Arsenal can only get better with Gabriel and Partey back in the team

Arsenal have now won 2 games in a row with 2 clean sheets, and it may be worth pointing out that these are the only two games that Gabriel Magalhaes has been available for selection by Arteta.

The Brazilian missed most of last season with injury after his arrival, with much fanfare, from Lille, and we were hoping that he would be the mainstay of our defence.

As Mikel Arteta said after last night’s game at Burnley, when asked how much we missed Gabriel’s presence in our first few games: “Yes but we didn’t have him, so we don’t know how much we missed him. We know that he’s a player with an incredible future and is already giving us a lot. He has adapted really well to the league. That’s why we signed him. He is stepping in, his language is much better and he can coach and communicate much better with his teammates. He understands what we want and I don’t think it gets much harder than playing here in the Premier League. He was terrific today.”

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 06: Thomas Partey of Arsenal receives medical treatment during the Premier League match between Aston Villa and Arsenal. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

We also saw Thomas Partey start his first game of the season after having had a half hour warm up against Norwich last week, and despite him suffering from lack of match fitness we saw his battling qualities and commanding presence in the centre of the park. He arrived at the same time as Gabriel last summer and also suffered an injury-blighted first season. Arteta said about his performance: “He’s really important because he is the anchor and he is the one that needs to read what is happening and make the rest better. That’s his biggest job, to get the right balance in the team and get the right fluidity in the team so we can attack. How he managed the transitions was top, he has the pressing and the charisma and then he struggled at the end. He could not finish the game because he was cramping. But that will come up. He missed a long time but now he’s back again and he needs some more fitness back.”

These two talented players may have arrived last summer, but they are like two new signings after their problems last year.

If they can stay fit and integrate well with our six new arrivals I feel they will be the mainstay of our spine for many years to come.

Please stay fit this season lads!

Sam P

Tags Gabriel


  1. Gabriel was marvelous at back and Aaron. They propelled the team to the winning side. As for Thomas, he’s a very good player only if he makes sure his pass goes to the intended recipient. He’ll be the world-class footballer.

    Thank you, Arsenal FC.

  2. Last week I highlighted the communication aspect of the difficulties encountered by Gabriel last season.With this problem resolved ,I think he will improve and become more consistent this term, and develope into a commanding centre back.With a RB who can actually defend, it’s no coincidence that we kept another clean sheet.

    1. Yes Grandad, I rarely see things differently from you and like you I am heartened by our new RB s defensive ability and physical stature esp when compared to the abysmal ineptitude of Bellerin. I was constantly amazed that this awful RB was allowed to last nine years here. I despaired of him and am massively cheered he has FINALLY gone, never to return.

      I never shared you previous poor view of GABRIEL THOUGH AND ALWAYS THOUGHT HIM HEAD AND SHOULDERS ABOVE ANY CB ALREADY HERE WHEN HE CAME. And above Holding and Mari, who remain here.

      1. Gabriel was always our most talented CB Jon. His issues were if he made a mistake he fell apart a little. Communicating was a problem but not surprising when the defence changed on a daily basis. He has found something since coming back this season.
        I seriously think the lack of mistakes is not just the personnel, its having Ramsdale behind them. He organises, complains, congratulates, commands his area, catches, mixes short and long distribution, and would die to keep the ball out. In fact, he’s everything that Leno isn’t. He has actually made me realise that Leno is an even worse all round keeper than I previously thought!

        1. guy, I go along with all you say about LENO and RAMSDALE, but with one important caveat. I have seen a deal of RAMSDALE prior to him coming here and never thought him as good at purely shot stopping, ie reaction time as is LENO.

          I still think the same but as an all round commanding presence behind a previously shaky defence, I DO share your view that he must be our number one now.

          Leno lacks presence big time and has regressed since we signed him though, unlike many, I do not put that down to MA. HIS UNWILLINGNESS TO COME OFF HIS LINE AND HIS ALL ROUND HESITANCY IN ALL SAVE SHOT STOPPING IS COSTING US BADLY.

          1. Leno doesn’t communicate with his defenders to organize the defense, which is critical for a goal keeper.
            Keeping Partey and Gabriel injury free will be essential to Arsenal’s continuing progress.

  3. The writer has really gotten the right players we miss from time to time from our defence to the midfield. It is true Gabriel has good timing and so aggressive too in defence, the same goes for Partey who is attack oriented and gives fluidity of the game from defence to midfield and to the forwards. If you watched the last two wins you will realize there was progressive passing from Partey that resulted in our goals in both matches.

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