Gabriel ready to step up to Arsenal’s starting line-up

The Big Friendly Giant Per Mertesacker was a very weak link for Arsenal in the first half of last season, which he blamed on a World Cup hangover, and he only showed signs of improvement when Laurent Koscielny was restored as his partner.

This coming season though, it looks like Gabriel Paulista has now settled, learnt the English language, and is now ready to begin his partnership with Koscielny in the starting line-up. In his roundup of last season, Arsene Wenger admitted he expected great things from the Brazilian. Le Prof said: “Also, we bought well in the transfer market, and all those players had a good impact. I also think Gabriel will be a revelation. He didn’t have many chances this season, but I am convinced he will be a top player. We will see more of him next season.”

This can only mean that Mertesacker will be demoted o third-choice this season, as Koscielny is undoubtedly a class above the German when he’s fit. Gabriel himself also declared that he was now settled and ready for the rigours of the Premier League. He said on the official Arsenal website: “I’ve only been here for a short while but I think it is a wonderful experience,”

“I am learning a lot with all my colleagues, with the city and with this club, which I have no words to describe because it is so great. I am very happy.

“I think it involves everything; the family helping outside and the team-mates helping within the club. I think this combination helps my happiness grow more every day.

“When I first arrived it was my time to adapt. I think I am more adapted now, so I really want to win, I want to be at my best to be able to do all I can to help everyone.

“I do think that my characteristics of being strong have helped me adapt well to the English league because it is a very hard league, with a lot of contact.

“So I have been making the most of it to get better all the time.”

With Gabriel alongside Koscielny and Petr Cech behind them surely our defence will be twice as strong as last season. We can build our title challenge on conceding fewer goals, but I still think we need a clinical striker to bang them in at the other end!

Tags BFG Mertesacker Paulista


    1. Gabriel will take pers place this season, he is a better defender compared to per. It’s only logical that he would break into the starting eleven this year. Hope he does cuz he idps a very promising defender. He didn’t get much chance last season but performed well whenever he was used. Great defender and we paid 16 mil for him, so yes he will be partnering the boss.wish him all the best, he is a beast

      1. Which one of you is demoting BFG? Please preface those statements with ” In my opinion….”
        In my opinion Gabby/Kozzer is one CB rotation, BFG/Chambers is the another.

        But since Wenger does NOT listen to any of us couch genii then he is free to do what is best for Arsenal.

    2. I read the article and was thrilled to finally sense something positive in supporting this great club – but what is the first comment?? The friggin striker issue – AGAIN. arghh.

      1. You cannot blame fans who actually want better for the club. That problem is a huge cloud. It is the elephant in the room. It is the main problem. People talk about cb sometimes but I am not scared of that as much because Gabriel will eventually take pers spot. But ST and CDM are very crucial. We need higher quality in there. Benzema and Krychowiak or Lars Bender would do.

        1. It is not a “blame” issue. But whining about the same things and demanding things that will not happen gets old very quickly.

          We ALL want good things for Arsenal. But I am thrilled with the direction of the club now. Just need maybe 2 players to tweak the lineup slightly. I see great things for players like Ox and Theo if they are healthy. There is much positive right now. It is NOT all negative.

          1. i am guessing we have a lot of new fans around, you re right, not all is negative teres plenty of positives. But maybe they have been supporting fo not too long so they dont jnow the histroy and the struggle
            – not having to sell – ending that dry spell with the fa two years ago – retaining the fa this year – finishing 3rd so we avoid the ucl play offs – Alexis . Ozil form . signin Cech.

            glass half full for me, (of course i will get the thumbs down, the border insults …even tho i want ore signings, but it doesnt have to exclude the positives)

            1. Arseblog says:
              We’re still a long way from where we need to be, but I suppose you want your preparations to go as well as possible. You can be quite sure if we hadn’t played well and won the game, there’d be some chiming the bells of doom this morning, so a convincing performance and a good win does go some way to getting us ready.

              another good thing…

              but I elready see the children thumbing down…so I ll help them…


      1. Who is going to wear the number 9???dzeko???benzema??? Giroud??? Who will wear it???it would look great on zlatan too

  1. i really hope that he takes over from the tall slow guy who has been soooo helpful to us……we need a more energetic defense and not to play many small players on the pitch so how that works out i don’t know….ffs arsenal must change and start acting like a big club and change should also happen to you mediocre divided fans

  2. dortmund said aubameyang is not leaving,
    lacazette said he’s not coming,
    so who next? y don’t we buy Pedro and move Walcott to center forward

    1. Pedro is a good player to have, its a good idea to get him and move Theo to cf. I would actually settle with Pedro and no striker. There are still a few quality strikers left in the market. We need to bid big if we want to sign them. Just can’t see Wenger spending huge on a striker so Pedro would be a great move

    2. You seem to be assuming that Wenger is actually trying to get a striker? Maybe he is, but we have seen no evidence of it at all. Transfer RUMORS don’t count.

      Wenger has Giroud, Walcott, Welbeck, Akpom, and Sanchez if needed. We may not be pleased with that selection but I believe Wenger is satisfied with it and has big plans for Walcott and Akpom to slowly take over.

      As always, I could be wrong.

      1. I agree. If Theo is going to take competing for the CF role, Podolski and Cambell gone then I reckon Wenger could be interested in a young, properly two-footed player, pacey, highly technical, good crosser, with excellent shooting. Can cover RW/LW or go central/No.10. Julian Draxler. The one player no-one has linked us to THIS window – that has to be a sure sign!!!

