Date:Friday December 21 2007
Gilberto Silva has been a very good player for this club, last season in particular, where he led the team through a difficult campaign and was perhaps harshly pipped to the Player of the Season Award by the brilliant Cesc Fabregas. But 2007/08 has been a very different experience for the World Cup Winner.
After captaining his nation to victory in the Copa America, Gilberto returned to the squad suffering from jetlag and fatigue, so Wenger put his faith in Mathieu Flamini to partner Fabregas in the middle of the park. The Frenchman looked far from impressive in most people's eyes before he was called upon by the Boss. In fact 'Flams' was close to leaving the club due to limited opportunities, but a chat with the genius himself convinced Matty to stay put.
And boy had it paid off. Flamini's performances this season have been nothing short of brilliant. His never-say-die attitude and sheer presence in the middle, while still being able to add something to the attack, has given Arsenal something they had been missing since Patrick Vieira left the club. He and Fabregas have formed a mesmerising partnership, worthy of rivalling the great Petit - Vieira combo of 97/98.
You know what they say, 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it', and that's what has left Gilberto in a spot of bother. He can't and probably won't win his place back off the revelation that is Mathieu Flamini, who has turned the once-regular into a benchwarmer. It would be cruel to leave Bert struggling for games after what he has given us, so why not cash in on him, and let him play regularly again for a perhaps less ambitious club? Don't forget we've also got the exciting prospects of Diarra, Diaby and Denilson to nurture as well as the ever-improving Alex Song (although he may be converted to a CB). He has been a great player for Arsenal but it is time to move on, and although he is too loyal to admit it, Bert would probably be more than happy with a move away from The Emirates.
Date:Friday December 21 2007
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