Former Gunner Gilberto gives his backing to under-fire Wenger

12:11 27 February 2013

Arsene Wenger. Photo: Nick Potts/PA

Arsene Wenger. Photo: Nick Potts/PA

Former Arsenal midfielder Gilberto Silva is confident Arsene Wenger is the man to take the Gunners back to the top.

Wenger has come under intense pressure this season as Arsenal have struggled badly in all competitions.

They lie fifth in the Premier League and shock Capital One Cup and FA Cup exits at the hands of Bradford and Blackburn were followed by a chastening 3-1 home defeat by Champions League rivals Bayern Munich.

That result leaves their hopes of silverware in tatters for another season with Champions League qualification the only realistic goal they have left.

Gilberto, who won two FA Cups and one Premier League title during his time at the club, believes Arsenal’s woes are partly down to their inability to compete financially with the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City.

The Brazilian sympathises with their plight and insists Wenger is still the right man for the job.

“I think criticism is a normal part of the game,” he told the official Arsenal Magazine. “And it gets harder when you’re not winning titles.

“Sometimes people think that you have lost your way, but in Arsenal’s case I don’t think that’s fair.

“There are clubs with a lot more financial power, and that makes a lot of difference when you’re building a squad.

“It makes Arsène Wenger’s job more difficult because he can’t compete financially with Chelsea, Man City and other rich clubs in England.

“As a former Arsenal player I’m hoping things will change.

“I’m confident that Mr Wenger can discover a formula that can get the club back to winning trophies.”

He added: “The team has certainly changed a lot. The Club is in a process of transition at the moment, and the supporters just have to be patient.

“At one point the squad was very young, so expecting them to challenge straight away for the Premier League title was unrealistic.

“That’s too much pressure for a young team, and you also have to remember that it’s becoming more and more difficult to compete with the ‘super rich’ clubs like Chelsea and Manchester City.

“Arsenal don’t have the financial power to match them - that’s just a fact of life.

“It means they have to find other ways to achieve success and that takes longer.”

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