Thank VAR against Leeds – but Arteta needs to have a word with Gabriel

The temptation is to be grateful for our good fortune on Sunday, thank VAR for ever being invented and celebrate the 3 points.

Let me stress, the officials eventually got to the right decision at Elland Road in stoppage time, overturning Gabriel’s red card and Leed’s second penalty of the game.

Correctly it was judged that Patrick Bamford had done the fouling, yet the juice was so nearly worth the squeeze for the striker.

He wanted to provoke our defender into a reaction, realising our centre back is hot headed and over emotional.

He got the outcome he wanted, originally both our player and the ref’s assistant fell for his plan. Video Technology came to our rescue but it’s a device so inconsistent it’s not a medium you can rely on.

So, while the likes of Saliba were patting his partner on the back and Arteta was screaming in the air, relieved that Ramsdale didn’t have to face a second spot kick, the hope is that after the emotion wears off, someone is having a word with the Brazilian.

Mistakes can be worthwhile as long as you learn from them, and you would rather your players making errors while the team is winning.

It would be a missed opportunity for the 24-year old’s development if nothing was mentioned to him in training.

Because as much as he was pushed over, he went to kick out, as in he was thinking about it. He gave those in charge a decision to make where if he kept his composure there would have been zero drama.

On another day he could have cost us points.

Like he could have been judged to have handled the ball against Liverpool.

Like how he did conceded a pen in the NLD.

Like losing possession gifted Fulham an equaliser.

Like he was out of position at Old Trafford.

That’s too many errors after only 9 Prem fixtures.

I already pointed out that this was an issue last season, especially given how highly rated he is.

To be at the level we want to be at, we need players to learn from these moments, so they don’t happen consistently.

I would rest him on Thursday, give him a week off to mentally rest.

It seems he will also get a breather during the World Cup with Brazil not selecting him in their last squad. Which on form you can understand.

It’s better to be pointing out too many errors while we are winning then waiting for them to truly cost us.


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  1. Arteta has a lot of faith in Gabriel that’s why he has not been benched and I think he has played more matches than any center back we have that sums up the trust he has with arsenal coaches and players.he is player who can easily terrorise opponents without fear and u can rely on him to defend well and bring u good results given he is always a high scoring center back

  2. Point of correction no penalty was awarded as red card wasn’t for a foul but rather a violent conduct after play had stopped. Please get your facts right people.

    1. A penalty WAS awarded and a red was initially given out. The penalty was cancelled and the red was downgraded to a yellow, thanks to VAR.

    2. Penalty was awarded because, Ramsdale had not gotten hold of the ball yet when the altercations happened. Ramsdale got the ball after a second or so.
      The law would have been interpreted as blocking a goal scoring opportunity. The referee actually awarded a penalty. Please watch the scene again.

  3. Gabriel inability to keep his composure has and will continue to cost us. This is made worse by the fact that he can’t brush off errors like saliba and xhaka and quickly regain his calm. you can literally feel the anxiety when he is on the ball for like 10-20 min after he makes an error.

    But that being said the fact that Gabriel is now our weakest link shows how much our team has improved. He is a really good defender who can have some top performance when he keeps his cool.

  4. Gabriel dispite his many mistakes will have a long stay at Arsenal his strong left foot, towering presence and his goals contribution will always outweighs is negativities and already he has the trust from the arsenal coaches.

  5. Anytime i see someone complaining about how VAR ruins football etc etc, i wonder how they would feel if we revert back to the disgusting diving and play-acting that was rife before the introduction of VAR.

    VAR isn’t perfect but most of the negatives are due to the incompetence of the people in charge of it than the technology itself.

    1. @Ackshay,

      Exactly. VAR isn’t perfect because man isn’t perfect. It’s still people using it, and referee’s job to intepret VAR material during the game.

      We got a perfectly good goal disallowed against Man United but against Liverpool we had few decisions going our way. These things usually even out before the season ends.

  6. Magalhaes had better watch the fouls again, so he could prepare himself for similar incidents in the next games

    Even Saliba has made at least three huge mistakes, although he wasn’t as emotional as Magalhaes. I bet Tomiyasu would’ve also made some errors if he played in the left CB position, because we played using high defensive line and only three defenders when having the ball

    Such setup requires highly technical players and it’s very good for attacking, despite the vulnerability to counter-attack. I think Zinchenko can reduce the vulnerability

    1. After seeing Gabriel committing too many grave errors lately, I’ve watched on for some left-footed CB’s who we could be after as we only have one at the moment.

