During this time last season, Gilberto Silva was logically a want-away man after suddenly being deprived of his well possessed defensive midfield role by Flamini’s emergence and whatever occurred behind the scenes after the 32-year-old returned from captaining Brazil to Copa America Championship.
Arsenal looked to compensate but Gilberto’s departure – compounded by several midfield exoduses including Flamini’s – has left Arsene Wenger’s team arguably inadequate at the core.
Links keep coming about which defensive midfielder the manager might lure and the obvious void of that role has not been fully filled by neither Song nor Gilberto’s countryman and close friend Denilson.
Gilberto – now plying his trade at Panathinaikos in Grecce – recently answered a few intriguing questions on the aftermath of his Arsenal exit during a Q&A forum with fans around the world.
On whether leaving Arsenal came at the right time…
“Thinking about everything that happened to me in my last season at Arsenal, the timing was right. It was a bit frustrating, so the move was an opportunity to start a new challenge.”
On his fondest memory of playing for Arsenal…
“I had six intense years at Arsenal, but two things stand out. The unbeaten season in 2003/04 was one; the other was sad but proud: the 2006 Champions League final. We were ten minutes away from lifting the trophy for the first time.”
On his opinion of the current Arsenal team and what they can achieve this season…
“Arsenal lack consistency in the Premier League, but there is no question they have a quality squad. I saw them against Manchester United and it was nice to see the lads playing well. What worries me is that a week later they dropped points.”
On whether Arsenal miss ‘the Invincible wall’?
“It’s hard to answer this one. Denilson is doing a great job this season, but if a supporter asked this question, maybe some people at least are missing me.”