A game of two halves for Andre Santos – what now for the big Brazilian?

There’s not much more that needs to be said about Arsenal’s memorable 5-3 win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge yesterday. I could repeat what everyone else has said about the entertainment and sheer brilliance of Robin van Persie, but that would render me somewhat pointless.

So instead I’m going to focus on the performance of the player that interested me the most – Andre Santos, our new left-back.

Since joining from Fenerbache on that hectic last day of the summer transfer window, the bulky Brazilian has rotated with Kieran Gibbs for the left-back slot vacated by Gael Clichy. He already has as many goals in a couple of months at Arsenal as Clichy managed in his entire eight years with the Gunners, but has divided opinion so far among fans as he comes across as slow and suspect defensively.

We got the best of both this weekend. His first half was poor, as he allowed Juan Mata to get in the cross for Lampard’s goal far too easily. Later in the half Ramires didn’t need too much skill to waltz past him and into the box either. Not great, but at times he was clearly part of a defence that was playing a very high line and struggling as a unit anyway. I’d say if he’s going to survive in the Premier League he will need to lose a few pounds, which would hopefully see him gain a little speed and flexibility.

In the second half, however, he improved immensely, and showed that he has the ingredients to be a solid defender. He made a crucial block from a late Mata shot, and repeatedly broke up play on Chelsea’s right.

And of course, he scored a nice goal. It has to be said he was gifted a hell of a lot of room by the roaming Bosingwa, and given a lot to aim at by the seriously in-decline Petr Cech. Still, he exploited the space and showed the composure in that kind of position that Clichy simply never could. His goal was arguably the most important of the lot, giving us a much-needed lift immediately after the break.

If we played a 4-4-2, I think he’d be worth a try as a left winger, given his goal scoring record and attacking ability. However, we obviously don’t play that system and he simply would not fit in as a winger-forward or as one of the middle three.

Wenger should perhaps pick and choose what games he plays him in carefully, as he does look like he might struggle with quick, nippy wingers. Still, he’s a good alternative to Gibbs, and it is nice to have genuine competition in that position. Hopefully he will only get better once we adapts to the English game, and we’ll see plenty more exotic dances!

Elsewhere, praise really must go to Koscielny, Song and Ramsey for all simply doing their jobs so well. They provided the platform for van Persie to perform, and how well this seems to be working for the Dutchman, who has done something even Henry or Bergkamp never managed – a hat trick on the ground of one of the ‘big teams’. I hesitate to use the words ‘fellow title challengers’, but perhaps now I shouldn’t.

32 Comments on "A game of two halves for Andre Santos – what now for the big Brazilian?"

  1. horsesisalliknowaboutbigsy | 30/10/2011 at 21:40 |

    Santos will be alright as long as Wenger plays to his strengths and uses an anchor to compensate for his weakness, it is clear he is a bit of a wanderer and loves getting forward to good effect, his weakness is obviously his ability to just not recognise his responsibility as a left back and take up stupid positions, when Jack comes back if wenger gets someone to cover and sit in that back quarter when he bombs on it will be a real bonus to the attacks as yesterday proved, but if song is that man it could be dangerous as he likes to bomb on too much for a holding midfielder..Santos is a risk but one worth taking in the right system, is Wenger defensively astute enough to know what needs doing ? I doubt it as he seems hell bent on all out attack so pray you don’t meet quick counter attacking wingers !

    • Wenger is not defensively astute? Remind me, how many leagues have you won again?

      • horsesisalliknowaboutbigsy | 31/10/2011 at 09:27 |

        Would you like the facts behind this or are you just spouting from the heart ?

