Arsenal’s youngsters were fantastic in their performance against Pep Guardiola’s Man City yesterday, but we were undone within two minutes when VAR overturned a penalty decision in favour of City, and Gabriel was sent off for two of the silliest yellow cards we are likely to see this season.
Every pundit and commenter believed that the first yellow was given for interfering with the penalty spot before Mahrez stepped up to score, but according to the Arsenal players it was because Gabriel said something to Stuart Attwell that must have annoyed him.
When asked about it, the Arteta stand-in Albert Stuivenberg told Arsenal.com: “That’s not what the players are telling me. He made a remark to the referee and also other players confirmed that, it was just a normal comment and he gave a yellow card, but it doesn’t matter in the end because if you have a yellow card you must control your emotions a little bit better.
“He was in a situation which is not the most dangerous situation and you cannot take the risk, so that is a moment where young players still have to learn, and we have a lot of young players. That is part of the process, but instead of talking about that moment, I would say that in the end we are very proud about what we’ve seen from this Arsenal team.
“If you compare it to the start of the season and where we’ve come from and where we are now, playing against one of the best teams in the world, and competing like this. Also, on the ball today we dared to play and created a lot of chances and also prevented them from creating chances. Yeah, that is something we can build on.”
It is such a shame though, that the referee had such a big influence. We were looking well on the way to an historic win against the Champions before that crazy two minutes, and Gabriel must feel some responsibility for that as well.
As far as I am concerned, being booked for dissent is just as bad as tampering with the penalty spot, and I hope that Arteta can convince Gabriel to hold his anger in check in the future and use it to encourage you to fight back, rather than lose your cool and get sent off.
Gabriel is young but incredibly talented, and should follow Lacazette’s lead rather than acting like Xhaka!
Watch Albert Stuivenberg’s FULL Post-match Press conference here….