Arsenal full season Player reviews Part 3 – Centre-backs

Here we have Alfie’s 3rd in depth assessment of this season’s performances – Player by Player

Today he covers our centre-backs…

A solid first season in English football for the no-nonsense, (often too) aggressive and bullish Greek centre-back. He came to the club off the back of a poor season at Dortmund and many (including myself) were sceptical of the acquisition. He was seen as an ageing, declining and slow centre-back that could potentially struggle with the pace of the English game. However, he surprised many of us with his intense physicality, deceptive speed and eagerness to defend aggressively. Sokratis quickly adapted to the League and thrived for long periods of the campaign, and there was a stage where we looked hopeless defensively in his absence. However, like many of our squad, he finished the season poorly, and perhaps some gaps in his game started to appear, as he often looked too rash and eager to get in front of defenders, that it often made him positionally weak. Overall however, one of our better defenders in a weak domestic defensive campaign, and one that has a future at the club. ? VERDICT: 7️⃣ –


An unexpectedly impressive season for Koscielny on the whole. After his traumatic and heart-breaking injury against Atlético last season, collectively we feared the worst for the Frenchman’s career, but he came back and looked relatively comfortable again, massively exceeding our expectations. Despite an initial, understandably tough start, once he regained his match fitness and sharpness, he regained his form and looked irreplaceable at times (mainly due to the poor or lack of alternatives). However, weeks in which he was forced to play up to 3 games in he understandably looked tired and fragile at his age and with his history with injuries, and that meant inconsistency. On the whole though, I didn’t expect him to be capable of some of the performances that he produced and personally I would run-out his contract, keeping him for a final year as an alternative option and for the experience. ?VERDICT: 7️⃣ –


A brilliant first half of the season that was abruptly put to an end with a serious and damaging knee injury sustained at Old Trafford in early December. The Englishman began the season in fine form, coming into a struggling Arsenal defence and essentially solidifying and stabilising it during the side’s 22 game unbeaten run between August and December. In this period, he demonstrated the attributes he began to show in the back end of the 16-17 season, his very good ball playing ability, his ability to impose himself on defenders and his positional awareness. The injury came at a time where he had really consolidated his position in the team and was looking pivotal to our defensive set up. There was then a direct down-spiral in our results immediately after the injury, showing how just how important he had become. He’s scheduled to return for pre-season and let’s hope this injury hasn’t deterred his momentum. ?VERDICT: 7️⃣ –


Honestly, what can I say about this guy? Another poor season at the club and I find it utterly astonishing that he’s been here for 3 years. He continually shows signs of being an adequate defender, brilliant aerially and puts in some good, crunching tackles, but then he goes and makes an appalling, unexplainable error. Ultimately, whilst he’s not as shocking in his overall game as people often make out (impulsively), he’s certainly had far too many opportunities at this club, has continually disappointed and is essentially a defensive liability on the most part. He must go for the sake of his own career and for the sake of Arsenal Football club. ?VERDICT: 3️⃣ –

Do you agree? ⬇️

By Alfie Culshaw


  1. Lupe says:

    More like 6 for both Sokratis and Koscielny but i agree with the other two.

  2. Edward Watkins says:

    Keep only Rob Holding and Sokratis

    1. Atid says:

      I would add mavropanos and bielik to that list, sign 2 new centre backs and loan mavropanos out to lower premier league side where he is likely to get some action.

      Sell a whole back 4 and use whatever we can get for kolasinac too we could get 50m for Jenkinson mustafi koscielny Monreal and kolsainac. That should be enough to get Meunier Andersen and Tierney then draft in cahill and Moreno as experienced back up

      Starting back4
      Meunier Sokratis Andersen Tierney
      Bellerin cahill holding moreno
      In depth
      Osei-tutu bielik ballard thompson
      (mavropanos and medley go on loan preferably the same club)

  3. Edward Watkins says:

    Arsenal need to change :

    Goalkeeper :



    Bellerin / Saliba / Upamecano / Sokratis or Holding / Tierney or Kolasinac

    Midfielders :

    Chambers / Xhaka or Torreira

    Ofense :

    (10 )
    Ismail Serr

    Lacazette / Aubameyang

  4. jon fox says:

    Alfie actually rates the poor Sokratis, AKA the wrestler, AND kOSCIELNY THE SAME MARK. laughable Alfie! You are prone to vastly overrating most of our players in your previous ratings. It is generally accepted that a seven mark means good and a six mark average. As you consider Sokratis good, I recommend a learning video course for you defensive ratings education. Try watching tapes of the Adams, Bould defence, if you even know who they are. My marks, for the little they are worth, are for Koscielny a six and Sokratis a five(being generous) I do however agree with Mustafi gaining a three(again being generous). Bould and Adams were regularly eights and nines at their peak and sometimes tens. If you intend to give ratings you ought to learn what the standard newspaper ratings mean , if you are to be taken seriously. Otherwise your own regularly far too high marks, will be scorned by wiser fans. It does NOT help Arsenal to overrate distinctly moderate players like “wrestling” Sokratis.

    1. Sergio says:

      I think you’re too harsh on Sokratis. Yes he has an aggressive, direct and physical style but more often than not it’s effective and gets the job done. He was our best defender this season.

      Sokratis 6
      Koscielny 5
      Holding 6
      Mustafi 3
      Movrapanos 4

    2. Alfie says:

      Thanks for your incredibly condescending comment! Have a good day ?‍♂️

  5. ThirdManJW says:

    When you consider how shocking we have been defensively this season, I am not sure how 75% of our CB’s get good ratings? A bit harsh to judge Mavro because of his long injury lay off, and he barely played, but he did play. So he should have been rated.

    Sok – 6
    Kos – 6
    Hold – 7
    Must – 3
    Mavro – 4

  6. Brainbox says:

    Mavropanos is a good centre back , he’s always shaking on the ball and he cant make a tackle to save his life.
    Fans should stop thinking that he’s part of arsenals future.

    1. ClassyGunner says:

      Which Mavro have you been watching, Sir?

  7. ForeverGooner says:

    Sokratis 6.0
    Koscielny 8.0
    Holding 6.5
    Mustafi 2.5
    Mavrapanos didn’t play that much

    Koscielny was by far our best CB last season

    If we can get £10 mil for him, sell him. Otherwise he will still be useful to have on the bench.

    Show respect to him. He has been our BEST CB for many years. Arguably our best CB since Sol Campbell

  8. Grandad says:

    Solid is not the word I would use to describe Socratis based on his first season in the PL.In my opinion he is only marginally better than Mustafi and basically not good enough for Arsenal.He lacks height, pace and composure and the fact that he needs to commit so many fouls is testament to his limited ability.He along with Mustafi and sadly Kocielney are no longer up to the standard we need and all three should be moved on asap.Bei!ik and Chambers along with the very promising Holding should be retained and the immensely talented Saliba should be brought in.This would give us a group of young centre backs with the physical presence we have lacked for some time.Mavroponas who I am confident will make the grade should be loaned, preferably to Charlton next season.Ideally I would have wished to buy a top quality ,fully established centre back, but beggars cannot be choosers.

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