'Arsenal's players must take responsibility' - Gilberto Silva backs Wenger

Former Arsenal midfielder Gilberto Silva feels it is 'sad to see' the way fans are treating Arsene Wenger and believes the players must 'stand up' for the club and for the manager.

The 40-year-old lined out as a defensive midfielder under Wenger from 2002 to 2008, helping the Gunners lift the Premier League title in 2003-04 as well as two FA Cup trophies.

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Gilberto was also part of the Arsenal side that were defeated 2-1 in the final of the 2005-06 Champions League, and has great admiration for his former boss.

The Brazilian does not believe that Wenger is being treated fairly and is disappointed how the current crop of Arsenal players are not doing their utmost to keep the Frenchman at the Emirates.

"The pressure he has faced in these last few months has been huge," Gilberto told Sky Sports.

"I've never seen anything like it in my life. It's sad for me to see how many people are treating him the way they are. Of course there is frustration, but the situation is not only his fault. I think everyone has to take responsibility. The players themselves have to stand up for the club and for the manager.

"Honestly, if you ask me whether he is staying or going, I have no clue, because Arsene doesn't take his decision based on emotion. He will think a lot about it. He will talk with the board and they will make the decision together."

Gilberto Silva

Wenger has managed Arsenal for 21 years, replacing Bruce Rioch in 1996. During his long spell as manager, he lifted the Premier League on three occasions, and also has brought six FA Cup titles to the North London club.

Gilberto hopes that he is not forced out of the team, and would like to see Wenger depart on his own terms.

"When he does leave the club, I would love to see him go in a better way, not when people are trying to push him out," the World Cup winner continued.

"They forget a little bit what he has done for the club. But let's see. I think it will be interesting to see what happens. I would love to see him stay for at least another season.

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"I believe this Arsenal squad has the quality, but looking from the outside, it's difficult to make a judgement on how much they want to win. If they start to be the boss of their position, to stand up and take more responsibility than they normally do, I believe things could become easier.

"Instead of making excuses at the end of the season, you have to take responsibility on the pitch and in training to improve things day by day."

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