It was typical of the bad luck that seems to hang around Arsenal Football Club like the bitter sense of jealousy hangs around White Hart Lane, that right before a difficult and crucial game we lost both of our first choice centre backs.
That, I suppose, is why a big club needs to have a big squad with strength in depth and why Arsene Wenger felt the need to sign Gabriel and Calum Chambers in the first place. But they have hardly played, never mind together, and that was painfully obvious at the Emirates last night, especially in that car crash of a first half.
However, we have seen both of the second choice centre backs play well before and I am sure that they are good players. The problem was being thrust into action together and that is why I think it is clear that Wenger needs to rotate his central defence more often.
The next time we have a crisis and need to call on Gabriel, Chambers, or both, they should be ready to play and more confident and that will only happen with time on the pitch. So maybe Gabriel should stay in the team alongside Mertesacker at the weekend. Then perhaps Chambers and Koscielny should get a game together, obviously not one of the really tough looking fixtures, but we need to prepare our reserves to be ready to fill in when needed, because there will come a time when we have to call on them and be able to rely on them.
How can that happen if they never get off the bench?