Should Arsenal start Gabriel against Newcastle?

Wenger: Gabriel Might Start Against Newcastle! by AT

As a result of a splendid performance against Bournemouth on Monday, it seems as though the Arsenal defender Gabriel has earned himself another start, with Gunners boss Arsene Wenger confirming that the Brazilian may well start his second consecutive Premier League game when Arsenal welcome Newcastle United to the Emirates.

On being asked whether Gabriel will start against the Magpies, Wenger said: “I don’t know yet. I rested one or two for the game because the players at the back have played many games but there is a possibility [of Gabriel starting again].

“We didn’t speak about him because Ozil took the whole press conference. I think he was dangerous from set-pieces and defended very well. He had good focus, was agile, quick and very strong in the challenge.”

Perhaps Wenger can keep Gabriel and bring Laurent Koscielny back to the side, thus giving Per Mertesacker a breather. Additionally, it will be really exciting to see Gabriel and Koscielny partner each other as the duo are considered by many as potentially Arsenal’s first-choice defensive pair for the near future.

Personally, I really like the idea of two quick, agile central defenders who are strong in the tackle and good with the ball at their feet. Considering that we’ve only seen the pair play together on rare occasions so far, it will be interesting to see how well they compliment each other at the back and work together given that they are two players with very similar playing styles.

So with that being said, I would really like to see Koscielny partnering Gabriel in central defence when Steve McClaren brings his Newcastle team to the Emirates. In my opinion, they can certainly build a formidable partnership in the heart of the Arsenal defence.

Tags Gabriel Ozil Wenger


  1. I forsee a very promising prospect with Chambers playing as a Dm…he can attack with the ball, dribble through a very tight space to free himself unlike Flamini who cant do anything with the ball, other than to be running around and barking….i wish chambers will continue playing that role until Elneny and Coquein are ready….Gabriel is too good to be on bench for that liability called Mertesacker.

    1. The problem with some of you fans is that you dwell on your fantasies rather than football reality. Between Koscielny, Mert, and Gabriel, it is Koscielny and Gabriel who have made the most costly defensive mistakes this season. The defeat away to Baryen started when Gabriel failed to push up together with other defenders thus playing the scorer onside. In that game we needed to stay as long as possible without conceding to have a chance. Maximum concentration was thus needed, and Gabriel failed in that regard. In the game against Norwich, Gabriel again switched off when we were one up resulting in an avoidable goal. We ended up drawing the match. Against Tottenham, Koscielny switched off and played Kane onside culminating in a goal. We ended up drawing that match. Being a good defender is not just about speed and aggression but intelligence and concentration which Mert has in great abundance.

      1. LOL … Anyone who watched barca last night and then thought oh right merts intelligence and concentration is what betis are lacking must be in some deep state of mental paralysis … Gabriel needs to be a regular from the start of new year if we are to get something from a tougher second half if season … Forget cl …out of our league at the moment

      2. You are right. I use to wonder why Kos is not as good in France shirt as in Arsenal. Maybe no BFG in France team. BFG has been doing his best but fans will always pick his negatives.

      3. That’s what I’ve been saying all season, Wenger likes speed if he chooses Mert over Gabs there’s an obviously good reason to do so. Gabriel is talented but he still needs to work on adapting to the pace of the game in England and the style of Arsenal’s play. Koscielny was the same when he was new, he had many moments where he switched off, best example was the Carling Cup final, so choosing Mert who has a talent for reading the game and large experience is the logical choice to make.

  2. If you want rotation to fulfill your fantasies then you have a case. From a footballing side, centre backs thrive on partnerships and understanding between the players. You cannot have the same type of centre backs partnering one another and expect things to work. The reason why Man City are in the city of trouble defensively is because Mangala and the Argentinian guy are all aggressive players who sometimes go into challenges at the same time. We saw this with Koscielny and Gabriel in the Olympiacos game at home. The players would go for the same challenge leading to panic at the back. One of such confusion led to the corner that culminated in the first goal.

    Arsenal’s best centre back partnering will be Koscielny-Mert or Gabriel-Mert, with the Koscielny-Gabriel partnership being used from time to time. For the latter partnership to thrive one of the two will have to become less aggressive and concentrate on game reading. Maybe Koscielney will be such person considering that he is getting into 30s. Otherwise that partnership will be prone to accidents from time to time.

    1. The reason city have a problem is that other than Kompany their cbs are rubbish. Gabriel is better than all city cbs except Kompany.

  3. hold on there bro! Mertesacker’s snail pace is what cost us that Harry Kane goal..if it were Gabriel down there he would have caught up with him, applied pressure an forced a poor shot out of Kane.

    1. @quantic, you are making sense bro…Mert is too slow, his recovery and response is just too poor….if Mert should start against barca, Arsenal is as good as a dead man….we find it very difficult to bring d ball out of defence especially against teams that pressed because Mert cant do what pique, kompany, boateng, hummels, koscieny, ramos, smalling do best. Those guys have the ability to soak up d pressure coming from d opponents by being able to bring d ball out of tight situations because they possesses what Poor MERTESACKER doesnt have (Pace and Techniques). Just dont understand the relationship going on between wenger and Mertesacker.

  4. Gotta agree with Analyzer on this one, Gabriel n Kosc is similiar to Kosc n Verm the same type of defenders and we know how well that went. Although I do feel Mert needs to do a lot more in regards to his aggression it makes the furious when I see a 6ft player outjump or out muscle him. I think the key to all these problems is a solid d.m which we haven’t had for years, last year we looked a lot better due to Coq.

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