        1. Draxler has been linked to us this window, I written an article involving him for JustArsenal because I thought it was likely we would be interested in him from reading around…

          I will admit though that how the rumor mongers haven’t been screaming Draxlers name and I think that is because Wenger would prefer Aubameyang and Draxler could be a back up incase we can’t get Aubameyang.

          1. Yes, his name has been quietly circulating – hasn’t stopped for 2 years. But as you say no “screaming” or persistent media chat, just here and there.

    1. Great line up, I don’t understand why your getting all these thumb downs. Pedro would be a great signing. Pedro and Sanchez on the wings with Theo as our striker. It sounds scary!!!with ozil and cazorla in the midfield. It would be a strong line up

    2. I also like your lineup except you are assuming Pedro will come to Arsenal – very unlikely.

      I can only assume the “thumbs down” because many fans see players going to ManU and LPool and will not like any lineup that does not include 2 or 3 new players for Arsenal – featuring a top striker.

  3. I can’t help to get very excited every time I see his name on the starting sheet or even when he’s getting game time as a substitute. Absolutely convinced Wenger and his scouting team found a hidden gem in this guy. Looking way more settled on the pitch and I’m sure he will pay back the trust shown in the coming season(s)!

    1. He does look a very good player. Quick, strong, aggressive and braver than Mertersacker. I think he should and will take Mertersacker’s place.

  4. News coming in we are going to sign Reus or Draxler before the end of the transfer window.

    The Star, Metro, Caught Offside and all the rest can make predictions this is mine. At least I will be right or wrong just once 🙂 🙂


  5. Giroud has said he would welcome a new striker at Arsenal. Watch out for Theo how many goals have you scored in the last 3 games you have played in and how many has Theo scored. All we need to do is buy a LW or RW then Theo or Sanchez can move up top. Job done!

  6. Per Mertesacker was never world class and you can at least say he has always been a weak link in the defence.However what makes him special is that he is very tall and has excellent positioning and very good game reading ability.A team like arsenal which plays with a high line should not even have a player like Mertesacker in the team.This is because there will surely be mistakes exposing the defenders and also a team with this kind of setup should expect some balls in behind the defence and here defenders with good recovery ability and speed our needed.This shows that Mertesacker does not fit our style of play and yet is criticized most at times but i wonder how many people analyze the whole situation.I would have sold him if i was Wenger not because he is not good but its because this kind of setup is putting a lot of pressure on Mertesacker.Yes one may argue that Koscielny can also help him based on his defencies like speed hence a patnership but its not going to be like that all the time.I think Mertesacker should leave next season.He will always be that weak link.Gabriel has impressed me a lot and bar some few mistakes he made in all matches he played in i feel he was our best defender in the games he played in like at Newcastle and Everton.He is a defender who fits our style of play a lot and i expect him to start over Mertesacker.

    1. You are right that Mert is aging so he will likely be phased out as happens to many older players. That seems logical.

      But it is nonsense to say he has been the weak link. The Kos-Mert pairing has given Arsenal the best defense in a long while.

      And season before last Mert was 2nd in the voting for Player of the Season behind only Ramsey. Not to mention he was the long-time, consistent starter for one of the best national teams in the world. That does NOT sound like a weak link to me. Mert has never been fully appreciated by the fans but that has not stopped him.

  7. Theres no doubt we could do a signing or two, people forget we hold different culture and philosophy at Arsenal. Players have repeatedly mention the family culture at Arsenal, its only clear that any new signing would have to be better than the current to avoid instabilities in the dresding room. If we sign a player other than Benzema, Pogba, Carvalho its going to create unnecessary competition

  8. i wudnt buy Pedro & move walcot centrally cos the team would b short of HIEGHT to defend corners. We nid some tall center forward or tall wide playerd like Draxler or Reus to complement Carzola,Le Coq/Wilshere,Bellerin and Monreal

  9. BFG should get the hint and just leave….

    every day,week or month..there will be articles by fans that hes not good enough, weak, slow, soft and etc….

    he should just go…

  10. Agree. Long time without an article

    Well if Lacazette, Aubmeyang are out of the picture who’s left?

    Dybala, Jackson Martinez, Mandzukic, Higuain, Falcao, Benteke are all out of the picture

    That remains
    Lewandowski (if possible)
    Lacazette (maybe his mind can be changed)

    Point is that it’s looking more unlikely that we will sign a top CF.

    If we sign a top winger
    Pedro (unlikely as Chelski, Liverpool and United)
    Di Maria (highly unlikely)

    1. lets sign everybody….

      we need more competition and cover…

      we need to show serious intent

  11. Was surprised and slightly alarmed at how little Gabriel got on the pitch last season-

    I had assumed Wenger wasn’t impressed with what he saw in training. So relieved to hear Wengers positive words on him recently.

    He’s made a few mistakes when he’s come in. But I do like that he has got stuck in, and great to have some pace in back line.

    With Ceck ordering the Defence- hope we are much tougher to beat now.

    Could make huge difference to the team!

  12. I doubt if some people here ever watch Arsenal’s matches.How on earth could you ever rate Gabriel ahead of the BFG someone that has rearly been tested.its sad that people unde-rate someone that his combination with Koscielny has given us one of the best defense in recent years.some would even rate vermalin ahead of Mertesacker even when it was obvious that the former has lost it.This guy was voted few years back as the second best player of the entire season only behind the outstanding Rambo.If Gabriel wants a starting berth he needs to prove it 1st and not get it on a platter of Gold..Defense is all about solid partnership..Chelsea had it with Terry calvarho some years back..we had it with Campbell Toure.we are doing well with BFG and Koscielny at the moment.Gabriel can only usurp any if he only proves himself.we shouldn’t forget that Mertesacker was a long time starter for one of the best national sides in the world.i don’t see that as a weakness or a mere fluke.

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