Friday, June 9, 2023

Arteta: Gabriel and Partey have brought balance

Mikel Arteta has praised new boys Gabriel and Thomas Partey for making an immediate impact at Arsenal after both delivered eye-catching performances in the 2-1 win over Rapid Vienna.

Despite being new to England, and, in Gabriel’s case, not speaking the language, the boss hasn’t hesitated chucking both in at the deep end.

The Brazilian centre-back made his Premier League debut just 12 days after signing from Lille – he scored and picked up the man-of-the-match award – while the Ghanaian has featured twice in a week despite limited time with his new teammates.

Having committed the best part of £75 million to their recruitment, the boss is excited by the balance they are already bringing to his team.

On Partey’s showing in Austria, he said: “I was really impressed because he looked really confident, he grabbed the game in the most difficult period, he took responsibility, he was really comfortable on the ball, he made a lot of right decisions, he was really strong in the challenges in every transition moment. I was impressed.

Reflecting on Gabriel’s start, he added: “We saw qualities in him that is exactly what we wanted, but then you move him from France to here at an early age, without talking the language, to adapt to a new way of playing as well and he has done it really quickly and is showing a great mentality as well because we threw him in against Fulham after three or four training sessions and you could see the performance he had there.”

Having had a clear plan for what he wanted to achieve in the transfer market, the boss thinks his jigsaw is coming together.

“It is about finding the cohesion in the team and the fluidity with and without the ball what we want.

“Finding some specificity was in my opinion lacking in the squad, to get the pieces in the right places where everyone is comfortable doing their job that we give them to do.

“I think we are much more balanced. The same with Gabi (Gabriel), the performance he had last night as well and what he brings to the team. We will see a team that is closer to what we are trying to do.”

Club captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is also excited about Partey’s arrival. Not only does the former Atletico man bring an injection of quality to the midfield, he also brings a maturity that he thinks the club’s younger generation will learn from.

Writing in the official matchday programme ahead of Sunday’s game with Leicester, Auba said of his fellow West African, “Thomas has been great since joining the club. He has integrated so well in the squad.

“He is kind, calm and smiley. On the pitch, we have seen already seen what he will bring us in matches.

“He is so strong physically but yet so good on the ball as well. We didn’t really have a profile like this in our squad before. In terms of ball progression, beating the press, going forward, he will be very important for us.

“My family is from Gabon but I also have some roots in Ghana where Thomas is from so we are family too! It is good for some of our younger players as well to have a player like him, of his calibre at training. They will learn a lot from him.”

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We are making some very interesting signings

Johnny 4 Hats

Yup. Two great ones (Gabriel and Partey). Two weird ones (Mari and Cedric). And two bargain basement discounts (Willian and Runarsson).

It’s all very Arsenal.


I’m unsure about some of the others but a few more like these two and we’ll be looking very strong indeed

Johnny 4 Hats

Yup. Agreed. I think we are a CB (lol) and a ACM away from a really quite special squad.

I was quite astounded at how good Bellerin was as an impact sub last night. Showed his true excellence at RB.

With Leno, Gabriel, Tierney, Bellerin, Partey, Saka and Auba we have some very special talent indeed. We just need a few players to fill in the holes.


Hopefully we already have the other CB. Hopefully.


And also Martinelli, that guy will be a diamond.

David C

Interesting both ways…Mari, Soares, and Willian signings were probably unnecessary but I think Arteta’s increased involvement will improve our transfer business.

I wish we had a young pre-injury Aaron Ramsey to play with our new midfield. Or maybe a young Cesc to play slightly advanced.

Hopefully we get the chequebook out in January for one more creative midfielder.

Johnny 4 Hats

I don’t know why we didn’t make a cheeky move for Eriksen. I know he’s tinged by being ex Sp*rs but he’d be perfect at the top of our midfield. He’s having a nightmare at Inter so could easily be prized away on a season long loan.

Definitely would have preferred a deal like that to Willian joining who seems to be providing a bit of a blockage for our younger squad members.


Jack Wilshire is a free agent…
Super sad to read about him training in the park on his own at the age of 28. He should be at his peak.

Johnny 4 Hats

Genuinely so so heartbreaking. He could have been that guy, coming into his peak years for Arsenal under Arteta.

Praying that he finds a club and some fitness and makes a dramatic comeback.

It might be classy if he’s recovering from yet another setback, if we brought him in and let our physios at him again.

Still love Wenger

Pay as you play contract, prove his fitness.
Good call bruv

Non-flying dutchman

might have done well to keep out of the big debate around the club if that was something he was after


Pinching one of their best players is usually ok though


Don’t mind having Willian, yet would love having Eriksen in the squad. It’s just that I’m not sure if he would be willing to cross over.


Mari will come good and establish himself as a starter… heard it here first.

Artetas Assistant

He’s a solid Spanish Man.

John C

One of the most interesting aspects of Arteta’s short time at the club is that he appears to be doing the complete opposite to Wenger. Out has gone the wide open football and exposed defence, in its place has come a compact defensive unit looking to take the few chances that might come our way. The fact that both Gabriel and Partey’s most obvious characteristics apart from their football talents is their size and physicality is quite telling. One of the main concerns i had with Arteta getting the job was i was worried he would just be a Wengerlite… Read more »

Diaby's Left Peg

He also wanted to sign Aouar who’s hardly the most physically imposing player. I think its about returning balance to a squad that has been rather poorly assembled.

