Didn’t Arsenal buy Sokratis to defend?

If there was one Arsenal player that came in for a lot of criticism after our 8-0 destruction of Boreham Wood, it was our new signing Sokratis. The big Greek looked bumbling and unfit and was compared to Per Mertesacker at his slowest.

But it is our first game and he will certainly improve and get fitter as the new season approaches and we shouldn’t worry too much just yet. One thing caught my eye from the Bundesliga specialist Max Bielefeld, who watched the 30 year-old many times at Dortmund. He isn’t sure that Sokratis will fit into Arsenal’s free flowing style of attacking from the back. The Sky Germany reporter said: “Sokratis Papadopoulos is a defender I imagine performing pretty well in the Premier League.

“He’s good in the one-on-one situations, he’s a good header of the ball, he’s really aggressive kind of defender.

“But he always has had his limits when it comes to playing the ball out the back, producing some play. You can’t compare him to Jerome Boateng who really likes to play the vertical passes from defence.

“He has some problems with the ball. Without the ball he is a really heavy defender.”

I, for one, am not worried about that. We have been crying out for a solid presence at the back whose sole job is to stop our opponents. Last season we had too many defenders bursting forward to try and get amongst the goals instead of concentrating on their main job, and if Sokratis is that man that will defend to the death then I am very happy. Don’t worry about his fitness, that will come….



  1. Angello says:

    He will shine in Arsenal shirt. Let’s give him the chance

    1. Dalinho says:

      Are u serious?
      Did u see SOKATIS?
      30 yr olds don’t forget how to defend
      B’wood are not competition to expirienced CBs
      I could play better than Sokratis with hang over!
      He ain’t interested, no pace, not tall, short leap, average strength, no concentration, lazy, bad positioning I could keep going!
      Funny how Mustafi, Holding, Chambers and Mavropanos all looked sharp and in tune to what they’ve been learning under Emery while training at the same time as Sokratis and there far younger with less experience!
      Same with Bellerin and Kolansinac, they both lack a natural football brain and defenders make a living off reading the game! Emery is trying hard to teach them both how to play full back correctly bcoz they have the physical ability!
      Adding Sokratis to that equation and we have a wenger style defence!
      Our best back 4 is:
      Monreal Mavropanos Chambers Lichtsteiner

      We need a serious rebuild at the back, buy 2 young world class full backs and a tall, strong, fast commanding CB just like Man City did in peps second season!
      As it stands we have 2 WC strikers but will let in more goals from crosses n set pieces than anyone else in the prem!
      Let’s hope we rebuild our back 4 while laca n Auba are still banging in goals at the club, otherwise we will waste another amazing attack like we did with RVP, Nasri and cesc coz wenger thought sendaros n djourou would work out!

      1. Spartan says:

        “I could play better than Sokratis with hang over!
        He ain’t interested, no pace, not tall, short leap, average strength, no concentration, lazy, bad positioning I could keep going!”

        Funny how you say you can play better than Sokratis yet we haven’t heard of you and you aren’t signed to any club even a non league club. The recruitment team and the head coach decided sokratis was a good add for the our defence so making such assumptions after one game is uncalled for.


  2. Nasser says:

    Give the lad sometimes to cope with our style of play.we cant judge him based on a one game performance,and a friendly match for that mater

    1. Shekar233 says:

      Yeah..keep playing fifa18 …u must be waiting for fifa19 to release..so that you can win the champions league with ur beloved mancity…

      Grow up and try giving people thier due chance…ffs we gave a man well over 10years even though we were not performing the way we should have.

      1. Shekar233 says:

        This aimed at dalinho. Not Nasser.. I was pretty sure that i posted it under the correct comment..whats happening admin ?

  3. Pablo Picasso says:

    Then play him with a ball playing partner or allow our DM to play closer to him. This worked in the past with the Coq and Carzola combination.

    I have slight reservations of course about him being slow or over aggressive but if he implements the destroyer part well enough, others should step up to take the pressure off him. Players like Kante or Umtiti don’t have very good ball playing skills either but no one can question there ability to influence games.

  4. Mobella says:

    No, he was bought to scout new defenders while playing as a striker.

  5. gotanidea says:

    Sokratis will be the benchmark of Mislintat’s work this season. Sokratis is not a young player, therefore it should be easier to be examined, before purchasing him

    If Arsenal are looking for a ball playing CB, Yerry Mina is the solution. And if they are looking for a towering CB, Sokratis is not the answer, it should be someone like Koulibaly

    Maybe he is rusty because of the holidays. Let’s see whether he is another disaster or a revelation

    1. Gio says:

      I think you are wrong about Mina.
      You can’t judge him only for a couple of games in the World Cup

      I used to watch him a lot here on Brazil, and he is very bad, i still don’t know how he ended up in Barcelona.

