Gilberto backing Scolari
Arsenal midfielder Gilberto is convinced that Luiz Felipe Scolari can handle the big egos at Chelsea.
By Robin Hackett
Last Updated: 14/06/08 12:30pm
Arsenal midfielder Gilberto Silva is convinced that Luiz Felipe Scolari has what it makes to handle the big egos at Chelsea.
Portugal boss Scolari has agreed to take over at Stamford Bridge after Euro 2008 and, with reports he is set to add to an already star-studded squad, he will have to make difficult decisions when selecting his teams.
But the 59-year-old has shown time and again that he is more than capable of dealing with that kind of pressure, not least when he threw the inexperienced Gilberto into his World Cup-winning Brazil side in 2002.
"Felipe is prepared to make tough decisions in difficult situations," Gilberto told The Daily Star.
"Players respect him because they know he only does what he thinks is best for the team.
"He doesn't think about himself and, if he has some hard choices to make, he'll make them.
"He showed that by picking me for the World Cup. That was probably the hardest decision he had to make.
"It was difficult because there were far more experienced players in the squad.
"I don't think if it was another I would have been in the team, because I hadn't even played one full competitive match and I was the youngest in the side.
"He doesn't change his mind. No matter if he's criticised, he follows what he believes in."
Some critics have suggested Scolari may struggle to adapt because he is yet to learn English.
But the likes of Rafa Benitez and Juande Ramos have already shown that the language barrier can be overcome, and Gilberto is convinced it will not be an issue for the Brazilian.
"I remember him telling us he read some books to learn English when he went to Kuwait to coach their national side.
"It'll be a challenge for him, but he loves challenges. It is not going to be a problem."