Gabriel is determined to challenge for a space in the Arsenal starting XI but is well aware of the competition he faces.
The centre-back has mainly got a run in the team though luck. First Per Mertesacker picked up a red card against Chelsea and was subsequently dropped for a few games, now Laurent Koscielny is injured.
When the Brazilian first featured for us, many saw potential. His likeability then increased tenfold when he had a go at Diego Costa at Stamford Bridge, even if he did get sent off. However, recently, Gabriel hasn’t been performing that well. In fact, I’d go as far as to say he’s been poor.
Speaking ahead of our FA Cup replay against Hull, Gabriel acknowledged that he’s got a long way to go but he does feel as if he’s improving.
“I still have a long way [to feel like a starter],” he said.
“I’m working very hard [to get it] but the competition is high because my team-mates are at the top level.
“I am training very hard and trying to take every opportunity in the games and I think I’m doing things right.
“I’m already 100% recovered from my last injury and now I just have to keep working to improve further.”
I can’t help but smile at Gabriel highlighting the match against Spurs as an example of his English improving considering all he did was shout: “Yeah, come on!” Repeatedly. Still, it was an improved performance and it’s good to see his passion.