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Blackpool fullback Gabriel slams 'not nice Arsenal atmosphere'

Nottingham Forest right-back Jordan Gabriel has taken fresh aim at former club Arsenal.

He will step out at Wembley on Sunday in the League One play-off final against Lincoln for Blackpool on loan.

Gabriel was at Arsenal from the U9s to U15s after being spotted playing for Sunday league team Shelsdon Juniors.

He said, "My dreams had always been to play for Arsenal and to play at the Emirates, which I eventually did in the U14s.

“The ability our team had was frightening. When you went away for tournaments you went with your year group. I remember in 2006-2007 we went to Dirinon and won the tournament in France.

“But talent only gets you so far.

“If you have staff who want to push players through that helps. Not everyone had that. Coaches can have their favourites they are going to push, whether they have a bad attitude or not.

“So it is not always a nice atmosphere to be in. A lot of the time I didn't want to be there at Arsenal because of the atmosphere.

“Sometimes I didn't really want to go to training because you'd get picked on. The staff wouldn't really do anything about it.

“There was more chance of people being rewarded than punished. Coming through at a young age , you get a lot of knocks.

“Some people don't get up from that and they don't want to go through that. They put it aside and drop out of football because they lose belief.

“I remember being released like yesterday.

“I went in with my dad and had the conversation when Liam Brady said: 'there is potential there and we love having you but I am not quite sure we can see you getting a contract later on'.

“That is when my dad said: 'It is probably best that we split paths'.

“From that I literally left the office, got in the car and didn't look back. It was massively heart-breaking.

“You felt shock and hurt.

“But as soon as I went from there I felt I would show them what I am capable of."

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