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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.

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The Journalist

Writer: Rocky7 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday November 5 2012

Time: 9:40AM

Your Comments

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.
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?

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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
Come on, be realistic, Santos actually jogged to catch up with him, it was clearly pre planned. Van Persie stitched him up tho doing in on the pitch, he's not thick, he'd know what sort of reaction that'd create. Agree on your sentiments re Santos's ability.
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
Santos had a number of very good games last season. I think LD pointed out elsewhere, and alluded to it in his report, that he and Podolski are inclined to play the same channels whereas Gibbs sticks to the line better than comes naturally to Santos. Presumably that's why Wenger has chosen to start the season with Gibbs. It still doesn't make Santos not good enough a player to play for Arsenal but he might not suit the make up of this present team - at least not as well as Gibbs currently does.
Surely that's something that's easily coached though Amos?? I think there's a lot more to it than worrying about his offensive ability, he can't defend for toffee.
Santos can defend and tackles well but his strength is in his forward play. There's no problem with that in a team that balances his strengths with the strengths or others. It often isn't really about this or that player being *****e or not good enough at all just simply about getting the balance of the team right. This current team, with Podolski playing left, is better balanced with Gibbs in it.
Probably cos Gibbs is a much better player, but... is injured! Again.. the balance is much better with Diaby in it as well, guess what? Ah well, Fulham Sat, that won't be easy either. ffs.
I totally agree that this is a nothing issue. And now having seen the Youtube video it doesn't look that bad. It's clear that it's more van Persie that is going out of his way to be friendly with all the Arsenal lads and manager, whether genuine or for show who knows. If he's managed 22 caps for Brazil he's not that useless. He hasn't had the best start to the season, but I recall he did okay last season including the scoring of a crucial equaliser against West Brom on the last day.
I lov Jamie Redknapps reaction in the clip
Santos does hold his own well; the problem is that the rest of the team fail to lend necessary support when he gets targeted by teams who consider him the weak link in the team. For God's sake, it can't be easy taking on a winger with the quality of Valencia; added to the runs of Rafael to contend with. Poldi needs to take a look at himself as he has not given Rafael reason to dread coming too far forward to double up on Santos. What Santos didn't do well in return, was to be composed when he had the few opportunities to put in crosses. He will improve with games (if he hasn't cost us something more serious by that time, though).
Last year when I first heard about Arsenal signing Andre, if you follow me on twitter or read my reaction here, you know I freaked out. I simply never believed he's good enuf for us & like most Brazilians was glad he'd been dropped from our national team. Yes Andre has some nice skills but I think he's mostly just a very limited player. My biggest fear, however, was the abuse he'd endure inevitably from gooners once he'd show his limitations. Andre's a good guy, I didn't want to see him abused like he is now. As LD said, swapping shirts at half time is very common in Brazil-and not only in Brazil, you're seeing it more & more elsewhere. He did it often in Turkey. As Amos said, he didn't swap shirts with RVP--he didn't take his shirt off. Andre wanted the shirt not for himself-he gave it to someone else who asked him for it. Also, RVP & Andre had become very good friends at AFC, they still talk often. I don't care for the whole halftime swapping of shirts myself, and certainly not with RVP by one of our players. I wish he'd done it away from the cameras-and I tweeted him in Portuguese saying so. I can assure you that he and his wife are mystified by the reaction to this incident. They honestly had no idea this would generate so much anger. It's a cultural thing and Andre simply hasn't been in England long enuf to grasp what it means in England to swap shirts with a player considered a traitor by the fanbase.
