Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Santos: I’ve made mistakes but I’ll keep going

Santos: I’ve made mistakes but I’ll keep going

Life hasn’t been easy for Arsenal fans this season, nor for some of the players. Not least Andre Santos who went from a fan favourite (more because of his attitude and outlook than his defending, in fairness), to public enemy number 1 after the now infamous shirt swapping incident at Old Trafford.

But he’s determined to learn from his mistakes and put things right on the pitch.

“This is important,” he told GLOBOESPORTE.COM. “In life, we fall and get up, we get some things right, other wrongs, we win, we lose … that’s life, regardless of the profession. I’m a footballer who’s here to get things right and wrong. I’ve made many mistakes. My spirit is to stumble, to fall, but to get up as fast as possible and get back on top.”

In a wide-ranging interview he spoke about his recent troubles at Arsenal and while he’s going to have to do more than explain to win some people over again, it offers good perspective on his current situation.

First of all, what is your situation at Arsenal? You’ve been through some troubled times lately. Are things easier?

I’m good. I get along with all the players, the board, the manager, who’s always talking to me. I’ve been sidelined due to an injury and he always asks if I’m ready to get back. A footballer goes through many phases. There are ups and downs. Sometimes we are on top and we need to start over. There’s always a new phase. I’m at a top club in Europe, I live in London, my family is settled and I have adapted well. I have a lot to give to Arsenal still and I’m going after that. I have many aims in my career.

You had a very good time at Corinthians and Fenerbahçe, when you made it to the National Team. Here in London, you have been questioned. How do you deal with that?

It’s good, it helps our ego. This is important. That’s why I have focused and worked hard to get back on top, to get back to who I’ve always been. A player is never prepared to receive so much criticism. Great players have experienced that, even Kaka recently. A lot of people said he was going to leave Real Madrid, that he wasn’t doing well, he wasn’t playing, but he remained calm, focused, worked hard, and that’s what matters. I hold on to this. There’s a lot of people to bring you down. I’m a footballer, and of course there’s a lot of jealousy and sometimes they don’t like you as a person. I can’t please everyone. My aim is just one: to work to get back to be the André Santos I’ve always been. I want to win titles at Arsenal, to make history, like I did where I played before.

What do you say has been lacking for you to be that kind of player again?

A little bit of communication has been lacking. Sometimes it’s hard because I always adapted to a certain style and now it’s a new one. To play in defence in England isn’t easy, we have to stay in the back. At Corinthians and in Turkey I played more advanced. I was concerned about defending, but I had more freedom, so much I could score goals. In my last match, against Tottenham, I was put a little more advanced, and I did well, I felt well. I’m sure there’s a new André coming up, looking to be what I’ve always been. I need to be better at certain aspects, I’m a guy who scrutinizes everything, be it the strength, speed, marking … I hold on to certain details and this is important to play at high level.

Recently there have been talks about your exit, is that something going on your mind?

I’ve received calls from interested clubs in Brazil, Turkey and Italy, but it’s all speculation. No one has given me anything. The manager has never said a word to me. He’s very clear about things and I’m focused on staying at Arsenal, chase a title, do well in the Champions League, and I have three years left on my contract. I’m happy here. I hope to have more opportunities and to play more.

Do you feel supported by Arsene Wenger?

This is the most important thing. Whether it’s with the criticism or with the troubles with the car or shirt with van Persie, he’s always been by my sideand he supported me. He knows my character and the person I am. This makes me confident. I thank him for all the words.

Speaking a little about two troubles you’ve mentioned. What do you think of it all? First, the famous shirt swapping with van Persie …

As Brazilians, we are used to it. For me, nothing has changed, van Persie is a great friend. We talk every week, he’s an extraordinary guy. Any time he sees something sad on my BBM status, he comes to support me, say positive words. We’ve swapped many shirts. He asked for one of Brazil NT with my name on it. These are things people don’t know about, but they exist. We have a great affinity. We shook hands before the match and he asked for my shirt. I said I’d give it to him for sure, and we swapped going off at half-time. It was a gesture of friendship.

The supporters were angry, sad, even because he moved to a rival club. I understand, I apologised and I apologise again. I didn’t mean it as a bad thing, it was due to our friendship, but it wasn’t the right timing. We could have done it the dressing room. It happened to be out there and the controversy was created, especially because we were defeated with him scoring. The manager was a bit upset, but he talked to me. He said he understood because I come from another country, but that I need to learn and not to do it again in derbies, only after the match.

