Silvestre wary of short summer
By Adam Marshall
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Mikael Silvestre claims the title race is over and he is playing to avoid being forced to cut short his summer holidays.
The Manchester United defender realises that, with the champions languishing in third place behind The Gunners and Chelsea, they may have to face the qualifying rounds before sealing a place in next season's UEFA Champions League.
Although most United fans probably view next weekend's FA Cup semi-final as critical for keeping the club's season alive, the France international is hoping to first upset Arsenal's record attempt at Highbury to silence his colleagues with Les Bleus.
"Arsenal deserve to be in the position they are because they have been so strong throughout the season," said Silvestre.
"The championship is over for us now.
"Really we are playing to make sure we don't get our summer holiday cut back by having to play in the qualifying rounds for the Champions League.
"But going to Highbury gives us the opportunity to show we are getting back on track too.
"Hearing from the French players phoning me about their unbeaten record is getting annoying so hopefully we can be the ones to end it.
"I have known Thierry Henry, in particular, for a long time but I will kick him if I have to, no doubt about that.
"The one thing about Thierry is that he has always worked hard on his game.
"Even when he was 15, he was far better than any of us so there has always been a lot of attention on him.
"Yet it has never deflected his attention away from the game.
"Apart from his skill, his pace is incredible.
"It's impossible to stay with him when he tries to run away from you.
"You have to try and stop him in different ways and, fortunately, we have managed to do that in recent games against Arsenal.
"Hopefully, it stays that way tomorrow."