In Defence of Andre Santos
The weekend`s defeat at Old Trafford was painful, not only because losing is painful, not only because losing to Man Utd is painful (though very predictable over recent years) but because the manner of the defeat makes it very tough to stomach.
Our all round play was woeful, no creativity, not even a shot on target till the 92nd minute, and when results like this come around it leaves fans angry, and when people get angry they`re looking for someone to blame.
Andre Santos seems to have gone from cuddly lovable Brazilian to public enemy number 1 in a few short weeks, and after the loss to United that bile aimed towards him has stepped up a notch.
Many Gooners have lashed out at his performances, labelling him a "disgrace", claiming he should never play for Arsenal again. Not to mention the outrage seen when Santos "swapped shirts" with van Persie at half time in the game.
I`d like to defend Andre a little on this cold and frosty Monday morning.
Of course I`m not here to defend his performances, that`s impossible, he`s been less than average to say the least, however I would like to give him the benefit of the doubt and say that as long as he`s putting in 100% effort on the pitch then it`s hardly his fault if he`s not good enough to play for the Gunners.
He can only play to the best of his abilities, and if those abilities aren`t up to scratch then it`s the manager`s job to ensure there`s a better option to take his place. All this name calling is crass. Do you think giving stick to a man trying to do his best is going to make him play any better? It`s completely counter-productive.
Santos also took a mammoth amount of stick for swapping shirts with van Persie at half time. Apparently he ran the entire length of the pitch to request the Dutchman`s shirt. Errrmmm …. No he didn`t.
He ran the length of the pitch to get to the dressing room and en route he was given a shirt by van Persie without asking for it. He gave nothing in return, not his own shirt, not a thank you, not anything; he just looked at his boots and carried on walking.
Is it a crime to be too nice to tell RvP that he didn`t really want the shirt?
When Arsene Wenger gave the striker a friendly hug at half-time people talk of "respect" yet Santos does absolutely nothing and is labelled a disgrace?
On a personal level I don`t really like all this friendliness before and during a game, Alex Song and Emmanuel Eboue used to drive me crazy with it, but this is not what happened here.