After the shocker that he had for Arsenal on Boxing Day when he was one of the players most at fault for the heavy beating the Gunners took at the hands of Southampton, a lot of people were surprised to see that it was the German centre back Per Mertesacker that was on the bench for the Bournemouth match.
But it was not down to poor performances that Arsene Wenger rested Laurent Koscielny. The France international defender has had a few niggling injury concerns in the last year or so and with just a couple of days between matches I assume the boss was making sure our best defender was alright for the rest of the season.
The question for many Arsenal fans now is whether the boss will start putting Gabriel instead of Mertesacker in the centre of our defence with him. The Brazilian had a storming game last night and the subject came up in Wenger’s post match interview which you can read in full on the Arsenal website.
The boss said, “We didn’t speak about him because Ozil took the whole press conference. I think he was dangerous from set-pieces and defenced very well. He had good focus, was agile, quick and very strong in the challenge.
“I don’t know yet [if he will start the next game]. I rested one or two for the game because the players at the back have played many games there is a possibility.”
I don’t know about the rest of you Arsenal fans out there but I certainly hope to see him given another chance and with Newcastle next up it is a great chance to see him and Koscielny together. I still think that the German has a big part to play for us but if Gabriel is in better form he should be starting. Or was this just one good game against a struggling side?