Arteta explains why he subbed off Gabriel against Palace

Arsenal were efficient in their 5-0 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday, and I bet no Gooner would object to them leaving for Dubai to train every week.

Gabriel Magalhaes was one Gunner who returned from the Dubai training camp with a bang; he headed in the opening and could have easily picked up a first-half brace if his header for Arsenal’s second goal had not been credited as a Dean Henderson own goal.

Well, the Brazilian defender is surely winning over Arsenal fans as he continues his resurgence this season. Watching him defend and score goals, going forward, some Gooners would never consider playing without him. However, there was anxiety about him; the Brazilian centre defender went down following a tackle, and many believed Mikel Arteta’s substitution of him was due to an injury. To lessen the stress over whether Gabriel was injured or not, Arteta explained that he didn’t take him off because he was injured, but because he didn’t want to take any further risks with him on the pitch, so he substituted him for Jakub Kiwior.

“The same with big Gabi as well,” Arteta stated about why he subbed off Gabriel. “He had some discomfort; he had a tackle in the first half and was a bit struggling, so it was the right moment to take them off.”

Even so, the 26-year-old’s brilliance in that game overshadowed the possibility that he had been wounded (which he was not). Aside from the goals in the first half, he was block-solid on defence. He completed 88% of his passes, hit 5 of his 7 long balls, won 5 of 7 aerial duels, and committed 3 fouls.
Although William Saliba receives all the credit for Arsenal’s defensive success, it is his combination with Gabriel that lays the groundwork for Arsenal’s defensive strength.

Darren N

Tags arsenal v crystal palace Arteta


  1. IMO we have to go all the way back to Sol CAMPBELL to find a CB of ours with as much regular effectiveness as GABRIEL.

    He is head and shoulders above ANY of our CB’s since CAMPBELL, with the sole exception of SALIBA, who needs only more regular and long lasting repeating of his form of these last two seasons, to be IMO our BEST CB EVER.

    Even above Adams Campbell and the younger O’Leary, (who we old ones well remember fondly).

    1. Jon
      You are so right about Saliba in my opinion as well. Truly remarkable, his physical attributes combined with reading the game and composure at such a young age as well!

      Already a top CB in the Premier League, and after a few years of consistent top performances, could be among if not the best CB in Football.

      1. Saliba! Reminds me of a mixture of David O’Leary and Rio Ferdinand, with a touch of Peter Simpson thrown into the mix.

  2. Hopefully, Magalhaes will fully recover from whatever it was that had led to his being substituted off in the Crystal Palace match. And come back fully fit and ready to start the Nottm For match. And once again showcase his goals scoring heading ability for the Gunners in the match scoring goals.

  3. Except he gets injured before the J.window closes we do not NEED another defender. What we need is a striker and a defensive irrespective of what happens to D.Rice. So that whether he is in or not we won’t be exposed.

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