You said you understand the supporters, but what about comments from former players and commentators, who even asked for your exit, did it upset you more?

Certainly. As I said, people who don’t like you, who don’t cheer for you, they’ll always be against you. They are former players I don’t know, I don’t know about their past, if they were successful or not, but I’m not here to criticize. But I don’t hold grudges. It was the first opportunity and they went on about it. When you have a microphone to say negative things, a lot of people come around. I left it that way, heard the critics and I saw what I had done wrong. I don’t have to answer them.

Another topic is the fine for speed driving. They said you spent the night in jail. Could you explain what happened and if you really spent the night there?

The news goes around and each paper writes something different. It’s something I can joke about now, but it was a very hard moment.  Maybe it got in my way because it was during my best moment on the pitch. There was a lot of worry, they spoke about how I could be jailed. Here it’s a serious matter, they even take you to a jury. I was worried about it. I was caught driving to training session, at 9am. I was driving my car, a Maserati, and I never paid much attention to the speed.

That day, it was bad luck. Police stopped me and I apologised. I had my driver’s license from Brazil, which allowed me to drive here for another month. From there, they took me to the station, they checked everything and I waited there talking for three or four hours.  Arsenal supported me, they sent a lawyer and I missed training, that was for the first Premier League match. But it was funny. I wanted to train, I was at the station worried about it, with my mind on the game. I thought I wasn’t going to be chosen for the match, but the manager called me and said, “When you leave the station, go to the team hotel”. It was something odd, but a lesson for life. When you acknowledge a mistake, you don’t do it again.

Have you learned with how strict English people are and also the English press?

From all over the world! It was everywhere in Brazil, in Turkey, in Belgium, Switzerland … even in the USA, Henry texted me joking, “You are on the news. You’re driving too fast”. These things happen. Footballers sometimes think nothing can happen to them. And like I said, during troubled times, the critics like to add fuel to the fire. I don’t even read what they said to keep my self esteem up high.

Don’t your fear such stories can leave you with a troubled reputation in Brazil?

If you check my career, and I’ve been on it for nearly 15 years, you’ll see mistakes. Nobody is perfect, but I’ve done more good things than bad ones. Wenger always says I’m very professional, I worry about the schedule, first to arrive, last to leave. I’ve never done things halfway. I’m a good professional, but I’m a human being, with mistakes. Like everyone, in every job.

Thanks to our friends at @BrazilGunners for the translation

8,206 views

67 comments

  1. What a great guy. Shit defender, but what a great guy.

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    • He’s not just a good guy Frog, he’s an astonishing player. He is just not a defender.

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      • I’d like to see him get a game on the wing, he has a bunch of tricks in his box.

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      • I agree. I think he’d be better on the wing than gervinho for sure. Plus, I’m one of the few that could care less about the shirt thing. If we were winning 3-0 at the half, he could have swapped undies with sir Alex for all care.

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      • Too right, if he gets fit he has to be an option playing up ahead of Gibbs on the left. He could be a revelation and if he is and bangs in a few goals all that shirt stuff with Van Shit can be put down to an error of judgement..!

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      • Swapping undies with fergie is never a good idea!. Santos should have gone for rooneys toupe and presented it to bouldy for a job well done. Sadly we had lost that day.

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      • Dont be misled by one little interview. santos is up there with some other legendary players like stepanovs tavliridis squillaci mendez malz bischoff etc. its not his fault and when he returns to turkey or brazil he will find his feet again. the premier league is an uncompromising stage if you are a player that needs more time on the ball and you dont have the talent to do that then im afaraid you will be found out. if santos stays past january we could find ourselves with another squillaci situation with him just running his contract down.

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    • He has 3 years left on his contract at 29 of age. A few years ago, AW won’t extend for more than years contracts of key players who were 30+. An example of the questionable choices to say at least that the manager has made in the last two years

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      • When he buys youth and offers them good long contracts we complain saying arsene is only about the youth and never goes for experience

        When arsene buys relatively old/mature and experienced we critisize him for dishing out contracts to players we need at the time, forget about the future. Arsene never wins.

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    • Shit defender but decent winger, better than Gervinho at the moment

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    • what a great GAY. :D

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  2. Well this does make him more likeable to me now after that shirt swapping incident which made us a laughing stock.. A small ray of light during dark times such as right now as an Arsenal supporter I suppose.