        He inherited an entire back line, he then went and nicked Sol Campbell to patch things up, since then he has been responsible for people like Senderos, Squeeeelachi, etc and the facts don’t lie look at how many goals you have conceded this season, winning titles has nothing to do with being astute as a defensive coach that is absolutely a ridiculous comment, Brazil have never had a good defence they have always just outscored opponents..Wenger for all his fantastic wisdom in the game and he has to be respected for that wouldn’t know a defender if it bit him on the arse, what kind of a manager when his team is getting absolutely ripped to bits by the fans, the press, etc goes out and buys the slowest defender in the history of the game to play at the heart of a team in the premier league, Mertsacker is being absolutely crucified at the moment, that isn’t settling in it is a lack of pace for this league..Samba and Parker would have been ideal, didn’t do it though did he !..he has also allowed Flamini, Gilberto, Edu, Vieira, Petit, all to leave too early ..I am not putting the boot in lads just don’t ignore facts please, you have conceeded more goals away than any other team this season and are third to only Blackburn Rovers and Bolton this season as worst goals against in the league..if you would like me to add Flapianski and Almunia to this list I am more than willing to highlight the fact. 

        This is not about who has won most it is about Wenger being a poor defensive coach and on the above points I think you may be struggling to fins a half decent response..The Defence and the team are Wengers responsibility..90 % of your fans are screaming for a defensive coach, why would they be doing this if Wenger is astute enough ? George Graham genius at defending, please do not be picky and take everything as a rival having a dig and look at facts I am quite capable of complimenting Arsenal but golas against don’t lie lads !

        • Invincible back four?  Check your facts!

          • horsesisalliknowaboutbigsy | 31/10/2011 at 10:31 |

            It was clear I was referring to his overall record as in the time at Arsenal, bloody hell my Nan could have won the league with that team if she was french and had 7 mates who all won the world cup..his genius there was being french, do you think coaching Henry would have been difficult, you could throw that lot any ball and tell them to sod off all day and they would win a league, what about the goals against in that side though was it as good as George Graham in 91 ? still a weakness there isn’t there ? ..THE POINT i AM MAKING IS Mancini knows how to defend he proved that last season, but it didn’t stop him changing his style he has just bought goalscorers to add to it, so don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, you can score and concede few, it can be done ! so I ask again is Wenger on that basis a defensive coach ? NO !
            and once again I refer you to the brazilian side, they won things without having a good defence.

          • AidanGooner | 31/10/2011 at 11:45 |

            You are an idiot

          • horsesisalliknowaboutbigsy | 31/10/2011 at 14:14 |

            love getting you lot at it ha ha..

          • Anonymous | 01/11/2011 at 12:51 |

            So you admit you are full of shit then. Getting people at it is very different from an honest opinion. Won’t bother with your posts anymore as clearly you only come on here to wind people up.

          • capedcrusaderbigsy | 01/11/2011 at 13:42 |

            we don’t get on anyway so it makes no difference to me mashman I would welcome it..I respect RTK, Berg10 and JIN and take their criticism on the chin and when they steam into me I handle it because they have demonstrated a level of honesty and I know it is nothing personal but what they believe, they have also complimented spurs in other areas and are having pure football debate, people who have not done that I don’t really care about their views anyway it just demonstrates they are biased and don’t really have a sensible wider understanding of the game..Arsenal have the better record and have been more consistent over the last 100 years, but that does not stop me loving my club and being honest in football debates with rival fans, if someone is better than me I acknowledge it I don’t just argue for the sake of it, because my colours are nailed on it..so if I perceive people are purely on a wind up I will do it back..

          • Anonymous | 31/10/2011 at 11:52 |

            Hasn’t Mancini inherited his defence from Mark Hughes?

        • Sagan has been the best right back in the prem since his arrival? Who turned Ashley Cole into the worlds best left back? He was a centre forward when AW arrived. Kolo Toure was a right midfielder and turned into a centre half in the invincibles. Thomas Vermaelen is rated as one of the best CB’s in the Prem. Bigsy you continue to embarrass yourself with lack of knowledge. Jog on.

          • horsesisalliknowaboutbigsy | 31/10/2011 at 11:19 |

            who is Sagan ? and I embarrass myself ..I would guess you mean Sagna..not entirely convinced he is that good to be honest but it is an area of weakness throughout the league, with the arrival of Walker on the scene your opinion will soon be open to debate…Don’t rate Ashley Cole (never have) I think Theo destroyed him at the weekend and if you cast your mind back to the German defeat in the world cup his side was being murdered, he is actually defensively very poor..Kolo Toure done well and once again I cannot pass judgement on Vermaelen I think he could be a good player but he plays less than ledley king so not really able to debate that in any consistent manner…remember I am commenting on your side in the modern era , if you want to talk Frank stapleton, alan Sunderland, Pat rice the player bring it on, you say my knowledge is poor but would you last 5 minutes discussing football on other teams ? i like football and my knowledge is just as good on any team you want to pick, ..

