Gilberto's promise: Spurs will see best of me next season
GILBERTO Da Silva feels Spurs fans will see the best of him next season after a slow start to his White Hart Lane career. The Brazilian defender had to wait until the Bolton game – the third last – for his first 90 minutes, following his £2million move fr
GILBERTO Da Silva feels Spurs fans will see the best of him next season after a slow start to his White Hart Lane career.
The Brazilian defender had to wait until the Bolton game - the third last - for his first 90 minutes, following his £2million move from Hertha Berlin in January.
He kept his place at left-back for Saturday's 1-0 win at Reading and is looking forward to making it a hat-trick of league starts in Sunday's final game against Liverpool at the Lane.
However, Gilberto's debut for Spurs - against PSV Eindhoven in the Uefa Cup in early March when his mistake allowed Jefferon Farfan to score the game's only goal - is still fresh in his mind.
"It was a disappointment," Gilberto told Ham&High Sport. "For me it was very difficult because I wanted to come here and play well but in that first match I played against PSV and we lost that match.
"I spoke to the manager and the players and said sorry [for the mistake] because I thought I could come here and play here. This didn't happen. My fitness was no good when I came here. With my experience I thought I could play against PSV but that was my mistake."
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Since then Gilberto has been forced to build up his match sharpness in the reserves before being considered for a first team recall. Now, his hard work for Clive Allen's second string has paid off and he has taken his opportunity.
"I'm experienced and know this has happened with other players also," he said. "I am 32 years old. I want to train more and play more so I understand the Premier League better.
"I played four times for the reserves and it was good for me because I played the full 90 minutes each time and it helped my fitness. I thought I played well in both games, against Bolton and Reading. I think I can play better and hopefully I can play in the last one as well."
Gilberto is only too well aware that all the players have been playing to impress Juande Ramos for next season. "I think there is motivation for all the players," he said. "For me especially, I came here in the middle of the season and want to play more for the manager.
"But I think all players have a big motivation when they go to the match. We are in 11th place but this season we have won the Carling Cup and I think all players have been improving. I think the players here must play better for the manager at the start of the new season. That gives us all big motivation."
However, the Brazilian is not unduly worried about his own place in the anticipated summer reshuffle saying: "I don't think the players are scared that we're going to be on our way out or that we will lose our places.
"But this is something for the manager to decide. If the manager has to make changes to make the team better, obviously we all have to support him. I think that's the way we all think about it and we all try to do our best."
Off the field, Gilberto and his family -wife and two daughters - have quickly adapted to the English way of life.
"They've settled surprisingly well," he said. "My wife speaks English a bit better than I do and also my daughters. They surprise me when they come home from school and ask me questions in English. That's very good to see - they are seven and three years old - they are adapting well and for us it's been good."
Indeed, the only thing that has scared Gilberto about England is driving on the left.
"Now I am getting used to it I am starting to enjoy driving again," he said. I have no problem with the food, while the weather does not bother me at all after living in Germany."