Arsenal find Gilberto to send Diaby packing

Mikel Arteta is the key to Wenger’s new team

 In a perfect Arsene Wenger world, there are no superstars in his Arsenal team – his team is the superstar.

Every member meets the highest standard of the game – played by Le Professor in the manner that befits the ‘beautiful’ tag.

He achieved it with the 'Invincibles'. It is almost impossible to name one player – like a Robin Van Persie or a Cristiano Ronaldo that makes all the difference.

Every player was a class act.

Wenger believes he now has a team to match the 'Invincibles', or, maybe even better.

The kernel of his midfield is going to be the deciding factor – Santi Cazorla, with the creative flair and Abou Diaby was meant to do the Yaya Toure enforcer-to-scorer role.

Diaby is proving to be as much of an injury challenge now as Van Persie, and his absence, despite the coming back of Jack Wilshere, has left a worrying hole there for Wenger.

Gunners fans need to recall a player from the 2004 Premier League winning side, however, who was the  unseen hero in that amazing squad. Gilberto Silva.

A vice-captain of Arsenal, no less, in 2006, his 208 games for the club brought 23 goals.

He has other historic Gunner credits to his name  - first to score Arsenal's goal at the newly built Emirates Stadium; scored Arsenal's fastest ever goal in just 20 seconds against PSV in Champions League.

But what needs reminding is that Gilberto was one of the best defensive midfielders in Europe, who never lost his attacking and passing intent.

After all you don’t become a Brazil captain (2007) for nothing.

Yet, speak of the great Gunners (or Brazilians) and not often will you hear Gilberto’s name.

That’s how Wenger likes it. Because, he now has a new Gilberto – Mikel Arteta.

Arteta wasn’t brought in as a holding midfielder, but with Diaby gone, he has done the job just fine – and in true Gilberto-style, like an unseen hero.

Arteta has, so far averaged 2.4 interceptions and 4.6 tackles a match this season drawing only one yellow card in seven games.

That’s defensive. Then comes the Gilberto factor – from defense in to attack - the Spaniard has 94 passes a match, completing 93.8% -  making Alex Song’s 2011-12 stats of 66.1 avg passes in a game with 84.3% completion seem like a good decision to sell him.

Arteta has the advantage of a David Moyes Everton training and is pretty much a finished product.

No Diaby, no Song, no problem.

Arteta is the new Gilberto and a tip of the hat to Wenger, who knows it.





Liverpool aim for ‘new Van Persie’ as Borini’s October curse strikes Reina


Scholes set to spring Stoke trap for Man Utd


Fabregas delivers Arsenal another Barcelona blow… but leaves door open


Man Utd’s ready to unleash new Scholes… for more goals

  • Twitter
  • submit to reddit
comments powered by Disqus

Most Popular in Sports


Emirates 24|7

In Case You Missed It ...

Happiness Meter Icon