Silvestre: “I have not joined Arsenal to sit on the bench”

There’s only one thing worth talking about today and that is the shock signing of Mikael Silvestre from Manchester United. The French defender has signed a two-year deal for an undisclosed fee at Arsenal – thought to be around £750,000 – and will wear the #18 shirt at his new club.

I have to say that I was pretty shocked when I woke up this morning, checked out the official Arsenal website and saw that Silvestre had signed. It was only yesterday that the first hint of a move materialised and it was nothing more than a rumour. To see it confirmed so soon is a little bit surreal.

Yesterday I wasn’t quite sure whether I liked the idea of Silvestre signing, but now I’ll readily admit that I’m delighted. Yes, that’s right – delighted. He ticks all the right boxes – experienced, a Premiership player, a proven winner and of course French. Unsurprisingly, the manager has pointed to these strengths as the main reasons for signing Silvestre:

“We have a strong squad but a young squad and Mikael’s versatility, experience and calibre will provide the extra depth we need to reinforce our challenge for honours this season. His defensive adaptability will serve us well and it’s a big plus that Mikael has top level experience and a great understanding of football in the Premier League.”

The manager’s comments are spot-on. But what I’ve found even more intriguing are the comments made by Silvestre himself soon after signing the dotted line. Although I don’t have direct quotes, I watched the interview on Arsenal TV and the Frenchman had the following to say:

  • He is completely over his injuries and looking to a fresh start to the season
  • He left Manchester United because he was spending too much time on the bench and is looking to push for a starting spot at Arsenal
  • He clearly indicated that he would be playing at centre-back as opposed to left-back

It’s all very interesting and leaves Wenger with some decisions to make. If the manager remains true to his word then it seems to me that he’s either going to rotate Gallas, Toure and Silvestre on a consistent basis or he is going to play Gallas and Silvestre as first-choice and perhaps use Toure as a defensive midfielder.

Personally I hope it’s the former and that Wenger follows up the signing of Silvestre with the purchase of a new defensive-midfielder. If he does so then all of a sudden a squad which looked a little light-on will be completely ready to challenge for both the Premier League and Champions League.

At the end of the day I’m welcoming the signing of Silvestre. He might well be passed his best but the fact is that he is exactly what Arsenal needs and once again the manager has done a terrific job in bringing in the right sort of player to suit our needs. It is going to be interesting to see what role the Frenchman plays this season but regardless, a central defence department consisting of Gallas, Toure, Silvestre, Djourou and Senderos is more than good enough to challenge for a major title.

As a final note, I’m sure there will be supporters of Arsenal who were not the biggest fans of Silvestre while he was at Manchester United. It’s funny that on a personal level he never really bothered to me. I always thought he was quite a professional and there was always a Roy Keane, Ruud van Nistelrooij or Wayne Rooney to grind my gears instead. However, if you’re unfortunate enough to have the same stigma attached to Silvestre as someone like Arseblogger does then I’d encourage you to let it go as soon as possible. I totally understand where you’re coming from but at the end of the day Silvestre is an Arsenal player now and he deserves our support.

What do you think?

Have your say on the signing of Silvestre by leaving a comment.



  1. i am also delighted by this signing as it adds much needed depth to our squad, now for that DM

  2. never rated him at mancs, cant see this being as special as everyone thinks. dont get it, just dont get it.

  3. Time will tell….Arsene has been known to prolong a players career. What I cant understand is the two year contract when the likes of Pires was only offered the one.

  4. @ Sue – Maybe Wenger has learned from the past? I guess the thoughts behind it is that Silvestre is so cheap that the club can afford a two-year contract? Who knows really…

  5. We called for experience, now we have it all i see is Arsenal fans complaining. He will be a good addition trust me!

  6. It is interesting to see Silvestre joined Arsenal. One of the biggest rivals in the EPL. But the question I ask my self is, are arenal and Man U still big rivals as they used to be. As we saw from Ronaldo saga Arse said that he was happy that ronaldo stayed at man united and he was against it from the beginning. Silvestre joined arsenal answers my question they are not big rivals any more. But why, is it because Man United do not think arsenal are big challengers to the title and think given them Silvestre won’t help then or do they want that the title goes either Man united or arsenal by giving Silvestre. Don’t know I am arsenal fan and I think he will help the young players by giving them advise and the experience they lacked last year and my be wenger will move Toure to DM and play Silvestre with Gallas it will be interesting to see. What you people think. Gooners 4life.

  7. @ said – I think Silvestre was able to move because he has forged such a good relationship with Ferguson. From what I saw on the interview he spoke with the United manager about why he wanted to join and he let him go to as a reward for his loyalty.

  8. I think this signing may determine who is the greatest manager between wenger and ferguson?
    I’m backing Wenger to pull it off and for Arsenal (with a new DM) to win a major trophy or two after this signing.

  9. As Arsenal supporters we can not complained we have been asking all along for experience players and now we have one, but I’m with nr790 we still desperately need a DM otherwise we will still be behind the likes of the Mancs and Chelski.

  10. he quotes he doesn’t want to sit on the bench i fear he may along with all the other injured players !!!!!!

