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At Least Silvestre Is Good Enough For Arsenal’s First Team

Reading United blogs and forums, the general consensus from our fans is that it’s rather amusing that Arsenal have taken Mikael Silvestre off our hands. No doubt a total professional and someone who shied away from the limelight, he’s always been one of the worst players in our team (which isn’t necessarily a huge criticism when looking at who his team mates have been!).

Whilst much more competent as a full-back, due to his ability to attack, he is a disaster waiting to happen in the centre of defence.

Sir Alex Ferguson has today said that he has no problems with Silvestre moving to Arsenal, explaining he understands a player’s need for first team football. So, does this mean a player who didn’t even make the bench at United is set to become a regular starter at Arsenal?

“Mikael Silvestre came to see me at the end of the season and said he wanted first team football. I agreed with him,” said Ferguson. “He was conducting his own affairs. We knew the price we wanted and notified the clubs who were showing interest. Mainly it was Sunderland. He went there last Friday to discuss a move and he came back and was very positive about that. Then Man City came on the scene. He was having a medical there and halfway through it he got a phone call to go to London and he ended up at Arsenal. We have no complaints. We wish him well. You could have been selfish and say you are going to be a reserve. But we are bigger than that. We recognised the service and let him get on with a career playing first team football.”

Ferguson had enough respect for Silvestre to allow him a move to his desired club for first team action. Obviously a club playing Champions League football will be more appealing than the likes of City and Sunderland. However, Ferguson didn’t win 10 league titles by underestimating his rivals, indicating he knows more about Silvestre’s capabilities than maybe he’d like Arsenal to know. There’s no way Fergie would sell a player to a supposed title rival if he believed that player could have much of a positive effect on them.

Silvestre himself confirmed that he signed for Arsenal so that he could become a starting player.

“It was a big surprise, but a very good surprise in the end,” Silvestre said after signing. “I left United especially because I didn’t want to spend anymore time on the bench.”

I’d be concerned for a couple of reasons if I was an Arsenal fan.

1. If Manchester City and Sunderland are the teams fighting it out with you to sign a player, you might want to worry about the quality of that player.
2. By all accounts, it looks as though Silvestre hasn’t been bought as back up, rather someone Wenger expects to start. If Silvestre is leaving Untied for first team football, Arsene Wenger must have given him guarantees of that.
3. If Fergie thinks he’s not good enough for United’s team, he shouldn’t be good enough for Arsenal.

Good luck, Silly!


About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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38 Comments

  1. gooner says:

    Why do your blogs always show up on newsnow arsenal? Don’t republik of mancunions want to read them?

  2. Gunnar says:

    Four articles on the same story. Methinks the lady doth protest too much.

  3. Nathi says:

    Ok I hear ya…

    If thats what you really believe, that is if the player is as rubbish as you paint him to be and he wont add nothing to the Arsenal, then why bother with the continuous articles? Instead you should be happy, as you would like us to believe, and leave it be!

  4. Erichero says:

    It would be embarrassing if he did well for the Gooners, even more so if he scored the winning goal at Old Trafford (close to the Champions’ Section – that’s the away section for the uninitiated). Time will tell, time will tell.

  5. rwb44 says:

    He’s a backup for Arsenal, nothing more.

    Who pray tell, do you expect him to replace? Gallas? Toure? Be serious.

    He’s just saying he’ll get more time at Arsenal.

  6. mjc says:

    Anyone remember Jaap Stam….?

  7. shooy says:

    Convinced yourself yet Scott?

  8. ManU says:

    MU should now sell off John Oshea who had shown no improvement at all.He has got no pace and always and hopeless in every position.The sooner MU get rid of him the better.

  9. Oooodz says:

    Erichero, you can say that about ANY player though can’t you?

    It was a handy little sly dig by fergie when he mentioned Silvestre playing for our reserves. Not that he would just spend time on the bench.

  10. Gooner#2 says:

    This whole situation will probably end up like diarra. We sign a player from our rivals, the players wants first team football but ends up on the bench, he gets angry and leaves in jan. Its going to end like that, trust me.

