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Rio Ferdinand brands Gabriel Magalhaes 'mad' and 'wild' in stinging criticism of the Arsenal defender

Rio Ferdinand brands Gabriel Magalhaes 'mad' and 'wild' in stinging criticism of the Arsenal defender

The former Manchester United man did not hold back.

Rio Ferdinand has branded Gabriel Magalhaes 'mad' and 'wild' in a scathing criticism of the Arsenal defender.

Gabriel has played a key role in Arsenal's ascent to the summit of the Premier League table, forming a formidable partnership alongside William Saliba in the heart of defence.

The Gunners' defensive fragility was laid bare for all to see at the back end of last season, but Mikel Arteta has since transformed his side at the back.

Indeed, Gabriel has helped Arsenal shape the third best defence in the division, with the 25-year-old also chipping in with three goals at the other end the pitch.

However, the Brazilian has been prone to the occasional lapse in concentration this season - an issue which was illustrated against West Ham on Sunday afternoon.

While former Manchester United defender Ferdinand has questioned whether Arteta can continue to rely on his number six.

What did he say?

Arsenal looked to be cruising their way to victory against West Ham, having carved out a 2-0 lead inside 10 minutes.

However, a clumsy tackle from Gabriel on Lucas Paqueta gifted the Hammers the opportunity to draw level from the penalty spot, which Said Benrahma took with aplomb.

To the untrained eye, Gabriel didn't need to commit to the challenge. But his decision paved the way for an uncomfortable afternoon at the London Stadium which saw the Gunners lose valuable ground in the title race.

Discussing the defender's performance, Ferdinand labeled Gabriel 'rash' in his decision-making, suggesting he needs to eradicate the 'madness' from his game.

"Rash… and I’ve said this about Gabriel a few times. He’s rash, he makes mad, wild decisions," Ferdinand said on his Vibe with Five YouTube podcast.

"As a defender you’ve got to be calm. There’s no need for him to do what he did. It was a rush of blood, he needs to eradicate that, get that out of his game quick.

Ferdinand then questioned whether Arteta can rely on Gabriel for Arsenal's final seven games of the season.

"As a manager you don’t want to see that. Because those types of things ruin the head too many times, it starts becoming part of their make-up, and you’re going, ‘hold on, can I rely on this guy?' added Ferdinand.

"I think he’s had a fabulous season, Gabriel. But those types of decisions can be very costly, he’s in the run-in now.

"That will hurt, the way they dropped points."

Featured Image Credit: Alamy & Rio Ferdinand's FIVE YouTube channel

Topics: Arsenal, Football, Gabriel Magalhaes, Rio Ferdinand, Mikel Arteta