Defenders are usually the first and last to receive criticism following a bad defeat. Although sometimes understandable there can be no doubting that social media has made the critics more powerful than ever before.
Sokratis Papastathopoulos arrived at Arsenal last season for a fee in the region of £20m and immediately became a fans’ favourite with his tendency to celebrate winning tackles and solidfying a previously weak back four.
The Greek international has become a mainstay of the Gunners team and has performances this season have drawn critics, most notably because of a misplaced pass in the defeat to Watford.
It’s fair to say some people have short memories, as Sokratis is the man who kept Harry Kane “anonymous” in Arsenal’s 2-2 draw with Tottenham at the start of the season. That is how Premier League legend Alan Shearer described the “commanding” performance of the 31-year-old.
Mistakes are always magnified when you play at centre back, but there can be no doubting Sokratis’ numbers. Statisically, he has improved with his aerial duels, he’s blocking more shots and making 83% fewer fouls than last season.
Arsenal have a plethora of options at centre back but Sokratis remains the leader that the club have required for years. He has the respect of the dressing room and even if the fans opinion changes from time to time, his experience in defence is absolutely crucial.
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