Santos was a classic Arsene Wenger panic buy from two years ago. We found ourselves on the wrong end of a terrible United spanking and one of players the manager brought in was Brazil international Santos. On the face of it, I think most thought we had a bit of a deal on our hands. He started off in fairly average fashion. He looked a long way off the pace... but after about ten games he started to come into his own. He had a blinder against Chelsea and I think many felt he'd finally come good...
It wasn't to be... he picked up an injury in Olympicos and when he returned, things were never the same again. He was over weight, out of position and breaking the law like the best of them. Outside of offences against football, he led the police on a wild chase round the m25 after being flashed speeding at a quite outrageous rate of knots.
Things came to a head against United when at half time, after a tragic performance, he thought it might be a good time to pick up the shirt of traitorous Robin Van Persie. He did it in front of the whole stadium... along with the cameras of the world. Quite honestly one of the worst examples of stupidity I've seen an out of form player partake in...
Anyway, after two years, Wenger has finally given up the fight to see him come good... Gremio want a piece... so he's off. Good riddance. I know people like to play the 'Oh, it's a real shame it didn't work out'... but I can't see it like that. I've no love for him, I'm glad he's gone. A big smile doesn't do it for me when it comes to sport. I'm sure the players will be upset, fair enough, it's a different type of relationship. For me, his laziness will be the abiding memory of his time here.
Let's hope we can get rid of him in the summer for good...
Arsene Wenger has voiced his concerns about the rough treatment Jack Wilshere has been recieving of late.
"I just want the referee to give a foul when it's a foul. I don't want any special protection,"
"The referee is not a bodyguard, he is just a referee and you want him just to give a foul when it's a foul."
Can't disagree there. Teams target Jack because he has a temper on him. I said in my match report yesterday that I was impressed by his maturity in dealing with the attacks he receives during the game. It's nice that we have a player who just gets on with it, but eventually, someone has to put there hand up and ask when it's going to stop.
The good news about the weekends knock is nothing serious. He's going to be fighting fit for the weekends game. I'd like to think we could rest him, but, despite the excitement of Champions League clouding my reality of what the targets are... you have to say the FA Cup is out best chance of silverware. We should go all out to smash Blackburn early on... then take him off.
On the transfer front, Arsenal have given a trial to Brazilian youngster Indio. I'm not sure what's going on, I haven't heard too many of these children trials of late. PR quiet time? Or just not many good kids on the market? Anyway... he had a few comments.
"I'll spend a week at Arsenal. It will be cool, I hope I enjoy it.
"Of course I have the dream of playing for a European club, but everything has its right time. It will be a good experience. I want to learn."
Yep, yep, no one likes a smart ass... but what about Theo?
"I like him a lot. His style of play is very fast, which pleases me."
You little creep... someone cancel his flight.
Staying on the Jack theme, two more stories that hit the newsfeeds are that he's weighing into the 'Save Gazza' fund. Think what you like of the ex-Spurs star, seeing a grown man up on a stage crying his eyes out into hundreds of bystanders is pretty heartbreaking, the guy is on the way out if he doesn't sort himself out soon, so it's nice that people in his profession are mucking in to help out. The chances of any of it having a long term effect? Well... I wouldn't be so morbid as to hazard a guess.
The other piece of news centres around Frimpong. He's still not given up the ghost of having a career at Arsenal and has cited Mr Wilshere as his inspiration due to the injuries and bad luck he suffered on his way to stardom.
"The boss at Arsenal, Mr Wenger, told me to come here and get some games because there is no point sitting on the bench at Arsenal,"
I'm still unsure about whether he has a future at Arsenal. However, it seems like the Twitter nonsense has died down and maybe reality has set in that he isn't the greatest thing to happen to world football since Pele. He loves Arsenal and he'd die for the cause. That's a good start...
I read an interesting article about Paul Pogba yesterday in The Sunday Times. We all talk about Wenger losing players, but there's been a lot of casual ignorance that Ferguson lost Paul Pogba (probably because United are smashing the league again) to Juventus. The Frenchman was kicked out amid rumours he was money grabbing, but the truth was he just wanted to play... now he's playing, the fans in Italy are comparing him to Paddy V. Interesting because that's the sort of midfielder we're still totally desperate for. I caught a bit of the United game yesterday. Everton put up a bit of a fight but class held out again and Robin Van Persie was the difference with an assist and a goal. They're a winning machine again and he's the icing on the cake. Still, let's not kid ourselves... Arsenal weren't a Robin Van Persie away from the league.
Talking of Robin, anyone who doesn't think Arsene Wenger is Arsenal overlord should take in this next snippet of an Alex Ferguson interview.
"I never thought we had a chance of getting Robin van Persie because I didn't think Arsenal would sell to us.
"My discussions with Arsene were good but long, probably a couple of months. They realised that the lad wanted to leave. It was a matter of negotiating a price with Arsene."
Arsene Negotiating the price... knowing Robin was leaving months before he did... not buying in a world class replacement. Amazing, because you know Ferguson would never have reciprocated.
There were some more interesting snippets...
"I never miss a training session. My observation is the most important part now."
Arsene Wenger isn't an observer, he runs the show. There was also this comment that threw a few people.
"There are members of my staff who have been with me for 20 years or more. That creates a loyalty for both sides - from me to them and from them to me."
That doesn't mean Ferguson has had the same back room team for 20 years. He changes his assistant regularly and he has grown his backroom team hugely over the last ten years. You'll always keep certain people at the club, but keeping ideas fresh is the most important thing renewal offers a club. Wenger doesn't have the balance there right...
Final bit... Sagna at centre back, yep, he was great, he looked dominant, aware and at ease. Does he look better than our other centre backs? After one game, yep. He's a superb defender. I'm just not sure we should be banging the 'change his position' drum after one game. Not least because that puts a problem in at right back.
Anyway, have a great day, see you in the comments!