Wenger - Santos free to attack
Arsene Wenger has backed full-back Andre Santos' attacking mentality and won't curb his forward runs.
By William Esler
Last Updated: 05/11/11 12:50pm
Arsene Wenger has backed full-back Andre Santos' attacking mentality.
The new arrival at the Emirates has given fans a few nervous moments by advancing into the opponent's box and forgetting about his own defensive duties.
Wenger, however, believes that his new signing is carrying on Brazil's tradition of attacking defenders and he has no intention of telling the £6million man to curb his forward runs.
The Gunners boss said: "He needs to improve his 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."
Wenger does admit though that the role of the full-back has changed in recent years since teams moved away from the traditional 4-4-2.
He added: "When you play against 4-4-2, the two strikers stop your centre-backs, so the full-backs get the first ball from the goalkeeper.
"Against a 4-5-1, I think the two centre-backs become more important as the two full-backs block the midfield players. The quality of the centre-backs' passing becomes very important."