Julio Baptista is an odd one. I always remember him being a little bit useless as an Arsenal player. But clearly he wasn’t all bad.
I mean clearly Arsenal didn’t get the best player to leave Real Madrid around that time because we landed Fernando Hierro and Ivan Campo. But he did still play for one of the biggest and best clubs around, and the likes of Roma and Sevilla aren’t all that bad either.
It turns out that my memories of his time in England are not all that far out. A quick read shows that he did struggle at Arsenal. So it wasn’t just a young me hating everything Arsenal, which would have made a lot of sense.
What I don’t recall though is the minutiae of his time at the Europa League’s least relevant club.
It turns out that highlights include scoring a couple of goals against North London’s premier side Tottenham Hotspur in an League Cup semi final. I mean one was for Spurs. But still, very impressive, surly there cannot be many players who have scored for both teams in the same League Cup semi final, it really is a unique achievement I’m sure.
Other highlights include missing a penalty against Premier League giants of the time Bolton Wanderers and some League One side called Portsmouth.
A genuine highlight would be scoring four goals against Liverpool in a 6-3 win in an earlier round of the League Cup. But I mean that was only Liverpool
His 10 goals in 35 games didn’t exactly set the world alight. Even the 11 when include the own goal for Spur’s doesn’t make it all that much better.
Having said that him getting a second stab at the English game at Bolton would be hilarious, so I’m all for it. If we are going to crash out of the Championship again, why not do it in style.