Gilberto Silva has admitted former Arsenal team-mate Martin Keown would shout at him so much that he would even dream about the former defender giving him an earful!
The pair played alongside each other for two seasons which includes the memorable ‘Invincibles’ campaign in 2003/04 which saw the Gunners go an entire Premier League season unbeaten.
And Silva, who played as a defensive midfielder for Arsenal from 2002-08, lifted the lid on what it was like playing alongside the likes of Keown.
On Keown, Silva said to talkSPORT’s Jim White: “The funniest thing for me was to play with Martin Keown because he’d shout ‘Gilberto don’t go, stay, stay, stay.’”
“And after the game when I went to sleep I had Martin in my mind shouting at me!
Silva also claimed he gave Keown sound advice on how to avoid bookings in the very physical English top flight.
He added: “Once Martin came to me in the dressing room in the morning and said ‘you’re playing in the Premier League and we have played so many games, how come you haven’t had a yellow card? It’s not possible in the Premier League’
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“I said ‘Martin, I play the ball THEN I hit the player!’”
Jim then asked Brazilian Silva if he ever found it difficult to understand what Keown was saying, to which Silva replied that ex-Gunners midfielder and talkSPORT host Ray Parlour was more difficult to understand!
Arsenal legend Gilberto Silva has told Unai Emery he MUST find a place for Mesut Ozil in his team.
The Invincibles hero believes the mercurial playmaker is too good to be left on the bench for Gunners, insisting on talkSPORT he must be played regularly to get the best out of him.
Ozil does not seem to be trusted by his manager, having fallen down the pecking order since Emery’s appointment in the summer.
The German has only played twice so far in 2019. He has worn the captain’s armband on a number of occasions this season, and yet the 30-year-old has only started 14 games and has regularly been left out of matchday squads by Emery.
But, Arsenal fans have moaned about their lack of creative flair in midfield in recent weeks, having suffered a decline in form since their impressive 22-game unbeaten run was ended by Southampton in December.
Each week, talkSPORT.com looks at transfers from years gone by; the deals that saw fans express delight in whatever the equivalent of a NSFW meme was at the time.
Arsenal signed a winner when Gilberto Silva arrived in north London from Atletico Mineiro in 2002.
This was the man who, according to Brazilian magazine Veja, “carried the piano for Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and Rivaldo to play their tunes on.”
He had been part of Brazil’s World Cup winning squad and manager Arsene Wenger wanted him, which meant it was vice chairman David Dein’s job to go and make the deal happen.
“Arsene would say: ‘I think this player will fit in nicely and this is where I envisage him playing,’” Dein explained to Amy Lawrence in her book, Invincible.
“Then it was down to me to go and do the deal and bring the player back.” After some tough negotiating, which involved Dein pretty much sleeping on Atletico Mineiro’s doorstep to get their directors to even entertain the idea of selling, he got his man. A bargain £4.5million considering the impact Silva had.
Wenger was exited. “He is a naturally gifted, world class player who has proved, by his performances in Japan during the summer, that he is a winner,” he said when unveiling his new player.
“He will give us extra quality and his competitiveness in midfield will provide us with a good balance and added strength,” he added.
And he was right. Arsenal were now even stronger and Silva quickly became a favourite among the Arsenal faithful who named him the ‘Invisible Wall’ for his performances in front of the back four where he provided the protection.
The adjustment from Belo Horizonte to England took some adjustment, but his impact on the pitch was immediate. Coming off the bench at half-time, he scored the only goal of the game as the Gunners beat Liverpool 1-0 in the 2002 Charity Shield then ended the season with an FA Cup winner’s medal.
Better still, the following year he formed a formidable partnership with Patrick Vieira en route to going the entire season unbeaten, better known as the ‘Invincibles’ season to Gooners.
“Remarkable,” he said in reference to not only remaining unbeaten, but extending it to 49 games. “It’s something I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”
Another FA Cup victory followed in 2005 and then a year later, Silva scored the first ever competitive goal at the Emirates in the 1-1 draw with Aston Villa.
By 2008, though, it was time to move on. He wasn’t playing much and had his eyes on a place in Brazil’s 2010 World Cup squad. Greek side Panathinaikos was his next stop and he a seat on the plane to South Africa was his.
His style may not have been the sexiest, but you won’t find an Arsenal fan who believes Gilberto Silva wasn’t essential.
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