ARSENAL’S midfield lynchpin Gilberto Silva has given the Gunners a massive end-of-season boost by pledging his future to the club.
There were fears that the Brazilian – who has only one year left on his current deal – would follow the example of compatriot Edu and run his current contract down before leaving on a free transfer.
But the World Cup winner told Ham&High Sport that he has no intention of walking out on his team-mates – and promised to sign a new deal before the beginning of the next campaign.
“I think when I come back from the holidays we can talk about that,” said Gilberto. “At the moment we haven’t discussed my contract – I have one more year on my contract.
“But I think we will sort it out. I enjoy this club, I like this club and I want to stay here.”
Indeed, Gilberto wants to get the deal done and dusted before the start of next season after seeing the problems caused by Edu’s stop-start negotiations.
His compatriot spent most of the season discussing a new deal, but after he failed to reach an agreement with his Highbury paymasters manager Arsene Wenger even refused to pick him.
That coincided with a slump in the team’s on field performances and the Gunners will be desperate to avoid the same situation.
“I think when the negotiations take so long to sort out it is not good for both parts – the club and the player,” said Gilberto. “Sometimes the player cannot concentrate very well, and it is a distraction as well.
“But I think my situation is going to be easy. I hope we can sort it out when I come back.”
Gilberto has emerged as a key component of Arsenal’s team. After missing most of the season with a back injury sustained against Bolton, the team have not lost in nine matches.
In that period they have conceded only four goals.
He played a key role for the Gunners in their FA Cup Final victory against Manchester United, when he was one of the few players to perform. While Cesc Fabregas and Patrick Vieira were both lost in the Manchester midfield maelstrom, the Brazilian made a number of vital interceptions.
Archive for May, 2005
Following the Telegraphs report of a Gilberto contract extension, Silva had the following to say.
“I haven’t spoken to the club about a new contract yet, but hopefully we will have some discussions when I come back off my holidays.
I only have one year left but I am confident it will be sorted out because I love the club and I want to stay.
It’s obvious when negotiations take a long time, things can become difficult. It is not good for either party, especially the player because it can affect your concentration.
But I am confident there will be no problems with me. My situation is easy – I want to stay where I am.
We need to think about the whole season, then, when we come back we must look at what we need to win the league again. One area we must look at is the need to do better in bigger matches.
Chelsea and Manchester United are our biggest rivals and they are looking to win the same trophies as we are.
These are the type of games you really need to win, yet we drew twice with Chelsea and lost twice against United. If we do not win those types of games, it just makes our task overall much more difficult.
Here are Gilberto’s statistics for the 2004/2005 season.
We only lost one league game while Gilberto played.
This article in the Telegraph, says that Gilberto wants a new deal. Look:
Gilberto Silva hopes to open talks on a new deal.
There’s no quotes from Silva himself, so don’t bother reading the article.
He did express a desire to stay at Arsenal, so I don’t think there will be any complications.
I don’t know how much money per-week he’s on, but I should imagine that it won’t be increased. And it’s hardly like Gilberto is a greedy git….
This is sort of a nothing-news story, but the summer is always slower with regards to Gilberto news. At least Gilberto will be playing for Brasil over the summer. He will most likely be in the first eleven alongside Emerson. Lovely.
Go here for some more news on Brazil: Click Here
Rewinding to the FA Cup Final, Gilberto said a few words on Man United’s play: (taken from this article)
Brazilian midfielder Gilberto Silva agreed that Manchester United had enjoyed most of the play.
“United had good moments, they had the ball most of the time,” he said.
“But we were strong and now we are the winners. It happens in football.”
Here is an interview with Gilberto (from before the FA Cup Final) about his relationship with Kleberson. http://woodandvale.london24.net/woodandvale/sport/story.aspx?brand=NorthLondon24&category=Sportarsenal&tBrand=northlondon24&tCategory=sport&itemid=WeED20%20May%202005%2013%3A23%3A51%3A860
Gilberto Silva may have been dubbed the Invisible Wall, but he could be coming up against the Invisible Man in tomorrow’s FA Cup Final.
