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Arteta – Why Gabriel deserves huge credit | Interview | News

Mikel Arteta says Gabriel’s debut performance was all the more impressive because he hasn’t played a competitive game for so long.

The Brazilian defender started against Fulham at Craven Cottage on Saturday and grew in stature as the game unfolded to help us keep a clean sheet in a 3-0 win.
 
Gabriel scored our second goal with a header from Willian’s corner and ended the game with outstanding passing stats – completing a team high 107 of 113.
 
“He showed today his character and his personality because he hasn’t played any football in six months,” Arteta told Arsenal.com. “He only had a couple of sessions with us but we needed to play him today and he was terrific.
 
“I am really pleased with the result and the performance as well,” added our manager. “I saw a lot of positive things and a great spirit and a great commitment. We had a really intense attitude with the authority to come to this ground and show who we want to be.”
 
Willian stood out with two assists on his own Arsenal debut and Arteta admitted that team selection is getting tougher.

“We knew that Willian was going to give us performances straight away,” he said. “It’s difficult at the moment to pick the right players up front because there is so much competition, but that’s going to raise the level of the team.

“My job is to try to get everybody at their highest level and doing their best. We have some other examples with Mo, with Rob, with Ainsley as well, they are at their best at the moment and that is going to make it difficult for the rest of the team.
 
“They have to step up and fight for their places and when they are playing, perform. And when they’re not playing, support the team.”
 
Elneny kept his place in midfield and has clearly impressed his new manager.
 
“I really like Mo and what he brings to the squad, in terms of his personality as well,” said Arteta.
 
“At a football level, I think he needs a little bit of belief. He has some doubts about whether we can trust him or not. I’ve had a lot of conversations with him, he fully deserves his chance. He trains every day with the best spirit. He wants to learn and he is performing really well.”

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