Wenger did sign players like Vieira and Sol…

John C

Vieira signed in 1996 and Sol 2001, Wenger left in 2018.

The fact that you mention 2 players who left the club more than a decade before Wenger left proves my point.


You have a bias sir. He also signed Adebayor, Chamakh, Kola, Chambers, Holding, Per, Podolski etc. We didn’t have a Matic or an Essien or a Pogba – yes. But to imply that he only signed fleet footed elves is malarkey. Wenger has always rated good athletes.


I doubt he was deeply frustrated but it sounds like he’s been a tactician since his playing days so, yes, that probably would have been an opportunity he’d spotted.

I think we’ll see the type of football he wants to play when we take a look at all the things Man City *aren’t* doing this season. He was a huge influence in that style of football (it wasn’t just Tiki Taka [email protected] stuff)

John C

Adding a bit of physical ballast to the team isn’t cutting edge tactics is it? In fact it’s not even a tactic, it’s just an acknowledgement that if your players lose more physical encounters than you win your chances of success are greatly reduced, especially in the premier league.

And don’t over-estimate Arteta’s effect on Man City, Guardiola was hardly unsuccessful before he appointed Arteta was he?


The modern game is about power, pace and technicality. These two bring both. Excited to watch both continue to integrate to what promises to be a strong spine in the team

Artetas Assistant

Not gotten on the bandwagon before but am Edouard sized motherfucker would be a great top to this spine. But I have a feeling it’ll be a more lanky player, Leno-like .

Judging by my __________, We could have been looking at a Martinez – Gabriel – Partey – Edouard spine

🧥 🚪


Partey and Gabriel are both Tierney-level signings.

Those three players, plus Saka and Auba, are all as good as we could hope for in their respective positions. The challenge is figuring out the other five, and a way to make it all click together. Exciting times for the team.


I would add Hector to that list also, leaving us with only 4 to go.. We do have decent players in the other positions , the other CB position is acceptable covered by Luiz/ Mustafi when back,Pepe has the potential still and Dani and AMN are quality players. We lack still some quality im midfield, but our biggest issues now are the use of Auba to the left when our central strikers are underperforming, Artetas tendency to overthink his game plan against top team and the lack of game changers from the bench. Leaving Ozil out and a players like… Read more »


Hector is not on their level. He is adequate but not spectacular when you consider his good offense this year and his poor defense. I wouldn’t be surprised if Hector is moved next summer and AMN becomes the right back for a number of years.


This comment honestly makes it seem like you haven’t been watching Arsenal since Arteta took over… Hector has been crucial to our development as a functioning unit and is THE vital cog on the right hand for ball retention and progression.

It’s no accident he’s essentially our most creative player this season and the difference he made when coming on (incisive forward runs and comfortable on the ball) should illustrate that point.

There is a good player within AMN but anyone who thinks he’s taking the right back slot from Bellerin has clearly not been paying attention.

Artetas Assistant

There’s something remaining for me with Tierney. He should have grabbed Mane and punched him in the throat when he decided to be a dirty bully last time out.
Eventually their readiness for violence (described as being pumped for the game but it’s a conscious art) was the difference in that game


They do, but the whole team must improve its overall performance as it pretty mediocre generally. There hasn’t been anything like a standout performance since the opening game. Hopefully, we can start against Leicester.

Cranky Colin

With this team now, I’m just waiting for a “Click” sound.
Maybe against the Foxes!!!!

Naked Cygan

We have missed having strong, and pysical players who can actually play football. Gilbert was the last one I believe. Since then we have gone for more technical players who lacked thr pysicality. Hopefully Gabriel and Partey will give us that extra balance.


I don’t remember Gilbert


Gilbert Silvestre ! The finest french CDM to ever grace the Arse!


Okay we are “balanced” now, so let’s attack damn it!


Will someone please tell Arteta that i do not want sublime intricate football played in our own penalty area!
Stop it before I have a fucking heart attack.
It does not work. It has cost us games.
Stop it#


Be good to have some chants in Ghanaian. Be good to have a crowd chanting.

Pocas Ludolski

Would just be good to have a crowd.


Gabriel’s adaption is probably partially down to Luiz. Good on him. Happy days.


Partey had a decent outing considering first game and likely erring on side of caution. More to come from him but already we can see that long leg nicking balls away for us. Will be a good screen to hopefully return us to a back 4 Ditto with Magalhaes who looks a good buy giving us finally mobility and strength even if Luiz is a bit of a stop gap. In fact we looked to be playing in back 4 for most parts of the match against Rapid Weiner. Klasinac was very wide and pushed up which to me created… Read more »

Dubai Ham

If we get back into top 4 this year, then our challenge will be to rebuild the team (AGAIN). We will need:

  1. forward to replace Auba
  2. a creative midfielder
  3. a decent replacement goalkeeper (why did we sell Emi?)

~Then we can talk about the title.

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