    2. RSH says:

      Barca are already trying to get rid of Mina. Tells you something about his quality and they mustve not been impressed with him in training or the few games he started, which he was not good in. It’s really just his height that makes him useful.

  6. ruelando says:

    i thought this conversation was about Sokratis the DEFENDER, anyway, i hope he proves me wrong because his first showing was nothing to write home about

  7. alan B'stard M P says:

    he’ll flop

    1. Khadii says:

      Really?…. I thought he’ll flip..

    2. Khadii says:

      Really?…. I thought he’d flip..

  8. Someone says:

    He has played only 45 minutes in a friendly match , that’s not enough to judge ANY player , let alone the new ones. Give Sokratis time and i’m sure he will show his abilities.

  9. Ken1945 says:

    Why not give our new signings an opportunity to adapt to a new club, new manager, new system, new teammates and in a new country?
    Emery has been so active since his arrival and anyone who expects him to have the team perfectly balanced after one game must live in cloud cuckoo land.
    I love the way he is assessing the players and Chamber’s revelation that Emery is looking at him in a possible midfield role vindicates those of us who advocated that professional footballers should, within reason, be able to adapt to any position.
    None of this nonsense about being bought as a right back so can only play there theories.
    Emery is exceeding all my views on his approach to the managers position and I firmly believe he left the transfer window open for a reason…he still has a further signing in mind.
    Furthermore, he is going to complete the process of getting our club back to where it belongs, by utilising the group of players that he inherited plus the new signings, of that I have no doubt whatsoever…. despite the crooked owner and board fleecing the club.

    1. jon fox says:

      Good to see that YOU too are now onboard regarding the “crooked ” owner and board fleecing the club. You once asked me to provide evidence for saying exactly the same. I do not however, put even Kroenke in the same lowlife bracket as the Glazers and Mike Ashley and some of the dreadful ego maniacs RECENTLY at places like Leeds and elsewhere. On a wider point , I do not see how ANY multi billionaire can ever get there without being corrupt, though the degree of corruptness will obviously vary. Rapacious and out of control capitalism is the enemy of our sport. And I am NOT a left wing socialist/ Marxist. FAR FROM IT IN FACT.

      1. Ken1945 says:

        Jon Jon Jon, why do you always have to challenge me!?
        If you look back at previous posts, I quite openly thanked you for bringing the Gazidis factor to my attention. I followed it up and agreed completely with your assessments of the man.
        But, just for the record, I thank you once again for your due diligence.
        However, Kronkie is not something you can claim fame to!!!
        My questioning of this man began when he managed to get the shares of Lady BSmith in such a devious way.
        Then he followed up by getting the board to refuse any new board members, thus stopping Usmanov any say in the club.
        That was despite the nearly 40% share capital the man had.
        Then the payment for consultation advice was the final insult to the supporters of the club who pay their hard-earned money to follow this club.
        You don’t believe he is as bad as this or that billionaire?
        Then please tell me and all the other thousands of supporters who are asking the question… what has happened to the club’s money?
        Why has Emery, reportedly, only got a £70. million transfer budget?
        Who has the ability and know-how to gain access to this money?
        By the way and back to the article, do you agree with my assessment of Emery’s performance so far?

        1. jon fox says:

          Ken, you have just amply provide the very evidence you once asked me to provide. If you wanted Kroenke out all along and Gazidis too then we have nowt to argue about (at least not on that subject. I still want them BOTH out ASAP.) MANY ON HERE NOW CONSIDER GAZIDIS THE GREATEST THING SINCE SLICED BREAD. I do not so easily forget his treachery to us fans , his lies, falsehoods and half truths designed to deceive us into buying season tickets, merchandise and not complain. BTW, Ken, I challenge many other people too; it is never personal and I hope you know I have huge respect for you. That is quite irrelevent of whether or not we share the same opinion on this or that subject. And yes, I most certainly DO agree with your assessment of Emery so far. In fact I am as excited as a young child a day before Christmas. You may care to read my stern challenge, and defend Wenger in doing so , in the topic following this one (In my reply to Chiza). I told him he should check his Arsenal facts and was right to tell him so. At least you and I have our facts at hand going back to “dinosaur” days, or so it seems, at times. I KEEP PROMISING MYSELF I WILL CONTRIBUTE ANOTHER “OLD DAYS” ARTICLE. TROUBLE IS MANY YOUNGSTERS JUST DON’T CARE ABOUT OUR HISTORY. But I’ll get round to it soon!

