’ve thought?

Poe

Don’t feel bad Gabriel.. Arsenal has a way of making even the best CB’s look like crap. You have to be absolutely phenomenal to succeed here but you will be fondly remembered by me for at least trying.

Martin

Yes Campbell, Koscielny, Toure, Vermaelen to name a few really looked like crap

Merlin\'s Panini

I would probably leave Vermaelen out of that group. He was good for the most part but went downhill from the moment he assisted the skunk in that game against Man Ure with one of the worst attempted clearances I’ve ever seen.

Trez

Gabriel’s main problem was on the ball. Defensively, he was better than Chambers, Holding and Mustafi. Keown said he was our second best pure defender after Kos. Him not speaking English properly didn’t help as well. Wish him all the best.
He’ll probably go on to be a great defender in a more comfortable environment

SantiSandler

I always enjoyed his tenacious defending but he never got a long enough run in the team. He just needs to close the book on his Arsenal days and show what he’s got at Valencia. I think he’s got a decent chance to make it to the World Cup.

Sam

“I think he’s got a decent chance to make it to the World Cup.”

That would be a fantastic reward for his tenacity. I, too, enjoyed him very much. I was so skeptical when he arrived but he proved a perfectly capable defender. Wish him much success.

Trossinho

Had the physical attributes, not the mental ones a top defender needs in the PL, in Spain it’s less physical, you have more time to react. Was far too reckless. Potentially if he didn’t also have constant injury interruptions he would have performed much more consistently and shown he can make the right decisions

Mother

A decent defender but couldn’t quite handle the Premier League. The game that really sticks out for me was against West Ham @ Boleyn, where Andy Carroll absolutely dominated Gabriel just simply by being stronger. The language barrier probably didn’t help him during his time at Arsenal either…

He’s back in Spain now, where CBs can just throw themselves to the floor to win a free-kick when pressed, but good luck to him. Never seemed to moan when he wasn’t playing and celebrated goals / victories like a mad man!

Trossinh

The language is also a problem, my wife is Brazilian and I learnt basic Portuguese in 6 months just chatting to locals. English is firstly endlessly easier, especially with an intensive language course he would have had.

Arreta said it best, players need to learn the languages of their league, its a sign of profesionalism and necessary to integrate on and off the pitch.

Nordic Goon

English easier to learn than Portuguese, yeah well, maybe if you’re born in….England. No wonder you’re leaving Europe!

Vernazza

It’s not the language FFS! I don’t know what it is, but its not the language.

Mootilated

It’s because English is a Universal language so the majority of the world already knows the basics and construct a sentence.
From scratch, with never hearing the language before, English is one of the hardest languages to learn.

Vernazza

English is as tough as any unknown language one is confronted with. I’d like to think that the football not the English is universal.

William Brooks

Feel bit bad as well, wasn’t the worst centre back ,but something didn’t feel quite right with him back there. Seems to be doing well at Valencia so good luck to him.

Diarra

He wasn’t bad but he wasn’t as good as Mustafi and Koscielny during that time period tbf. Could have been useful to have around as a solid squad player but can understand that he wanted to play regurlarly.

Chippy87

He made that thug Costa angry, so a legend in my eyes.

Godfrey Twatsloch

Not much of an achievement. Costa wakes up and the second he remembers who he is he’s angry. If I was him, so would I.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

More to th point, he ultimately made Costa sad 🙂

antgoon

I feel the same way about Chamakh. It use to pissed me off when people talked about how bad he was without considering the circumstances he played in. I felt like he contributed well with the chances he was given. Same way with Gabriel but he should given more chance to adapt.

Adriano

Chamakh couldn’t turn is head at the neck though.

ramgooner

Knowing Gabriel I’m not sure if he actually meant all of this. Last time I saw him he was celebrating at Wembely and looked happier than most players.
Although I like gabby I don’t think he did enough to start games for us. We know Wenger likes to start the same CB pairing when the team is in one of those unbeaten runs. Gabby has always been on and off.

I will remember Gabby for the shit show against United when he made rashford look like Neymar and I think we lost the league to Leicester that day. It was a bit like Gallas vs Birmingham that day for me. I was so angry. Knowing his quality I expected more from him on that day.
Anyways, I hope Gabby took Lukaku to Spain in his pocket. I’ll be greatful for that this weekend.

Jimbo Jones

Knowing Gabriel. Not sure he means what he says.

You mean to say you know his mind better than him?….Could you expand?

David Hillier\'s luggage
David Hillier\'s luggage

Journalism?

Gabe

The defensive setup at Arsenal wasn’t just right for him. He’s doing absolutely great in Valencia now, I’m sure it’s not because he suddenly learnt new defensive skills or that the Premier league is tougher. It’s just that Valencia has a very good defense and attack balance with a high level of discipline expected from the players.

Arsenal has never being known (post invicibles) to have a good defensive setup, it’ll take a hugely talented defender to stand out in Arsenal.

