Gilberto shouldered a mountain of responsibility in Saturday win over Tottenham on Saturday.
The absence of Thierry Henry meant the Brazilian not only took the captain's armband but also the penalty-taking duties. Gilberto had missed a seemingly vital spot-kick at Manchester United in September so you could forgive him a few nerves as he stepped up in dying seconds of the first half. Keeper Paul Robinson went the right way but Gilberto's placement was perfect. He then sent the England No 1 the wrong way with a game-clinching second penalty 18 minutes from full time.
"I enjoy taking them," he admitted afterwards. "Normally it is Thierry who does it but he wasn't there. When he is not there I take them.
"It's the type of thing I enjoy. When I have missed one in the past I just needed to keep going because it's all part of football.
"But I must say with the second one I asked other players if they wanted to take it but they left the responsibility to me."
Responsibility, of course, is all part of being captain. With Dennis Bergkamp and Sol Campbell departing, Gilberto was a natural choice for vice-captain at the start of the current campaign.
"You can see the age of the team," he said. "We have a lot of young players. I feel all of them believe in me and have a lot of respect for me.
"It's good because during the game I try to help them as much as I can. But at the same time they help me because they respond to what I say on the pitch.
"I'm very happy and proud for the result we got. We knew it would be a very hard and tough game but we came to the game to win. We were 100 per cent in every ball.
"This is the spirit we need to continue our job and see what we can do."
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