Should Gabriel and Saliba start every Arsenal game when fit?

Is Mikel Arteta ready to gift the Gooners’ with one of the finest defensive partnerships there is in the Premier League? After starting him on the bench for the season’s first three games, Mikel Arteta reintroduced Gabriel to the starting lineup in Arsenal’s fourth game, a 3-1 victory over Manchester United.

Gabriel’s return to Arsenal’s starting lineup meant reuniting with William Saliba, with whom he had forged a one-of-a-kind defensive partnership last season before the Frenchman’s season-ending injury in March.

Gabriel and Saliba thrived as a defensive unit, and while the Brazilian received little acclaim, he was vital for Saliba being regarded as a top-tier defender.

With Gabriel not starting the first three games, Arteta had denied the Gunners one of the best defensive partnerships they could unleash, and former Arsenal player Kevin Campbell believes the Spaniard should stick to Gabriel and Saliba playing together as it may help his team play to their full potential.

“We have not played anywhere near the way we can play. For me, I want Gabriel and Saliba to play every game. I do Mikel Arteta knows against certain teams you can get away with not playing Gabriel, and I’m sure there’ll be times Saliba doesn’t play,” said Campbell on Gooner Pod.

With Timber’s long-term injury, I don’t understand why Arteta shouldn’t stick with the same defensive unit he used last season. He used it against Manchester United, and it worked, so why change it when it’s working?

Daniel O

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  1. Our excellent backline setup with Zinchenko, Magalhaes, Saliba and White would likely get broken by some big teams, because we’ve been using it for more than one season

    I guess that was why Arteta changed it by playing Partey and Timber as inverted-fullbacks, which could’ve been successful if Timber didn’t get injured

    1. Gai, I think it all depends on how the backline works with the defensive midfielders. JKloppl have been using Robertson and Trent Anold for almost eternity. However, we have Kiwior to also come in for Zichenko when needed. In my opinion it’s all about the coach set up with DM. Yea, JTimber is injured and that should be no excuse for the coach.

      1. Liverpool struggled last season

        I agree that we shouldn’t rely solely on Timber. Maybe Tomiyasu can play inverted-LB like him

  2. They should start in most of our prem games. When it comes the the cup matches we need to start rotation.

    We need to pick easier teams where we can an make say 1 or 2 changes. We can’t afford to be silly like last year and play every player every match.

    Personally against teams like Luton. No disrespect. I would be changing one of me CBs for the reserve and changing one of my wingers or the CAM.

    This will allow say saliba or Saka to start in the Cup games around the 2nd string to give that extra bit of brilliance.

  3. No they shouldn’t in my opinion. The season has the potential of having up to 60 games,including international fixtures-that is just too many games. The essence of having squad depth is to lessen the load on key players.
    If the question was, ‘Should Gabriel and Saliba start most Arsenal games when fit?’ then I would be more inclined to agree. But all that should be subject to form. If either of them has a poor run of form then benching should be an option,to discourage complacency.

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