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  3. You just can’t fault this man’s attitude to life. Hope to see him back to his best and delivering the goods for us. Good on you Andre, keep it up.

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    • Ah the lovable rogue, I’d have him in as a sub for poldi after the usual 70 mins, he’s alot better going forward than chasing back, and he’s got a shot on him, seems to speedup play on the left also, him and Gibbs on the left don’t seem to bad. Wenger needs to think out of the box, use players to their strengths.

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      • I was also thinking something similar. Why not utilize Santos as a winger, if we are going to keep using 4-3-3? (While getting a fullback in the January window along with other additions.)

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  4. awesome interview.
    i wish every arsenal fans read this to broaden their horizons and viewpoints. the vitriol after the santos shirt incident was unbelievable. even Arseblog, the writer of the main website, went after him for it without enough perspective i felt.

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  5. “I’ve made mistakes”. Yes you bloody well have mate! Fair play to him though for speaking out.

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  6. like someone has said before, you had me at “gays” andre.

    the squad needs spirit like his, especially in times like these.

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  7. If we don’t win tommorow……

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    • victoria-concordia-crescit

      ….then we still go through to the next round and it makes fuck all difference

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  8. Giroud's perfectly chiseled face

    Nothing against him as a person. He’s just a bad left back for us in this system. Doesn’t mean he’s useless though.

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    • I agree. At his earlier clubs he probably played as a wing-back , in England a LB has to be a good defender first. His awareness, positional sense and tackling are not great.

      For this reason I’m not opposed to the idea of him leaving us and we getting a better defending LB to replace him.

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    • I dont get it…he’s not a defender? Why does he sound so amazed about having to defend?
      You mean in other countries players dont get pissed off at losing? I thought that was an Arsenal thing.
      More bs midweek articles on players being appologetic/sincere and shite…proof it on the fooking field for fooks sake.
      Ahh fook it

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  9. it’s impossible not to like him – despite the naivety of the shirt-swapping saga. the innocence of his reflection on the speeding incident is particularly good (“here it’s a serious matter, they even take you to a jury”).

    it’s sadly true that he’s not a great defender – but it does him a disservice to overlook that he is a talented footballer. the problem is he’s a luxury player – one who may have done well as a sub in an arsenal squad of ten years ago. regrettably, we can’t afford luxuries at present; right squad-member, wrong time…

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  10. Nice guy, nowhere near the standard i think should be playing for Arsenal

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  11. steve boulds hairdresser

    ohh santos, how i wish your defending was better. i really do.

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  12. absolute liability in defence but i really like him, seems like the kind of mate everyone has who’s very good matured, doesn’t really mind even though he’s always picked last during 5 aside games because he’s slightly tubby and doesn’t really fancy running..

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  13. André isn’t a good defender but I think he’s strengths lie in going forward, he has some trickery to match and has an eye for goal. Wenger has used him in both advanced and defensive roles with the later being unsuccessful. My only caveat is that he is overweight or at least seems to be which means he lacks genuine pace. It’s up to the coaching staff as well as the player to overcome these obstacles and turn things around. I still believe that with the right mentallity this guy can do quite well in an Arsenal shirt.

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  14. excellent chap.

    You just want to get a hot chick to hug him.

    You really want him to do well for Arsenal

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    • :S.
      I want a hot chick to hug me.not him.
      but yes. I want him to score goals.
      Andre ‘Drive like I’m crazy’ Santos. :)

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  15. Arsene's Bored Banker

    He is a more comptetent, less crazy Eboue.

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  16. ‘More competent, less crazy Eboue’ is pretty spot on. Fans need a whipping boy, so it’s his turn. Next year we’ll be singing his name and claiming “oh I always stood by him!”

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  17. Whatever he says. I dont want to see this guy play for Arsenal again. Swapping shirts with Van Persie….

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  18. Reading the comments on this page and the facebook comments on the same article there is a distinct difference in tone. Concluding that there are a lot of absolute plebs on facebook.

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  19. You get a little warmer when you hear Santos and the warmest feeling is that some other clubs actually seems to want him.

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  20. “You are on the news. You’re driving too fast”

    I fucking love Henry.

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    • Big Chief from Antarctica

      hehe, I chuckled when I read that.

      But on a serious note, Santos deserves a break. This interview makes me think of him as a considerate person towards us, the supporters.