          1. Ken1945 says:

            That’s if you don’t forget to do it Jon!!!!
            There has to be something for us to debate and I am sure someone on here will upset one of us and not the other.
            Have you noticed how the debates are more interesting now that the emphasis is on the coming season and what Emery has been up to?
            My season ticket ‘investigation’ is nearly complete, just got to devise a spreadsheet.
            Hope fans will find it interesting and informative.
            Going to check your reply to Chiza now.

          2. OzzieGunner says:

            Rapacious and out out of control capitalism is the enemy of the world as a whole, not just football!

    2. Pablo Picasso says:

      I find the Chambers experiment refreshing too and I hope it continues throughout pre season.

      It might work out either way, with his energy, defensive skill, and some aggression Chambers might turn out into a very good DM once he learns the position. If not we might have a good ball playing CB who can intercept, start attacks, and read the game better.

      1. Dalinho says:

        Yeh Chambers played well so did Holding, Mustafi, Mavropanos so it’s seriously wrong when a 30 yr old CB forgets how to defend!

        1. OzzieGunner says:

          Pablo, a number of us called on justarsenal for Chambers to be given opportunities at DM during the Wenger years to no avail. “Refreshing” is right.

    3. Ingleby says:

      Yes, can’t disagree with any of this. I don’t recall the Prem being choc full of ball playing virtuoso centre-backs and the brick outhouse variety has seemed more than capable at denying us goals and also pressurising our defence at set-pieces.
      A thoughtful assessment of playing staff and the additions made so far will provide an interesting season under the new management. We haven’t spent £70M because of the Toreira instalment plan so, combined with a few deadwood sales our available funds will be something like £40M. We will be able to bring in an extra, decent quality, player if deemed necessary. This coming season is a transitional one and level headed thoughtful management is what is required, because the Yank won’t be generous and a weeding out process is needed. Next year, what is required to move forward will be more apparent to everyone.

      1. Ken1945 says:

        Good point on the instalment plan Ingleby.
        I keep forgetting that fact.
        That makes it even more probable that Emery still has an ace up his sleeve don’t you think?

        1. Ingleby says:

          Yes, Ken. I think we will see at least one more and depending on the Ramsey outcome maybe more. N’Zonzi looks possible, but £35M for a 29 year old doesn’t seem very ‘Arsenal-like’. I think Meyer is more likely and if Ramsey goes then possibly an outlay on a more high profile addition.
          It’s tempting to say Mustafi should be unloaded, but too many changes will give the manager an impossible task over the first season. I’ve never really taken to Koscielny who has always looked too nervy to me. Just my opinion and I know he has a lot of fans.

  10. Goonerbeall says:

    Pablo, you did’not watch the game yesterday?. Kante was made to look inferior by ballplaying Croatia players and was made to leave the pitch for Nzonzi and look what happened thereafter. I am surprised our new boy is found wanting by players at Borehamwood. It could also be just a bad day at the office. Give him time he will come good.

    1. Pablo Picasso says:

      Goonerbeall I did watch the game and there was more to it for the Kante sub.

      You cant denial his definitely in the team of the tournament and that player can virtually walk into any team in the world because of what he brings to his teams. His a midfield destroyer or ball winner, after that he passes it quickly to a better technical player like Pogba or Matuidi.

      Anyway you summarize it well that every player has an off day. Papa will come good is well managed even at his age.

      1. Khadii says:

        Kante played the game with a bug..
        Wasn’t feeling alright before the game

        1. Ken1945 says:

          Shouldn’t have played then.
          After all, it was a world cup final.

    2. Angello says:

      Arsenal fans complain too much, just a 45mins and they are already calling for the guy’s head. The guy is 30years old and so?

  11. byron says:

    let the fans hate on him like they hated on Metezacker the truth is Koscielny never looked the same without per and together they were one of the best defenses in the premier league. Per semi- retired and we went to hell

  12. Gifted says:

    Socratis is a short-term fix…At 30 years of age, I dont expect him to improve much..I think our long term cb pairing will be Chambers and Mavropanos as I highly rate them…I just wish unai goes for Wilfried Zaha for the left wing..The guy can has pace, can dribble, shoots and scores goals as well

  13. John Ibrahim says:

    hes only 30 yo lets give a chance to adapt

  14. Midkemma says:

    I will see if Sokratis can do the job, I am not keen on his signing but I will give the guy a chance to make me change my mind. Chambers did.