"If he's managed 22 caps for Brazil he's not that useless" - does my head in when I read this--he IS useless for that national team. He was dropped after several poor performances. The only reason he was ever included is that we had a serious dearth of credible LBs.
why trash the player when the management was responsible in the transfer market? if a company offers a mechanic to do an engineer's job to save cost, who is at fault? the people at the top were the ones who decided to downgrade our quality to save on cost, (for the left back position) from a. cole to clichy to gibbs / santos. whenever our best players leave, these politicians would play victims, portraying the players as greedy, demanding top wages. i wonder if gazidis would stay if the club pay him philip beard's wage or if wenger would stay if the club pay him steve clarke's wage.
since the invincible era, we have been going for quantity instead of quality. that explains our ballooning wage budget without the comparable results on the pitch. i would rather we pay rvp the combined wages of bendtner, park, chamakh, giraud and even podolski for him to stay and get rid of the rest. at the end of the day, we can only field 11 players on the pitch at a time and the book still balance the same
totally agree, Joe. You can swap the transfer fee and wages of gervinho, walcott, diaby, chamakh, arshavin, rosicky + throw in some of our own funds and maybe we could have brought three top-class quality additions instead of 6 average/always injured.
Jaelle - what i meant though is that anyone that has played for their national team is not that bad to have as a second choice left-back, surely.
we have trouble selling squillachi and others because they are paid too much, no other team is offering as much as we are paying... imagine if arsenal had a Tevez or a Robinho, earning 200k a week and going on vacation during the season, or in typical arsenal style going out injured all season, chelsea and city can afford to pay 200k to bench players or to sick notes, we would be royally screwed suck it up, ride the wave, understand the challenge in front us and appreciate when we can meet that challenge!
Clearly it's neither true that 'nobody else is offering as much as we are' nor that we are the only club finding it difficult in the real financial environment to move on surplus players. Reason is always the first casualty when things aren't going as well as we'd wish.
Maybe RvP is his role model.. LoLZZZz
I think he's referring to the squad players we pay too much, not our top players that we lose every year
I doubt gooners would have given a toss about Santos taking RvPs shirt had he played decently. HE has been ***** all for last few weeks.. I think thats why there has been such a big reaction.
When it's obvious that Santos needs help defensively, where are Poldi and Vermalen? This is a team game, and Santos will take a couple of games to fit in (I have issues with his fitness levels though) but his team mates aren't helping out. And Wenger / Bould can't see it either, otherwise they would surely discuss it in training and fix it. Santos is better than he is made out to be, but perhaps not good enough to be 1st choice but he was way better last season.
My main issue with Santos is his fitness level as well. He seems slow, overweight and lacking in stamina. He looked overweight last year but looked a bit quicker/sharper than he does now. I was hoping he would get fitter this season not go the other way. Players seem to get past him with ease and once they are past him there is no chance he will catch up with him. He might be trying his best on the pitch but clearly he hasn't been trying hard enough in training to get in shape. The shirt swapping thing has been blown out of proportion thanks to the stupid pundits on Sky and it's very petty to pick on him because of that.
Good to see he's apologised and Wenger's been pretty damning with his words on it - not blown out of proportion at all in my opinion
did anyone else noticed that most utd players display evidence that they have done quite a lot of gym work to bulk up. i remember cronaldo was a skinny lad and became well built and able to ride challenges in his time there. same can be said now of valencia, and a few others. i cannot see the same development in our players, maybe thats another reason why our players are more prone to injuries perhaps?
Just read Santos comments and he pretty much confirms my thoughts on the matter. People need to stop being so precious, the guy did nothing wrong ... what's he supposed to do? Throw it on the floor?
Santos did apologise but it was pretty much along the lines of 'get-a-life'. He's not wrong there.
Wenger's said he doesn't understand it as well, so he must be one of the people that needs to "get a life" as well then eh.
If you've watched the video of Wenger saying he doesn't understand the culture while also accepting that it exists you'll see that rather than 'damning' Santos he was defending him. Wenger and Santos are doing the right PR things obviously accepting that even silly people need to be stroked.
Watched it, and he's clearly condemning the action of swapping shirts at half time, in fact he so obviousy is it's not even up for debate. He defends Santos as a footballer and says that's not the reason we lost, which is fair enough, but to dismiss it as something just for the idiotic masses to worry about is textbook amos style.
