Mikael Silvestre Exclusive: Top-Four Between Arsenal And Spurs
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Mikael Silvestre Exclusive: Top-Four Between Arsenal And Spurs

Former Arsenal defender Mikael Silvestre believes his old club would be disappointed were they not to finish in the top four this term – despite scepticism about what they could achieve early in the campaign. The Gunners currently occupy fourth spot, two points ahead of nearest challengers Tottenham. Their start to this term was not so auspicious, however, losing their first three games as pressure began to mount on head coach Mikel Arteta. But Silvestre thinks Arsenal’s ambition from the beginning of the season was to return to the Champions League – even if that was not made public.


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Race Is Between Arsenal And Spurs

Speaking exclusively to Genting, he said: “I think the race is open and will remain open between Arsenal and Spurs until the end of the season. 

“Arsenal is showing good signs and for sure the win against [Manchester] United will give them a lot of confidence. But we can see that it isn’t settled, especially with the young players they have and the balance of the side isn’t perfect. For me, it will be open until the end. 

“For sure they will be disappointed [if they don’t make the top four] because they’ve made so much effort to get back into the Champions League after a long absence. 

“We have to realise that the owners have stuck with Arteta and [Technical Director] Edu. The owners have been strong and have kept their heads because at points everything was going wrong and the season started badly. 

“They will be disappointed if they don’t finish in the top four because secretly that was the objective for the season. 

“Whatever we see from the outside, any group of players that play for Arsenal will be aiming to get the club back into the Champions League. 

“I think they will be in Europe next season, but it is too early to say in what competition. There is progress in the team and they are on the right path.”

Mikael Silvestre Exclusive: Gabriel And White Gunners Defensive Future

Mikael Silvestre Exclusive: Gabriel And White Gunners Defensive Future

Impressed With Arteta

Silvestre has also been impressed with Arteta’s response to going through difficult patches as a young manager.

“I was worried at points because of the results and his [Arteta’s] lack of experience in dealing with such adversity,” he added. 

“He has to deal with the fans, the media and even your players can doubt you if the results are not there. 

“He has never been a manager before and he has never been through a situation like he did at the start of the season, beginning with such a catastrophic start after heavy investment. 

“The response to that was impressive. He showed resilience. That situation tested his character and his philosophy, he would have been asking questions of himself. 

“I think his footballing career helped him through that period because as a player, you will go though patches where you are down and alone. 

“As a manager that pressure is even more intense, so that helped him a lot. 

“He has stuck to his principles and plays the football he wants to play – attacking football with a lot of combinations. It's good, and I’m pleased for him and the club.”

 

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V: 1.20.0 All rights reserved. August 2021
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