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Wenger Explains Decision To Play Santos

Arsene Wenger took two slight gambles in his team selection in the 3-1 loss in Greece against Olympiacos in a game that was, for all intents and purposes, meaningless, and one of those gambles back fired spectacularly.

Andre Santos had been working himself in to life at Arsenal really well after a shaky start, but the Arsenal manager opted to take him and fellow defender, Thomas Vermaelen, to play in a game that had no baring whatsoever on our future.

Well that`s until Santos was ruled out for 3 months with ligament trouble.

Of course, being the evil bastard he is Arsene Wenger was dragged across hot coals for his decision. In hindsight, it was a bad decision, and given our injury record Arsene should really have thought better of it. But the Frenchman says he owed it to the competition to field at least a couple of first team players as the match had meaning for the remaining teams in our group if not for us.

'I took a gamble because I did not want to be accused of just throwing the game away and I felt that therefore you needed a solid defence, I wanted to be fair to the competition.! Said Le Boss

'Analysing him he came [into the squad] later and played less games than the others, and that's why I played him. But I had a long hesitation before I picked him, believe me. I felt he was a bit tired in the game before, and he had problems finishing the game. The way it happened to him it could have happened to anyone. It was not a kick, there was no contact, he was just on his own. He ruptured his ligament.

'It is very disappointing because it is first of all sad for the player and sad for the Club. It hits us in a position where we of course already have many injuries and where he improved from game to game. The length of the injury is very sad as well because he is three months out. The only good news is that the surgery went well and so he should recover quickly.'

Maybe the well-being of the club and the players should come before Wenger`s personal beliefs, but while I`m mightily disapointed to lose Santos for such a long time, I`m not going to jump on the back of a man who was doing what he believed was right.




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The Journalist

Writer: Rocky7 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday December 16 2011

Time: 4:16PM

Your Comments

Did I manage to get the article title edited before anyone noticed my rather large typo? lol
Rocky7
Nice of Arsene to explain. His motives were honourable but it was still a crap decision.
Amos.
I was one of those really upset with Arsene about this decision but in the past few days I've softened my stance. I started thinking about another reason that MAY have gone into his thinking--it's not what he offered as an explanation and his comments surprised me (not in a bad way). I think it's good of Arsene to have thought of the other teams tho he should know by now nothing he will ever do can ever satisfy Marseille, esp. their fans-they hate him. They're convinced that he's still obsessed with hatred for their club after all these years and that he fielded a weak team just to hurt their chances. Anyway I thought deeper about it this week and considered maybe after witnessing what our early league results did to our young players (esp. the 8-2) he wanted to avoid any possibility of a humiliation that might result if he fielded only young players. After such a shattering start to the season AW may be esp. sensitive in avoiding such another fallout to our younger players. I accept now that it was a legitimate risk on his part, tho I was furious when I first saw Andre's and Verma's names on the starting lineup.
jaelle
hmm I also read it was because Angha wasnt registered in time
ajwb
BTW-I have some quotes from Andre in Portuguese re his injury, I offer them here in approximate translation: "The surgery went very well. The recovery is excellent. A surgery that was more or less delicate, because it was on the ankle. I had the surgery on Tuesday and I'm resting, with my foot placed upward, resting so I can return to do what I love." The surgery took 45 minutes. "We went to play against Olympiakos in Greece. The pitch was not very good. The pitches in Europe are usually good but the pitch at Olympiakos was not very good on that day. So around the 58th minute I ended up slipping. I went to get a ball away [to avoid a corner] and I slipped. I planted my leg in support on the floor and ended up twisting [my ankle]. I threw all my weight on my supporting leg and ended up affecting the ankle ligament. The game against Olympiakos was at the Karaiskaki stadium, in Pireus." Recovery will be about 3 months. "I hope to get thru this in the best way possible. I came here to have this operation and I'm now taking care of it and treating it. In about 10 or 15 days I'm returning to England to start the intense work of physiotherapy. I have to thank the staff, the manager Arsene Wenger, because they all took such good care with me. They gave me the option to have the surgery in my country. So I have to thank Arsenal for the support that they gave me ever since the injury." According to the article, Andre could return for the quarterfinals of the CL on March 27 & 28. In the PL, he'll only return starting in the 26th round against spurs. From the site: www.fellegger.com.br .
jaelle
 

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