Arsenal’s unsung Invincible – Gilberto Silva

Beyond not being noticed, Gilberto was a role model By Sylvester Kwentua

While growing up and playing football in my youth, I saw myself as a combative midfielder, with the ability to break up play and lay a pass for goal. i fell in love with my abilities as a midfielder, and when i signed an amateur contract with a local football club and the coach asked me which midfield player I would like to fashion my game after, I mentioned Gilberto Silva

I saw the surprise written all over my coach’s face at the choice of Gilberto. He asked why I wished to be like Gilberto, despite the presence of other more noticeable midfielders, winning accolades for their style of play? I simply told him I liked his simplicity. Several years later, the prof, Arsene Wenger, seemed to agree with me.

When asked to name the most underrated player he ever coached, Wenger told Ian Wright in an interview with SPORTbible: ‘Gilberto Silva. He was naturally discreet. I remember when I bought him in 2002 he was in Japan at the World Cup.

‘I looked at him and I thought he doesn’t make anything special but then you think who won that ball and it’s Gilberto Silva, or who made that pass and it’s Gilberto Silva.

‘I went to buy him and after that I would say in the Invincibles, nobody speaks about him but he’s the kind of player you see only how much they miss them when they don’t play. When they play they find it all natural.”

Arsene Wenger also made mention of some other players he managed who were underrated, but in all the players he mentioned, Gilberto Silva stands out as the player who was truly the most underrated but effective player in his successful teams of great. Thank you Wenger for signing up a good midfielder and role model, thank you Gilberto Silva for some quiet but wonderful performances in the shirts of Arsenal.

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  1. Unsung, underrated, whatever you want to call him, I’ll tell you from most gooners point of view he certainly wasn’t. He is the personification of what we have missed since he left.

    1. Ken I do not think that GOONERS in general underrated those three.

      I did not personally think Toure was nearly as good as many other Gooners thought him and said.

      Gilberto and Lauren were terrific players though, but again not underratted by most Gooners, though perhaps by non Gooners. Its true that defenders do not in general get the attention and limelight that strikers and attacking midfielders do, so perhaps that is nearer the real truth.

      I THOUGHT TOURE GREATLY BENEFITTED BY PLAYING WITH CAMPBELL and in that whole defence and team. CAMPBELL was of course a true great.

      Toure was certainly a GOOD player but not a great, IMO.

      Nor remotely of the Adams, Bould, O’Leary, Campbell standard. He was really a converted CB, not a natural one. Just my opinion though!

      1. I acknowledge it’s your opinion Jon – interestingly though, I think Toure won more titles /trophies than those you named.
        I may be wrong, but he had a great career, that’s for sure.

        1. NO KEN, YOU ARE NOT WRONG. HE DID HAVE A GREAT CAREER. Nothing in my above post contradicts that clear truth.

    2. Edu was more underrated imo – he played a massive part in the success of the team and he could cover for either Vieira or Gilberto without the team suffering significantly, but because he wasn’t a starter, he’s not so well remembered.
      I think most arsenal fans remember Lauren, Gilberto and Kolo very fondly but Edu rarely gets mentioned.
      Another is Lehmann, who seems to be remembered more as a nut than as a great GK (which he was imo)

  2. Unsung hero? Eh, I don’t know about that.. His impact is frequently mentioned and greatly missed.

    I don’t think he’s unsung.. his contribution is well sung IMO..

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