  11. What’s clear is that in the minds of the fans, this signing hinges on the signing of a new DM. If we do get the DM and you think of these two signings the other way round, first a DM and then Silvestre, there would be no complaints anywhere (except at Le Grove).

    I’m happy with this signing, but that’s because I’m seeing it independently of the DM position.

  12. @ Erichero – Great comments. You’re right – this signing does depend on the signing of a DM. I think it will happen and I think once it does any complaints about the signing of Silvestre will ease.

  13. So it is then possible for arsenal to buy over 30’s and give them a two year contract…. so could anyone tell why Senna is not already an Arsenal player? Regarding Silvestre, it is going to be a bit difficult to forget the fact that he has been a Manure player, but if he performs i dont mind it too much.

  14. @ Jander – We asked to buy Senna, but his club would only accept a bid of at least 25 million so we didnt go any further.

    I am dissappionted from this signing, Erichero said maybe its because everyone wanted a good M and we gt a CB instead, that could be the reason, but i dont think Silvestre is a good player. I he was thn he would have been playing at United. I trust Aw but his last 2 signings i am starting to question …

  15. “Why isn’t Senna an Arsenal player?!?!?

    Because after winning the Euro’s with Spain he said to Villareal that he had not interest in playing anywhere else, particularly england. This was in a week where he had been stongly linked with Arsenal – pretty sure it has nothing to do with Arsene’s over 30 policy.

    Silvestre is a great signing, our defense has the potential to be solid all season now. Where does this leave Song? Wenger has been talking him up all summer – but said he didn’t really see him in the centre of the park… so where is he going to play him now he’s back from the Olympics and probably the 5th or 6th choice central defender?!?!?!

  16. @ Jay – Silvestre hasn’t been playing at Manchester United for two reasons:

    (1) He’s been injured
    (2) They have Vidic and Rio! If we had Vidic and Rio too there wouldn’t be a problem!!!

    We still don’t have as good a central defence as United have but with Silvestre adding depth and the brilliance of Sagna and Clichy on the wings we’re certainly getting closer.

  17. Just by the by, it’s funny that people have been worried about our lack of depth – but now we’re adding too it people are worrying what’s going to happen to Toure/Djourou/Song…

    A big squad creates competition which means the starting XI is the stronger. Let the best players in the squad prove they’re the best and earn their spot in the starting side.

  18. Nice to see you put a positive spin on things Spanish mate. It makes a refreshing change.

    I for one am willing to give the facially-challenged Frenchman a chance. And, with serious questions still remaining over the Gallas/Toure partnership, I see no harm in Le Boss making another signing to put pressure on those two to perform more consistently together.

    I obviously hope we’re still gonna sign that elusive defensive mid – please, Alonso, please! – and certainly hope we don’t loan out our best performer at centre half so far this season.

    But, just like any new player joining our great club, I’ll be giving Tweety Pie my full support.

    Let’s just hope our latest Lewin sees very little of him, eh?

  19. I dont really know how i feel about this signing. His experience is excellent but i cant help thinking he’s gunner be competition for our injury ward.

    Did everyone see Henry’s assist for France…….still a class act IMO.

  20. @ Arsenal Haggis Lover – Thanks mate. Sometimes I think I’m too positive – maybe I’m just a dreamer…

    It’s funny that Wenger seems to have realised some of his mistakes and is trying to correct them – yet the people who want him to do so are worried that he’s doing something different. People are worried about change and when they see strange signings they don’t know what to expect. I think Silvestre will definitely help – I’m not sure how just yet – but he will.

  21. I think this is a great signing. He’s cost very little money, has bags of experience and is versatile. I agree with Arsenal Haggis Lover that he also follows the great tradition of ugly bastard defenders at Arsenal, following in the illustrious footsteps of pretty boys like Jeff Blockley, Nigel Winterburn and the loveliest of all, Martin “monkey head” Keown. Joking aside, we’ve all been calling for experienced, quality signings and now we’ve got one. Yes, we need a DM badly and I’m confident we’ll have one soon (I also hope it’s Alonso). It also might mean we see a lot less of Senderos, which I’d be delighted with.

  22. I’m pretty happy with the signing. Although I have a lot of contempt for United as a whole, there are some players that I do like from their team… Vidic, Brown, Scholes…. And, Silvestre. He’s a class act, very experienced and will be able to fit in anywhere in the backline. Odd signing in that he’s 31 and it’s a two year contract but Arsene never ceases to surprise/amaze me. I’m happy 🙂

  23. Everyone says he played for man u and we don’t want him but we got sol from the real scum in the epl (even though sol was in his prime) and we just rubbed their noses in it so give the lad a chance and maybe he knows what we gooners have known all along that arsenal is the best club in England. also now we have the cover song may be put back in dm as that’s where he plays for with cameroon. But a another signing is on the cards possibly arsharvin as his agent said the only reason he didn’t go to arsenal was he wanted too much money and maybe he will say sod the money I want to win the cl and come to us and that would be sweet.

