Arsenal boss Wenger plays down André Santos shirt controversy
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has played down the controversy over Brazilian full-back André Santos choosing to swap shirts with former team-mate Robin van Persie at half-time in his side's 2-1 defeat at Old Trafford.
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The practice of swapping shirts at half-time, which is common in the Brazilian game, caused controversy in the English media, with Arsenal fans' feelings regarding former-striker Van Persie already running high at the encounter.
Wenger explained that the former Corinthians man was unaware of the difference in cultures and the fans' sensitivities over the Dutchman, and has been advised not to repeat the incident in the future.
"I spoke [to Santos] about that but I do not want to make too big a story of it," Wenger told his Monday press conference.
"It was not the right thing to do at all but that is not an explanation for our bad performance. There 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. He understands today what it means and he will never do it again. But it's interesting because Santos is a player who cares, he is serious and he wants to do well. He gives an image of himself [on Saturday] which is not him."
The Sun also quoted Andre Santos as saying: "I'd like to apologise to supporters who felt aggrieved by it. Did I think it would cause such a commotion? Of course I didn't, otherwise I would have told Robin to exchange the shirts away from public view."