Gabriel believes that the whole team were at fault for Arsenal’s poor defensive display against Tottenham on Sunday.

  • Tottenham won 2-0 with goals from Eric Dier and Harry Kane (pen.)
  • Gabriel gave Kane opportunity to dive for penalty
  • Reckons Arsenal played well in first half but not in second

Gabriel reckons that, during the first half, Arsenal actually played pretty well against Spurs and are adapting to their new 3-4-3 formation nicely. However, it was in the second half when the wheels came off, which he believes is the fault of the entire team.

“We were in a good sequence with this new formation,” Gabriel told ESPN Brazil [via Sport Witness] post-match.

“We had been adapting to a new style of play. And today, in the first half, I think we managed to defend ourselves well. We had some chances on the counterattack. But in the second half, I think we’ve come back a bit off.

“We could not play, and ended up conceding the goals in a silly mistake in the defensive part. When I say the defensive, it’s not just the centre-backs. I think it’s the whole team, right? Coming from the attack. And the penalty happened.”

A 3-4-3 formation does mean the team need to work together slightly more cohesively for it to be successful.

With only three players at the back, wing-backs need to ensure there’s not acres of space down the flanks and midfielders also have to get stuck in more with the defensive work.

However, on Sunday, the players didn’t look as if they knew what they were doing – even in the first half, which Gabriel claims was okay. It was almost as if they had been told where to stand but not what to do once they were there.

I notice that the centre-back breezed over the penalty.

Whether it was a dive from Harry Kane or not (it was), Gabriel was the man that gave him a chance to go down.