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Archive for April, 2006

Gilberto ankle injury!

Friday, April 28th, 2006

Regarding this Saturday’s game, “We have a few injuries,” said Wenger at Friday’s pre-match press conference. “Alexander Hleb is doubtful for Monday, he has a little knee problem. Gilberto will be out certainly with an ankle problem.

Let us pray this is only a short term injury – it would be disastrous for Gilberto and Arsenal if he was injured for the Champions League Final.

Gilberto interview after Villarreal game

Thursday, April 27th, 2006

Gilberto stars in Cup Semi Final

Wednesday, April 26th, 2006

Arsenal through to Champions League Final

Gilberto played a starring role in Arsenal’s 0-0 draw last night against Villarreal.

Our favourite Brazilian was really only one or two Arsenal players to have a good game. However, Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann stole the headlines with a last minute penalty save to prevent the tie from going to extra time.

Here are some Arsenal fans comments on Gilberto’s performance last night:

I love Gilberto again. Our best midfielder today.

Classic game from Gilberto today. He has a great big match temperament.

He was the best player out there, god love the The Invisible Wall
I saw Captain material in him tonight, when he turned round and sorted out Eboue.

He was quality tonight. The bit where he was surrounded by two players, but did a mad Brazinilan turn away from them both was great.

Absolutely inspired performance – the guy was immense.

I could go on… but I won’t. All I’ll say is that Gilberto’s form recently has been so different from the first half of the season – it has been like going from watching Leeds United to watching Real Madrid in the period of six months.

Last night, Gilberto had a little lash out at a Villarreal player – one of the first signs of Gilberto losing his temper in an Arsenal shirt. If he’s very unlucky he’ll get a ban – but that is unlikely, as the Villarreal player made too much of an incident which really wansn’t that bad.

Gilberto now has the chance to add the Champions League to his trophy cabinet! The Champions League final will be played in Paris on May 17th.

Well done Gilberto – you are largely responsible for Arsenal’s good form in Europe this season.

…..Villarreal wary of Gilberto.

Tuesday, April 25th, 2006

It seems that Gilberto frustrated Villarreal more than he realises. He has expressed earlier this week that he is wary of Villarreal – but all the press is focusing on how wary the Villarreal players – Riquelme in particular – will cope with Gilberto.

Here’s what Santiago Fuertes of El Pais says about Gilberto for the Villarreal game tonight:

After the first leg Villarreal were complaining bitterly about the referee, especially because of the incident between Jose Mari and Gilberto. There was a foul just inside the box and they complained a lot about it.

My personal impression is that they were impressed by Arsenal. On the one hand they were happy that Arsenal only scored one goal but on the other hand there was the penalty which, if it had been given, would have given Villarreal an away goal.

They were impressed by Gilberto. The players said they were ‘choked’ because of his marking of Juan Roman Riquelme. He did a good job and Riquelme lost his nerve a bit. He was outraged by the decision not to give a penalty and that is his way, it was the same when he was at Boca Juniors and Barcelona.

I think Arsenal are the superior team. Arsène Wenger has done an intelligent job and he has more options than Villarreal, because they rely on one man to make things happen.

The Villarreal team has some bite, they will be very competitive. And of course, they will look to get Riquelme into space whenever they can. He needs to get away from Gilberto and get more time on the ball.

Here is what Riquelme himself says about Gilberto:

Gilberto did his work well at Highbury, and did a good job following me. When you have a defender with you all the time, the only solution is to do better than him, but the rhythm of the game did not let us, or me, play better than him. This time, at El Madrigal I will get away from him by playing better and by playing quicker.

Go Gilberto – grab your ticket to the Champions League Final!

Gilberto wary of Villarreal

Monday, April 24th, 2006


Gilberto ready for a battle

Brazilian star Gilberto is expecting a tough test when Arsenal head to Spain to face Villarreal in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League semi-final.

The Gunners secured a vital first-leg advantage when Kolo Toure netted a rare goal to hand them a 1-0 victory.

The Brazilian, who has formed a solid unit with Cesc Fabregas in Arsenal’s engine room, believes Villarreal will be a different proposition at El Madrigal, but feels The Gunners have the qualities to reach the final.

“We know it will be harder than the first one as they will play at home in front of their own supporters,” Gilberto told Sky Sports News.

“We will see that their supporters will support them all the time, but the first result was very important for us.

“The victory for us gives us an advantage. It is not a big advantage, but if we keep our shape in the same way and play and do something then we have the chance to go to the final.”

Gilberto relishing big-game challenge

Monday, April 24th, 2006

Gilberto was Arsenal captain in the North London derby – Arsenal vs. Spurs. This adds Gilberto to a glorious list of past Arsenal captains to lead the Gunners out against their local arch rivals.

Gilberto played very well, showing a lot of commitment and heart. It was a proud moment for Gilberto and his fans – it was a shame that Arsenal could not win the game. The final score was 1-1.

Gilberto relishing big-game challenge

Friday, April 21st, 2006

Gilberto relishing challenge

Brazilian star Gilberto is looking forward to Arsenal’s final few games of the season.

The Gunners are battling on two fronts, as they seek to overhaul Tottenham in the race for fourth in The Premiership and are also vying for UEFA Champions League glory.

