By Richard Clarke

Gilberto believes that Arsenal's heavy schedule could work in their favour after the defeat against Manchester United on Sunday.

Goals from Wayne Rooney and Ji-sung Park consigned Arsène Wenger's side to defeat in the first of six crucial games in 17 massive days.

The last time they lost at Old Trafford, Arsenal struggled to recover. But there is no time for navel-gazing now. Games against Portsmouth (a), West Brom (h) Villarreal (h), Tottenham (h) and Villarreal (a) will surely decide Arsenal's season. They have no option but to dust themselves down, clear their heads and move on to Fratton Park.

"It was not a bad performance [at Old Trafford]," said Gilberto. "But now we need to look forward and forget this game

"The good thing is we don't have much time to think about it. We have another one on Wednesday. There are many games in a short period of time. Everyone is aware of that and we know it is hard. If you keep concentrated after the game and make sure you rest then it is ok. But it is still not going to be easy. 

"We have Portsmouth, West Brom, Villarreal and Tottenham. All these will be important games for us. It is very important to keep our concentration very high. Each game is like a final now."

There is always a chance that Arsenal's youthful side would be hit harder than most by this loss of momentum. Gilberto believes the older heads must help out in that regard.

"I don't think it is going affect us," said the World Cup winner. "We have a young side but the experienced ones have an important job to guide these players. Football is like this one day you lose one day you win. We must forget what happened today. Keep our shape and look forward to the next game."

12/1 - Portsmouth v Arsenal - Arsenal to win 3-1 at Fratton Park

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
Richard Clarke 10 Apr 2006