          • horsesisalliknowaboutbigsy | 31/10/2011 at 11:21 |

            ps ..welcome to this site Mashman …I have been here longer than you and always give a fair opinion..do you ? as I say welcome mate !

          • Anonymous | 31/10/2011 at 11:50 |

            Read your own post Bigsy. Your comment was that AW couldn’t recognise a defender if they bit him on the arse. I have given you many examples to prove you wrong. I am not asking you to analyse and rate every player I mentioned. I see these guys play and know how good they are.
            As for the childish comment about being here longer than me, I have been signing in as TJ14 for about 3 years, so you can forget that one. My opinions are always honest and they are from the view of an AFC fan. Not a bitter Spurs fan who cannot seem to find people to converse with on his own teams blogs.

          • horsesisalliknowaboutbigsy | 31/10/2011 at 14:32 |

            our own team blogs are rubbish, I enjoy being on here and TJ14 now sums it all up perfectly as to why you are like this towards me ..you have always been that way and been bloody awkward so I shall not concern myself any further with you the man of many names ? childish ? at least I don’t have mental issues and pretend to be different people..stay alert your batphone may ring soon and Alfred may need you to go to work Batman or is it Bruce Wayne…ha ha

          • Anonymous | 31/10/2011 at 14:40 |

            Name change is purely down to ease of posting Bigsy. No hidden agenda with you to be honest. You give yourself way too much credit. I just enjoy talking about and supporting my club. Even if I was talking to myself on here I wouldn’t go to a spurs blog. Spurs have the most knuckle dragging fans in the same vicinity in the prem. no ground is filled with as much hatred and backward people. I have no issue with any fans from any clubs expressing opinions. Is just sad you have to get your kicks on arsenal forum.

          • capedcrusaderbigsy | 31/10/2011 at 18:55 |

            yeah it is sad i guess Mashman, but there is no decent debate being had on spurs, most of our fans just live in a dream world, one back heel from Ginola and he is the best thing since sliced bread, I do think we are a good side these days, you cannot have Bale, Modric, VDV, Parker and not be a good side, I enjoy talking football with the rival fans it is more enjoyable, don;t get me wrong I was a sod in my late teens and more than capable of throwing a punch outside a football stadium but we all grow up and to be fair my cousins are gooners my grandad was and we all work alongside each other so it is all nonsense, more now than ever..the rivalry is virtually extinguished compared with 30 years ago..most fans now go to chat to each other each week, that infuriates me it really does, but I mean no harm on here, it is addictive and fun,  Arsenal are a great club, we both are, just we have not had anything to be proud of in decades, but we are getting better and the banter is starting to come back, and let’s be honest the banter at work or with relatives is the best bit of following football..

          • Anonymous | 01/11/2011 at 12:49 |

            The rivalry is very much there from spurs fans. I go to WHL and the atmosphere is evil. As said previously, spurs have the most. Knuckle dragged fans per square mile.

          • capedcrusaderbigsy | 01/11/2011 at 13:35 |

            We are more Chelsea haters in the lot I go with to be honest, but entitled to your view.

          • Berg10 | 31/10/2011 at 13:28 |

            You’re not serious regarding cashley? C’mon bigsy, though I despise him and Mourhino the latter did/has got a tactical nous and selected some great pro’s when he was there.
            The fact Theo made him look like a twonk surely was down to the “other” Theo that turned up Saturday, how did he trip over, play the ball in the process of regaining his footing in what looked like a speeded up scene then power in the goal, he was on fire that’s why and he defended the wing negating Cole’s intentions.

            You say Toure done well yet omitted him from wenger’s defensive recruitments.