    Chambers in DM was interesting, when looking more at it, I do feel it will be a short term pos for Chambers. We don’t have a DM ready for the City game and Chambers could fill that role which COULD cover Sokratis.

    I am eager to see Chambers develop and see if he will go back to being a CB or if he will be converted to a DM from now on.

  15. John Ibrahim says:

    players are humans too…they need time to adapt to country and club

  16. peter says:

    did we concede? for me its better he plays badly so long as we do not concede!!!!

    1. Innit says:

      It was Boreham Wood

  17. RSH says:

    Imagine drawing conclusions from a friendly against Borehamwood. Point of friendlys is to aid in the process of regaining fitness. Watch him put Aguero in his pocket opening day now

  18. Nicholas says:

    Personally, I am sceptical about sokraris and would rather have bought soyuncu who is more mobile and good with the ball at his feet.

    I will get behind sokraris regardless (as you all should) Arsenal have quality players that have stalled under the previous regime. We can see clear differences in how emery is approaching pre season and this fills me with hope that we can get back into the top 4.

  19. Jeremy says:

    Honestly, I don’t think Defenders are too old at 30, BFG aside of course.

    Adams retired at 36 and Marco Materazzi was old too.

    Not sure what the rant about players being 30, is about? Are we looking for U-21 players?

    Of course, we would love to see young defenders. But they don’t really come cheap and Arsenal FC don’t produce good CB because the old dinosaur doesn’t believe in defending.

    1. OzzieGunner says:


  20. Arsenal fan says:

    Arsenal needs a WORLD CLASS CB , kos is injured. Imagine facing Aguero Jesus Mahrez against mustafi holding socratis ..?

  21. Arsenal fan says:

    Mustafi Socratis Holding Chambers Mavrapanos enough to win the EPL??? I Dont know about that mehn!! Kocielny is our best defender still. I really hope the names above will step up their games and play with a new found spirit filled with energy and commitment under Unai. #EmeryEmirates

  22. ruelando says:

    There is more test coming so we will be able to get a better assessment of Sokratis, whether Callum role as DM was a ‘just for the occasion” or ” experiment with further use in mind”. I always thought he would be best suited for DM good enough pace, good enough technically and tackles, anyway we will see.

    Ok Jenkinson, who i think has been unfairly treated by arsenal better defensively than Bellerin and is a better crosser of the ball, i am interested to see what Emery thinks of him, the tour will tell us a lot

  23. Durand says:

    I’d love to see AMN paired with Torreira in the midfield. Sit Ramsey until he signs extension, or sell him on.

    AMN is faster, more technical, can run with any attacker, and good at winning the ball.

    Torreria shielding CB’s will help AMN with any learning curve, and team doesn’t need him standing around in opponents box. Rather just break opponents line and find Ozil, Mhki, Lacazette or Aubamayang and let them do their job.

    AMN is the future in midfield IMHO, he needs to be playing more, and if other players get benched, oh well. Hopefully Emery lets competition rule the day as opposex to favoritism.

    1. Durand says:

      Opposed, have no idea what opposex is. Stupid spell auto correct.

      1. Kenny Rolfe says:

        Maybe you had something else on your mind Durand. Anyway agreed your post.

  24. Senile says:

    Been slow but aggressive may cut it in other leagues. It will get you ‘killed’ by attackers and on the referees’ blacklist in the epl.

  25. Break-on-through says:

    I don’t remember Boreham wood troubling us at all, maybe they did but I don’t recall it. Surely he wasn’t as bad as people here are making out, otherwise there’d be goals or close calls and I didn’t see much of that. I did tune out a little after seeing how easy Auba was finding things, but I don’t remember the ball being near our area often. Could this be people making some drama, 8 -0 and we have a player on our side who wouldn’t cut it in non league??

  26. OzzieGunner says:

    What’s all this BS about ” ball playing” CB’s. What Arsenal needs is a no nonsense CB, who wins the ball from his opponents, is physical so they look for him in their worst nightmares and who reefs the ball upfield to safety. Look what a goose Hugo Lloris looked trying to be a ball playing goal keeper! Arsenal had a number of defensive errors due to defenders not taking the simple option last season.

    1. Gunman says:

      Sokratis is no improvement on Mustafi. We need young and versatile CBs not over the hill free transfers

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