Yeah but you think Wenger has lost the plot on most things SW, so what makes this any different? ;)
I've never said anything like that. The worst thing i've said about him is i'm nearly in a place where I can't see him sorting us out, i'm not sure though. Don't tar me with that brush, i'm not in either "camp".
It is something only for the idiotic masses to worry about. It's only the idiots who are worrying about it and it's worth denouncing them for it. Just as it's worth criticising them for having more songs about players we hate than we those who play for us. Wenger says Santos shouldn't have swapped shirts but he most definitely didn't condemn the act or the player, and Santos agrees that he now understands those delicate, sensitive little flowers that make up part of the 'support' nowadays were very distressed by it and they'll prevent it happening again. All very sensible and correct but don't run away with the idea that either have much real sympathy for the idiotic masses. They're just doing their job but football forums can be more straightforward.
Twas a joke SW, lighten up my friend.
Wenger's not one to pander about things like this, it's great that you can see some other reasoninig to his words though, sure you could solve some crimes with that gift. Talking about our support nowadays, do you really think if Santos had've done that 20 years ago the reaction would've been any different? I'd say it would've been worse, imagine Winterburn doing it....or even someone like Edu, pretty hard to do.
Fair enough Rock ;)
20 years ago? 1992? Not sure how much shirt swapping was going on back then but there wouldn't have been much problem if we'd been winning then either. Customs change. I'd guess there might have been some eyebrows raised 40 years or more ago that shirts were exchanged at the end of a game at all - at least as readily as they are now - if we hadn't watched the custom gradually evolve. Football has always had it's element of immature supporters but at least they were recognised as such. I'm not sure why there should be any need to defend, let alone praise them now.
I think we're talking about slightly different things here, a lot of our support makes me cringe, the way you have to dance around on a concourse and throw beer over each other and post it on youtube to show you're a nutty football fan, or our songs purely based on players that no longer play for us (which are acceptable only when that player is on the pitch imo), but swapping shirts and cuddling, hi-fives, at half time, it's just not right, it's not competitive. And it's fair enough that that doesn't sit right with our support.
I'm sure Santos is only sorry he didnt have a marker pen and camera handy to get his autograph and have his picture taken while he was at it. What it said to me in a microcosmic nutshell was that Van Persies' decision to leave Arsenal was unfortunately entirely the correct one.
Not all of our support are that uncomfortable with it and even a good many that are are more understanding of the individual circumstances. In this case the individual circumstances are worthy of recognition and understanding by those who see such things in simplistic tribal terms.
Why would any form of individual circumstance justify getting your opponent's shirt at half time? Let alone our old best player who left to play for our once great rivals?
From RvP's perspective, 30 years old this summer, one last big contract left and a greater chance of picking up a gong to go with his player of the year award in the next season or two it was the right decision to go. For other reasons, mainly that there's nothing AFC could do to prevent it, Arsenal were right to take the money. Whether being too pally with Santos tells us anything more than that I'm not sure but Santos most definitely had his picture taken with him. That's what all the trouble is about. :)
Had Rafael or another utd player who comes from a country with the fine culture of half time shirt swapsys run up to oh I dunno just pretend we had any stars left and asked for their shirt whilst trailing 1-0 down to Arsenal (yeah I know but bear with me) do you think Ferguson would ruffle his curly mop and chortle "now now lad you're not some competition winning amateur even if you played like one that 1st half now off you go you little scamp!" or do you think he'd face***** him into the next millenia with hairdryer cranked into overdrive? Yep me too. Therein summarises the difference between the two clubs and why we are no longer their rivals.
You only need to understand the individual circumstance not to justify it. You could just as easily ask those getting wound about it to justify their reaction - understanding it as an over reaction isn't too hard.
Can you just clarify what the individual circumstance is?
LOL yeah, i'm sure Fegie, the same fella that chopped Ince for having "GUVNA" on his number plate, booted a boot at beckham after playing us (when we used to compete), sent countless others on their way due to lack of apparent discipline, yeah, he would've just appeased the masses, it wouldn't have bothered him at all.
