After their Europa League hopes were ended by Atletico Madrid in the semi-finals, the Frenchman is set to bow out after another trophyless season and Gilberto accepts the time has come for a change.
“He made the statement himself that it’s time to go. When the man says that, the only thing you have to say, especially in my case, is – ‘thanks for everything he’s done for football’ – not only for Arsenal,” Gilberto said, speaking at the Russian Matryoshka festival in Dubai on Friday as part of the 2018 World Cup promotion.
“He inspired so many people to play nice football, he helped so many players to get to a better level and I wish the best of luck to him. It will be sad to see him leave but I think he made up his mind that it’s time for him to move on.
“I hope the club find a good manager to replace him, which will be hard. Anyone who comes will have a big challenge ahead.” the Brazilian added.
A defensive midfielder in his time and part of the famous ‘Invincibles’ side, Gilberto recounted his own experience playing under Wenger.
“[He helped me] a lot. The way he works is a very simple but objective way. He told me the way he wanted me to play in the team and fit into the style.
“And I got the message that I really needed to fit well in that team because if you look at the front, side or back, you are surrounded by good players.
“If you don’t deliver, if you don’t perform, you’re out. There’s not much time. They cannot wait for you. You have to be at your best.”
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