I don’t suppose that Sokratis Papastathopoulos is the favourite player of many Arsenal fans.
When the bean counters are working out which players’ names have been the most popular for shirt sales I doubt that the Greek Colossus features highly on the list.
And to be fair, if you wanted a shirt with his full surname on it you’d need shoulders as wide as Neil Ruddock’s arse.
But… (or should that be ‘butt’?)… I want to say a word or two in favour of Sokratis.
I am motivated by the news that he has been excluded from our Europa League squad (along with Mesut Ozil) and will also apparently be left out of our Premier League squad list, due on October 20th.
He’s a victim of problems we have meeting the criteria for home grown players etc, an issue aggravated by our inability to move players on during the transfer window (including him).
We were left with more central defenders than the sea wall at Brighton, making it inevitable that someone in that position would be left out.
Supposedly Sokratis came close to securing a move but it didn’t pan out and now he’s to be left in the cold.
It feels unfair on a player who always gave 100% every time he pulled on an Arsenal shirt. He may not have been a Tony Adams or a Sol Campbell, but he is a solid defender who did well for us at CB and also at RB when called upon.
At times during the last two seasons he seemed to be the only defender we had who was prepared to show a bit of muscle when needed.
There are two opportunities now for him to salvage his season:
1) The club ends his contract and lets him seek a role as a free agent. This is what West Ham have done for Jack Wilshire. In that case he could go to Europe or elsewhere as an out-of-contract player (I believe).
2) He gets a loan out to a club in the Championship or the Scottish Premier League. Both may feel like a step down, but a robust and experienced defender like Sokratis could make a huge contribution at a SPL club or a team vying for promotion from the Championship. Any of those teams whose start to the new season has been hampered by a leaky defence could do a lot worse than put a Sok in it.
No doubt we’d have to pay part of his wages, but without a move we’d he paying a hundred percent of them, so that’s a no brainier.
Whatever happens, I appreciate the committed performances Sokratis has given us and wish him nothing but success for the future.
Yep, agree, Sokratis always gives the best he can and wish him well, where ever he goes.
Thanks for something different Rocky. I’m surprised by your suggestion that he’s Marmite for Arsenalistas. I for one have loved having him in the squad – a bit of a throwback but 100% honest and committed. No doubt we were always looking for a step up in quality, but he plugged a gap at the time. I’d love to see him squaring up to Championship teams – unstoppable versus immovable!
On a level playing field (one that isn’t loaded in favour of David Luizs invisible passing ability) Sok should be in with a good chance of starting. Strong argument that hes our best pure defender. But its been decided his face doesn’t fit. A loan or free to one of the leagues whose window is still open is more deserving. Hes not a championship player, unless there was a Leeds, Newcastle or other huge club on the verge of a return.
A throwback certainly. Certainly not so far short of Mustafi for me, which says a lot about our centre backs for several years!!
Loved his reaction in one game, like some kind of silver back gorilla beating his chest, when he made a successful last ditch tackle in the penalty area……without getting booked or giving away a penalty!!
Good luck Sok!
Thanks for the comments.
When the Europa squad was announced and Sok and Ozil were left out, everyone wanted to talk about the German but no-one mentioned poor Sokratis, which I thought was unfair.
Maxwell – I didn’t suggest he’s Marmite, just that he’s probably not many fans number one favourite player (ie the one whose name they would wear on their back). It’s partly because he does his job in such an unfussy, un-showy way. As others have said – a very good defender who deserves better.
I always thought sokratis was a horrible transfer
I am Greek and it’s no surprise that i like him. Having said that i totally agree with your article and although he may not be a top player for Arsenal (yet to be seen from the present squad) he did indeed give his best at each game he played and scored a few goals for us.
Why now to a player that has offered what he could you treat him like that is beyond me. Equally that Arsenal prefer to pay full wages to him and others whilst they are firing people foe financial reasons.
This is not the Arsenal I like.
send the Sok to the Rams. Its time for Derby to return
Hate the Interlull!
If Kieran is out, I’d stick with three at the back for Shitty
Holding Luiz Gabriel
Bellerin Ceballos Saka
Willian Laca Aubang
No injuries please in next few days. Sure, I’d throw Partey in, but not as a No 10. Idiot!
A propos Phaedon’s comment: whereas the club clearly made two publicity howlers regarding redundancies, the picture is not as has been painted by the muck-rakers. The infamous”55” were not sackings, which can’t be disguised as ‘redundancies’, but to do with the club’s move to software analysis based scouting. Gunnersaurus, it was made plain, was being mothballed in the absence of spectators in stadia, and will return. The latter was understandable, but really stupid.
Rocky, thank you for correcting my misinterpretation of your exposition – with which I completely agree, now I have re-read what you actually wrote!