Will Gabriel keep BFG out of Arsenal first team?

The fact that Per Mertesacker was not even on the bench for Arsenal today tells you that he was not ready for some reason. We do not yet know the reason but the giant German had been ill and was perhaps not quite fit enough to risk. Arsenal have two more games coming up in the week ahead and hopefully Mertesacker will be available for them.

Assuming he is, will he walk straight back into the starting line up, or did our Brazilian centre back Gabriel do enough against Stoke to suggest that he should keep his place alongside Laurent Koscielny? I am in two minds personally.

I do like the aggression from Gabriel and the way he wants to defend on the front foot, like his French defensive partner, but then I wonder if having two such similar players at the heart of our defence is really the best thing. Mertesacker and Koscielny do seem to complement each other very well after all.

On the other hand, Gabriel seems to have some of the fire that great Arsenal centre backs of the past like Keown and Adams had and for a long time people have been sdaying that we are too nice. Arnautovic certainly found out today that Gabriel is not like that and after he launched Debuchy into an advertising board last season and cost the right back most of his debut season, I was delighted to see Gabriel take him out.

But he also seems a bit reckless at times and on another day could have conceded a costly penalty. If it was me I would start him against Dinamo Zagreb and then have a serious think about whether to bring the BFG back for the crucial away game with Chelsea. What do you think?

Tags Koscielny Mertesacker


  1. I really like Gabriel Paulista. I doubt we have lost a game whenever he starts. I stand to be corrected though but am loving the partnership between The Boss and Paulistttttaaaaaaaaaaaaaa….

  2. Well it may not have been the prettiest thing that happened today, but Arnautovic throwing an elbow at Gabriel’s face was brilliant. I don’t really care if he ran the risk of a red card, I like that Gabriel didn’t go down, threw one back and floored the *****. That’s what our team’s been missing in recent years.

    1. The funny part was Arnautovic whining about it. He loves to hand out the punishment but apparently is not able to take it when someone dares to give him one back.

      1. GO GABRIEL!!
        arnautovic was also the one, i believe, who dislocated debuchy’s shoulder so AFC struck back. i remember debuchy was off the field and arna came behind him and pushed him down into the boards last year.

  3. Fabianski injured, Szczesny takes over
    Arteta injured, Coquelin takes over
    Debuchy injured, Bellerin takes over

    Once you’re out, you never come back 😛

      1. When he came back from injury last season he was scoring at a highest frequency in all of Europe!!! It was his end of season slump that people seem to remember most though..

    1. @Twig
      It would be foolish to play Per against Chelsea, especially after that azz whoopin they took today. They’re gonna be out for blood…

      1. Per is aging and he knows his position as permanent starter for Arsenal is likely over. But he will still be needed and will almost certainly play a big role at some point. It seems likely he would be inserted late in games to help hold the lead by clearing out the middle defensively.

        My only question is….. can he play well when not playing regularly. Most of his career he has played full time and he will likely now need to adjust to a new role as sporadic starter.

    2. This has long been a discussion and controversy in sports. Should a player lose his place because of an injury? It happens so often.

      The reality is…….. any manager MUST put his best team on the playing surface. It can seem unfair but top-level sports are not social experiments – they are quests for glory. (And money is involved of course).

      Many great sports figures have emerged this way – some other unlucky player gets injured and the rest is history. It is sad for Debuchy especially but benching Bellerin now would be insanity.

  4. From what we have seen, he should keep him out. Injuries affect us a lot but it also forces wenger to use better players. I must say that our defense is looking like one of the best in the league. Monreal has improve so much, its unbelievable and bellerin is just pure class.

  5. I can’t remember when gabriel was wreckless he played a very good game and and we’ve kept 3 clean sheets on the trot with him in the team. As of now gabriel stays in the team there is no reason to sit him in the form he’s in.

  6. Are you mad? ?
    How can you even let the thought of BFG replacing Gabriel even enter your mind ?

    Not only is he a 100 times better than BFG,
    He also gives Koscielny the freedom to push forward with confidence.

    I’m sure that the bench is bigger enough to seat him,
    Theres always the league cup and fa cup for him to play in ?

  7. good game today.but I think raised should undergo position training to be a striker or false 9 since wenger is hello bent on him playing every game.what do u think?

      1. I just font get it, why buy raised for all that money and then play him out of position. Now he needd positional training to make him a ST.

        Why did we not just buy a ST in the window instead of this Raised individual.

  8. I think that if we want to win the league, Mertesacker is one of the players who always needed replacing. He’s a good CB, obviously, but during his time, he’s done things that I see as unacceptable for a defender, like ducking for that cross last season. Everyone knows he lacks pace and for the most part makes up for it with brilliant reading of the game and timing of his challenges but when he IS beaten by a ball that goes over his head, he doesn’t even put in the effort to sprint back, he just accepts defeat/relies on others to bail him out. It’s not lack of talent but lack of heart. Gabriel has shown more than enough footballing talent for the CB spot and importantly all that heart that Mertesacker has lacked at times. He’s earned his place and should keep it. See how he does over a run of games. I doubt we will be disappointed.

  9. With Mertesacker and Koscielny both 30+ now, I’d like us to go for John Stones next summer. He is top quality. So many strengths to his game at the age of just 21. Plus, if we’re being picky, he’s a homegrown talent to add to our quota.

    Chelsea failed to get him and Everton are determined to keep him, but I think we might be able to get him. Everton must know deep down that they can’t hold on to a player of his quality, and I get the feeling theyd much rather sell to us than to Chelsea, especially after what happened this summer. Plus Stones handed in a transfer request don’t forget – he will be tempted by a move to a CL team.

    Money? Well we still have £60m from this summer that we didn’t spend, plus another £60m or so that we would have as our budget for next summer, so I think we could afford him. I expect he’d cost around £35m. Plus at that age, it’s a long term investment, but unlike a lot of young buys, Stones is already proven. Plus he plays regularly at international level for England don’t forget, probably will be our next captain after Rooney goes in a few years.

    1. I think stones is overrated. The media is blowing him up way to much he is a very good player but let’s see how he performs the next 2 years

    2. Everton have already turned down £38 million form Chelsea, what makes you think they’ll sell him to us for £35 million?
      With the amount of money being thrown at clubs from Sky and BT, most of the teams are now in a position where they don’t have to sell to make ends meet, as has been proven by both Everton and WBA this year.
      Having seen Chelseas’ defence this season It wouldn’t surprise me if they went for Stones in the winter window with a bid of £40-50 million for him, they have to big bid to make it worth while for Everton to sell.

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