Gilberto backs Wenger to stay at Arsenal

The Brazilian midfielder is hoping his former manager can pick up silverware and silence his critics, while he admits there is a lot of pressure on the Selecao for the World Cup

Former Arsenal midfielder Gilberto Silva has urged Arsene Wenger to remain at the Emirates Stadium and is backing the Gunners to end their trophy drought.

The Brazilian was part of the ‘Invincibles’ side that won the Premier League in the 2003-04 campaign – the last time Arsenal lifted the league title.

The Gunners’ struggles in the proceeding years have seen many fans lose faith in Wenger, but Gilberto is convinced the Frenchman is still the right man for the job.

When asked if he always believed he would still be in charge in 2014, he replied: “I hoped so, it is not an easy job because there is a lot of pressure with Arsenal not winning the title for a few years.

“But this season they have an opportunity to win the FA Cup. I really hope they can do it and this will then of course ease the pressure.

“This kind of pressure is normal when you have been as successful as him in the recent past for the club.

“Some people say he should leave but I disagree because he brought success to the club and people shouldn’t only analyse the last five or eight years but also look at what he has achieved throughout his whole time at the club.

“To play for Arsene Wenger was great, I learnt a lot from him. The way he wants the game to be played and the way he united us as a group of players to win games was fantastic.”

Gilberto’s homeland of Brazil hosts the World Cup this summer, and he expects the national team to be under enormous pressure – but is convinced Luiz Felipe Scolari can get the best out of a side that have played minimal competitive football.

“For Brazil this World Cup will be lots of pressure. We are playing at home and have lost at the last two World Cup,” he continued.

“We have a very young team who don’t have experience in this kind of competition which is completely different from a friendly match or the Confederations Cup.

“It’s tough because for the last three-and-a-half years we have not been playing qualification matches which give you the strength and understanding of what you will face in the World Cup.

“With Scolari as manager I think he will let all the players know exactly what he expects of them and how important their performances are to the country and to themselves.”   

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