          • horsesisalliknowaboutbigsy | 31/10/2011 at 14:13 |

            truthfully never rated him, think he is great going forward but defensively gets caught wrong side of his man all the time..he relied on pace to get him out of it but that is starting to desert him, so is he likely to be effective at 36 ? no ..was maldini ? yes because he was technically a defender first..I think people get a bit confused with all this wing back nonsense berg10..first and foremost defending is an art and much like twitchy with Bale ..he still insists he will be a left back, Bale like Cashley cannot defend to save his life..

          • Berg10 | 31/10/2011 at 15:47 |

            Agree on Bale, he’s been called a one trick pony but so what he does the job both for the spuds and for Wales

          • Berg10 | 31/10/2011 at 13:22 |

            Sagna reminds me of Lauren, hard as nails (though not hard enough for the blatant mid air “collision” by the freak ekotto). Match changeing assault.

        • Bigsy, you didn’t mention the back four of 2004, unbeaten all season, 14 of the games Arsenal scored 1 or less. Lehman, Cole, Lauren, Toure, Campbell, Cygan and one inherited, Keown.

        • He recruited Sol Campbell not “nicked” or perhaps this is now a valid term for any player purchase that sits badly with the selling club.

          Cashley, Kolo and Lauren?

          We disagreed yesterday over my preference to watch a game that we win 5-3 rather than 2-0 and I admit I may be in the minority on this one as vanity of keeping a clean sheet takes preference, however this is my opinion and I stand by it and by your post sounds as if I’m in good company with past and present Brazil squads.
          Flamini had one good season (like greedybayor) and like many mercenary footballers nowadays back tracked on promises and for me if playing time is improving yourself then he went backwards.
          Edu (one of my favourites) was continuously injured and also seeked the limelight so did Petit, but with Marc Overmars made career moves to Barcelona, a decision I understand though don’t agree with, Vieira had wagged his tail at the percieved top European clubs for numerous seasons and probably AW got fed up with this uncertainty and his game wasn’t as good as previously and we got a good price for him. My only regret was the treatment of Gilberto who was overlooked for the captaincy to that pouting over rated slag Gallas (wonder what dopey lot ended up with him?).

          If GG was our defensive coach I’d still support AFC but couldn’t see me enjoying watching them as much as I have for the past 15 years.

          Not meaning to sound pleased with our GD of -1 but compared to Blackburn that you associated with us they are on -10, that’s 9 goals difference compared to the 5 between us. As said, not pleased with the -1 but the 8-2 trouncing is for me a one off that will take some pulling back in the GD column but we are capable and I still say that putting 5 past Chavski at the cowshed is an achievement, you can play it down anyway you like but we all know it’s a great result against an albeit aging but financially constructed team, having played together as a unit far longer than our ever changing unit, hence the errors.

          • horsesisalliknowaboutbigsy | 31/10/2011 at 14:16 |

            Mate im messing about and getting you lot nibbling, you know when I am serious, I do like the way you mention goal difference rather than Goals against..get a job with the government massaging them figures..ha ha

          • Berg10 | 31/10/2011 at 15:43 |

            In that case mate you’ve just shot yourself in the foot as we’ve conceded 7 more than you as opposed to the 9 GD and we’ve played 1 more than you so the odds are in our favour as you’re likely to concede 1 or 2 haha!

            Ooh to be a Gooner.

  2. he already doubled clichys tally as he already scored twice,as i think clichy scored just the once vs stoke

  3. Steve of Chiang Mai | 31/10/2011 at 06:53 |

    Andre was a little dodgy in the first half but very little got past him in the 2nd. The only way Cheatski could get by him was to have their linebacker toss him to the ground so Mata could get a shot off. Actually the defensive effort in the 2nd half was brilliant.

  4. Chelsea came out with a plan to attack us down the left in the second half and it was the performance of Santos that basically won us the game. Chelsea basically stopped attacking Djourou down the right which is where they would have had more joy- A big up to theo for helping out down the right though as this is what made them attack the left. 

  5. I can only just be bothered to comment on this post, Mark Brus at one moment you are denigrating Santos for his lack of pace, the next you are suggesting he should play as a winger, would not that perceived lack of pace prove to be somewhat of a problem?

    I do not expect to receive any response from the author as he never seems to bother to acknowledge comments.  Post and forget is his watchword.

Leave a comment