He’s back… with his duster
Come back forgotten man, all is forgiven! After six months out, Gilberto will make his return tomorrow, and if ever a player has cemented his position (and people’s opinion of him) without actually doing anything, it’s now. Fracturing his back has turned out to be a miraculous PR coup for the 28-year-old Brazilian. He’s the man of the moment (with the exception of Phil Senderos, of course).
In the past, and in my finite wisdom, I have berated the man for his lackadaisical approach and sideways passing, but absence makes the heart grow fonder and all that, and I welcome him back with arms open.
As le Boss says, “The positive thing [about his time out] is that when he did not play people realised how important he was.” Too right they did. “Gilberto makes the game fluent and simple. He does the cleaning work and that is always important in the house,” continued Wenger, drawing on a spectacular analogy.
His height and experience gives us something more, and will be especially welcome in the absence of Cap’n Pat, who’s got a hip problem.
Other facts worth pondering on before you head out tonight: Sol, Edu and Den are all out with various afflictions, but Bob Pires is back following a bout of flu, and Thierry should also return. We’ve won five in a row, we haven’t let a goal in for a month (nearly eight and a half hours) and, in a nutshell, we’re in good form.
Something else I’ve been intrigued about all week: I wonder what reception Ashley Cole will get? I know he’s been a silly sod, but I personally think we should reserve judgement for a while. Everyone sniffs around for new jobs, don’t they? Who knows – he may be tempted to sign a new deal with us, and booing him would not exactly help matters.