Morning all.

This is from our young centre-back Gabriel Magalhães talking to Arsenal Media:

I think it’s one of the best periods of my life at the moment. I’m learning more about life every day with everything that’s happening to me. When you become a father, you change in many ways and I’m delighted.

I think the first season was tough, the second went better and the third is just starting now. My ambition is to play in every match. We know how hard it is to go through a season playing in every game but I’ll try to keep taking good care of myself to help Arsenal at all times.

Gabriel has had the odd brain f**t since joining Arsenal Football Club, what footballer doesn’t at the peak of his career let alone his age which at 24 years old is still young for a central defender playing for one of the top clubs in England. Virgil van Dijk had just left Celtic for Southampton at the same age, Rio Ferdinand hadn’t switched from Leeds to Man Utd at 24 years old and Sol Campbell was 27 years old before moving to a top club. I think Martin Keown was the same age when he joined Arsenal for a second time. I’m sure there are many other examples of central defenders not hitting their peak until their late 20’s.

William Saliba showed he’s not a freak of nature on Sunday as he made a few mistakes but he’s just 21 years old so it’s to be expected. Thomas Partey, Gabriel Jesus and Granit Xhaka make mistakes too yet they’re wise and older players. Footballers are human beings, they will make errors but when a central defender makes one, it seems to be highlighted more, especially if it leads to a goal.

Yes, Gabriel was silly to do what it looked like he did on Sunday but as has been said on here in the comments, if the officials spot the first foul committed by Bamford, perhaps the Leeds man would have been more focused on moaning to Chris Kavanagh, than rolling around the floor like he’d been hit with a lump of wood. Bamford should be embarrassed after his theatrics. But that strikers these days it seems, not all I know but put Son, Kane, Salah, Vardy, Saha etc etc in the same position Bamford was in and I’m 99% sure they’d have hit the deck. Just as Gabriel Jesus did when he felt contact made with his leg against Liverpool. Sky Sports call it ‘penalties won’ and they even have a league table for it.

I’m pretty sure Mikel Arteta will be aware of all his player’s weaknesses and together with his coaches, will be working hard to eradicate them from their game but when a club goes down the young team route, mistakes are going to made. In Gabriel’s case against Leeds, yes he was silly to give Kavanagh a decision to make because of his reaction but when one comes up against opponents who are trying to cheat their way to victory, it must be frustrating. I thought Rob Holding was brilliant in the way he took Gabriel away from it all.

The funny thing is though, the media are talking more about the Gabriel/Bamford incident than the Saliba handball, the Bamford penalty miss and his final unsporting behaviour after he initiated the entire goings on. The Mirror have a headline saying

“Mikel Arteta faces challenge over dressing room’s “petulant” nature after Leeds win”.

What a load of rubbish! The focus is on Gabriel of course and his previous two red cards but two is nothing really when one considers the standard of officiating and neither were were straight reds. Forgive me if I’ve got this wrong Daily Mirror, but Gabriel wasn’t sent off on Sunday either, not once Kavanagh realised he’d got his original decision wrong and for the rest of the game, our Brazilian played really well.

I guess it’s a sign of Arsenal doing well when the media start making negative headlines up.

Lastly, Beth Mead came runner up in the woman’s Balloon d’Or last night. She was robbed of first place by last year’s winner, Alexia Putellas. Next year Beth, next year.

See you in the comments.