Silvestre feeling young again
Mikael Silvestre feels he has rediscovered his youth since his surprise move from Man Utd to Arsenal.
Last Updated: 28/04/09 12:39pm
Mikael Silvestre feels he has rediscovered his youth since his surprise move from Manchester United to Arsenal.
The Frenchman ended his nine-year stay at Old Trafford when he left for Premier League rivals Arsenal last summer.
And Silvestre, 31, has been impressed with the Gunners' philosophy of developing emerging talent since his arrival.
"In playing terms, they are replicas of each other as they put the onus on going forward but after that, they have two different principles," said the defender.
"At United, the squad is built in little stages but always around their pillars, (Paul) Scholes, (Ryan) Giggs and (Gary) Neville. They are the club's identity, their points of reference on the pitch and in the changing room.
"At Arsenal, it functions more by generations. There has been that of (Patrick) Vieira, (Robert) Pires, (Thierry) Henry. Now it is that of (Cesc) Fabregas, (Theo) Walcott, (Alex) Song, (Aaron) Ramsey.
"We give responsibility to these youngsters very early and we let them grow together. At Arsenal, youth isn't just an excuse.
"In the changing room, it is simple - to my left is (Jack) Wilshere, who is 16, and to my right is Ramsey, who is 18. We talk about things like the latest video games. It's good - I feel young again."
Silvestre could face United in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday night, although he must overcome a back problem and is in competition with Johan Djourou for a starting berth.
"It is going to be weird going into the visitors' changing room, to see the supporters and all the people who work at the club again," Silvestre told L'Equipe.
"It is going to be moving. Nine years at one club, it's a long time, it is a part of my life. And it isn't any old club, it is a legendary club.
"I could have stayed for my 10th year and had my testimonial. It surprised everyone (that he moved) but I wanted a new challenge.
"Ferguson did me a favour, he had never done it before."