      Josko Gvardiol, the most promising but also the most expensive one.
      Pau Torres seems like an interesting choice, playing for Emery at the moment.
      Evan Ndicka who was marvelous last season, is struggling with the whole Leverkusen team. He’s free next summer.

      Benoit Badiashile seems like the most interesting one for me. He’s still just 21 years old but has over 130 appearances for Monaco! That means he’s been their starter ever since he was 17! Could form a nice partnership with our other French-capped defender.

      1. Nice recommendation. I think Gvardiol is Chelsea-bound

        I guess we’ll try Auston Trusty first next season, to compete with Magalhaes

  7. It was rumoured, that Klopp told his men to target Gabriel, knowing he was a “hothead”easily triggered…IJS

  8. Perhaps time to try Tomi in the LCB spot and give Gabriel a rest. Zinchenko returning soon to compete with Tierney, and Cedric can handle Europa while White plays PL games.

  9. Saliba was just as ‘lucky’ when he grabbed Bamford’s shirt as Bamford ran clear on goal. The Ref was directly behind them with an unobstructed view and chose to play the advantage. No advantage was gained and no card given to last man Saliba. Very fortunate.

    1. Good points Peter which a few others pointed out after the game ,Salibas worst game in the shirt so far ,so not sure why the Gabriel is getting the blame when he was the better of the 2 .

      1. May be because he needlessly kicked out at Bamford at a very crucial time in the game. A mistake that could have cost the game.

  10. If he was that bad, how come he was rated that high for the game by Skysports?

    ( Arsenal: Ramsdale (9); White (6), Saliba (5), Gabriel (8), Tomiyasu (6); Partey (7), Xhaka (6), Odegaard (7); Saka (8), Jesus (6), Martinelli (7)

    How come he made the “team of the week”. Could it be because we don’t see what the coach and experts are seeing? Are we already underrating our own (doing some deadly dirty job in the defence) rather than motivate?
    The same Arsenal defence that shutdown the deadly attack of Liverpool and Spurs was the same defence that copped (even if tough) with Leeds attack that trashed Chelsea. I dont need to remind you what Liverpool just did to MCity…..after we had we had held our own against them. May be what Gabriel (and the rest of our high flying team) needs is encouragement – rather than condemnation.

    1. I don’t see any condemnation in the article Lexynal. Rather a pretty clear headed observation that someone (namely Arteta) needs to have a talk with Gabriel before more costly mistakes are made – not because he’s a poor defender bit because he is hot headed and is probably starting to be targeted both intentionally by opponents and perhaps unconsciously by officials.

      Romero is another good defender who is in danger of ruining his good work with moments of madness. I’m sure Conte has had words with him

  11. Other than the great Nesta, Maldini duo, name me another world class centre back pairing which contained a left footer?The point I am making that a left footed centre back is not an essential ingredient for a successful pairing.Historically, virtually all the great partnerships have consisted of right footers.

  12. I will not deny that Gabril has indeed made some key errors.

    But a person who believes in PERSPECTIVE as I do, will not join in what is, in some respects, a witch hunt against a top class and highly effective central defender.

    I do agree he has a low head losing level and far too easily gets riled. THAT is certainly a weakness which MUST be addressed.

    But I believe, in my considered and honest opinion, that so much of the criticism for his all round play is way over the top and motivated by that old gremlin; many fans NEED to have a scapegoat, whether or not that is deserved!

    I say in his case, other than his temperament, it is NOT deserved and that many of those who criticise his play, which in my opinion is of a very high level indeed, are not being honest with themselves about WHY they do so.

  13. I agree that he’s been running a bit hot lately and that Arteta should (and probably will) be have a little chat.

    I’m not convinced that all his “errors” are really all about him though. That Fulham thing… the weird ball played to him from the touchline, floated across (therefore taking the slow route) to a man standing on his own 6-yard line, with the keeper out of position… that’s just asking forwards to come and put the guy under extreme pressure. He was put in a difficult position and, yes, you could say that his first touch slightly let him down, pushing the ball a little to to his right side – but he had to control the ball out of the air and kill it, that’s not an easy play and sure enough they were all over him before he could recover.

  14. The truth remains that Meghales is the weak link in our team. I had expected Arteta to really have a talk with him. The mistakes are becoming too many. Our two CBs should stop joining attack at the same time. The earlier we take corrections the better.

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