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  21. “Footballers sometimes think nothing can happen to them.”

    I’m going to get on the ‘phone to the Mirror and see about claiming that as an exclusive. Sorry, I mean EXCLUSIVE.

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  22. Why is this guy considered an Arsenal fan favorite yet Ramsey and Gervinho are ‘shit, not Arsenal quality, fuck ups, blah blah blah etc,

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    • Big Chief from Antarctica

      It’s the nicknames. Choice between, the cuddly maverick, death-man and Forehead.

      No, seriously now. Those that criticise Gerv and Ramsey are fickle as fuck. Climbing the highest tower in town like a mad giraffe when bad times arrive and nowhere to be found when good, September/October.

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    • Well for starters, he’s a better footballer than Ramsey and gervinho.

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      • Santos disrespected Arsenal by celebrating with van Pussy at half-time. I don’t think Rambo or Gervinho has disrespected the team, your hatred for Rambo and Gervinho has blinded you.

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      • @kidknockout – please STFU. If you’re really that offended over the shirt swapping thing I suggest you rethink your outlook on life. This interview made me happy, and I would love for Santos to turn his Arsenal career around. Funny how quickly people forget that without his goal, we don’t get 3rd place last year.

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    • I think a lot of the Ramsey bashers are Spurs or Stoke fans in disguise who are trolling. Arsenal forums on other websites like The Student Room have a massive number of those (yes I spend a saddening amount of time on the internet).

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  23. seems like a great guy but not arsenal class tbh

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  24. The boards greed knows no limit..

    They expect hard working supporters to pay the highest season tickets, yes, i think many supporters are ready to pay that, if the money from tickets was invested in to the team. And not to fill the pockets on already extremly rich men as it seems to be today..

    They disrespect the supporters by selling our best players and saying that they share the same ambitions as the supporters when they obviously doesn´t.

    They are always talking about how profitable the club is, but why is the money not used?? They surely must see that the club is struggling to qualifying for champions league.

    For them a 4th place is like winning an trophy, i don´t think that arsenals supporters would agree that it is an achievement.. Yes they could aim for a 4th place but then they should lower down the prices, i can only speak for myself but iam happy as long as arsenal plays good football. But now they don´t even manage to play good entertaining football, and it´s not entertaining to watch them play anymore. Arsenal supporters deserves better, we will allways support arsenal, but i think it is time that the board and the players give the supporters something back for the supporters really deserves it.

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  25. Our little cuddly maverick santos is out injured. Someone call the choclate factory, willy wonka and all his oompa loompas, get this guy some choclate. He’s cute and knows he went wrong and can only wish to get back a better player. What more do ya need?. Gervinho is shit halleluyiah

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  26. Last time roy carrol was in goal we won a trophy.

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  27. We forgive you santos, we know you’ve got some friendly thing going on with that rvcunt but keep it professional while on the pitch and all will be good.

    After saturday…..
    I expect nothing but▁ ▂ ▃ ▄ ▅ ▆ █ 100% from the lads tommorow regardless of the result, i just wanna see the players play like it means a whole damn lot to them like it is for us fans.

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  28. The problem here is that a player was bought and played outside of the area/style that allows to him to use his best abilities. Same for gervinho (not a striker), podolski (not a winger), arteta (not a dm) and Ramsey (not a winger). This is wenger’s doing, and can we really expect a team filled out with players in mismatched positions to excel?

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  29. Dont know why but i always read his qoutes with fez’s voice from that 70′s show

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  30. Andre Santos tried,like edu tried.

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  31. victoria-concordia-crescit

    Thought he was chanelling Batman begins at the start, “Why do we fall, Mr Santos?”
    “So we can learn to pick ourselves up?”
    “No it’s because we’re a cheating monkey faced spuds twat “

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  32. Great article…
    He seems like a great guy who’s trying his hardest in the toughest league in the world. Obviously he’s a more attack minded player who’s working on finding a better balance b/w those desires and his defensive responsibilities that have never been so intense. The rubbish with the shirt and speeding are just cultural, things are very different in London compared to Brazil. He never meant to offend the club or undermine his teammates.

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  33. Good Guy Andre ;)

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  34. Been a fan of his since day one. Re his defending, he’s yet another player played out of position. Will always be a legend after twatting whatshisface last season for being a dirty cunt. Who else in our squad apart from Jack would do that?

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