Silvestre calls for United front
Arsenal defender Mikael Silvestre has called on his team-mates to produce an unlikely win at Manchester United on Saturday – and kick-start next season s title charge, writes Jem Maidment. The Gunners season is ending with a whimper after crushing home d
Arsenal defender Mikael Silvestre has called on his team-mates to produce an unlikely win at Manchester United on Saturday - and kick-start next season's title charge, writes Jem Maidment.
The Gunners' season is ending with a whimper after crushing home defeats to United and Chelsea. And to rub salt into the wounds, United could be crowned champions when Arsenal visit, depending on the result of last night's trip to Wigan Athletic.
But Silvestre (pictured), who won four title medals with United before moving to The Emirates last year, wants Arsenal to be partypoopers for the Saturday lunchtime kick-off.
"Saturday's game is a good chance to prove to ourselves that we have got what it takes to fight and be on top of the league for next season," he said. "All the players now have to fight for their spots and show the boss they deserve to be there and have the will to defend Arsenal's colours.
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"It is always a game to look forward to. It will be tough going back there. We need to play like we started against Chelsea and make sure it goes our way when it is about scoring goals."
Despite mounting pressure from fans left frustrated with a fourth successive season without silverware, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has again hinted he will not spend big in the summer.
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"We have a team of 22-year-olds on average, why should we look for revolution?" asked Wenger. "That would be stupid and not responsible. I still believe that when you have responsibilities, you have to make decisions and stand up for that. Until now we have not done too badly. I do not think that the team need major investments."
One former Gunner, 1998 Double-winning midfielder Emmanuel Petit, is not so sure - voicing the view held by an increasing number of supporters.
"Arsene Wenger was always protected by David Dein, but today the shareholders, the fans and the press are doing soul-searching," said Petit this week.
"Arsene is extremely intelligent, he is a visionary. I am not saying he should change his ways, but if he made slight changes and found a compromise between youth and experience, like Manchester United and every dominant team in Europe does, he would find the right mix.
"But it means spending more money.