For while Arsenal’s diligent midfielder is an often underrated part of the Gunners, his World Cup winning compatriot Kleberson has disappeared without trace since joining Manchester United.
Indeed, he is so hard to find that even Gilberto, who also came to England after the 2002 World Cup, cannot get through to him.
“I called him a couple of times – but he never called me,” said Gilberto. “I don’t know why – I think he doesn’t want to spend the money.
“He’s my friend – but because he plays for a rival team we need to be enemies this week.”
However, the two players are unlikely to go head-to-head tomorrow. For while Gilberto has made a first-team place his own, his erstwhile team-mate struggles to even get on the bench.
But while he may have fallen off the radar, Gilberto doesn’t expect him to be gone forever.
“I don’t know exactly what has happened to him, but he has had a lot of injuries since he went to Man Utd and that has made things very difficult,” he said. “And otherwise it is the language.
“When he came he didn’t speak English and that makes things so hard for you. But I hope next season he can play more games and not get injuries.
“If he played in the final it would be the first time we have played against each other since we came to England. The times I played against Man Utd he was injured, and when he played I was injured.”
The contrast between the two players could not be greater.
While Kleberson arrived after the World Cup in 2002 with a huge reputation, Gilberto came in virtual secrecy.
So little was known about him despite playing virtually every minute for Brazil in their World Cup success that it is no surprise to discover he had been dubbed the Invisible Wall.
“It was with an interview with a Brazilian journalist [that the name came out],” he said.
“But I understand it because people expect Brazilians to play like Ronaldo or Ronaldinho, but I’m not that kind of player.
“If you see our games, I don’t take the ball very often but I try to be in the right place to cover players. If Patrick Vieira goes forward, I try to be behind him.”
But while Kleberson’s reputation has plummeted, Gilberto’s has soared – and not least since he was ruled out with a broken back for six months.
His absence coincided with a drop in his team’s fortunes and it was no coincidence that they lost their unbeaten run, to Manchester United of all teams. Gilberto didn’t watch that match on television, but he does realise how his absence has helped fans to appreciate him more.
“The supporters are emotional. I really understand their situation, but the professional players think differently. Before I got injured they thought I was important. I don’t know if it’s a coincidence that the team went down – I don’t know if it was because I was out and I don’t want to say that. But coincidence or not it happened.
“And since I am back a lot of supporters say ‘We missed you’.
“I think the way I play is different from the other players who play in my position. Some of them play forward.
“I play very similar to Makelele. But my experience helps the team. You cannot put pressure on the young players – they did very well.
“But you cannot put pressure on them like you can me, Patrick Vieira or Thierry Henry.
“I like this kind of situation when I have a lot of pressure on me.
Well, that’s that. More contract news will be right here, when I hear about it!
Our main man, Gilberto Silva played in the FA Cup Final against Man United today.
I just got back from the game in Cardiff. Arsenal won the game 5-4 on penalties, and more importantly, Gilberto played a lovely game of football.
Here’s a quick summary of Gilberto’s day out in Wales.
The BBC had the following to say about Gilberto:
Gilberto Silva – 5/10: Steady influence in the middle of the park. Good defensive work, providing cover in defence but could have been involved more.
I personally thought Gilberto did an extra-defensive role today. Vieira was FANTASTIC going forward – which must mean Gilberto did his silent job extra well today. He intercepted NUMEROUS passes on the edge of our box, and he was very good dribbling with the ball.
Now for the GILBERTO pics.
