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Sunday, 11 August, 2002, 16:52 GMT 17:52 UK
Wenger delighted with win
Arsenal celebrate as Patrick Vieira lifts the Community Shield at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium
Patrick Vieira celebrates with the Community Shield


Arsene Wenger paid tribute to new signing Gilberto Silva after his second-half goal won the Community Shield for Arsenal.

Gilberto slotted home from Dennis Bergkamp's pull-back and Wenger said: "I'm happy for him.

"He's an intelligent boy, makes things simple and gets into the box at the right time.

"Maybe he was still a bit surprised by the physical side of the fight but he will adapt quickly to that and I believe he will be a very strong player for us."

Wenger was critical of the physical nature of the game, especially England midfielder Steven Gerrard who was lucky not to be sent off following some reckless early challenges.

Steve Gerrard lunges in on Patrick Vieira to earn an early booking
Gerrard's tackle on Vieira angered Wenger
"There are two attitudes to being champions. One is to get respect, another is to get kicked more and to face more aggression as people want to beat you more," said Wenger.

"We are quite used to that though as we have had some big fights in the past four or five years.

"If it gets even more physical then I am quite worried for our doctors!

"We had the highest number of fouls against us last season in the league so I hope it doesn't get greater."

Wenger was particularly unimpressed with Gerrard's tackle on new Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira, for which the Liverpool player was booked.

"It was a bad challenge on Patrick. It was the only really bad challenge of the game as the rest were just a bit late.

"I like Gerrard as a player but he should normally have seen red for that kind of tackle.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger
Wenger saw Gilberto score on his debut

"He is a great player but that tackle was reckless and dangerous.

"Patrick doesn't expect any presents on the pitch but he does expect everyone to behave fairly. If that doesn't happen, you have no football any more."

But Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier claimed his side were too nice to the Double winners.

"We gave them too much respect," said the Frenchman, who also felt his side should have had a penalty when El Hadji Diouf rode a challenge from Patrick Vieira.

"It took us half an hour just to get into the game. We started to get into it more after that but on the whole Arsenal deserved their win," said Houllier.

Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier looks on at the Millennium Stadium
Gerard Houllier watches on with concern
"When you are playing Arsenal, the first job is to defend well, then you have to attack.

"But our full-backs didn't give us enough width when we had possession and we need to get more flow to our game."

Houllier remained "unconcerned" about the deficiency, even though the Premiership opener with Aston Villa is just seven days away.

"If we were in the same situation in two or three months' time I would have a problem but in football things can change very quickly," he said.

"Arsenal are ahead of us at the moment and they showed that - but they are the benchmark for the rest of us."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger
"The boys were really up for it"
Arsenal goalkeeper David Seaman
"It's all about winning things"

Grand opening

Graphic goal

Shield in focus

Meet the managers

Squad profiles

PHOTO GALLERY
Links to more Football stories are at the foot of the page.


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