Gilberto wants Wenger to stay at Arsenal

Former Arsenal midfielder Gilberto Silva hopes Arsene Wenger remains at the club and believes victory in the FA Cup final would ease the pressure on the long-serving manager.

Gilberto has spoken to BT Sport about Wenger’s future, with the Frenchman’s contract expiring at the end of the season. Asked if he expected Wenger to still be in charge at the Emirates Stadium six years after he left Arsenal, Gilberto replied he thought it would be for the best if Wenger was.

“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,” the 37-year-old said. “I really hope they can do it and this will then of course ease the pressure.”

Arsene Wenger and Gilberto Silva

It’s nine years since Arsenal won the FA Cup in 2005, with Gilberto part of that team, and it is the last piece of silverware claimed by the club to date. Gilberto argued, however, that Wenger should be judged on his tenure as a whole.

“This kind of pressure is normal when you have been as successful as him in the recent past for the club,” the Atletico Mineiro midfielder said. “Some people say he should leave but I disagree because he brought success to the club. People shouldn’t only analyse the last five to eight years but also look at what he has achieved throughout his whole time.”

Gilberto added that his time playing under Wenger was one of the most enjoyable of his career. “To play for Wenger was great, I learnt a lot from him,” he continued. “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.

“It was great, an amazing six years of my life. It is always nice when people talk to me about Arsenal.

“For me Arsenal was like a school in many ways. There was a good atmosphere, good team and a new way to look at football for me. It was fantastic, I learnt a lot about football and whenever I have the opportunity to talk to people about Arsenal it is always a good feeling.”

For more from Gilberto Silva tune into SportsHUB on Monday 5 May, BT Sport 1 at 6.30pm where he will be speaking to promote the documentary ‘Gilberto Silva’s Road to Rio’, which recounts the Street Child World Cup that took place in Rio last month. BT Sport’s charity, The Supporters Club, backed three charities that sent teams to the tournament. Watch it on 5 May, BT Sport 1 at 10.15pm.

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