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Gilberto`s loyalty is rewarded

Arsenal have formally confirmed that Gilberto Silva has sealed his move to Panathanaikos ending 6 years at the club having joined in August of 2002 as a member of Brazil`s winning World Cup team.

A dignified and quite man with great depth of character he is known as the 'invisible wall` to his Brazilian colleagues. It`s a phrase that also gives some clue to his often underestimated contribution to the Arsenal team as some fans failed to see what his game was about. Gilberto`s value to the team had as much to do with what he did when he didn`t have the ball as what he did with it. Not that he was a slouch with the ball as his pass completion rate often demonstrated but his calm assurance didn`t catch the eye as often as someone making desperate last ditch tackles might. His 213 starts and 31 substitute appearances yielded 24 goals. At one time including the fastest goal in the champions league at 10.7 seconds until Roy Makaay notched up one a half second faster five years later. But of more note he also has the distinction of being the first ever Arsenal player to score in a top flight competitive match at the Emirates with a late equaliser against Villa in the stadiums opening premier league encounter. How appropriate it is that the mark the quiet man should make in the history books is one as indelible as that!

In his transfer I think Arsenal did right by him, recognising the value of his loyalty and his support. Gilberto apparently becomes Greek footballs highest paid player. The defensive midfielder, less than 3 months short of his 32nd birthday, can complete his career on a secure 3-year agreement. In not holding out for top dollar the club can take some satisfaction in its pragmatic approach to helping Gilberto get the best deal for himself.

Acting managing director Ken Friar had confirmed: "We had other offers but we respected Gilberto's desire to sign for Panathinaikos."

In today`s transfer market the transfer fee reported to be £1.25m is little more than a nominal sum but a sum that ensures that what will in all probability be Gilberto`s last major career contract is one on the terms that he wanted. I`d like to think that loyalty has its reward sometimes.

Fare thee well Gilberto - and thanks.

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The Journalist

Writer: Amos Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday July 17 2008

