When Andre Santos came on against Man City last Sunday, he picked up a quick booking for a fairly innocuous foul on Mario Balotelli.
When Balotelli got up, Santos gave him the ‘Shhhh’ gesture and had a few words with him. As he’d only been on the pitch a few minutes it was hard to see if anything had happened between them, but Santos says his actions were a consequence of Balotelli’s behaviour throughout the game.
Speaking to ESPN Brasil, he said, “In the first half Balotelli almost broke Song’s leg, than he harshly tackled Sagna. Someone had to be hard on him, put him in his place.
“Someone had to say something to him because he was doing what he wanted, and that’s not how things work.
“I was watching from the bench. When I was on the pitch I’d have the job to mark him, and that’s what I did. It’s part of the game.”
The Cuddly Maverick has come back into the first team after spending 3 and half months out with an ankle injury and he’s beginning to regain his old fitness.
“I’m much better, the pace is different, but I’m good physically,” he said. “I’ve trained a lot, I played with the reserves, Man City was my fourth match on the bench, the second I’ve come to the pitch. I’m feeling a lot better, ready to be back to the starting XI.”
And in his absence the team have overturned a large T*ttenham gap, and Andre believes Arsene Wenger’s calm nature has played a part along with the team’s hard work.
“Today our target is getting more within reach with each match, we have to keep working to hold on to this 3rd place. It’s very hard to get to 1st, but our target is to be in the Champions League.
“Arsene Wenger is a very calm and mature man, he always deals with situations in the same way, whether we are winning or losing. The supporters like him very much, he has credibility at the club.
“I think it was this experience that he has that made us to turn it around”.
I love this guy.
Tip of the hat to the fantastic BrazilGunners for the translation.