Gabriel Paulista was one of the worst players in a poor Arsenal side against Manchester United this past Sunday, and the reason he’s been struggling is apparently his poor grasp of the English language, according to the Daily Mail.
There seemed to be a complete lack of communication between our defenders this weekend, and Laurent Koscielny and Gabriel really didn’t form the best partnership. Individually both are quality defenders – one better than the other of course – but they didn’t seem able to work together. There was constantly too much of a gap between them, and an 18-year-old Marcus Rashford was able to exploit those gaps far too easily.
This is reportedly due to his failure to pick up English, which is obviously a massive issue. Communication is a huge part of a defensive unit, and the fact that the pair are struggling does not bode well.
Per Mertesacker obviously has a huge number of glaring issues with his game, and he’s regularly exposed due to his lack of pace. His partnership with Koscielny is unquestionably a huge boost though, and where they are concerned the whole is definitely greater than the sum of its parts.
Koscielny is a top quality defender, but he isn’t exactly a leader and he is rarely seen talking to his teammates. He’s an athletic specimen and has many traits which make him arguably the best centre-back in the league, but he needs to be complimented with the right partner and someone like Gabriel, who struggles with communication, really doesn’t seem like the right fit.
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If Gabriel can’t improve his English quickly, it suggests we need to dip back into the market for a centre-back this summer. We need someone like Vincent Kompany or (forgive me for saying it) John Terry, whose major strengths are organising their troops and getting everyone to fall into line. Both the Manchester City and Chelsea men have their own weaknesses of course, but organisation and communication are not among them.