I write this as a fan in turmoil. My heart is wounded at the loss of the charismatic, lust-of-life character that has departed. My head however is absolutely ecstatic.
Andre Santos arrived with Arsenal in 2011 after spells with most notably Corinthians and Fenerbache and all the signs pointed to Arsenal having signed a good wing back. Brazilian – check. Skillful on the ball – check. A likeable man – check. However, as we saw Santos play more and more, the expectations got lower and lower just like Abou Diaby’s appearances per season. Andre has however given us some memorable performances especially scoring his first goal in Arsenal’s 5-3 win at Stamford Bridge. The straw that broke the camel’s back so to speak was most definitely the shirt swapping incident at half time with Robin Van Persie. I understand, that in Brazil the culture is different. But in English culture, to swap shirts with a player at half time is bad enough – let alone that player being RVP, who left the summer before and is seen by many of the Arsenal fans as a traitor and the subject of anger and betrayal. This, coupled with some awful performances started a rather turbulent state of affairs with the Arsenal fans. Nothing makes me happier than Arsenal players proving me wrong. Of course, the best possible outcome of this situation is that Andre comes back from Gremio (if indeed he does return) a player having benefitted from six months of solid play – something that he won’t get now that Nacho Monreal, a deadline day signing from Malaga and, in time, Kieran Gibb’s return from injury.
Andre was clearly a popular guy behind the scenes at Arsenal Football Club. Lukas Podolski tweeted ‘We will miss you man, I wish u all the very best #Gunner God bless you”, Santi Cazorla joined him adding ‘Good luck to my friend @Andre_Santos27!! It was a pleasure to share this time with you!!’.
In his interview on Arsenal.com he thanks the Arsenal fans for their support and vows that he will be back a better player. To make my feelings clear, I genuinely like Andre Santos. Do I think he is the sort of player that should grace the hallowed Red and White shirt of the club I love? No. But even after his own fans booed him off in scenes reminiscent of Emmanuel Eboue; Andre still denounces his love for Arsenal Football Club on Twitter, in interviews and on his favorite social media platform Instagram. And I can’t hate anyone who does that.
Written by @RyArsenal