Former Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein has revealed a story that ex-Gunner Gilberto Silva told him back in 2014.
Dein described in a recent interview with French television channel SFR Sport just how confident Arsenal’s Invincible team were. The former vice-chairman relayed a story told to him during the 2014 World Cup by Gilberto himself.
“In 2014 for the World Cup I was in Brazil and I hosted a dinner one evening for three of our former Brazilian players. Gilberto Silva, Edu and Sylvinho,” he explained.
“I said to Gilberto tell me about the Invincibles, give me a sense of what it was really like to play for that team.”
“Mr Dein, I will give you an example,” Gilberto Silva replied. “He said when we were in the tunnel waiting to go out to the game, he said we would all be in a line. So we would have Patrick Vieira as captain in front, then there would be Thierry [Henry], then Jens Lehmann, then myself then Dennis [Bergkamp] then Lauren.
“And then he said just before we went on the pitch, Patrick Vieira would turn to Henry and with a knowing nod as if to say we were going to do it today. Thierry passed that nod to me [Gilberto], I’d pass it to Jens and it would be going down choreographed all the guys one after the other as if they gave themselves strength before the game.
“Then they would look over to the opposition, they could see them lining up and they sensed that there was literally fear in their eyes. We knew we could beat them, and he said we gave each other strength. It is a wonderful story.”
The story is quite similar to a recent interview that Gilberto himself had with Arsenal’s official website in which he claimed that when the Gunners were playing at Highbury, they always knew they were going to win.
The 41-year-old described how they would line up in the tunnel shoulder-to-shoulder with the opposition and just know deep down that they could do it.
Therefore, Dein’s story stacks up pretty well. Not that anyone actually thought he was lying, of course.
What’s also lovely to hear is that even though Dein left Arsenal a decade ago, he’s still seemingly in contact with the players. Although he was relayed the story three years ago during the World Cup, that was still a long time after his departure.
It’s a great story though and I’m glad he’s shared it.
The Invincibles had something that not many teams have had before or since. If any. That knowledge that they could and probably would beat anybody was priceless.