Arsene Wenger will protect Arsenal players 'like a father', says Gilberto Silva
By Gerard Brand
Last Updated: 14/07/17 3:58pm
Arsene Wenger will protect Arsenal's players "like a father" when they come under fire, insists Gilberto Silva.
Wenger signed a new two-year extension to his Arsenal deal earlier in the summer following months of speculation surrounding his future, as Arsenal finished outside of the top four for the first time since 1996.
Brazilian midfielder Gilberto, who played under Wenger at Arsenal between 2002 and 2008, winning a Premier League title with the Invincibles in 2004, was not surprised the Frenchman stayed put, and says he is like a father figure at the club.
Gilberto told Sky Sports: "He's always been strong, no matter what the situation is, he will always support the players and embrace them. He will always stay in front of them, protects them, especially when the pressure is there, that's just his style.
"He was the same last season when the team were struggling; he behaves like a big father to everyone, and takes the responsibility.
"But behind the scenes for him it is important that the older players take a lot of responsibility and help the younger players. Now they have a new chance, a new season and a new outlook.
"Honestly, it was not a surprise for me that he stayed. He's got the desire inside of him to carry on and win games. It's special because he loves Arsenal too, it is very unique and personal to him."
The 40-year-old former Brazil international also feels it will be difficult to replace Wenger when he does eventually leave the Emirates, and insists Arsenal must get their preparation done early for his successor.
"When it happens it will be difficult for any coach coming to replace him. Because there is one kind of style and philosophy, everyone would have to adapt to a new manager.
"I hope that when the time comes for him to leave they start to prepare a new manager to replace that ability."