Mikael Silvestre legged it out of a medical at Wastelands when he got a call from Arsenal. He was on his way out, barely featuring in his last season due to injury and no United fan was going to be too upset about his departure. Ol Silly had been a bit of a joke in the Premiership at times, seen as a liability and someone who stood out as less able than the majority of the squad.
When at left-back it wasn’t so painful but when in the centre of defence there were plenty of dreadful moments for our Frenchman. But the two goals he scored against Liverpool certainly bought him a lot of time with our fans and there was no denying he did offer us something going forward.
He was one of us and had been at the club for almost ten years, so he surely couldn’t have been as bad as everyone outside United claimed he was. He was a player a lot of reds had a soft spot for and he had at times shown himself as a good player.
Arsenal signed him and their fans all thought it was a great idea! The fact that Sir Alex Ferguson was prepared to let him go to a supposed title rival said a lot about our manager’s opinion of Silvestre’s ability and/or Arsenal’s title chances, and this was overlooked by the vast majority of them. The player who had been mocked for years in the Premiership was suddenly ‘another excellent buy for Wenger’, unsurprisingly.
The injuries that ruined his last season with the Champions have continued and Silvestre hasn’t featured for Arsenal since the first game in January when he lasted for just half an hour in the Cup against Plymouth.
Still, he’s received plenty of praise for the work he’s done with the younger players in the squad, with the trophies he’s won and experience he’s gained obviously a useful tool in inspiring Wenger’s kids.
If everything goes to plan for Arsenal and United, they will face each other in the Champions League semi-finals, something Silvestre hopes to happen.
“It has been the case already this season so it wouldn’t be the first time,” said Silvestre. “But obviously it would be a special occasion and I hope it’s going to be the case.”