The consistent form of Silvinho, coupled with the emergence of Ashley Cole, resulted in Nigel Winterburn moving on to pastures new after 13 years at Highbury in the summer of 2000.
Since then, the 38-year-old has been a regular on the left side of the West Ham defence, while the precocious talents of Cole have earned him England honours and forced Silvinho to seek first-team football at Celta Vigo.
Despite his advancing years, Winterburn has played a full part in the 2001-02 campaign and no doubt his experience was extremely valuable during the opening stages of the season when the Hammers went through such a wretched period of form.
Although Cole has been the better distributor, Winterburn has still found a team-mate with over three-quarters of the 370 passes he has attempted. From the flank, the current Arsenal man has been in a position to put more balls across, but his opponent has the better cross completion rate.
Winterburn is a pretty good judge of when to take a player on and when to pass as his 83% dribble completion rate proves. Cole, meanwhile, has tried his luck 47 times, but his 68% success ratio suggests that he occasionally tries to do a bit too much on his own.
Both defenders are strong in the tackle, but they will need to tread carefully in the coming weeks, as they are only one caution away from a ban. And their discipline could be tested on Saturday with strict official Mike Riley in charge of the contest. The Yorkshire official has issued an average of 5.71 cards per game but Riley should not get the chance to overshadow this mouth-watering London derby.
Like all players against their former club, Winterburn will be particularly keen to be on the winning side on Saturday, and surreySPORTS offer 3/1 on the Hammers notching their first home win since October. But it will not be easy for the veteran or his defence to keep a clean sheet against an Arsenal side that has scored 33 goals- more than any other side in the top-flight.