Saturday, February 24, 2024

Arteta on Gabriel and Saliba’s special bond

Mikel Arteta had nothing but praise for William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes when he faced the press ahead of today’s clash with Wolves.

The duo have started nine of Arsenal’s 13 matches in the Premier League this season and conceded only seven goals along the way. With a helping hand from a rotating cast of Oleksandr Zinchenko, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Ben White and Jukub Kiwior, they’ve been the bedrock of the meanest defence in the top division.

Comparatively young for the positions they play – Saliba is 22 and Gabriel 25 – and each tied down to long contracts having penned new terms at the Emirates in the last 13 months, the manager is predicting a bright future, especially given the close bond they’ve formed on and off the pitch.

“To see those two centre-backs at that age in the Premier League doing what they’re doing, that’s very strange. But great credit to them, that’s a partnership,” said the Spaniard. 

“Building a relationship and chemistry; there is not a company with the stats that can give you that stat. That’s impossible to measure. But there is something there that is not tangible, but it’s very, very important in certain positions and those two certainly have that.”

“I don’t know what they speak, sometimes, it’s French, Spanish, English, I don’t understand, but they understand each other which is the most important part.”

Having been a near ever-present for two seasons, eyebrows were raised when Gabriel wasn’t included in the starting lineup for the first three games of the season against Nottingham Forest, Crystal Palace and Fulham.

The manager tried to explain the situation away claiming it was tactical but with rumours circulating that a Saudi club had tried to lure the Brazilian away for big money, it always felt like there might be another reason behind it.

Three months later, the boss has hinted that some time on the bench provoked the response he was looking for.

He said: “In football it’s all about tomorrow. It’s about form, it’s about how you are playing, it’s about how you’re behaving.

You have to earn it every single day because you know somebody else is next to you and wants to take your place and deserves to take your place.

“Sometimes you just need to sit down on the bench and realise things and then you become suddenly a much better player.”

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I hated it when he benched big gabi. maybe he’s doing the same mind games with Ramsdale right now but I doubt it somehow!

Santi’s Phonebox

How one responds to adversity in life is a window into their resilience and mentality. How do they respond, do they fight against, do they sulk or do they do what’s required to achieve the level. What is their character. Arteta recruits for four main components: football IQ, character, technical ability and mentality. Of the four the last is the hardest to ascertain unless the player has previously gone through tough times. I feel bad for Ramsdale as an individual, he’s a likeable chap who we would all have a pint with but Raya suits our style of play better… Read more »


May be Ramsdale didn’t responded strongly enough in training 🙁


It’s pretty simple. It’s a technical reason. Raya is simply better at playing out from the back and his distribution. We have more control of the ball with him.


I think it had a lot more to do with Timber. Seemed like a very deliberate formation change. Arteta doesn’t strike me as someone who likes to mix it up. Suspect we would be playing a different style had the injury not hit. Thank god…love our CBs


“I don’t know what they speak, sometimes, it’s French, Spanish, English, I don’t understand”
That’s called larifari. I love them both.


So glad Arteta put Gabriel back after benching him the first few games. Squad looks more settled now. Too much tinkering won’t help the team tbh. Now he needs clarity with aaron and david and we move on fighting for the rest of the competitions.


It’s pretty clear to me who the better keeper is and also it’s pretty clear who Arteta’s number one is.

Granit(e) hard!

Their partnership is something special and as a fan just exciting to behold, seeing it evolved before our own very eyes, and nothing personifies that special bond more than in the dying minutes of the last Lens match, where, Gabriel made a superb goal line block, Arsenal 6 : 0 up, yet they both celebrated with each other like we just scored a goal…fantastic!, these guys keep Haaland in their pockets for fun and we all know that is no easy fit

Dennis Asiimwe

It was irritating in the extreme…


Interesting comments on benching Gabriel. Feels like we never really got to the bottom of that. Maybe it genuinely was a motivational tactic.


Kind of saying he’s been better since too. I guess he’s right on that in to reference of the end of last season without his mate Billy


Benching Gabi was much like Ramsdale in his destruction and ability to hold the ball till last second before passing it wasn’t there . He got caught good few time on ball last season but nothing of note this year so big progression made there


I say trust Arteta, OK we didn’t like seeing him benched but look at the bond and understanding we have now . TRUST Arteta we must

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