Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger continues to urge new left-back Andre Santos to not curb his attacking instincts amidst widespread concerns over his defensive ability.
Like all Brazilians Santos is excellent in possession and on attack, but in recent weeks some defensive errors and also being caught up the field on far too many occasions have prompted many to criticise his ability to defend.
Amongst these critics is legendary Arsenal centre-back Lee Dixon who said Santos has “got no idea what he’s doing at left-back. He cannot defend!”
Although in contrast Wenger defended Santos saying:
He needs to improve on defending, of course. It’s easier to give him that and go forward.
They have a different perception of full-backs in Brazil than in Europe. But I believe he is much better defensively than people are giving him credit.
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.
I feel it’s an important part of winning – having a full-back who creates. Take the Brazilian national team. The [Brazil] teams who have won, you will see that there is always two good full-backs.
With two average full-backs, they would not have won. They had Alberto Carlos and Roberto Carlos. Jorginho, Cafu.
Personally, I would like it if Santos picked his opportunities to get forward more carefully. Currently he is found AWOL on too many occasions for my liking, but still seeing him help on the offensive end of the pitch is great to see! What do you guys think? Is his defensive ability good enough? Feel free to leave a comment below!