If they'd gone on to win the game Fergie would have been applauding Rafael's generosity of spirit. If he'd lost the game (it could happen!) only then would he have got the hairdryer treatment.
I shouldn't need to clarify it shewore - you need to reread the article above, Santos 'apology' and take into account those cultural practices accepted elsewhere.
The individual circumstance is that Andre Santos is as thick as two thick planks wedged between two thicker plankers all set in the thickest concrete known to man, he's so thick he thinks mascots are just small players, that traffic lights are just there to brighten his day. He's exceptionally stupid even by footballers' standards. He's a big dumb hairless happy go lucky dog. I understand all that and even then his pathetic act of submissive fandom to that pr1ck still gets on my tits.
It would only have bothered Fergie if he'd lost the game in much the same way as it only bothers some gooners now because we were beaten. If he'd won he'd have defended his player.
They're friends. one guy gave another guy a shirt. I don't know if you've ever played football against a mate (or at all), but it's a slightly odd feeling; you shake hands and smile, but as soon as the whistle blows you play your game. When the game stops, you're friends again; why wouldn't you be? is anyone expecting a professional footballer to automatically hate someone because they play for another team? I mean, I hate RvP, but why should Andre Santos?I remember Cazorla laughing and smiling with an opposition player immediately after the final whistle, having lost the game - which doesn't bother me at all - but I don't hear any criticism of him. Should we ship him back to Spain because "it's not competitive"? Does it matter whether it's half-time or full-time? Or is it just easier to have a pop at our second-choice, backup left-back, who is only in the squad medium-term for cover?
I'm not sure whether Santos is the brightest of people or not but at the same time you do get the impression that he's not being judged exclusively by those showing much capacity for reason :)
The same Fergie that berated his team for winning the scottish Cup, i really don't think he would've. ha, "medium term cover" for someone who's always injured.
"I was lucky enough to swap shirts with Lothar Matthaus, Zinedine Zidane and George Weah — as you’d expect, the exchange was always made at the end of the game. "Had I asked for the shirt of Eric Cantona at half-time at Old Trafford, the boys in our team would have ripped my head off in the changing rooms" I'm sure our the guy that is the clubs 2nd greatest goal score had his share of mates in the game too, yet he disagrees? Not that it outweighs your obviously vast experience on the park of a sunday.
"That's a joke. I wouldn't have that. At half-time? He should be concentrating on his game and he was having a nightmare." The Romford pele shows his colours as one of the idiotic masses, doh! if only he had mates in the game or had worked a day in football all his life.
Yes, medium-term cover for our relatively young left-back, who has played 9 of or 15(?) games this season. Which is not the same as 'always injured', is it.

niko, the fact that the Romford Pele has a different opinion doesn't make the slightest difference to me. nor did Redknapp's reaction, or anyone else's. The guy was given a shirt by his friend. That's it, that's all that happened. Really, who gives a monkey's? What does it matter? Just because someone has played at a high level doesn't mean their every opinion is right; have you never listened to a pundit on match of the day?
You're probably on safe ground citing Wrighty and Parlour talking to the tabloids as potential examples of the idiotic masses Niko. Most have accepted that it wasn't the right thing to do, including Wenger and Santos, it's just a case of whether the reaction is proportionate. I don't have any problem with *****ed off supporters letting off steam but pretending that there's some loftier ideal behind it all is nonsense. It's the equivalent of going home and giving the cat a kick that's all. No need for anyone to pretend it's anything else.
@ damiano I'm replying to your assertion that people in the game understand that it's all a big matey back pat fest, quite clearly they don't. I've not seen one player ex or otherwise defend this, anywhere, not one, so clearly it matters not a jot to you, well done I wouldn't expect it to. @ amos a few penises on witter overreacted as ever, the other polar extreme from yourself and tomassi laughing at the great unwashed, in the middle as ever are the majority of people like myself who would never even dream of abusing a players wife (or conversely mocking the lack of intelligence of our support) yet feel this is just the latest in an endless parade of embarassments that seem to be happening on an all too regular basis and aren't particularly chuffed with it.
