Arsene Wenger had to give our new defender Gabriel Paulista his Arsenal debut sometime, despite his lack of English-speaking skills, and it was a very brave decision to introduce the Brazilian on a day when only Laurent Koscielny was the lone survivor from the back four that faced Leicester, but Le Prof was more than pleased with his opening performance.
Wenger said after the game: “It was interesting to observe Gabriel today because he played his first game in a cup game that we absolutely had to win. He has shown three important qualities – great concentration levels, great urgency to defend and good pace, especially on the recovery tackle he made in the box.
“On the other hand, he played a little bit with the handbrake on because he did not want to make a mistake. From what I’ve seen there’s a lot to come from him because technically he is good at passing as well.”
Gabriel can only improve as his English improves and he begins to understand his team-mates style of football, so I think we can all congratulate Wenger on another astute acquisition, but we all also have to admit that Olivier Giroud is starting to look like a really top-class striker as well. His two goals were very well-taken and he looks twice as confident as he did before his enforced break through injury.
Wenger couldn’t avoid praising the French striker in his post-match conference: “I believe that he is a different player today than the guy who arrived here for two reasons. One, he understands what top-level football demands, works with a great concentration in training and he has improved tremendously on his mobility, his technical quality and of course his body is very strong. He uses it very well.”
Last year he seemed to be using his body more in his pre-game hotel training than he did on the pitch (lol) but he certainly seems to have got his act together in this campaign and seems to be scoring just as much on the pitch as he did in the hotel bedrooms! Long may this continue!
Onwards and upwards Gooners!