Arsenal left-back Andre Santos has urged his teammates to end their seven-year trophy drought by winning both the Barclays Premier League and the UEFA Champions League next season.
Santos, 29, impressed in glimpses during his first Premier League campaign last season but the Brazilian admits that he is hungry to see improvements in his own game, as well as the collective showing of the third-place Gunners.
“Arsenal is definitely a great club, one of the best in the world. We have got to think about winning titles: English champions, European champions,” Santos ambitiously stated.
He added: “Those are certainly the objectives for next season. Arsenal must think big… I have had a few targets in my mind: to be English champions and win titles.
“To make the supporters, who steer us forward and always fill the stadium, happy. Ensure that Arsenal get back to where they belong: at the top.”
Former Corinthians and Fenerbahce star Santos arrived in the English top flight in a €7 million transfer but in an environment where little was known about him beforehand, the wing-back also had to battle injuries and criticism.
When asked to explain his transitional challenges, Santos was keen to discuss them at length.
“In Brazil, you always attack. In Europe it’s the opposite: you cannot attack. It is therefore difficult for a Brazilian player [in my position], when he travels to Europe to adapt himself to this mentality,” Santos explained.
The player continued: “He cannot attack, but has to defend. But thanks to my time at Fenerbahce, I learned enough in terms of defensive work and positional play.
“The Premier League is obviously one of the best leagues in the world. The defence is an important part of it and I have learned a lot this season. It is certainly true that I am technically skilful and rather quick.
“Today, I learn how to mark and support the attack when going forward, but next season I hope to make progress for Arsenal so I can become a regular starter… What I have not been able to show this season, I can still show next season. Arsenal will definitely give me that opportunity and Andre Santos will show what he has got in his stride.”
Arsenal will begin the 2012-13 Premier League campaign against Sunderland, who knocked them out of last season’s FA Cup to virtually ensure that they ended the season without a single trophy.