Arsene Wenger has told Arsenal.com that he has had a word with Andre Santos about his behaviour, following the now-infamous shirt incident at Old Trafford on Saturday.
The Brazilian was seen requesting former Arsenal captain Robin van Persie’s shirt at half time, much to the anger of Gunners fans who booed the Dutchman throughout.
Wenger says he has disciplined the player, but also defended him against accusations of having a poor overall attitude.
“It’s interesting because Santos is a player who cares. If you speak with him, he gives an image of himself which is not him. He is serious, he wants to do well. It is about the result, about the team. [Asking for a shirt at half time is] a difference of culture.
“I can understand that an English guy doesn’t understand it and I’m French and I don’t understand it either. He is completely in a different world when he does that.
“But he cares and he understands today what it means and, believe me, he will never do it again. I spoke to him about it but I do not want to make too big a story of it.
“I believe that was not the right thing to do at all, but that is not an explanation of our bad performance on Saturday.”
The word ‘image’ is an interesting one from the manager. Santos is not the first player of ours in recent times who seems keen to promote an image of himself as being a bit of a ‘character’ through social networking sites. Time to stop trying to make people laugh and win people over through playing well instead?
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