Here are pictures which were NOT taken by me. I am simply linking to these photos taken by other photographers.
http://img270.echo.cx/img270/1450/arreut7os.jpg : Gilberto is just to the right of the cup. You can see his beautiful hair quite clearly.
http://img270.echo.cx/img270/1932/xag1050521111024x7688yb.jpg : Bert is a little out of focus.
http://img270.echo.cx/img270/5033/lon8080521111024x7684mg.jpg : Gilberto is looking at the linesman, praying. (It pays to be religious, you know.)
http://img270.echo.cx/img270/7285/529626542ta3zd.jpg : Gilberto (fifth from right), runs to do a diving slide.
http://img270.echo.cx/img270/2879/24129279is.jpg : Gilberto mounts Kolo Toure
http://img270.echo.cx/img270/642/24129318yb.jpg : Gilberto looking worried in the background
http://img270.echo.cx/img270/8093/sfnpad222qp.jpg : Gilberto enjoys up-close equestrian entertainment
http://img270.echo.cx/img270/9141/24128792ja.jpg : Gilberto’s flag. It read, “It’s just like watching Arsenal”, on the Brazilian national flag.
Out of the 200 photos that I could find, these were the only ones with Gilberto in. This obviously tells us that Gilberto wasn’t the star of the show — but we prefer him quiet, right?
I took a load of photos of Gilberto after the game. Not many of them came out well. All of them have turned out very blurred, but here they are anyways:
Gilberto downs a litre of champers
Gilberto hugs Edu
Gilberto talks to Edu
Gilberto affixes his flag-turn-turban
click here for large pic
Gilberto walks up the stairs to receive his winners medal
click here for large pic
Gilberto compares his medal to Bergkamp’s
Click here for pic! (it is large)
Gilberto quietly inspects the sign
Click here for pic! (it is large)
Gilberto joins hands with Sol and Jose
Gilberto’s “It’s just like watching Arsenal” flag
Fabregas to Gilberto: “You should run for world leader!”
Gilberto looks cool talking to Van Persie
Gilberto air-mandolins infront of the crowd
Gilberto lifts the trophy infront of the Arsenal fans. I wish this one came out better.
Gilberto hugs Edu for the last time in an Arsenal shirt.
Gilberto is expected to start against Birmingham, and then he should start in the FA Cup Final.
Gilberto is determined that Arsenal will end the season on a high by beating Manchester United to lift the FA Cup
The man the Brazilians call â€œThe Invisible Wallâ€ confidently expects Manchester United to be climbing a metaphorical one after the FA Cup final at the Millennium stadium on Saturday. Unlike the rest of his Arsenal teammates, Gilberto Silva has not finished on the losing side against United these past two years, and he does not intend to start in a Cardiff showpiece that is definitely not for the faint-hearted. Both teams need to win to avoid the indignity of finishing the season empty-handed, and the history between them suggests the hottest ticket in town should come imprinted with an X certificate.
Unitedâ€™s motivation is the greater, with their followers, from Torquay to Tynemouth, increasingly restless after another third-place finish in a Premiership that once seemed to be their exclusive preserve. Arsenal are up for it, too, having nursed a sense of grievance since United bullied them out of their record-breaking unbeaten run back in October, and Gilberto likens the final to a dust-up back home between Brazil and Argentina.
According to his manager, ArsÃ¨ne Wenger, it is no coincidence that Arsenal started the season well, when the Brazilian was anchoring their midfield, and are finishing it in style, now that he is back after injury. It was in between, when Gilberto was out for six months with a career-threatening back condition, that the defending champions lost twice to United and dropped out of contention for the Premiership and his personal preference, the Champions League.
Wenger said on Friday: â€œGilberto gives us tactical stability. He reads the game well and holds back to provide cover in front of the defence. Heâ€™s also good in the air, where weâ€™ve had a big weakness for a while. I like him because heâ€™s a genuine guy who likes to help others. You have two types of player. There is the one who, when you lose the ball, looks to others to win it back, and then you have the other, like Gilberto, who doesnâ€™t even think about anybody else and goes after it straight away. Some say heâ€™s like (Claude) Makelele, but I donâ€™t think he needs to be compared with anyone. He is Gilberto Silva, a great player in his own right.â€
The man himself is a rounded character who plays the mandolin and has been known to treat the regulars at his local in St Albans to an impromptu burst. Next Saturday, presumably, he will content himself with pulling, rather than plucking, the strings, although â€œAbide With Meâ€ would be interesting, a la Captain Corelli.
