Posted on Monday, 5th December 2011 by AVJ
Regular fixture on live scores, Arsenal striker Robin van Persie recently revealed that he never got the chance to play with legendary Brazilian full-back Roberto Carlos, but is happy he’s got the chance to play with a footballer who was mentored by the legend himself during his time in Turkey – Andre Santos:
‘He’s firstly a left-back, but he’s so much more than that – he gets the ball to his feet, plays one-twos, looks after the ball with style and plays a bit like Roberto Carlos.’
One can see a lot of difference between the Santos who played against Olympiakos and the one who played against Wigan on Saturday. The Gunners skipper felt time would change him and that the 28-year-old Brazilian needed time to adapt:
‘When he first arrived I remember him saying he’d need five or six games to get his fitness up before things would really kick off for him.’
Santos carried the typical attributes of a Brazilian left-back, one ready to attack at all times. It is well known that back in his homeland, the primary duty of any full-back is to attack rather than defend. Initially, Santos was struggling to track back, but has improved game by game. His confidence on the ball is certainly appreciated by the Emirates faithful and the captain himself:
‘It was true – he’s grown stronger and fitter in every single game, and what I really like about him is his confidence on the ball.
‘He knows how to choose between holding his defensive position and going forward – and when he goes, he is committed. I love his play.’
The left-back has indeed added a new dimension to Arsenal’s game, the last left-back who contributed immensely to the counter attack style of the club was Ashley Cole. Gael Clichy started off well, but he never quite lived up to the expectations set by his predecessor and also had too many defensive lapses. Kieran Gibbs has struggled with fitness problems ever since he broke into the first team set-up.
Clichy scored two goals in his 264 games for the north London club whereas Santos has matched that feat in just 13 games. He has also developed a good understanding with his left sided colleague Gervinho.
There were few more words of praise for the Brazilian from RVP:
‘I remember a couple of weeks ago playing not just a one-two but a one-two-three-four with him, and that’s the kind of thing you enjoy. It’s a joy to play with him because he loves football, loves finding solutions, and I don’t really see full-backs as confident as Andre in other teams. We all feel that when he has the ball he will do something useful with it. You know that, even if he is faced with a couple of guys, he’ll choose the right thing.’
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