Arsenal to now stick with Gabriel and Koscielny in defence?

I must admit that I was a touch surprised to see the name of Arsenal and Brazil international defender Gabriel Armando De Abreu (yes that is his real name, Paulista is a nickname from him being from Sao Paulo like calling someone from Newcastle Geordie Dave) in the starting line up to face Southampton on Tuesday night.

Per Mertesacker had missed the FA cup win over Burnley due to his red card against Chelsea but he was available to face the Saints and Arsene Wenger has always kept faith with the German defender before, despite the odd mistake. He even defended the BFG for looking the wrong way as he slid into an ill advised tackle that brushed the sock of Diego Costa.

By letting Ganriel keep his place in the centre of defence on Tuesday, however, it could be that Wenger has finally decided that Mertesacker’s lack of pace is just too much of a threat to Arsenal. I would have to agree, especially if it is a game when Arsenal are likely to be pushing hard against a determined defence with the opposing side hoping to hit us on the counter.

I do think that Per brings a lot of experience on to the pitch and Koscielny seems to be calmer with him around but unless Gabriel plays then the boss is not going to get used to him and I feel that these are the Gunners’ best two centre backs. I also fear for what the fast and tricky Barcelona front three would do to us with Mertesacker at the back.

So will Arsenal now stick with Gabriel and Koscielny at the heart of defence?

Tags Bournemouth Mertesacker Wenger


    1. Meh don’t need to reassess. Give him more than just a run of games. I’m not saying I’m completely sold on Gabriel, but I’m positively sold on the fact that Gabriel should always start ahead of this current version of Per.

    2. Der was neva a problem with our defence KOS or BFG or GAB , its been our DM , dat lifeless Flamini who can’t contribute defensively or supplying balls to the attackers. Mehh dat guy is so wack you won’t believe until you re-watch Arsenal vs Chelsea again…

      1. In fact re-watch all the games he played alongside Cazorla and you will notice the same weaknesses in our midfield with the Flam/Rambo partnership. It’s a fact he’s the weak link and not the other midfielders.

  1. This squad is not good enough from next season we need a whole revamp,Ideally Wenger must go so we can get a new manager with ambition to win then we can sign more players of the ilk of Sanchez,Ozil and Cech

    1. Can everyone atleast start or end his comments with #WENGEROUT#
      Dat would be awesome and draw attention to want we really want this season , maybe even more than the TITLE .. #WENGEROUT#

      1. Yes, that should be the way any of those type of comments start. It will be a good warning and mean I don’t waste my time reading comments from people dense enough to think the Arsenal board are going to make key decisions about the club on the basis of comments on a tiny news site by a small handful of those so lazy or illiterate they write ‘dat’ instead of ‘that’.

  2. There is nothing to consider about Gabriel, He is one of the best we have. He should start over Per, even Chambers should start over Per.

      1. Really ? Chambers wouldn’t have done that slide tackle on Costa and has more pace, not to mention he can actually score goals and improve since he’s still young.

  3. Per Mertesacker admittedly is slow and would have struggled against Long who is fast and given how the Saints were set out to frustrate our play and hit us on the break, I think it was appropriate that he was rested for that match. On the other hand, I think Per will be more suitable for the Bournemouth match on Sunday, I think Gabriel is still a little shaky and nervous…. He needs some bedding.

      1. While I believe that Gabriel is a talented defender, he has displayed far too many errors considering the limited number of starts he has had. Remember the bayern game at munich?, he was directly responsible for their first goal due to terrible positioning that played Lewandowski onside. Due to his stupidity and lack of self-control, he got himself sent off against chelsea last year.
        In a difficult game at norwich, he was at fault for the Norwich equalizer by deciding to tackle that Norwich striker from the wrong side, and he was easily beaten….what a soft goal that was!
        Now coming to his recent games, he was easily beaten for that Burnley goal, he should have done better. Against Southampton, he had his pass intercepted at a dangerous position, that could have easily been a southampton goal. In the same game, that needless slinding tackle on Mane…..had Mane gone down, that could have easily been a penalty.
        Its such moments of madness from him that justify why Per always gets the nod ahead of him. And to be honest, we still haven’t conceded a game because Per got beaten for pace, so his lack of pace is a null factor.

        1. So did Koscielny but he improved with more game time. You guys should realize that composure comes with playing on the pitch and not remaining on the bench.

  4. Long overdue decision if you ask me, if only Wenger had been braver earlier on in the season the Kos/Gab partnership would have properly gel by now…but this is Wenger we are talking about, he might still decide to opt for his favorite, meritocracy is not one of Wenger’s strong point

  5. May I suggest that what is more worrying is the likelihood that the few top top players we do have ie Sanchez, Ozil etc begin to get restless if we blow the league therefore rather than wait till the summer begin contract extension talks NOW!