Lord Bendnter

For me, it’s the manager, and perhaps also our defensive coaching staff. Let’s be real, we aren’t the best at producing and improving defensive talents. Our defenders either have to be individual characters who can take on games head on or we have to work with them and slowly and patiently they may or may not improve drastically.
Gabriel was playing in a team that seems like didn’t really focus much of the defensive side of the game. At least thats what it looked like.
Put him in a Valencia side and he is involved in a draw with Barcelona. Gabriel is probably a team player, individually not that good, but alongside other well drilled defenders as well, he is a good defender.
If you watched the Barca game, you would know what I mean. Barca attackers were playing with quick movement, good runs into the Valencia half and quick one twos, and yet, Gabriel and co. kept them at Bay (mostly).
For me, I don’t expect much from our defensive side of the game unless our manager is changed.

Martin

Cole,Bellerin,Lauren,Toure,Koscielny,Vermaelen,Sagna, to name a few of the the defenders we developed or improved

Joel Carter

I always rated him. Very aggressive and committed. Must have been something about him that Arsene didn’t like. Maybe his inability to speak English? I’m just guessing…

Hopefully he can win La Liga with Valencia.

Bilko

That last paragraph is your best writing yet

QMantis

Good luck to the lad, he spent a lot of his time when he did get a game not playing in his fave position but he always tried and didn’t complain. Centre half’s seam to need a bit more time to adjust and make good on there talent in the premier league. I hope our other young defenders get a good chance to succeed and get the support of the fans as they learn there trade.

Thaatarsenalguy

Excellent title , but missed opportunity to photoshop an eyepatch

Post January Blip
mo974

Gaby you have a better coach in Marcelino( in terms of discipline ) so there is no reason to be sad.Second in la liga , you were brilliant against Messi and Co yesterday so you are not that bad.

Iain

ahaha love the Gabrielle references. Didn’t she wear a sparkly eyepatch?

Re our Gabriel, nice guy, tried hard, didn’t quite get the opportunities he wanted, I hope he has a good career.

Kafkush

I don’t care what people say, I thought Gabriel was a hard as nails defender. He never got a proper run, and when at left or right back, I saw him get into good positions but our attacks seemed a little too pre-programmed. He eventually seemed to lose confidence and became tentative in his passing.
Like Tim Stillman, I thought we had signed a thunderous defender. Sadly it did not work out. I will remember him for totally not knowing about Halloween and his raw emotions after that tragic plane accident in Brazil.

Ivan Parasite

Come on Gabriel. It is Arsenal of course you need to compete with top defenders for first team action. Of course a good defender like u can earn a spot at Valencia. Same like other players, can move somewhere else if they cant wait for first team action. Just dont hit out at your previous employer because you are not able to.convince the manager. He paid u hunderds of thousands if not millions during your sour taste stay.

Ozenal

Really good defender. But our play is based on quick passing. Why did we sign him unless we were going to put in Sam Allardyce as manager?

Bit of a ‘data analytics’ or moneyball signing? This has all the hallmarks of the Liverpool transfer committee pre-klopp..

Winterburn Wanderers

Good player

Ross

Maybe it’s harsh but ultimately he isn’t good enough. Sad that he feels burned by his time here where he did make a contribution to a winning cup run but ultimately his technical level and intelligence are not good enough for a champs league team. Let’s not use this as just another reason to slag off the club and manager. Also he was here plenty long enough to pick up the language and never did sufficiently.

However my strongest memory of him was his interview after the Chapecoense disaster which was truly heartbreaking. Seemed a decent guy and his hate for costa should be applauded, best of luck in the future.

Okechukwu Jude

I feel sad for him because I felt he was a decent back up to have on the bench. That being said, since our switch to 3 at the back, we have had less slots to compete for with more defenders vying for positions and also a need to trim squad numbers and even the wage bill in the transfer market. A decision had to be made and it just so happened that the club found him expendable. Absolutely nothing wrong with that, its just the way football is. He is better of playing regularly at Valencia as opposed to sitting on the bench at arsenal. No need keeping a disgruntled player and affecting team morale IMO. We have two young defenders in Rob and Chambers, English to the core with alot of promise. It worked out well for all parties.

Jamie

Shocked and appalled that I seemingly know so many Gabrielle songs.

aelan

true. Gabriel was decent but probably dropped and always on the receiving end cause he’s not English

Teryima Adi

I am sure Diego Costa will never forget you, and we, too, will never forget you, Gabriel. Thanks for the time you put in.

ChrisGoona

You know you gotta have hope,
You know you gotta be strong

Merlin\'s Panini

Given how well Valencia are doing it looks like he’s really starting to fulfill his potential. It’s a shame it didn’t work out for him with us. He was a decent defender – just prone to the odd moment of madness, usually in the form of a miscued clearance heading towards his own goal. Still, he looked like he was coming into good form towards the end of last season and the £10 million fee was very cheap in my opinion.