Silvestre could act as cover
Mikael Silvestre may be offered the opportunity to impress he has been waiting for as a makeshift full-back.
By Chris Burton
Last Updated: 18/11/09 3:41pm
Mikael Silvestre may be offered the opportunity to impress he has been waiting for as a makeshift left-back.
The experienced defender has found himself on the fringes of the Arsenal first-team this season, with Arsene Wenger reluctant to tinker with a winning formula.
The Frenchman may, however, be about to benefit from the misfortune of others, with an opening arising on the left-hand side of the Gunners' back four.
First-choice full-back Gael Clichy is currently nursing a back problem, while his deputy Kieran Gibbs picked up an ankle knock while on duty with the England U21s on Tuesday.
Armand Traore is another who could fill in if required, but he is yet to shake off a groin complaint and is unlikely to be risked by Wenger.
That should mean that Silvestre will be given the nod when Arsenal head to the Stadium of Light to take on Sunderland this Saturday.
"It is always difficult to stay on the bench, but that is part of playing at the high level," Silvestre told Arsenal TV Online.
"You have to get on with it, and that is what I have been doing.
"It is always a test, whether you will be ready when it is going to be your time and you never know when that will be."
He added: "I feel good, fully fit.
"I just do what I have been doing - training hard and support the team.
"The pressure is higher because even if you are training hard, it is not like playing games.
"But as long as you enjoy it, then the rest will come."
Silvestre is also hoping to help the Gunners tighten up at the back, with the 32-year-old of the opinion that Wenger's men are capable of challenging for the Premier League title if they can get things right at both ends of the field.
"We are scoring goals, but also can concede a little bit, we need to stop that," he said.
"We are in a good position so the players are well aware of what was missing last season and everybody is focused on giving 100 per cent for the rest of the season.
"We are in the race, and with a little improvement, we can be a real threat this season."