Arsenal defender André Santos: Gibbs rivalry is good for the team
Arsenal full-back André Santos believes that the competition for places he faces at the club is good for the team, with the Brazilian having fallen behind Kieran Gibbs in the pecking-order this campaign.
The 29-year-old full-back, who joined Arsenal from Fenerbahce in August 2011, has been limited to just two appearances thus far in the 2012-13 season, but believes that the team is picked on merit and that both players will benefit from the friendly rivalry.
"Of course it does," André Santos told the club's online video service, Arsenal Player. "In life you always find competition and this competition exists but it is only on the pitch and this is good for the team.
"Kieran is an exceptional player, and I know I have qualities too. This is a very healthy competition, we're always talking about it between us before and after training. Kieran is a good friend and I respect the hard work he puts in every day and I know he feels the same way about me.
"He has been playing well and, even if we fight for the same position, I know how good he is. I believe that whoever is better at the moment will keep on playing and it's the manager's choice."
The former Corinthians full-back insists, though, that despite his lack of present opportunities he will keep working hard to seize his chance when it arises.
"Of course it is hard [when you are not playing]," he added. "At every club I've been at I've always played regularly. It is difficult to be on the bench, but we are a team, we are doing well and I'll just keep on working hard so I can be back on the pitch regularly."