For the record, I 'would never even dream of abusing a players wife' either.!

I'm sure the players could understand, after QPR play ManUtd next, if Fabio and Rafael hug. Or park shares a smile with his former United team-mates. I'm sure everyone in the game understands it. After big incidents like the Ferdinand/terry thing, lots of people said 'get over it, shake hands, what's all the fuss about?' - but here, two friends are walking off a pitch together, and one hands another his shirt. So... is it worth getting upset about? Amos put it much better than me - "You're probably on safe ground citing Wrighty and Parlour talking to the tabloids as potential examples of the idiotic masses". let them get outraged; they're always outraged. I remember when we signed Vermaelen, and Tony Adams - a hero, a former great player - said that we didn't need 'another little one in there', and he'd be 'no good'. Most 'experts' told us Mertesacker would never be anything like a decent player for us, and nor would Jenkinson. Most 'experts' decided we would be well out of the CL race last year. They are generally full of opinions but short on thought.

I feel no sense of embarrassment that one friend gave another his shirt - if anything, Fergie should be *****ed off that Robin is handing out his shirt before he's in the tunnel! 'Here, take my shirt, we're making a sub' - that's valuable information to be giving away at half time.
I'm quite happy to knock those penises on twitter or any other forum who've over reacted and that's precisely what I'm doing. In the middle are those who see it as a forgiveable though misguided act and not a hanging offence. At another extreme are those who teach their 3 year old kids to swear and sing foul chants at RvP. At the same time I'm not sure that there should any more of a problem with anyone mocking the intelligence of some supporters than there should be with anyone mocking the intelligence of some players.
I choose to call santos thick as pig**** just as I'd have no hesitation labelling Eboue the same, it's the truth, it may well sit uncomfortably if you admire either player but it's incontrovertible truth (hey at least it smashes another wenger stereotype that he only signs intelligent players!) You choose to do the same with the Arsenal support lumping anyone who was hacked off with santos' action as idiotic, rather a broad, arrogant brush stroke to paint wouldn't you say? santos will be gone in a couple of years if not sooner, you'll be left still surrounded by this throng of thickies you struggle to contain your disdain for. I think people had it wrong when they called you Wenger as the man has never shown anything but respect for Arsenal fans, I think you may well be Hill-Wood Amos :)
I do completely agree with shewore that santos had been completely stitched up by van persie, great mate gays! blatantly knew what he was doing doling his shirt out in full view in what was obviously supposed to be a private transaction on behalf of whatever div wanted the rag. Showing the spiteful nasty side that we always knew the bloke had.
It's not the truth Niko it's just an opinion. Nothing wrong with it but it can't be anything else. You call those over reacting penises and I've said that only the idiotic masses will worry themselves about it. Still just our respective opinions but no great difference either. Must we always show respect for all supporters? Even those teaching their kids to hate and abuse former players? How much respect did Wenger have for those supporters at a Q&A a couple of seasons back? About as much as they showed him as I recall. It's absolute nonsense that Wenger, Hill-Wood or anyone else should have to defer to the moronic tendency amongst our supporters nor should there be any pretence that they don't exist. If it's ok for supporters to slag off some players and officials then there's no reason to treat fellow supporters any differently.
It's really not though, it's the truth :) But the difference lies in what is termed over reacting no? My judgement of over reacting is those who have used this to abuse santos' wife just as in the past the same has happened to van persies wife and fabregas' sister. That is an over reaction pure and simple by brainless idiots that anyone sane is ashamed to support the same club as and all clubs do 'ave em. Your view as I gather of over reacting is ANYONE who is uncomfortable with this wanting to make their feelings known on forums or wherever and are unwilling to view whatever 'individual circumstances' you can see that noone else can. I'm certainly not pretending Arsenal don't have a moronic element but eqally I would never claim that all those hacked off at santos' naivety are part of that element.
