Arsenal defender Gabriel insists he’s learning a lot from Mikel Arteta, and says any success the players may bring their manager is “exactly what he deserves”.
The 23-year-old has established himself as a regular starter in 2021/22 after his debut Premier League campaign saw a promising start halted by a Covid-19 diagnosis, followed by a spell out of the team after a loss of form.
The Gunners are overcoming a slow start to the season that had left them without a point – or a goal – after three games, and Sunday’s convincing win over Tottenham in the north London derby was the latest positive result that is helping turn the tide for Arteta.
Gabriel has been key to Arsenal’s resurgence, but credits Arteta’s style of management for helping the club make positive strides.
“He is a top guy who is always helping out his players and his staff,” Gabriel told Sky Sports News. “He supports us during tough times and I’m very happy to be coached by him.
“Without doubt, I’m learning a lot from him. He helps us a lot on the pitch, in terms of deciding how we are set up and the systems we use. He guides us forward but he also asks us questions about what we think might be best for the team.
“The communication in general between the players and the manager is very good. We want to do well for him because that’s exactly what he deserves. We see that he enjoys what he does and we want to achieve great things together.”
Gabriel also spoke of his partnership with £50m summer signing Ben White, revealing what Arteta asks from his central defenders each and every time they play together.
“The manager wants his central defenders to defend well, first and foremost,” he says. “He wants us to know the moments to attack and the moments to defend. That’s what we are trying to do, and we know now when to drop deep and when to push up.
“Having good timing on the pitch is essential and he talks to us about that a lot. He also tells us how every game is different here because we’re up against players with different attributes.
“He is a top guy who is always helping out his players and his staff”
– Gabriel on Mikel Arteta
“Ben and I have each had a full season in the Premier League now and we’re getting to know it much better. We still need to connect even more but we are improving and developing with every game and that bodes well for the rest of the season.
“We want to be a very intense and aggressive defence.”