Monday, July 15, 2024

Wenger wants full forward full backs

As Andre Santos comes to learn what’s expected from him from a defensive point of view, Arsene Wenger has defended the Brazilians … uhm … defending, and says that full backs who attack are crucial to teams winning things.

Santos has scored two goals already in his Arsenal career, as many as Gael Clichy managed in seven seasons, but his defending has left many Arsenal fans feeling scared, alone, bereft and like emptying their bowels into their pants. The manager, however, is more sanguine about his funky new Brazilian.

“I believe he is much better defensively than people are giving him credit for”, he said. “He is still sometimes caught but in a one-on-one he is quite good and in the last 10 minutes at Chelsea he saved three or four goals.”

Of course there are cultural differences too. The job Santos is expected to do in Brazil is very different from the one he’s expected to do in England, but the boss is confident he can adapt.

“They have a different perception of full-backs in Brazil than in Europe. For me, having a full-back who creates is an important part of winning. Take the Brazilian national team, the ones who have won trophies anyway, you will see that there is always two good full-backs.

“With two average full-backs they would not have won. But they had Carlos Alberto and Roberto Carlos, Jorginho and Cafu.”

Santos keeps his place for today’s game against West Brom as Kieran Gibbs remains sidelined with a stomach muscle problem. And with three fit centre-halves, all pushing for a first team place, the manager has something of a decision to make when it comes to his pairing for today’s game. He was giving no clues as to who would start but said, “It depends who we play against and who is the most tired or who is the fittest. I think Vermaelen and Koscielny are very good and quicker.

“Mertesacker is a leader who can organise very well and is good in the air, tall. It depends what mixture we need. That will decide who plays.”

When normally having a litany of injuries to deal with, this problem is one that the Arsenal manager will rather enjoy.

Related articles


Notify of

newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Black Matta

How many times have you had to type ‘a good problem’, ‘problem that he’ll enjoy’ or variations on that theme in the last few days, haha?

It must feel so good to write it with our past


I love Andre Santos :))))))


Seems like our brazilian leftbacks really do fancy one against the Chavs.


Unlike Clichy, Santos knows what to do once he gets past the half way line.
Also, we are spoilt for “pace” when it comes to full backs. Santos clearly aint as fast but lets get behind St André, lets give him his chance..
Come on you Gooners !!


When I think of recent successful teams that play with attacking full backs I think of two: Inter in 09-10 and Barcelona.

The reason for their success with attacking full backs seems to be the fact that the DM was able to cover any space so well and provide an extra man for defence. Think of Cambassio and Busqets.

At Arsenal we don’t have such a player who fulfils such a role so maybe that’s why we can be caught out.

North Bank Ned

Song could play that role. Spanish and Italian teams can play a three-man back line, and thus let the full-backs push forward consistently, because the style of play in that league tends to be narrower than in the Premiership. The two full-backs are the main wide players for Italian and Spanish teams, with the two non-defensive midfielders coming inside more, whereas Premiership sides tend to have a wide player ahead of the full-back, so defences need wider defenders to counter that.


Very good points that I didn’t consider. But even when Barca play English opposition (inc. Chelsea and man u) they are still quite able to overrun and defeat their opponents.

But I suppose their pressing play on and off the ball also have to be considered if such a formula were to work for the Arsenal


So maybe our next goal is to sign a sweeping DM and alter our gameplan to suit this. I’m not certain either Song or Diaby can fufill this role. But I believe implementation of this tactic will see fewer conceded as an attack is broken in Midfield.


what was that horrible dance move he did after the goal? i thought brazilians were good dancers? I am not complaining though, he can do it any day of the week if he keeps scoring. I like him, I think eventually he will adapt to his defensive role.

Rickard M C S

It’s a Brazilian pop dance.. Cristiano Ronaldo did it too..


Who cares if he can’t defend? He scores! And football is decided by tackles won.. Errrr.. Not goals scored! Dts outdated.

Bob the Gunner

Who doesn’t like a Brazilian attacking full back?


Santos has some room to improve but I really think that can be a good thing and hopefully he gets better and better unlike Clichy who was content to just watch the ball whiz by him. Anyway, I hadn’t fully grasped the phenomenon of Gael’s absence of goals, simply awful. Way to show him St. Andre!

Share article

Featured on NewsNow

Support Arseblog

Latest posts

Latest Arsecast

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x