  6. Hi Guys,

    Its there isn’t it? That atmosphere we get every season around this time – you know it. That atmosphere that our dear team has stopped flirting with the title, or the chase, and that we are back where we belong – and where we gonna belong for quite sometime – its dreadful I know, but we can fight it all we want. AKBs and AOBs, but its now factual – Wenger will not win us another Major trophy, there..we know it!

    Lets put the years of paying stadium debt aside for a second, Wenger is the one manager I dont understand – the guy is prepared to lose the title than change his way. And he does it every season
    For instance – had we paid the extra 10M Liverpool asked for Suarez the same year we got Ozil, few can argue that title was ours hands down. Even Higuain was an already available option but Wenger MUST do things his way so he went off to Napoli.

    Now before someone tells me buying doesn’t guarantee success, what am referring to is giving a team the full chance to be successful is what the manager and the board should be all about. Dont send a team out there and hope they punch above weight – which is what we do, and we end up disliking players who do their best just because their best is not enough.

    Take a good look at our squad, weaknesses are there, defensive partnership, we rely on Coquelin, we have no lethal striker. Then Wenger says he’s happy with the squad and we are ready.
    I am livid at myself for believing it for a second – I will just have to find a way to accept what is right in front me:
    Wenger in only interested in winning the title HIS way. If he doesn’t win it he is fine, for as long as HIS way is intact.
    This team is very good, but the title is a bit too much to ask; the three teams above us now have all something in common – Lethal strikers (Vardy, Aguero and Kane). Reason why we are going to fall short – again!

    Am being honest!

    1. That extra ten mil for Suarez, see what people fail to believe is that we did actually trigger the clause and what the owner did in preventing us to speak with him was illegal. We could have took it to the proper authorities but AFC have too much class and football clubs would rather keep things in house. Liv danced around the extra pound thing just to give themselves time to swoop and gang up on Suarez so to inflict enough pressure that he dare not pick up the telephone to ring Arsene Wenger. What the hell is a clause or does it mean anything, it’s there for a reason one would think. A club refusing the offer saying it is unacceptable when they are the ones who set the price, they realised how they set it too low but it was set so only have themselves to blame. You really need to drop this one because we offered the minimum required and they refused so something tells me they were never going to sell to us not for an extra ten mil.

      Also, Id prefer if people stopped talking like the season is down the swanny when we are still in three comps, wait till after the next three fixtures but if we end up right back in it I would like the swanny talkers to come in here and say ok I’ve been a knee jerk drama queen before telling us how our world is about to be destroyed. And if opposite happens I will come on here and say you were right, one team from a possible five can win so the odds were in the negative votes favor but how and ever you were right.

      1. OK Fair enough! We win it I will personally look for your comment and admit am a drama queen.
        But note this is not a one-time thing – we were always in the mix especially in last few years BUT – the same weaknesses we know we have, come and bite us in the end.

        I was asking myself how comes teams like Stoke, Newcastle etc etc have their fans singing their lungs out even in games they lose? Its simple – all that fans want to see is we step into the season having done all within our resources to ensure we give ourselves the best chance. So a team like Liverpool will assess their team and see “ok, maybe top 4 will do – lets get behind the boys.”
        But is that the case with us?

        All you doing right now is what Wenger does – hopes the team comes out on top amidst the glaring gaps.
        I choose to accept my beloved team as they are – just below champions material.
        if they manage to do it, well, they will have outdone themselves, and I will celebrate knowing they exceeded my expectations.
        If they dont, well they never do so nothing new.

  7. I expect Mert to come back in for Bournemouth, Gab was definitely the right man to go with against sou but I expect it none the less. Distribution is the main reason, Gab and Kos just aren’t as good as Per on sending the ball forward to a midfielder or forward in good areas. Some might not like to admit Per being better than Kos or Gab in any area but it is true. Watching many times during sou game how the ball would go out to fullbacks at wrong time and Ramsey Flamini returning to two feet away so to receive the ball, it was plain for all to see. When Kos moved forward with ball at feet was better or more advantageous than their passing. I’m not saying Per is a bloody playmaker ala Cazorla more like for a centre back he’s not half bad at passing forward. Little things sometimes matter a great deal, in the end. However what can also be noticeable is that on occasion Per has been shown up to have a weakness, but we all know how that goes so I won’t bother.

  8. By the way, can Rhinosacker play DM? That killer tacked he did to Coster to stop him advancing on Cech, can be better deployed in our Ucl home game against Barca as a 2nd DMF to pair Coquelin against the Argentinian hit man, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez to curtail their exuberance exceses towards Cech.

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