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Do You Remember Silvestre's Greatest Game?

Mikael Silvestre has joined Arsenal. That is a solid fact, can't be denied. Debatable though is that whether this transfer was what the Gooners needed or that why Fergie let him go. However, I'm not in the mood to debate this now.

Especially not as the event itself, however unusual, is not very significant. He's the first player to be sold to Arsene Wenger by Sir Alex Ferguson but it would be a much bigger deal had he not missed the last year through injury and had he not been a pretty average defender anyway.

Don't get me wrong: Silvestre is a likeable lad, always giving his all in a United shirt. Lazyness, big-headedness are not among his faults. His faults are easy to see: it's not that he hasn't got the skill or the pace, it's his maddening proneness to injury that always prevented him being entirely accepted by Manchester United fans.

Whenever he was on the field, we knew that he would did quite well, keep his man relatively quiet and support the attacks satisfactorily. But we also dreaded that he would commit at least one atrocious mistake that would undo all his good work and lose us the game. He would slip in the crucial moment or pass the ball to the striker for no apparent reason - you get my meaning.

Therefore, as an unspectacular but error-prone player Silvestre had very few great games, a lot of solid games and quite an amount of disastrous ones. But after nine years of loyal service he deserves to be remembered for the great ones and I cite the greatest: the home against Liverpool in the autumn of 2004.

Liverpool as opponents must have been special for him, not jsut because he was a Manchester United player but because it was our beloved neighbours against whom he made his debut. However, hardly anyone mentioned this little trivia before that game. Reason was simple: that was the game when Rio Ferdinand made his return after his eight-month suspension.

And United, buoyed by a vociferous crowd, really set out to beat the hell out of the Scousers and started to attack from the whistle. Our attacking play warranted a goal early on and we got that, thanks to nobody else than Mikael Silvestre who headed home after a corner.

Liverpool managed to equalise with another defender of ours, John O'Shea putting the ball into his own net but United were not to be denied and our goalscoring hero stepped into the limelight once again: another set-piece, another goal for Silvestre.

Rest of the game saw United creating chances, Liverpool going forward without any real conviction and a solid defensive work from Silvestre. And that was it. I believe it was his only brace in a United shirt and the only time when he could stake his claim for being the hero of the day.

Oh, and by the way, you remember Silvestre's last game at the club? You surely do - he played a grand total of 3 minutes against Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final, replacing the injured Patrice Evra. At least he left us on a high.




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The Journalist

Writer: Zae Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday August 21 2008

Time: 10:44PM

Your Comments

I remember hsi headbutt on Freddie Ljungberg :)
united4life
He had an AMAZING game at the Bridge last year! Shame it was his only ever great performance!
ForeverUnited
Yes, ForeverUnited, I remember the commentator saying "It's good to see Silvestre back after all his injury problems" and he performed superbly. Probably United's best player along with Rooney in that game. I often forget about him, but he's done well for United, and he deserves a chance of first-team football at Arsneal (which he could never consistantly get at United).
Man utd champions
I didn't remember about that game, Zae. A brace from a defender is fantastic anywhere against anybody, but at Old Trafford, against Liverpool... and with such a lot riding on the game, with the importance of United showing that Rio was worth the weight, and with the two goals winning the game for United... magnificent, that's all I can say.
Man utd champions
He might have been disappointed not to play much of the game against Barcelona, but that must have been the best 3 minutes to play, with the crowd electrifying, and then being on the pitch at the end as the referee blows the final whistle to confirm that Untied were into the Champions League final...fantastic. As you say, Zae, at least he left us on a high.
Man utd champions
Have just read through your comment properly, ForeverUnited. I missed the last sentence before. A bit harsh? He may have never been a big performer but he always gave his best, and he's certainly got my respect. For me, I say well done, and best wishes.
Man utd champions
He was a bit too error-prone but he certainly did have his moments. I still think however, that his bad performances outshone his good
ForeverUnited
Have you got something against him, ForeverUnited? He did well for us, and the least we can do now he's gone is say thank you, and remeber the GOOD things he did (which, for the record, there were quite a few of).
Man utd champions
 

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