Time: 4:40PM

Your Comments

It's refreshing for a change to see a player leave with heart-felt best wishes from the players,management and fans alike. Good luck to you Bert !!!
There goes a player I have a lot of respect for, I wish him the best. I always thought he should have been captain over Gallas but I guess Flamini took his position.
Great pro, unsung hero. Good luck and thanks Gilberto!
I'm really sad to see him go, he's such a good man. I was shocked when Henry left, couldn't care less what Hleb does, but this really affects me. Big up to the club for being as decent as the player. Good luck, Gilberto, see you back at the Arsenal for your testimonial in a few years.
He deserves all the praise he could ever get. Never has a player been so proffesional, down-to-earth, humble and dedicated as Gilberto. I hope we can still get to give him a testimonial some time.
Gilberto had very humble beginnings. Supporting his family he worked himself out of poverty and I cannot help but feel that in doing so he gained both a strong work ethic and an admirable humility. At all times during his tenure at Arsenal he conducted himself in a quiet, highly professional manner, something which some of the Flash Harry's (are you listening David Bentley?) of the premier league could pay serious attention to. There is no need to wax lyrical using phrases like "loyal servant", for they are over used clichès and in fact do not do the man justice. Gilberto was never a servant, but an inspiration.
Now that Bert along with Flamini & Diarra in january have left, who do you think will play in that holding position. Bierhoff, Diaby, Denilson, Djourou, Toure converted to DM, Ramsey... or a signing of Barry, Alonso, Yaya, Veloso or other? I hope we bring a defensive minded player with a good engine who can distribute the ball well. I think Denilson could also do the job, but is it a step to far for him next season.
somewhere in Portsmouth, Diarra is sitting at his computer, reading this news and wondering what could have been, realizing that he would now be our number 1 defensive midfielder. And finally, just at that moment, he knows what all of us have known since christmas: He's an idiot!
I agree afri, Diarra's lack of patience is all the more stark when you compare it to Gilberto's attitude. And bear in mind one of these two has a world cup winners medal, so who should have the big head? Au contraire!
All because Diarra wanted to make the France squad for the Euros ha ha good move! Maybe Arsene will give Song a go???
Alex Song certainly looked a much better player towards the end of last season. But the question is, will we buy a replacement, or will Diaby, Song or maybe Denilson step up?
His professionalism and great attitude will be sorely missed. I wish you all the best Bert!
Also we have enquired about Barry, so only Arsene really knows!
I really don't see Diaby has the holding midfielder, he's instinctively attack-minded. Denilson won't be ready this season I don't think, unless he's had a major growth spurt in the summer. I just feel that Yaya Toure would have been perfect for us, we could do with some height and physical presence too.
There is no way Wenger will spend £18m on Barry
Good luck Bert - A great professional, and top player. I'm sure he will be missed around the dressing room!!
If you havent seen the quote on Gilberto was released and free to go for no money at all. Arsenal wanted to make sure he got the wages he deserved over in Greece so they did not demand a transfer fee so the Greece club would have more money to pay Bert. Class move from Arsenal there for a great servant to our club.
Perhaps we're not so strapped for cash after all as we could afford to let Gilberto go for a nominal fee. Well done Arsenal and good luck in Greece Gilberto. I can't picture Barry in this Arsenal team, especially at that price
Arsenal will never need the 1 mil that we would have received so its a good move for the club. Hope you do well Bert. Lets bring in Barry, Veloso, De Jong, or Yaya as well as Bischoff.
Goofle out of those Veloso sounds like the perfect compliment to Cesc in the middle of the park. Good distributor as well as a tough-tackler, but to be honest, I doubt Arsene will make this kind of a move. I think whoever it is, it will be a signing within the price and reputation boundries similar to Sagna's to come in and do the job.
The official site has a couple of great tributes to him. Someone here mentioned his humble beginnings. Exactly right -- which is why I'm not impressed by the argument that Ade's humble beginnings should be considered when you look at his attitude. I will miss him enormously -- hell, I missed him last year! I sincerely hope that we have some way of paying tribute to him at the Emirates.
A welcome change from the mercenaries who have dominated the summer. I think I've said this before, but the next time Ade or RvP have a whinge about wages or whatever else, they might like to look at a guy who won a World Cup, was a fixture in a side that went unbeaten in the Premiership (his injury coincided with the end of that run) and never demanded stupid wage increases and never lost sight of the greater good of the team. All the best Bert.
Little Dutch
Not sure exactly what you mean Jaelle. Are u saying that Adebeyor's attitude is really out of order? I tend to think that he has just gotten bad advice from his blood sucking agent. I think that all the fuss was about the agent trying to up his wages. I am 90% certain Ade will be with us at the start of the season.
Gilberto I miss you already! I hope we'll see you again - a testimonial maybe? For us he's forever a great man and our Invincible midfielder.
Lou the Gunneress
I remember standing behind the goal when he scored on his debut. It's players like him who deserve a testimonial regardless of being a few years short. If he, Paddy and Titi came back for a joint Arsenal testimonial the queue at the box office would probably outnumber the population of China. I also refer to that Community Shield Gilberto debut match as the real Michael Owen final. Only because I had a guy stood directly behind me who throughout the match had nothing but nice words to say about Michael Owen. It started off in the 1st minute with, 'Michael Owen you're a f-ing ****', and got progressively worse from there on in. By the 90th I thought the guy was gonna have a brain haemoerrage. Nothing like a bit of passion eh chaps 8-) Looking back I'm so relieved we won the match.
GunnerBlood, sorry, no, can't agree with you that it's all Ade's agent's fault -- that's too easy and simplistic for me, Ade's a grown man and he's got a history both at Monaco and with Togo, so I wasn't at all surprised by his actions this summer. He said it very clearly: "if the Board don't concede to my demands than I will leave" (paraphrasing slightly). He was also quoted implying that he should be receiving the same as Henry did. That wasn't from his agent. He thinks he's the equivalent to Henry. He's been telling his teammates he's off for better pastures and now finds himself having to eat humble pie. I don't want to ever see him in an Arsenal shirt again but unfortunately it looks like he's stuck with us because Barca are starting to look elsewhere according to some reports. Some have used the argument of his povertystricken past to excuse his egomaniacal antics, an excuse I refuse to accept. I don't accept it when Brazilian football stars from poor backgrounds act like jerks either because there are so many others from equally poor backgrounds (if not more so) who behave the way Gilberto has. Elano and Eduardo are two such gentlemen.
Maybe if he does end up staying he will have learned his lesson?
I will miss Gilberto, he never cried to the media or had his agent write to papers, he was all football. Gilberto stepped into the captaincy perfectly during Thierry's last season and got us through a bleak season for that and all his other contributions Gilberto deserves a place in Arsenal History.
SD Gooner
Shame he lost his place in the starting eleven, especially to flamoney!
Looks like Gilberto's popular in Athens, all the best to him:
Lou the Gunneress
I'm 100% with Jalle on Ade. People seem to have the tendency to pin entire blame on agents while absolving those of players. But it takes two hands to clap. It's like C. Ronaldo, both thinking they were "smart" enuff to use the media to engineer a move but both may well end up staying put. I'm sad of the probability that Ade is likely to stuck with us for another season. And all the best wishes, Gilberto.
you guys gotta check out nike boot camp ad with Eduardo.
Youngest in Charge
we'll miss ya bert, all the best mate....
i would be very surprised if we don't see another signing. We have two midfielders that are over 21, and Rosicky is injury-prone, most of the other unproven, and even if they're good we have too little depth to last a season. Whoever comes in, i'm sure we've never heard of them before!
Ian Wright was on Talksport yesterday airing his concerns and fears for Arsenal this season. I have to say that I'm starting to feel the same. With 3 players leaving us and really more youngsters coming in, it appears it may be another 'transition' season for us. I'm not confident that we will win the Premier League or Champs League this season, I just don't think we can say that we've improved the squad. :-(
What if you clap your hand on your thigh?
Thank you for everything Gileberto, especialy for behaving like a true professional, despite being overlooked for captaincy and losing your place in the side. This man epitomises Arsenal in many ways, and other players should seek to emulate his example
Will surely miss him... Am glad he got the deal of choice.... Its one of the things I like about arsenal... doing things classy. Am sure AW would have loved to keep him , but that may have cost him his brazillian captainship sitting on the bench another season.
ATVO is running a video taken at Gilberto's house. He's the sweetest man, talking about some of his Brazil medals and Arsenal medals, his pictures, etc., although some of the biggest ones (World Cup medal) are in his Brazil home. Top guy. I miss him already!
Lou the Gunneress

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