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In Defence of Andre Santos

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.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Date:Monday November 5 2012
Time: 9:40AM


Rocky you make out like Santos was storming off fuming with his own performance and was set upon by Van Persie who insisted on giving him his shirt. It was clearly arranged, it just reinforces what we all already know, these players don't have the same association with the club as we do, they don't know what it means, they don't care what it means. To them it's just a job. Vermaelen hugging Van Persie before the match, then promptly not concentrating and offering him the first goal on a plate, to me it smacks of a lack of competitive mettle.
05/11/2012 09:50:00
I suggest watching a clip of the incident again SW (maybe try taking you rose-tinteds off before hand) not only does Santos not give a f*** about the shirt, his body language almost tells van Persie to keep his hands off of him when he gives him a hug.

Does that look like a man eager to exchange shirts?
05/11/2012 09:55:00

If that was pre-arranged why didn't Santos recipricate? And look ... the dude pulls away when RvP puts his arm around him. It's such a nothing incident and people are giving him so much s*** for it, it makes me sad.
05/11/2012 09:58:00
Are you honestly suggesting that Van Persie's done this without prompt?! I'd suggest the reason Santos didn't give him his shirt was cos he didn't want it, and Santos had already prearranged it, it's been said that he was collecting it for someone else, so it'd make sense.
05/11/2012 10:03:00
van Pesie has done everything he can to show the world that's he wasn't disrespecting Arsenal when he joined Man Utd. Everything he's said and done since the move has been engineered to prove his point. This is no different imo. If van Persie had been doing Santos a favour by handing hin the shirt then wouldn't Andre have at least looked at him and said "thank you"? Instead he did nothing, no aknowledgment, just walked off.
05/11/2012 10:09:00
It is an absurd over reaction and a welcome defence of Santos even if to some extent also damning him with faint praise 'it's hardly his fault if he's not good enough'. He wasn't the worst player on the pitch on Saturday but he's taking far more flak than Vermaelen who was criminally incompetent on Saturday. Quite a few reports even blame him for the first goal completely overlooking the fact that his team mates left him marking both Rafael and Valencia. Santos is a very good player but he just might not be good for this team.
05/11/2012 10:14:00
If he is a very good player then he'd be able to show it in this team. Rocky, once more, not sure what you're getting at there, are you saying that Van Persie gave the shirt to Santos without any form of prompt?
05/11/2012 10:17:00
That's exactly what I'm saying. Of course you could be right, neither of us know what gets said by these players. But if Santos had requested the shirt either on behalf of himself or for someone else this could have been done down the tunnel or after the game away from the public eye. Again, Santos' demeanour and lack of reaction suggests that it was all van Persie's idea, trying to show people that his former team mates still mean something to him. He gives his old boss a hug at half time, he doesn't celebrate his goal .... public opinion is very important to van Persie, this is just another show of that.
05/11/2012 10:30:00
Amos - it's not just the United performance (and you're right Vermaelen was by far the worst defender on the pitch, almost cost us another goal 2 minutes into the second half too), but his other performances haven't been up to scratch either. But as I say, Wenger offered him a chance to play for Arsenal, why would he turn it down? Would any of us turn it down even if we knew we weren't good enough? All we can expect from the players is their best. If that's not good enough than it's down to AW to make the change.
05/11/2012 10:33:00
I watch a fair bit of Brazilian football nowadays and it's totally commonplace for players to swap shirts over there at half time. The culture is quite different in Brazil too because players move around a lot amongst the top clubs, which is still a recent phenomenon over here. Santos himself has played for Cruzeiro and Atletico Mineiro, who are local rivals, but he is not reviled by either set of fans. It's such a nothing incident, it reminds me of the whole "They flew to Norwich?" rubbish. Nobody cares about incidents like this if we win.
Little Dutch
05/11/2012 10:39:00
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