I'm not hacked off with those who think he shouldn't have got himself in that situation (pretty well everyone's on board with that) and I'd already said that some of those uncomfortable with it could also understand the circumstances. Nor do I have any problem with supporters just blowing off steam but that's all this is, just *****ed off supporters looking for something to hook onto. The idea that it shows some personal or collective malaise is rubbish. If we'd won nobody would be worrying about it and while I wasn't the first to use the term idiotic masses I can see why it popped into his head to describe those that are. I reckon that I must be on some sound ground somewhere in this as normally you'd have cut me down with one rapier sharp thrust Niko - either that or you're tiring mate! :)
I think I'm probably tiring :) plus I do have too much respect for you Amos, anyhoo as with most things football the water flows fast under the bridge and chances for redemption and the eternal bouncebackability come thick and fast this time of year.
Okay; Santos isn't starting against Schalke tonight. Vermaelen moves to LB and Kos comes into CB. Theo starts. I expect a different approach by the Arsenal tonight. Good luck to the boys.
I don't even accept that it was ill advised for Santos to make the exchange in front of the camera. Personally, I'm sick of living in a society where we are constantly catering to the whims of the over sensitive. Much like this puke inducing "fashion" for not celebrating goals against your old club in case some delicate little flowers can't handle it.
Little Dutch
Someone been reading 365? If you were to apply the dichotomy of views that some posters have applied on here, you'd say that your approach must mean that you don't mind Adebayor running the length of the pitch and goading you, lest you be labelled as a delicate little flower. People are emotional, especially at football, most fans are decent human beings and the ones that support Arsenal get *****ed off (in the main) if they're playing abysmally and one player who is playing a part in this abysmalness cuddling up to the opposite team's star player - there are more important things to worry about, clearly, but there's nothing wrong with being p1ssed off about it.
I think my position on the Adebayor celebration has definitely changed since it actually happened. I was quite *****ed off when it did but for the wrong reasons. If it happened now, I wouldn't be in truth. I'd think it was slightly disproportionate / immature of him, but nothing to really get antsy about. There would be a rather large number of people on Saturday that thought nothing of chanting about van Persie being a rapist and a ****, but then got offended when he swapped a shirt with an ex teammate. Explain it away as being emotional at a football game by all means, but don't expect it not to have a spotlight held up to it. For my part, I was angry at the time Adebayor celebrated as he did (I hasten to add I was sufficiently mature enough not to throw a chair or rush forward) and having analysed it, I'm embarrassed that I got so offended about it. The reason is because when I complained, others pointed out my immaturity and I accepted that they were right and my mindset changed accordingly. That would never have happened had everyone just said, "Oh yeah, well, everyone gets a bit emosh at football."
Little Dutch
As supporters we see ourselves as some sort of preferential grouping with exclusive entitlements. It's fine to abuse players, managers, board members and the like and we can do so to our hearts content but should any of them then respond in kind and indicate "Actually I think you're a bit of a tosspot too!" the standard reaction is to get indignant and precious about it.
Time is a great healer! I think Adebayor is a tosser, i think Santos was just a bit thick, and it annoyed me. I don't think Van Persie was a rapist, so i've never sung that completely hypocrytical song, and think people that are fixated with it are muggy in general. That's kind of true Amos but the fact is we see them a lot more than they see us, so we know if they're more of a nobhead or not!
If we can form opinions of them as knobheads simply by watching from a distance then I guess they can form opinions of us as knobheads from our witterings over the internet, Q&A sessions, stadium chants or other media too.
Hopefully one day the players will do a version of "behind the music" and let us see that they're genuinely good guys, and completely misrepresented. Players are all millionaires, that doesn't give me the right to call them rapists, but it doesn't enable me to feel for their feelings when they're called all sorts from the stands.
I guess when you're loaded it should minimise any sensitivity to the baying of the working classes. Seems to work for PH-W anyway. :)
Good formula for him, being absolutely caked and half cut 100% of the time, seemed to work for a lot of businessmen in Victorian times, little bit of a dated approach these days.

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