Arsenal Invincible Gilberto Silva says that Francis Coquelin is the first Arsenal player prepared to hold the piano since his exit.
Coquelin is now injured and the Brazilian – who left Arsenal in 2008 – joked that he was ready to step into the breach, presumably because he had heard that Calum Chambers was in the frame.
“I told him I was ready,” said Gilberto, known as The Invisible Wall for the understated part he played in Arsenal’s greatest success.
“Since I left if I am not wrong Arsenal didn’t have a player to fill that role until him,” Gilberto told The Guardian.
“They had some other players in that position like Mikel Arteta, Mathieu Flamini, and before that Cesc Fàbregas. But not this type of player, the guy who holds the piano to let the others play. I hope he recovers well and in time to help Arsenal this season. They will need him for sure.
“It’s a very hard time for the club and for the manager to organise the team, facing lots of injuries. Arsène has so many problems and doesn’t have so many players. The players must respond to that.
“This is a crucial moment, where the season can basically be decided. If they keep to their strengths in this period to keep consistency they have a good chance.
“It’s come to a time for Arsenal to win the league again. It would be a good gift to Arsène for what he has done over nearly 20 years.”