Arsene Wenger has named the one Arsenal legend who didn’t get enough credit for everything he did on the pitch.
The 2003/04 Premier League winning side is arguably the greatest team in history. Arsenal did not lose a game in the competition, and every player who helped us achieve that feat became immortal.
The likes of Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp, Robert Pires and Patrick Vieira are the ones everyone remembers, but there was one player who was always our unsung hero – Gilberto Silva.
The Brazilian was one of our best players that campaign, and without him, Patrick Vieira wouldn’t have looked as amazing as he did. Wenger heaped praise Gilberto and claimed that he never got enough credit for all his work.
The legendary Frenchman said on beIN Sports: I arrived on October 1, 1996, and I bought Patrick Vieria in July or August. For 10-15 years, I heard the same song in England: ‘He’s the new Viera, he’s the new Vieira’, and we never found the new Vieira – not me, not anyone else.
“To find this kind of players was impossible and Patrick Vieira was an exceptional football player.
“Don’t forget, close to Patrick Vieira, after Petit, we had Gilberto Silva. Gilberto Silva was a guy who did not get enough credit for his intelligence, his generous attitude, quietness, discreet, but so efficient and so classy.”
Arsenal Insider’s view:
Fans, pundits and the media have had a go at Arsenal for not replacing Vieira after he left the club. However, we’ve failed to replace Gilberto as well and that has proved to be more costly over the years.
The Brazilian was an exceptional player and he made everyone around him better.
Wenger’s comments show just how integral he was to the team, and Gilberto absolutely loved listening to his former boss.