Sokratis Papasthatopoulos, the 79-capped Greek captain has had a mixed start to the season. Allowing 8 goals in 4 games is no fantastic feat for any defender. But, being new to the club, can we blame him for our woes?
— Gurjit (@GurjitAFC) September 8, 2018
The former Borussia Dortmund man is known for his ability to play on the ground and aggressive approach, the defender has shown excellent leadership skills throughout his career. His tackling and aerial duels are impressive too.
However, his pace is an issue. Playing with Shkodran Mustafi just makes it worse. With both of the defenders being slow on the ball, a pacy striker is a lucky man in Arsenal’s half. An example could be Alvaro Morata’s goal at the Bridge a few weeks ago – running from the half line, the Spanish striker beat both Mustafi and Sokratis to the ball, to score.
His current partnership with the German seems to be a problem. The duo haven’t kept a clean sheet yet and they seemingly don’t blend well together. Both are great at aerial duels, don’t have great pace. The math doesn’t sound right.
Sokratis couldn’t have asked for a tougher start to his career at the Emirates. With Koscielny injured, losing to the champions on matchday- 1 and at Stamford bridge, the week after. We won the next 2 matches, but let in 3 goals in the process. He has been rock solid some times, but at other times has cost us goals.
On the other hand, Sokratis passing the ball back to Petr Cech has irritated the fans many times as well. Even if there is an option to play the ball forward with no risk, sometimes he plays it to the keeper, however this could be Emery’s tactics and hence 4 games isn’t enough to adjudge him on.
People are giving cech stick about his inability to play out the back. But people dont seem to understand that he needs players in front of him that will create passing angels for him. Sokratis and xhaka yesterday let him down in my opinion. Just look at the picture #arsenal pic.twitter.com/rjnknxuznI
— Pitito100 (@Pitito100) September 3, 2018
Sokratis needs a Premier League experienced defensive partner who could tell him all about the style of play of different teams A.K.A Laurent Koscielney. With the Frenchman’s pace and Sokratis’ tackling skill, the defensive pair would be brilliant. Hummels helped Sokratis and acted as a mentor in the Bundesliga and I hope ‘Lolo’ could do the same. We just have to wait for our skipper to return.
Dinos Mavropanos was a surprise last season. His impressive performances against Burnley and Manchester United caught the eye of many fans. One of the main reasons we brought in Sokratis was to supplement Mavropanos.
Meanwhile, there were transfer rumours of Kostas Manloas, who is also Greek, being linked with a move to the Emirates, but because of Sven Mislintat‘s history, Sokratis was brought in to help Mavropanos’ integrations. With Mustafi performing poorly and Koscielny not coming back for the next 4-5 weeks, we could see the Greek defensive duo in games to come.
Sokratis on Mavropanos:
— Urban Arsenal (@ArsenalUrban) July 20, 2018
The best of Sokratis is surely yet to come. We have to let time show its magic for Sokratis. The more matches he plays, the more experience he gains in the English League and hence the quicker he adapts to the playing style of the league. He had a slow start to his Bundesliga career, but with time, he was named the best player in a team including Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Marco Reus etc. Hence, our Greek god needs both time and experience in the league to become the very best.