Tag Archives: Gabriel

Arsenal new boys “best signings in years”

Over the summer criticism of Edu creeped in as the transfer window rolled on.

The criticism was not unfounded, as Arsenal publicly struggled in their pursuit of Houssem Aouar and only completed the signing of Thomas Partey on the last day of the season.

But praise actually needs to be given for the transfer business we did over the summer. Especially with the recruitment of Thomas Partey and Gabriel.

Arsenal signed Brazilian centre back Gabriel on September 1st for a fee in the region of £24million.

He came with a good reputation in France, having impressed for Lille last season.

But there were questions marks.

Prior to 2019/20, he had a couple of uninspiring loan deals at Troyes before joining Croatian side Dinamo Zagreb, where he made just one league appearance for each club’s senior team.

His statistics, however, held up well.

Whether it was aerial duels, ground duels or passing, he was producing better statistics than anyone at Arsenal. Although this came with the caveat that he was playing in France.

He has taken to English football like a duck to water and should already be considered one of the best central defenders in the league.

When you consider Manchester City and Manchester United have spent so much on central defenders in recent years, and Chelsea had to settle on vetran Thiago Silva, Gabriel feels like a real coup.

Virgil van Dijk aside, it is a struggle to name a better central defender in the league than Gabriel. And at 22 (and with van Dijk out for a year), Gabriel will quickly establish himself as the best in the league.

Thomas Partey was signed on the last day of the transfer window.

We have only seen him for 90 minutes in the Europa League, but he confirmed what we already know about him – that he is a beat of a central midfielder.

A few people expected Partey to replace Granit Xhaka as the midfield anchor. But this would result in Partey losing 50% of his influence.

Just because you are a defensive midfielder, does not mean that your job is to sit in front of the defence.

Take Patrick Vieira for example.

One of the greatest midfielders to have ever played the game, he always played with someone behind him – Emmanuel Petit or Gilberto for Arsenal and Didier Deschamps for France.

That allowed Vieira to press forward, to bully players across the park. If he was the anchor, he would have to be more statics. Cleaning up rather than dominating.

Partey is in a similar mould.

You want the Ghanaian to have the freedom to press opponents regardless of where they are on the pitch.

Against Rapid Wein we saw this.

He would push forward, bullying players, with Mo Elneny playing behind him providing that cover.

Partey’s game is ready made for the Premier League.

In Partey and Gabriel Arsenal have made two big signings. Two players that we have missed for a decade.

A dominant central defender and an equally dominant central midfielder.

They are the men Edu now needs to build the team around for the next 5 years.

We might have finished the transfer window not adding the creativity we craved, but through Edu’s recruitment and Mikel Arteta’s coaching, we now look more defensively solid.

Once a manager has built that solid foundation, he will transition into a more attacking style of play.

Partey and Gabriel are Arsenal’s best signings in years.

We are looking good.

Keenos

David Luiz and Willian audition for Brazilian Eastenders

Well what a busy start to the week we have had over at The Arsenal.

On Monday, the news broke fairly late in the day that the deal taking Henrik Mihitaryan to Roma was finally confirmed.

This got us thinking about COVID19 clauses in contracts and if it was a part of the agreement between Arsenal and Lille that Gabriel would have to undergo testing and quarantine prior to the transfer being completed.

On Tuesday our suspicions were confirmed as Arsenal announced the signing of Gabriel on a cute little Zoom call alongside David Luiz and Willian. This was a day after Gabriel had been at the training ground to join the squad in the bi-weekly club COVID19 test.

The announcement was quite a novel way to announce a player.

A live call between David Luiz and Willian on YouTube. They had a little chat about Willian, and then went on to discussing Gabriel. A decision was then made to call him and there he was, in his Arsenal training gear.

Luiz and Willian certainly have a post playing career in Brazilian EastEnders, playing hairy, South American Mitchell brothers.

And I guess that would make Gabriel Billy Mitchell?

On the video call, David Luiz’s importance to Mikel Arteta came across.

He is now in the role of “Father of the Squad” as one of the oldest and most experienced. It will be his job to help the young players such as Gabriel and William Saliba settle. It is a role he seems to have fitted into nicely.

Prior to the Gabriel announcement was the news that Ken Friar is to step down from the board to become Arsenal’s Life President.

Ken Friar is a lifelong Arsenal employee, whose story is immortalised on the North Bridge:

One day in 1945, a young Ken Friar was playing football with friends in front of Arsenal Football Club’s Highbury Stadium.