  11. Dave says:

    If your selling O’Shea we’re not interested I’m afraid. Sunderland or Man City might be too good, perhaps you could give him to Oldham for doing pretty much all your youth development work for the past 20 years ;-)

  12. TopGunPires says:

    Your obbsession with this story is getting embarrassing. In case you had forgotten there have been plenty of players in the past the Arsene Wenger rated when nobody else did and most of them haven’t turned out to bad.

  13. azza says:

    lol ManU, u right some pointless shite!! this is about silvestre and how he moved 2 the arse, and ur on bout mr o shea!! wtf!! and he wasnt hopeless at anfield in the 90th minute wen he scored the winna was he!! o shea is better than fletcher, u must be an A.B.U!!

  14. DAZ says:

    Silvestre has been bought as back up for gael clichy!!! We don’t really have any backup at left back and I would say silvestre is a good signing for a squad player especially for 750,000! I think this is another master stroke by wenger, he will add bags of experience to an already very talented squad. Another experienced signing in midfield will finish off our squad nicely!!

    Are you Man Utd fans really stupid enough to think he will be a regular at Arsenal……. and who’s place do you think he is going to take like?????
    Your fans can laugh about it all you like but lets see who has the last laugh come the end of the season!! ARSENE KNOWS!!

  15. Nick the Gooner says:

    We signed a player who is a better alternative to Senderos. Why are you so bothered? If he is as poor as you say he his then you’ve got nothing to worry about.

    I wouldn’t give a toss if you bought a back up player from us. Face it, you’re slightly scared this could back fire.

    New pants for Scott please!

  16. Gripper says:

    9 years and he’s a load of shite?

    Yep, whatever fella.

    Fook me, do you really need to get hits sooooo much you need to constantly refer to Arsenal in your titles?

    Sheeeesh!

    The old fish faced twat is cover for Gaiel Clichy AKA best left back in the prem. Fact he couldn’t be rested due to a lack of cover last season is probably the main reason Wenger bought the twat.

    Hardly a big deal, well, not worth four posts on it anyhoo.

    Get over it fella, I know i have.

  17. azza says:

    arse fans im curious, y has he got a 2yr contract at age 31, wen ppl like pires, who was pure class and still is, onli got offered a 1yr contract, hence him moving on to play for the yellow submarines!! is it cuz alien head is french? :S

  18. finestcuts says:

    Yeah he’ll get first team football but not that kind that most would imagine. He should be in the Carling Cup team now that Traore has gone on loan to Portsmouth, so he’ll get a few games there. He’ll come on as a sub more often than he did at ManU. Traore had 12 appearances last year, he’ll probably get all the games traore was needed for so no he won’t be on the bench all the time, he is at Arsenal to play, he will get first team opportunities but he won’t be gifted them.

    It also depends on Clichy’s fitness, the strength of the opposition etc. a handy play for Arsenal to have about. We have Djourou and Song who are up and coming, Wenger won’t waste games on Silvestre he can give to Djourou or Song. We’ll certainly be able to make use of him, he’s a cog in the Arsenal machine, something to keep it flowing, he’s our defensive Eboue. Very useful for the bench, he provides cover for 3 positions. So does Eboue (Right back, Right midfield and central midfield). So he will be a first team player but not a starter, no one mentioned anything about him getting lots of starts. For example Bendtner got 36 appearance last season, but in match minutes he got 10 Premier League games, plus a few cup games.

    Putting Silvestre on in the last 20 will add energy to the team, and someone whose just come on versus someone who’s been on for an hour or more is a big advantage, plus the experience he has. See to us he’s very useful…

  19. JohnV says:

    Silvestre won’t be a first choice starter but he will allow us to rest Clichy, Gallas or Toure when we want to. He will also be good back up if one of them is injured. So he will play many first team games but to say he would be in our first choice 11 is laughable.

  20. bergkamp says:

    pires wanted a 70k a week 2-3 year deal and each year he was taking longer and longer to get match fit at the beginning of the season,pires is still class but at villareal he decides when he wants to be subbed off, this guy probly earns less than half pires wanted! no disrespect to bobby p he is still the man!

  21. bergkamp says:

    the last 2 days is the only time iv heard man u fans call silvestre shyt ,i never thought he was shyt but i always took the p!ss out of his massive head lol now he plays for us!