Gilberto is looking forward to renewing hostilities with Roy Keane and Co, and hopes the enmity that has bubbled up in recent seasons does not boil over again and spoil the occasion. Speaking with the wisdom and authority of a World Cup winner, he called for calm, and legitimate aggression only, in a match that will be televised to a global audience. â€œI think it will be a good final, and Iâ€™m sure people expect it to be,â€ he said. â€œBoth teams like to play football, and we are going there just to do that, weâ€™re not thinking about what happened to us at Old Trafford earlier in the season. We need to forget that and concentrate on how we want to play our game. If one of their players kicks us, we shouldnâ€™t go looking to kick him back.
â€œPeople watching the final all over the world want to see football, not players trying to fight each other, which has happened before. We all need to keep calm this time. If someone tackles me hard, Iâ€™ll accept it as part of the game. Both sets of players need to respect one another. Itâ€™s a big match and weâ€™ll all have a lot of passion in our hearts, but afterwards we have our families to go home to, and we donâ€™t want to make them ashamed. We donâ€™t need to fight anyone, just fight to win the game. Of course, we canâ€™t expect it to be easy. It will be hard physically, and we have to be prepared for that.â€
At 28, and with 25 caps for Brazil, he is happy just to be playing again, and a war with United is the last thing he needs so early in his rehabilitation after the spinal injury he sustained in the first match of the season. He played on until September 18, but the pain finally became unbearable, and the diagnosis of a stress fracture had him fearing the worst.
â€œMany people thought I wouldnâ€™t play again because the problem was serious,â€ he said. â€œI tried to be positive, but for a long time I forced myself to forget about football, just in case. I couldnâ€™t do anything in England, so I went home to Brazil. I stayed there for three months and had to wear a brace constantly to support and protect my spine. There was a lot of pain when I took it off every night. I would take my children to the park every day and sit and watch them play. Being able to do that was important, it kept my spirits up.
â€œI have to say I wasnâ€™t prepared for what happened. As a footballer you see a lot of players badly injured, but you never think it will happen to you. When it did, it hit me very hard. In Brazil they show English football on the TV, but in the three months I was there I saw only two of Arsenalâ€™s games. I didnâ€™t want to watch football, I wanted to play it, and it was too painful emotionally to see my team without me. Iâ€™d sit there thinking, â€˜If only I could help themâ€™.â€
Back at Highbury, the feeling was mutual. Without Gilberto â€œdoing a Makeleleâ€, as the front sweeperâ€™s role has come to be known, the Arsenal defence creaked and cracked, and he was appreciated more in his absence than he ever was when he played. â€œThe supporters were nice, telling me how much I was missed,â€ he said. â€œItâ€™s good that they accept me because fans everywhere seem to think all Brazilian footballers are like Ronaldo or Ronaldinho and Iâ€™m not that sort of player, Iâ€™m much more defensive. In Brazil they call me â€˜The Invisible Wallâ€™, and Iâ€™m happy with that. Sometimes you will not notice me on the pitch because Iâ€™m not on the ball very often, but I try to be in the right position to cover all the time. If Patrick (Vieira) goes forward, Iâ€™ll stay in behind him.
â€œWhen I came back into the team it wasnâ€™t only the supporters who said â€˜We missed youâ€™, the players said it, too. That was because the way I play is different to the replacements who took my place. They prefer to play further forward, Iâ€™m happy to sit just in front of the defence, like Makelele does at Chelsea. We are very similar. Also, when we are in difficult situations, I can use my experience to help the team. You can â€™t put pressure on the young players who came in, not like you can on me, Patrick Vieira, Thierry Henry and Sol Campbell. Philippe Senderos, Cesc Fabregas and Mathieu Flamini are just starting out, and it would be wrong to put the burden of pressure on them.â€
He was back in Brazil and chose not to watch the â€œBattle of Old Traffordâ€ in October, when United roughed up Arsenal and ended their unbeaten sequence in the League one match short of the 50 mark. â€œI didnâ€™t see the game,â€ he said, â€œbut I spoke a lot with Edu and I know from that, and from sensing the atmosphere, that it took us a long time to recover from having that run stopped.