  24. Can somebody answer me- Is sylvester not better than hoyte to be added in place of him. Hoyte is out, Whats wrong in adding sylv. Lets keep hope alive

  25. SF said it right a few comments above. It’s about competition. Silvestre is going to come in with something to prove. He knows he has to claw his way to the top if he wants to play and end his career properly. This will force Djourou/Song/Sendi/Toure and anyone else that wants a shake at those positions to do the same. It’s going to be quite a war for the starting spot next to Gallas. And it should separate the men from the boys.

  26. Gallas wont push hard for a CB place because he skipper and so he knows he got a space in the team already. If i means we wont see Sederos as muh im happy with the signing!

  27. now we just gotta make sure nobody introduces him to ro-sick-y. he’ll start to get injuries like nose strain or wtv if he starts to hang out with the likes of Robin van Sickie, Abou dieaby and the rosicknote himself.

  28. Traore joins Portsmouth on loan. Now we understand the signing of Silvester He is a back up for Clichy and possibly doing other duties in centre.
    What is this thing with M’bia cameroon midfielder He said: “I have just been told that Arsenal are interested as well, but my position is clear – I want to start the season with Everton,”
    He seems very keen to join Everton and that means one thing Arsenal are not really intrested in him.

  29. Silvestre is a interesting signing…his not a bad player..will add depth and experience, and thats what arsenal need.
    But his a bit of a Nightmare sometimes in defence. Will be interesting to see how he goes.
    On the bit about the rivalry between arsenal and united. Let me tell you somthing. Its def. there, however Fergie has ALOT of respect for Arsenal. Every season when the media say arsenal will struggle to finish in the top 4 … Fergie always puts arsenal as there top challengers for the title.
    Recently he mentioned if arsenal had not got all those injuries they may have won the title.
    The respect is there but he loves getting over Arsen. I think the two have a love hate relationship.

    Whereas fergie has no respect for Liverpool and Chelsea.

    Fergie allowed Silvest to go to Arsenal cause he loves loyal players and when he cant find them enough game time in his side he lets them leave where they want and what will make them happy.

  30. 100pr cnt agree wiv fatby ian nd jay lest chnce of blunderos playin is it jst me r dos ny1 else tink we av enough cntrl m 2 prtnr Fabregas dnt gt me rong wud luv Alonso r Barry bt deres Denielson,Diaby,Song,Bischoff,Ramsey nd bringin Toure up 2 cntrl m wud b stupet idea in my mnd wiv d midfldrs bove i mentind Wenger nos bst i spse myb jst rumors Toure WUD MVE UP DERE I MEAN

  31. Denilson, Diaby, Song, Ramsey and Bischoff may be good players but we need a player the same skill as Barry or Alonso, experienced and versatile. To play them and know they will play a good game instead of hoping they play well.

  32. as u know, i’m a Man Utd fan. and i am still shocked by the Silvestre news. it’s not that we are goin to miss his game, but simply becos he’s goin to add some depth to Arsenal defensive cover. IMO, Silvestre best position is leftback, not CB. He maybe quick enuff for CB, but not strong enuff physically. So often that he felt down after being muscled by strikers and this is costly. A CB should never being allowed to make such mistake.

  33. DATS 6sixsixsixsix mid plus Fabre lik wdf !WAGES!Arshavin prob demndid md wages bt even average wages wiv apparent debht due 2 emirates of crse sellin mre plyrs nxt my1st-aug31st ow us Arse fns spsd 2 sty fed wiv suces spse notin can b dun: /ALMUNIA/
    Wilshere/Ramsey/Bischoff/Van P
    Van P/Ade


  35. wenger must have somethin planned in his mind before signing silvestre………….
    he will strengthn our defence and hopefully we will see less of blunderous sendoros.
    how toure plays as a dm????? i hope wenger signs appiah or sm1else in dm pos rather then relying on toure as dm.which i suppose he will.

  36. TO butterfingers
    thnks MAN for asking that about recorded matches
    i will love to watch recorded arsenal matches.if you can send me those …i’ll be very grateful
    we don’t have pubs here in india where we can watch football matches or rather they r found in metros only.

  37. Fucking hell I’ve never laughed so much in ages (since 5-1 thrashing by spurs)a 27 man team some of them are in there 2wice haha and have we signed alonso as he’s in there.
    @ pavon my e-mail address is bevan
    Let me know your mailing contact and evry 2-3 games I’ll send over you a disc mate. I’ve also got setanta that are playing the fa cup matches so you shouldn’t miss too much.

  38. well boyz im 14 actualy this is wat i sed above COMPARE:Dats 6 midfielders plus Fabregas like what the fuck ooops i cursed dnt tell mammy wages arshavin probably demanded mad wages but even average wages wud put us back a bit wiv all d central midfielders we’ve got with apparent debht on d emirates no wonder we ave 2 sell mre players every season how are us Arsenal Fans supposed 2 stay fed with success suppose nothin can b done apart frm selling dem and my added comment/question is y dats why doesnt eboue fck off back 2 right back as covr dats cover 4 Sagna he mite’nt dats might not play as much or b happy but at least d dats the team will b better going forward fuck Wengers Eboue Gives us balance COMPRENDE/UNDERSTAND SURELY YE ARENT DAT DATS THAT STUPET?EH?EH

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