On the surface of it, the comments from the Arsenal defender Gabriel are all about him and his team mates, and how they react to the disappointing and damaging Champions League defeat against Olympiacos, but I think that the Brazilian is also referring to the Arsenal fans when he calls for calm ahead of the crucial Premier League clash with Manchester United.
His English might not be great but I am sure that the 24-year old is well aware of the frustration and anger of the Arsenal fans at the result on Tuesday, and also about the manner of our performance and how we shot ourselves repeatedly in the foot with some shocking individual errors and all round team play.
Gabriel fully accepts his share of the blame for what happened but he also says in a report on the Arsenal website that the worst thing the team could do would be to panic and worry too much about it, with a massive game just around the corner. He wants the team and the fans to remember that we had just won two big games against Tottenham and Leicester and to draw confidence from that rather than dwelling on the calamity of Tuesday.
The centre back said, “It was a complicated night [against Olympiacos]. We were in a good place in the first half, defending well, we were happy. But the three goals were our own fault.
“We only have ourselves to blame for conceding them and now we have to rest, work harder, and then on Sunday come back and have a good game.
“We just need to be calm. We have to work hard and focus on putting in a good performance [against Manchester United].
“I am sad that we lost an important game at home. But we can still qualify. We have a very strong team, with some very good players. We now have to try to win the remaining matches in the group.”
Personally I am more worried about the Premier League and what will happen to our title challenge if Arsenal suffer another defeat on Sunday. Would that be one hit too many for this Arsenal team to recover from?