  22. Fabregas' Dad says:

    He’s only at Arsenal as a backup LB to Clichy so Traore can develop at Portsmouth and an emergency CB in case we get 3 or four injuries in that position.

  23. azza says:

    hmm dt makes sense! hope u enjoy our alien head, we didnt!!!

  24. rwb44 says:

    Well mate, Pires was french too……

  25. TD says:

    Decent player. Like people have said before, he covers Gallas, Toure and Clichy, so he will definitely get time on the pitch.

    He is our first reserve, jumping ahead of Traore (LB – loaned out), Senderos and Djourou. We now have decent defensive cover and United have released a player on the periphery of their squad.

    Everyone’s a winner. I don’t get what all the debate is about really it seems obvious to me.

  26. TD says:

    He does have a huge head though…

  27. Obomba says:

    1) Pires ? What exactly has he done since he left. In fact, there are few players that Wenger let go before there time was up. Henry, Ljungberg, Pires, Overmars, Petit, Vieira, and Staam (oops soorry).

    2) UTD fans seem obsessed with our 2nd choice left back. If you were to ask me to comare Sendores and Djourou to Wes Brown, that’s a different story.

    3) What would concern me is if Wenger moved Toure to midfield and made Silvestre first Choice center back. then again I said the same when he made Toure a CB. Arsenal and UTD CBs have different responabilities; it would be a different kind of challenge for him.

  28. aqqe says:

    It’s quite obvious Silvestre will be an experienced back up, something that is very important for such a young squad. The same “promises” of first team football were made to Diarra, and he left after like 2 days.

  29. azza says:

    wesley brown is a european champion!

  30. Scott the Red says:

    Nick – you’re not suggesting I’m shitting myself because you’ve signed Silvestre, are you? Honestly??

    Azza – Wes Brown actually has TWO European Cup winners medals.

  31. Sue says:

    This blog is obsessed with The Arsenal

  32. GOONA says:

    Maybe another reason why this surprising and suspicious transfer went through could be this. Remember that old saying “Beware of greeks bearing gifts” well now could it be that Man U will sign Henry if the Berbatov saga falls through? if the Henry transfer happened that would make it ok in their eyes. Gawd I hope it doesn’t happen, but beware of greeks bearing gifts!!!!!!!!!

  33. azza says:

    lolol oh ye! he didnt play an integral part in 99 tho, but my bad! its bin a long week, refreshing newsnow waitin 4 berba 2 sign takes its toll on you!!

  34. Wrighty7 says:

    Whats the obsession with Arsenal mate?

    You had nine good years out of Silvestre. So you should just show him a little respect and wish him well.

    If you are not that bothered about him leaving why keep on about it?

    Just let it go.

    He’s left a sinking ship and joined a club on the up. Obviously a clever guy.

  35. Tom F says:

    I don’t think Silvestre will be as shit as we’re all making him out to be. When was the last time he had a decent run of games?

    I think he’ll do well at Arsenal given the fact that he’s there to speak French lots and offer his wisdom. He’ll have great knowledge and understanding from his time at United and will naturally impose himself as a leader on the training ground around Arsenals youthful / experience lacking side.

    I am not sad to see him go, he was as much use to us as Dong Fanzhou is. Never plays, so why stay?

    I am also very excited at the prospect of the twins and also our other defenders coming through from reserve and loan football.

    Wesley Brown is a top player. The end.

  36. Jack Staniforth says:

    Given the facts in the above article and the rivalry between Fergie and Wenger it`s hard to understand the reasoning behind this move. On the face of it I have to agree, if he`s not able to make the first tem at United what`a he doing at Arsenal?

  37. OTRed says:

    @Wright 7: One question, do you Arsenal fans ever talk sense??? You all seem to talk sh!t, selling club muppets

    And yes, Scott i agree with the gay Arse lovers, its getting annoying now, 4 blogs on the same thing, let it go, the stupid Farcenal fans are contaminating this blog with their stupidity, bitter a*s in brain scums.

  38. Ryan says:

    a) wtf is up with arsenal fans asking “what do you care about our 2nd choice left back” and crap like that. we care about it because he played for our club for 9 years. do you really not think that is significant?
    b) I don’t get why we didnt get more for him if 3 clubs wanted him for around that price. i imagine keano would have paid 2m for him if we had offered.

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