Sunday was not a good day for Arsenal, and Gabriel in particular performed poorly in defence.
The frontline and midfield were both poor, but Gabriel’s defending cost us one, arguably two goals in the 3-2 defeat at Old Trafford.
Though it’s certainly no excuse for a poor defensive display, speaking the language with some sort of fluency would obviously help. How is Laurent Koscielny supposed to let the Brazilian know where a striker is if he can’t understand him?
“I would prefer him to have better English because in the fraction of a second sometimes someone can help you communicate,” Arsène Wenger said in Friday morning’s press conference.
“He has Nacho Monreal next to him who can speak in Spanish, I believe now he’s working very hard on English and is improving quite quickly and well.”
The centre-half doesn’t have to be absolutely fluent, he just needs a good grasp of quick football phrases to let him know where the offside line is or where opposition players are. Monreal’s Spanish helps, but Gabriel’s mother tongue is Portuguese, plus he was only in Spain for 18 months. The two languages are similar but far from identical and reports when he signed in January 2015 said that his Spanish wasn’t great, having only spent 18 months at Villarreal.
We already know that Petr Čech speaks to his defence in three languages at a time but, when no defender has been introduced to the side in over 12 months, it’s ridiculous that they can’t communicate in one language.
Maybe Gabriel is improving quickly now but, if he is, what has he done for the last year?