Sunday, July 14, 2024

Gabriel talks Prague, his first season, Pablo Mari & Arsenal’s future

Gabriel Magalhaes has given an interview to ESPN Brasil ahead of this evening’s crunch Europa League quarter-final second leg with Slavia Prague.

The centre-back hasn’t courted much media attention since he arrived from Lille in the summer so his take on his first season and the quality of those around him makes for interesting reading.

With a helping hand from Google Translate, here’s what he’s had to say…

On the importance of beating Slavia Prague…

The importance of this game is as if it were a final for us, because it is our goal, we know that we have all the capacity to make a great game, to win the victory, so we are very focused. I am sure that we will give everything to return to London with the win.

I think we did not do as well as we wanted in the Premier League, of course, there are six or seven games left, but now this Thursday we have a great game and we have to concentrate on this game, that we can win a great victory and return with the classification because the Europa League has become our big goal.

On the first leg…

We were left with a bitter taste, not least because we were well in the match, we had many opportunities and they ended up scoring in the end. It was a silly mistake, but I think we are very confident for the return match, we know that we have the capacity to win the victory there and that is what we are going to do, in search of the victory to return to London with the win.

On his first season at the Emirates…

I can’t say it’s been perfect, because for that to be the case, we’d have to be top of the table, but it’s been a year of great learning as it’s my first in the Premier League. I am very happy here, I already feel at home and little by little I am learning English. It has been a learning season, which I’ll remember for the rest of my life. There were moments of learning, sadness, but as I said, a season that will be remembered. We still have the Europa League, so we will do everything to reach the final and to win this title.

On David Luiz and Pablo Mari…

David is a person without words, he is always helping me. Pablo too. Because he plays in the same position, we are always talking, about what we should have done, what we can do to improve. Whether it is me or him who plays, it doesn’t matter, we don’t have that rivalry.

I see that he [Pablo] is a spectacular person and I see how much he cheers for me when I am on the pitch. He is always praising me and talking to me at half time of games about what he sees out there, what I can improve and vice versa. When he is also on the pitch, I always try to be talking to him, I was very happy that he started the game against Sheffield United, it was a long time since we had a game without conceding goals. He’s a very important person for the team and has very good experience.

On Rob Holding…

Rob (Holding) is a little more difficult to communicate with, but when we are in the field we try to communicate as much as Mikel asks. It doesn’t matter if you speak Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, the important thing is to communicate. I think that, step by step, we are communicating better and I believe that we can make this Arsenal defence flawless.

On Arsenal’s future…

We are a team that, in my eyes and those of many others, has a lot of quality and young players. You see how Bukayo [Saka] is a revelation in the team, he’s a very young player who is already an England international. We have [Nicolas] Pepe, Emile [Smith Rowe], who’ve also returned to play, we have a very good team. I think we have a lot of quality and when we focus like Mikel asks for, he’s a person who knows a lot about football and a person who helps us on a daily basis, so if we keep doing as he asks, I’m sure we’ll grow tactically and physically because we have plenty of quality.

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Decent debut season for Gabriel, much more to come from him. COYG


Interesting article. Gabriel has made a reasonable start so hopefully he’ll build on that next season. The communications point (in the section about Holding) is a little worrying though. I recall Wenger wanted players, regardless of their native language, to communicate in English – even if only basic stuff. This is particularly important in defence when everyone in the unit has got to know what others are doing/intending in “tight” situations. It looks like some progress is being made but it really should be a priority if it isn’t already.


Agreed. Also if I were in Holding’s shoes I feel like I would try to learn as much game-related Portuguese as I could, considering every other CB on the team speaks it (except Chambers, but he hasn’t played there). Maybe he already has, but I would think that would make things a lot easier.

Diaby's Left Peg

I’d hope man on, tight, up, drop, shoulder etc get picked up pretty quick in game but it’s more the conversations he has subsequently with Luiz and Mari he’s referring to.

It does look like Holding-Mari and Gabriel-Luiz are the best combinations though, and that could explain it.


Nice interview! I’m a little concerned that he doesn’t seem to be at ease with English. What he says about his communication with Holding for instance is quite puzzling, and reminds me a bit of Gabriel Paulista who seemingly never got to a level of communication good enough for the needs of the game… Let’s hope it’s not the same for him, as he has a lot of other great qualities and looks like a nice guy. Hopefully he will have learnt some French at Lille, and will at least be able to communicate properly with Saliba next year, as… Read more »


It’s vital that the defence can communicate, at a basic level. Shouting, calling out etc. is key, but obviously only if everyone knows what’s being said. It shouldn’t be that difficult to ensure everyone has the basics in English.


Learning a new language for some can seem an insurmountable task. Even when their jobs depend on it. But you’re right, if they are truly straining to communicate with each other on the pitch it’s concerning. Surely he’s learned enough to say “I’ve got him”, “switch”, etc?

Tomaury Bischfeld

I wonder how the communication with Tierney is going – needs a class in weegie 101.


I literally completely forgot about Saliba! Does anyone have any news of how he’s getting on? Absolutely LANS


We’d better win the fucking victory tonight

Baichung Bhutia

It’s a great phrase – win the victory. We have far too many times lost the victory and won the defeat.


I see why Holding has been dropped in recent months. When he was first dropped, I thought it was because he needed a rest, having been playing almost all our games since the season started.

It may seems that Arteta feel having Luiz with Gabriel is better as they communicate better, which will help Gabriel settle in and maybe help our defence too. I felt Holding and Gabriel play well together though, till he was Quarantine for couple of weeks, breaking his and the partnership momentum.


Well, it looks like we may have finally found ourselves a half decent centre half.

As debut seasons go, this must have been an absolute nightmare scenario and fair play to the lad, he has coped admirably.

Whether Arteta gives Saliba the nod next season remains to be seen, but let’s hope a decent player emerges from our motley crew to form a good partnership. God knows we need it.

Anyway, pleased for the lad. So far, so good.


I didn’t realise Holding speaks Chinese.


I like Gabriel


Streaming links please??

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