I’ve had Arsenal fans bombarding this blog, telling me how good Mikael Silvestre is and what a good signing he is for Arsenal. I struggle to believe that any of these fans would have been saying the same thing a week ago if TribalFootball was running the story. Whilst admittedly having a soft spot for Silly, as he is affectionately known amongst our fans, he has been one of the worst players we’ve had in our squad for the 9 years he’s been with us (which isn’t a horrible slating, when considering the talent we’ve had in our team in the time Silvestre has been with us). Kleberson, Djemba-Djemba and the like, have relieved Silvestre of the unwanted title at times, and bless him, he does try, but he never fit in at United. Whilst doing a job for us, getting on with it quietly and without complaining, the shouts of criticism from the stands are more often than not directed at Silvestre when he’s on the pitch.
Now, we can (and have) been accused of being bitter. Now, if United had just sold Wayne Rooney, Owen Hargreaves, Patrice Evra etc. we’d have every reason to be bitter. But I just don’t understand how we possibly could be over Silvestre. I’ll be amused by this far more than I’ll ever be upset, whatever the transfer fee or whatever he does in an Arsenal shirt, because it is funny that Arsene Wenger wants to sign players from us who are nowhere near our first XI.
The Guardian is less biased or connected with the club than I am, so maybe we can trust their viewpoint on him better than mine? Let’s just see how bitter we stand to be that Silvestre has signed for Arsenal with a short review they gave on Silvestre back in May.
What he does: Mixes imperious 70-yard crossfield balls with pitiful seven-yard passes straight to a member of the opposition. Defends immaculately for 89 minutes and 58 seconds before going for his siesta and being punished for it by top-class wingers such as Gary Teale and Glen Little.
How fans view him: As something of a pea-brain, sadly. An easy scapegoat, given his sporadic shockers; most fans feel that every Silvestre lining has a cloud.
Sorry to break it to the Arsenal fans, but we really have no reason to be bitter, and are typically united in finding the comedy value in this situation. So, what do the Gunners really make of this signing?
From Arseblog, August 20th
“A Terrible Waking Nightmare, it must be”
I have these strange and weird dreams that make no kind of sense to me at all. Vivid motion picture dreams but at the same time I’m convinced that I’m not asleep. It’s all terribly confusing. I mean, last night I dreamt that we were about to sign Mikael Silvestre from Manchester United…
… Anyway, we can all look forward to the ‘Mikael is an experienced, versatile player who can play at left-back, centre-half, left-wing, central midfield, up front, did I mention central-midfield?, all across the back four and, most importantly, in central midfield’ statement from the boss when he signs. I don’t know whether to cry or weep. In seriousness though, I’m weeping…
…This is ridiculous. I mean, Silvestre. I’m going to wake up any minute now and have a good laugh, like when you dream you kill someone and you can’t believe it and the police are after you and then you wake up and you go ‘Phew, it was all a dream’.
I have to admit being somewhat underwhelmed by this signing. Leaving aside the personal enmity I have felt for the player during his United days I’m asking why Alex Ferguson would sell him to us. Reverse the situation – would we sell United a player who we thought would improve them? It would be extremely foolish of us to do so, wouldn’t it? And whatever you might think of Demento he’s no fool. Does he believe Silvestre is past it or is he just not that worried about us?…
…Then I look at the fact that the only other clubs interested in him were Sunderland and Manchester City and I just can’t help feeling we’re scratching around in the bargain bins again. I don’t think too many people would argue that our defence could do with some improvement but if the boss is really serious about it wouldn’t he be better off bringing in somebody better than a United cast-off? Where is our Vidic or Agger or Laursen?
It really is a very strange deal altogether and I’m struggling to see the logic of it – especially when you read about us letting Djourou, who has impressed in pre-season, go out on loan because we have Silvestre now.
I suppose the fact of the matter is, if Sir Alex Ferguson, who knows far more about Silvestre than Wenger, really believed the defender to be any good, he would not be selling him to our supposed title rivals. People haven’t already forgotten the stink Fergie kicked up to prevent Gabriel Heinze moving to Liverpool? Injuries and ability combined, 31-year-old Silvestre is not going to be a loss to our squad. I’d far rather see one of the impressive Da Silva twins filling in.
If United had just bought a past-it Arsenal reject, there is no doubt in my mind I’d be on here trying to seek out the benefits or the story behind Fergie’s logic. I’d be reading up on any good games the player had and trying to work out how it could reflect positively for us. United fans would be posting on the laughing Arsenal blogs about what a coup it was, whilst the Arsenal fans thoroughly enjoyed the moment. Fortunately, it’s United fans that get to do the smiling today.
Football fans eh?