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Andre Santos: The Worst Brazilian Left Back Ever

by Dan Charman
7 November 2012 19 Comments

Somebody needs to check Andre Santos' passport. Brazilian my a**e....


Arsenal: Andre Santos Is Lovely Guy, But He’s The Worst Brazilian Left Back I’ve Ever Seen

Since Roberto Carlos and his ability to sprint the length of the pitch before delivering a devastating cross into the box made full backs glamorous again, there has been a slight infatuation with Brazilian full backs around Europe. And it seems like everyone’s  jumping on the band wagon – City have one in Maicon, Barcelona have Alves and even United and QPR nabbed themselves a pair of Brazilians in the da Silva twins.

But, as an Arsenal supporter, I have always looked upon clubs with their Brazilian full backs with envy; their colourful and flair-ridden sprinters flying down the pitch always painted me green when I turned to see Oleg Luzhny or Mikael Silvestre occupying our wide defensive births. I used to turn to my Mum every Christmas morning in sheer devastation when she revealed there was no chance we’d be joining in with the cool clubs and getting our own Brazilian full back. Arsene once treated us to Sylvinho in the late 90s but cruelly sent him away to Celta Vigo soon after. Years went by and with the exception of a few teases, we were still lacking a Brazilian at the back (oo-er).

But one morning, one summer morning, my dream would come true. Hidden away in the foray of transfer deadline day, Andre Santos emerged as our signing to replace Gael Clichy who had hopped it over to Manchester City earlier in the summer. Santos was an established player, far from the normal Wenger signing, who had a bucket-load of caps behind him for Brazil and seemed genuinely capable to add some flair to the left side. This was better than the mini snooker table I received when I was 12. This was the best (late) Christmas present ever.

His laziness and defensive inability isn’t just down to eating too many pork pies

Turns out though, unlike Alves or Maicon or even Oleg Luzhny – Andre Santos is a bit sh*t. Not sh*t in the way you see some old fat bloke run around on a Sunday afternoon before getting lairy at the pub but in a way you see some old fat bloke run around on a Sunday afternoon after breaking the law speeding. Andre is just not Premier League material and thankfully it looks like Galatasaray are being kind enough to take him back to Turkey.

But it’s not just his weight that has deemed Santos not Premier League standard but it’s his first touch, his lack of willingness to track back when he switches on headless chicken mode; his laziness and defensive inability isn’t just down to eating too many pork pies. The brief stints he has played this season, and the matches he took part in last season, showed a lot of frailties in a player who’s closing in on his 30th birthday.

The emergence of Keiran Gibbs as a genuine long term solution to the left full back position has also dealt a blow to any serious chances of Santos claiming the position for his own; Gibbs has matured defensively since the appointment of Steve Bould and has been an integral part of an Arsenal defence that has grown into something that isn’t to be ridiculed – as it frequently was last year. Vermaelen’s ability to deputise as a left back has only counted against Santos who has been tipped to play further up the pitch by many during the preseason schedule, only to be cancelled out by the very impressive Gervinho and Podolski.

Players such as Santos don’t fit into the new philosophy and are therefore surplus to requirements no matter how funny their tweets can be

Many will point to Santos’ ability to get forward into scoring positions (like he did against Chelsea last season) as an advantage to keeping the Brazilian around until at least the summer time. But if Galatasaray are willing to part with their cash for someone who’s a liability defensively and a bit of a pain in the arse off the pitch, Wenger should be packing Andre’s bags for him.

Despite it only being October, this season has already seen a more determined and disciplined Arsenal side. Players such as Santos don’t fit into the new philosophy and are therefore surplus to requirements no matter how funny their tweets can be. Now all we need is to find someone to give him a lift to their airport. Any takers?

Enjoy this? Check out these…

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Gibbs Vs Santos: Who Is The Solution to Arsenal’s Left Back Dilemma?

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image descriptionCOMMENTS

chopper4001 1:45 pm, 19-Oct-2012

A bit harsh. Ok, he's no Cafu, but his one footed tackle is brilliant, Bobby Moore-esque even. The concern comes if he misses that tackle as he's not going to be able to make up the ground against anyone (my gran included). Our left side is currently a more attacking outlet than our right though, with the defence moving across to cover Gibbs's forays down the wing (as Pod comes inside). This will suit Santos better than our shape last year, and what with Gibbs's injury record we may just need him too.

GeeFive 2:09 pm, 19-Oct-2012

Rid of him, and who do we have for Gibbs cover? No one. Verm subbed in last season at left and was not very strong. Also admitted to hating it. I'd rather have Santos in the line up than moving a centre back over.

Bartoli 2:12 pm, 19-Oct-2012

Considering his injuries i think you re writing him off too soon. Good going forward, not as bad defensively as a lot of people think. Anyway, Juan was a lot worse brazilian left back to play for Arsenal.

