Even though the seemingly never ending Arsenal injury curse has hit us once again and inflicted the Brazilian defender Gabriel with a hamstring problem that will keep him out of the Champions League clash with Barcelona, or at the least the first leg of it tonight at the Emirates Stadium, he is confident that his team mates will be able to do a job on the visiting team without him.
As reported by Metro this week the centre back has revealed that the Gunners have been working hard on a way to stop the free scoring Catalans, spearheaded by the most potent attacking front three in world football of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar, from getting goals against Arsenal.
Gabriel also suggested that he had a part in developing this secret strategy to curb the attacking threat of the current UCL champions, probably drawing on his experience in La Liga with Villarreal.
He said, ‘I know the formula to stop Messi, Neymar and Suarez but it is locked under seven keys!
‘I cannot reveal the formula. If I reveal it, I risk all the strategy the team has worked on. But it won’t be easy to stop them.
‘Although there is this attention on Leicester, Arsenal will win the Premier League.
‘We all want to get our spot in Arsenal’s history. We all want to win the Champions League this time.’
I am glad that the Gunners have a plan but I am also sure that many teams before us have had a plan to stop Barca and not too many managed it, even when their attack was almost exclusively centre around Messi. Now they have Neymar and Suarez as well and any of those three can kill you.
Whatever this plan is it will need all of our back four to be at their best for it to work, and will need great protection in front from Coquelin with Cech on top form behind them. But will it work?