â€œNow we meet United again in the Cup final, and they are in much the same situation as us. Neither of us has won the Premiership or done well in the Champions League. They will fight hard and be determined to play at their best, and we have to remember who we are up against because Manchester United, at their best, are a very strong team. But we are prepared for them, and this season has been frustrating for us, too. We lost our title and got knocked out of Europe, so all there is left is the FA Cup.â€
He feels that the battle in midfield will be decisive: â€œIt usually is because the ball is in the middle of the park most of the time, and thatâ€™s where you establish control. It wonâ€™t be easy, I have great respect for Roy Keane, and for what he has done. I donâ€™t know who is going to play with him, but whoever it is will be a good player, doing his best.â€
He would like it to be his friend and compatriot Kleberson. Cynics would put that down to a selfish desire for supremacy, but while Unitedâ€™s own Brazilian has been much less successful in English football, Gilberto insists it is only a matter of time. â€œYou have not seen the best of Kleberson yet,â€ he said. â€œHe has had a lot of injuries, which made things difficult for him. He doesnâ€™t speak English, which makes it even harder. I hope he is over his injuries now and can play more games next season. Iâ€™ve phoned him a number of times but he has never called me. I donâ€™t know why, maybe he doesnâ€™t like to spend his money! We are good friends, but for the next week we will be enemies.â€ Mandolin Man doesnâ€™t have many of those.
It took a season bereft of major trophies at the Bernabeu last year for Real Madrid fans to appreciate what Claude Makelele did for their team. And it has taken a similar void in the trophy cabinet at Highbury this season for Arsenal fans to understand the significance of Gilberto Silva’s contribution. Fortunately for the Gunners, the Brazilian has returned from serious injury in the nick of time to help salvage the silverware situation by winning the most recognisable pot of all – the FA Cup.
When Gilberto finally succumbed to a broken back last September – a full month after he suffered the injury in the opening match of the season at Everton – Arsenal were still four matches away from having their cloak of invincibility ripped from them by Manchester United. Indeed Gilberto was back home in Lagoa da Prata, beside the Amazon, recuperating when Arsenal’s 49-match unbeaten run hit the buffers at Old Trafford and the pizza and soup went flying.
By the time he had returned to Highbury in January to complete his convalescence, Arsenal were a shadow of their former selves, struggling to stay in contention in the Premiership race and on the brink of elimination from the Champions League. “When I came back I could play against Chelsea and Liverpool and now I have the FA Cup final,” said the World Cup winner, by way of consolation. “It’s not what I expected for my whole season but, in terms of what I [might have] had this season, it’s fantastic.”
There were some who thought he would never return as the months went by, but Gilberto said he was always positive about his recovery. Next to the frustration of not playing and helping his team as they struggled in his absence, the worst part for Gilberto was having to wear a corset-like device from morning till evening to immobilise his back while the bones hopefully mended.
The last time Gilberto took an extended leave away from football was of his own volition, when, at 16, having secured an apprenticeship with America Futebol Clube in Belo Horizonte, he returned home to help maintain his family after his mother became seriously ill with a kidney complaint. He stayed for 2Â½ years and it almost cost him his career. This time his family looked after him and his earlier sacrifice was rewarded when he returned to the Arsenal team after 6Â½ months’ absence in a 4-1 win against Norwich at the start of April. It was ever thus when Gilberto was in the side.
Since he returned, Arsenal have taken 16 points out of 18 and won an FA Cup semi-final. To suggest he is their talisman is an understatement. In the last 41 games that Gilberto has played, Arsenal have lost only once and that solitary defeat was in January last year when a Gunners side comprising youngsters and reserves lost 1-0 to Middlesbrough in a Carling Cup semi-final.