HSM 2:20 pm, 19-Oct-2012

This is just uninformed rubbish, typical S.T did you know that Andre Santos actually had the highest percentage of aerial duels won in Arsenal's defence last season as well as the second highest tackle success rate? No? you didn't? what a surprise. the fact that you spelled Keiran Gibbs' name wrong pretty much sums this article up

Don Chico 2:37 pm, 19-Oct-2012

Get rid of the fat git. Ship him out!

Dreadeye 2:40 pm, 19-Oct-2012

He's not half as bad as you make out & going forward he's pretty good. Also maybe you should judge him if he gets a run in the new improved Bouldy oganised defence. I don't think Roberto Carlos was that good at defending, it is the Brazilian way. & as for your comment "Vermaelen’s ability to deputise as a left back has only counted against Santos" that made me roll on the floor laughing as Vermaelen was absolutely useless as a laft back so I would think it enhanced his chances. I think the biggest liability's in Arsenal's defense at the club are Scuilaci & Djourou & the totally useless goalkeeper Flapiniski.

Owen Blackhurst 2:47 pm, 19-Oct-2012

The typo on Kieran Gibbs name has been fixed, however dan is a season ticket holder so it definitely isn't uninformed. You can't just trot out two stats that mean fuck all in isolation. Be interesting to see how those stats came about in terms of attempts etc against other defenders. Maybe you should write a riposte?

Joe Hall 3:02 pm, 19-Oct-2012

@ HSM. Nice attempt to sound clever with a couple of stats but you've failed miserably. Neither of those stats mean anything. Do they reveal how often Santos is out of position? Nope. Do they reveal how often he loses his man? Nope. You say he wins most of his tackles - but how many tackles does he make? It could be the least in the team. Ditto the "aerial duels" stat. Dan is an Arsenal fan who watches them week in, week out. His opinion is a valid one. He also expresses it in a a creative and likeable way.

Phil 3:15 pm, 19-Oct-2012

worse brazilian LB u ever seen you dont watch much football then. Plus andre is a decent lb who has scored vital goals for us. without we would be in the europa cup cuz he would of lost or drawn with wba

Saskia 3:34 pm, 19-Oct-2012

@ HSM. Hey HSM, why don't you learn some grammar skills before you go ranting about other people's work? I don't think someone who's initials resemble that of the popular Disney tween epic, High School Musical, can really pass judgement on an article of this calibre.

Jboyle86 3:39 pm, 19-Oct-2012

I think you are being a little unfair, he really isn't as bad as you have made out. @Owen Blackhurst, it is all well and good you defending your SB buddy but at the end of the day being a season ticket holder carries little weight in an argument about being 'informed' on the ability of a defender, besides, other than stats which we all have access to on the internet, an opionion of a players ability is relatively subjective. I for one think Andre is a decent cover for Gibbs and the statement 'Worst Brazilian left back' is ridiculous. However, as stated, we are all entitled to our view. JB

Marc 4:57 pm, 19-Oct-2012

@HSM it's one thing to disagree with an opinion, but trotting out two isolated stats is nonsense. To add a little context, here are some more stats for you from 2011/12 season with Gibbs' ones in brackets for comparison; Tackles per game 1.5 (Gibbs 3.7), interceptions per game 0.5 (3.4), clearances per game 1 (3.1). That pays no attention to his tactical errors, of which there are many. If you're going to label someone as uninformed, it might be best to ensure you are informed first.

harry 8:28 pm, 19-Oct-2012

Not having this at all, Santos is solid enough at the back and is excellent going forward unlike Gibbs who is desperately lacking. He is one of the more technical players in the squad and his left footed arrow against West Brom on the last day of the season (a game won by a solitary goal) helped us get over the line and into the CL.

alex 3:33 pm, 7-Nov-2012

far too harsh here. he just lacks match sharpness. Considering Man was his second or third game back for arsenal since march, his poor performances should be expected. We cant use him as a scapegoat either for Wenger's shocking team selections. He should have shifted sagna to left and played jenko at right back. Santi should play on the wing, and podolski, who is ineffective on the left should play up top. Giroud isnt an arsenal striker as he relys on crosses to score. Wenger does not advocate this style of football, so what was he thinking when we bought him? We need a jackson martinez type player if you ask me

yogavo 4:06 pm, 7-Nov-2012

does anyone remember Gilberto for tottenham a few years back? he was totally pony

DrRic 5:59 pm, 7-Nov-2012

Santos has been an absolute horror show. Everything in the last few games has gone past him. A shame if he was better last season, but anyone who has seen Arsenal play from the first Schalke game onwards would find it hard to remotely call him premiership class.

Mauricio Savarese 6:42 pm, 10-Nov-2012

I told you so! Before he even got here.

nick 5:53 pm, 19-Nov-2012

Fire him! Lazy and not truly committed. He needs to stop worrying about getting a jersey at halftime and get on a treadmill.

tom 4:55 pm, 27-Nov-2012

To be fair brazilian full backs arent meant to defend anyway, they are meant to attack.

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