Everyone knows that Gabriel doesn’t speak any English.
Arriving at the club with the same level of understanding of the language as Alexis Sanchez, Arsene Wenger highlighted the problem before the game against Middlesbrough in the FA Cup at the weekend.
While no-one would deny that knowing what your teammates are saying is important, especially in defence when you need the back four to work in unison, Arsenal have found a way to get their message through to Gabriel while he learns his keywords – they’re doing a lot of pointing and shouting.
Mathieu Flamini must be delighted.
Speaking on Tuesday, Kieran Gibbs revealed how they are all going about trying to help the centreback find his place in the side and understand what is going on around him.
“He doesn’t speak any English at the moment and it was the same with Alexis Sanchez when he came.
“It won’t take him long. We’ve brushed him up on a few of the sayings for him to get used to.
“Is it by pointing and shouting? Actually, yeah, it is like that because in training in the week, Steve [Bould] goes through things with him with one of the Spanish boys who then translates for him what it means in English so he understands and when it is said to him on the pitch he knows what to do.
“That’s what it starts from and to get a good understanding it is important.”
If Alexis Sanchez is anything to go by, the need to understand English is extremely overrated.