A miskick saw the ball disappear underneath a parked car. As Ken Friar hesitantly went to retrieve the ball, the car’s owner appeared from the famous Highbury marble halls, it was none other than the manager of Arsenal, George Allison.

Allison was impressed with young Friar’s enthusiasm and told him to make himself useful by reporting to his office the next day, whereupon the 12 year-old was offered a job as a messenger at the stadium on matchdays.

From that day on, Mr Friar became a loyal servant to Arsenal Football Club.

in 1950, Mr Friar started working full-time in the matchday ticket office. Through years of hard work and dedication, he was the club Secretary, Managing Director, and also a leader in Arsenal’s move from Highbury to the new stadium.

At the forefront in driving Arsenal Football Club to success for over 60 years.

For that lifetime of dedication, we thank you Mr Friar.

It was sad to see some “fans” abusing Mr Friar in the Tweet announcing his retirement. So called Arsenal fans have also taken to abuse the clubs social media manager for the Gabriel announcement being “delayed”. in the past we have also seen “fans” abuse club photographers, club legends and more recently, the daughter of Geordie Armstrong.

These people are not fans. They are hangers on. They are something nasty you step in occasionally. For some reason they associate themselves with Arsenal and their behaviour is disgusting.

The majority of these fans seem to be Tweeting from abroad. None of them have ever been to a game.

All true Arsenal fans will know and thank Ken Friar OBE for his work for the club over the last 75 years. They will understand those working for the club are just employees and do not deserve abuse. It is vile, and these people need to look at themselves.

Following the Gabriel announcement came some news about an outgoing. Not Sokratis to Napoli but Hector Bellerin to PSG.

It was interesting to watch it unfold on Twitter.

One Journalist broke the news, and then the likes of David Ornstein and Fabrizio Romano jumped on it as if they were breaking it, to keep up the pretence that they actually know what is happening at The Arsenal.

I will probably dedicate more time to discussing Bellerin later in the week.

He has been a fantastic servant to the club for nearly 10 years, and worn the shirt with honour and dignity. If he and the club decide it is time for Bellerin to start a new journey, then so be it.

Enjoy your Thursday.

Keenos

Gabriel transfer to Arsenal to be confirmed following 14 day “cooling off” period

The COVID19 pandemic will give rise to a whole new loads of clauses in players contracts, and the deals between clubs.

Yesterday the transfer of Henrik Mkhitaryan to Roma was finally announced by Arsenal.

It was back at the end of June that the deal was apparently agreed, so it unusual that it took nearly 2 months for the “ink to dry” on a fairy easy to complete deal.

Also yesterday, Serie A announces that their season will officially start on September 19th.

The two bits of news breaking on the same day got me thinking.

Was part of the agreement between Arsenal and Roma that the “deal would only be confirmed once a Serie A have announced a start date for the 2020/21 season.”

This clause would protect Roma from signing a player before the confirmation of the forthcoming season. They would have been worried that had the deal gone through, and for whatever reason the 2020/21 Serie A season is further delayed, they would be paying a salary for a new player without games to play.

On the same train of thought, Arsenal’s deal for Gabriel is still her to be conformed. Could this be due to a COVID19 clause?

With people having the quarantine for 14 days coming in from France, Arsenal might have inserted a clause in the deal with Lille that the “transfer of Gabriel will only be confirmed following a 14 day cooling off period and negative Coronavirus test”.

COVID19 is a virus that attacks the lungs.

Imagine the scenario where Arsenal (or any other club) signs a player from France, and then 10 days after signing is admitted to hospital with COVID19.

The player is then on a ventilator, with the virus attacking his lungs.

With many people who contacted COVID19 months ago still reporting suffering with breathing problems, Arsenal could end up with a player who might never play for he club due to lung issues.

To protect themselves, Arsenal might be insisting that the Gabriel transfer has a “14 day cooling off period” between when it was agreed and when it is announced just to ensure he did not arrive with COVID19.

Remember, a COVID19 test does not confirm you have the virus, just that the virus is active within your body. The virus can take up to 14 days to activate and show symptoms (hence the 14 day quarantine).

Whilst Gabriel might not actually be quarantining (he has had his medical, etc), they might have decided on that 14 day cooling off period to protect their finances.

Note: David Ornstein has now confirmed that the delay on Gabriel’s transfer is due to him going under quarantine

Keenos