Arsenal have a fine chance of reaching the European final, having beaten Villarreal 1-0 in the first leg of their semi-final, and they face North London rivals Tottenham on Saturday in a mouth-watering Premiership showdown.

Gilberto feels such games are good for the players, as it ensures Arsene Wenger will need to do little by way of motivating his squad.

“We have a good opportunity to win the Champions League this year,” Gilberto told Sky Sports News.

“We are also playing for the fourth place in the Premier League, to guarantee our future in the Champions League next year.

“I think everyone is looking forward to these opportunities, as sometimes it is hard to keep everyone focused all at the same time.”

Gilberto stops Riquelme in semi final

Thursday, April 20th, 2006

Villarreal’s Juan Roman Riquelme was well and truly subdued last night against Arsenal, thanks to Gilberto.

Arsene Wenger had earmarked him beforehand as the obvious threat, the man Arsenal had to tame if Highbury’s farewell to floodlights, its goodbye to Europe, was going to end with an emotional flourish. Coping with the elusive threat of Villarreal’s Juan Roman Riquelme always lay central to gaining the upper hand in this Champions League semi-final.

It was crystal clear, too, that in this regard Gilberto Silva would play a crucial part, given his anchorman role at the base of Arsenal’s five-man midfield. If the Brazilian could keep tabs on his man, negate the Argentine playmaker’s sublime range of skills, then a trip to Paris on May 17 would become ever more likely.

As expected, Arsenal’s languid World Cup winner didn’t man-mark – that isn’t his manager’s style – but he did stay very close when his man got the ball. In the event, that wasn’t too often in the first half. Never one for wondering beyond the width of the penalty box, Riquelme was struggling to dictate the tempo, even though his team saw plenty of the ball.

That wasn’t all Gilberto did. He was also busy in attack, having several shots at goal. He put Thierry Henry through on goal once too, and was often back behind the defence sorting out their strikers.

He was also at the centre of controversy surrounding a penalty decision, when he bought down Jose Mari. 60% of BBC users said that it wasn’t a penalty – and so did the referee.

Toure had this to say after the game:

“We defended really well and Gilberto did a great job marking Riquelme, so hopefully we can do the same out there.

Some Arsenal fans hailed Gilberto as man of the match, as he patrolled the midfield and stopped Villarreal attacks before they happened.

Well done Gilberto – win or draw the next game, and you’ll be part of your first ever Champions League Final!

Gilberto’s great form continues against WBA

Saturday, April 15th, 2006

Gilberto captains Arsenal to 3-1 win

Gilberto missed the mid-week fixture against Portsmouth, which Arsenal unfortunately drew 1-1 after dominating.

Today was a different story at Highbury, where Gilberto started the game alongside Abou Diaby. Arsenal won the game 3-1!

Gilberto celebrates with Hleb

Gilberto nearly set up Thierry Henry for a goal – but Henry missed the 1-on-1 with the keeper. Gilberto was having to do a lot more attacking play since Fabregas was being rested. Abou Diaby and Gilberto both shared defensive and attacking duties equally.

Gilberto wasn’t captain this time, since Thierry Henry started. However – Thierry was substituted in the 62nd minute, and handed Gilberto the Captains armband.

Dennis Bergkamp and Robert Pires were subbed on, and Arsenal conceded a goal, which left the Arsenal faithful having deja-vu nightmares of the midweek game against Pompey. It was to be Arsenal’s day however, as the two substitutes scored one a piece, and the game ended 3-1.

Gilberto had a great game, he sat as deep in defence as he usually does, but got forward a lot more, since WBA gave Arsenal a lot of space. He had two good chances, once was a header (wide) and the other was a sliding kick from a cross (saved).

Well played Bert – or should I say ‘Captain’?

Gilberto: “Forget United”

Monday, April 10th, 2006

Gilberto – Forget United, focus on the next ‘Final’

Gilberto believes that Arsenal’s heavy schedule could work in their favour after the defeat against Manchester United on Sunday.

Goals from Wayne Rooney and Ji-sung Park consigned Arsène Wenger’s side to defeat in the first of six crucial games in 17 massive days.

The last time they lost at Old Trafford, Arsenal struggled to recover. But there is no time for navel-gazing now. Games against Portsmouth (a), West Brom (h) Villarreal (h), Tottenham (h) and Villarreal (a) will surely decide Arsenal’s season. They have no option but to dust themselves down, clear their heads and move on to Fratton Park.

“It was not a bad performance [at Old Trafford],” said Gilberto. “But now we need to look forward and forget this game

“The good thing is we don’t have much time to think about it. We have another one on Wednesday. There are many games in a short period of time. Everyone is aware of that and we know it is hard. If you keep concentrated after the game and make sure you rest then it is ok. But it is still not going to be easy.

“We have Portsmouth, West Brom, Villarreal and Tottenham. All these will be important games for us. It is very important to keep our concentration very high. Each game is like a final now.”

There is always a chance that Arsenal’s youthful side would be hit harder than most by this loss of momentum. Gilberto believes the older heads must help out in that regard.

“I don’t think it is going affect us,” said the World Cup winner. “We have a young side but the experienced ones have an important job to guide these players. Football is like this one day you lose one day you win. We must forget what happened today. Keep our shape and look forward to the next game.”