It doesn’t upset him that the fans have been less than fulsome in their praise of him. “I know how they think about Brazilian players, they think every Brazilian player does the same as Ronaldinho and Ronaldo, but I’m not this kind of player, my position is different,” he said in a softly-spoken lazy drawl.
Apparently, during the last World Cup, a Brazilian journalist called him “The Invisible Wall” and the description would seem to serve as well as any. “I try to be in the right position all the time,” he explained. “For example, if Patrick [Vieira] goes forward I will stay behind him.
“The young players did very well but you cannot put pressure on them like you can put pressure on me or Patrick Vieira or Thierry Henry. I like this kind of situation when I have a big challenge.”
Arsene Wenger has conceded enough already to Chelsea this season without agreeing that Gilberto is like Makelele, as complimentary as such a comparison might be. “He doesn’t need to be compared to Makelele,” said the Arsenal manager, almost indignantly, “because he’s a World Cup winner with Brazil and he’s a good player in his own right. He’s just a great player.”
And his contribution to Arsenal? “Tactical stability,” Wenger replied. “He holds back well and reads the game well. He’s put in there where we had a big weakness for a while – and he’s a genuine guy with other players, he likes to help out.
“You have two types of players, one who when you lose the ball looks to others to see if they come back to help and then you have the ones who do not even think about anybody else and just straightaway try to help out, and he’s one of those.”
The question is how fully has he recovered and is he ready to withstand a blood-curdling challenge from the likes of Roy Keane. Even the player himself admits he will not risk 40-60 challenges. When asked if his injury is behind him, Wenger’s answer is not as positive as some fans would like. “It is not behind him,” he said.
It is an indication of the player’s importance to Arsenal: 90 per cent of the old Gilberto is obviously better than none at all.
Note: As Moj calculated, Gilberto is 77kg, and 77kg of gold is worth Â£562,262.18. So yes, Silva is worth more than his weight in gold. Thank you.
Arsenal are missing Gilberto Silva, who has an ankle problem, but the Brazilian should return to face Birmingham.
Glad to hear it isn’t a lengthy injury.
If he plays against Birmingham, he’ll start in the cup final.
Arsene won’t buy another midfielder
Yesterday the Brazilian [Edu] was quoted as saying he would be leaving Arsenal at the end of his contract in the close season after four years at the Club. His manager [Arsene] reluctantly accepts his decision.
â€œIt is something I regret,â€ said Wenger. â€œThatâ€™s because we have lost a great player and I did a lot of work on this case. But I respect his decision. It is all part of a professional job.â€
However, with the emergence of two talented youngsters in central midfield this season, the manager feels he will be able to cover Eduâ€™s departure without dipping into the transfer market.
â€œNo [I wonâ€™t buy],â€ said Wenger. â€œI have Fabregas, Flamini, Vieira and Gilberto. Four is enough for me.â€
EDU has confirmed he will quit Arsenal after the FA Cup Final.
The Brazilian midfielder is is out of contract this summer but Gunners boss Arsene Wenger had hoped he would sign a new deal.
Edu, 26, saw a move to Spanish side Valencia collapse in January and endured a lengthy spell on the sidelines after breaking his toe.
He said: “I’ve decided to go after the FA Cup Final but I haven’t decided which club I’m going to join.
“A lot of clubs have asked about me and since January my agent has spoken to Real Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Juventus.
“To be honest I don’t know what will be the best thing for me to do.
“Real Madrid wanted to talk to me but then they signed Thomas Gravesen from Everton.
“I don’t want to go to a club and just be part of the squad, that’s not my plan.”
Edu won his first cap for Brazil after joining Arsenal from Corinthians in January 2001.
He has fallen down Wenger’s pecking order this season with fellow Brazilian Gilberto and youngsters Cesc Fabregas and Mathieu Flamini providing support for skipper Patrick Vieira.
One piece of bad news for Wenger is that Gilberto Silva is to miss the Toffees clash through an ankle injury.
The Brazilian midfielder is an influential member of the side and was sorely missed when absent earlier this season.