Gunners light at the back as Emery sweats on Sokratis injury

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Rob Holding and Shkodran Mustafi could pair up in the centre of Arsenal’s defence across three competitions in the coming weeks if the injury that forced Sokratis off the field on Sunday proves serious.

The Greece international was subbed off in the first half of the 2-0 win over Everton after sustaining a knock to his knee following a late challenge on Theo Walcott.

The summer signing, who was booked for the foul, initially tried to play through the pain but was replaced by Holding on 39 minutes.

In his absence, the Gunners, courtesy of an expert display by Petr Cech, held on to claim their first clean sheet of the season.

As a result of Sokrati’s knock, Unai Emery has something of a selection headache ahead of Wednesday’s Carabao Cup game with Brentford. Does he stick with Mustafi and Holding despite the competition being a lower priority? Or, in the absence of Dinos Mavropanos who is said to be nursing a groin problem, does he throw another youngster into the fray.

We’re not really sure what the deal is with our younger Greek, he wasn’t part of the squad to face Vorskla and the medical team haven’t included any details about him in their medical bulletins.

Julio Pleguezuelo, 21, might have been a potential option to fill-in but he also picked up an injury playing for Freddie Ljungberg’s under-23s in their 4-0 win over Liverpool.

Arsenal have four games in the next two weeks. After Brentford we face Watford at home in the Premier League, then trips to Azerbaijan side Qarabag in Baku and Fulham.

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GoonerMac
GoonerMac

Holding has looked really solid in the last couple of games……worried that one more injury leaves us in trouble…..how’s Koscielny doing!

myrtle
myrtle

“Gunners light at the back” – September 24th
We’re in for a long season folks

Mpls
Mpls

I wonder how Calum’s season is going.

thw14
thw14

Lichtsteiner maybe? Have a feeling we’re due for a bit more of Monreal in the middle. Ah well, plus ca change…

Ross
Ross

I would like to see him at CB and this could be a good game to test it. His experience alongside a younger CB could be good and it’s not like Mustafi (and so far Sokratis) are especially convincing

Mc1892
Mc1892

Been pleasantly surprised by Sokratis myself. Far more level headed than I was expecting. Mustafi is probably my least favourite Arsenal player ever. Appreciate he’s by no means the worst, but every time he screws up he points and shouts at someone else, or just trots off like nothing’s happened, or raises his arm demanding offside or a foul despite the opposition clearly being onside and there being no foul. I’ll always cheer him, of course, but for me he’s never going to be the standard we need.

Yagaru
Yagaru

Or goes off injured. I remember his embarrassment injury last season at home to United after screwing up.

Merteslacker
Merteslacker

I remember pre-season some folks were already writing off Sokratis for being too old/slow/rash/etc and after two impressive games seem to be concluding he’s by far the best Arsenal defender we currently have.

I’m happy with Sokratis progress but we need to be patient with him. Same goes with Mustafi, I’m sure if he can put a run of 2-3 good games, everyone will start singing the praises again and forget the talk about Mustafi being the worst first team defender of all time

Mc1892
Mc1892

I’ve not seen anyone say that. But thus far he’s made no glaring errors, that’s all. I was fearing the worst!

It’s all well and good saying that, but Mustafi is yet to put together a run of 2-3 good games in his entire arsenal career. That says it all for me. Happy to be proven wrong mind!

Mpls
Mpls

Unfortunately we don’t have Kolasinac right now either, so Nacho moving around isn’t really an option except maybe in the small cups with one of the Academy players on the left.

I could see Lichtsteiner pulled into the back line, although Mustafi seems to be only played on the right side of the center pairing.

Let’s just hope Holding and Mustafi stay fit until this problem abates.

Martin
Martin

It just makes the loaning out of Chambers so odd.

Elliott Wave
Elliott Wave

I have been following Chambers at Fulham and i am not impressed at all with his performances. It is a shame that Pleguesuelo cannot play the next game because he looks like a very good prospect.

David Hillier's luggage
David Hillier's luggage

Elneny? I know Emery hasn’t tried him at CB and he only played there in a back 3/5 last season, but he could be an option in an emergency.

Sheffield Gooner
Sheffield Gooner

Agreed – he’s surely good enough there for the cup competitions…

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

The Chambers decision looks even stranger now…

Santi’s Flip Flop
Santi’s Flip Flop

Yet another reason, if you needed it, that loaning Calum to the Cottage was stupid as fuck.

myrtle
myrtle

He’s warming the bench there as well!

Martin
Martin

He played on Saturday

TeeCee
TeeCee

On the bright side, we have a load of injuries at CB and yet still have two to play.
This is something of a novelty for us.

Hantal
Hantal

Depressingly true

rugrat
rugrat

mustafi has upped his game. he doesn’t just cost us goals but also players now!

Avo84
Avo84

Lol

santori
santori

Mustafi-Holding managed a clean sheet.

Holding should look more and more the part having turned 23yrs. He certainly I felt put in a good shift.

With Torreira inf ront of them next to either Granit or Guendouzi, we should be OK.

BUT yes we will need Sokratis back in frame (which begs the question why we sent Chambers on loan)

BOTH Chambers and Nelson loans IMO are somewhat short sighted.

Whilst it benefits both players, it is less tangible positive for the team given depth issues out wide and whether Mavropanos (largely untried) is ready.

That said, we will have an opportunity to assess the young Greek probably midweek plus give Holding more time.

BUT we do need Sokratis back. His experience is shining through for us in terms of barking out instructions to organise the team. Like the way he took Mustafi to task to clear the ball on one occasion where Sokratis had to give up a free kick on the edge of our box.

Whilst I felt we could have bought better for Cback in the summer, I feel the Greek certainly carries the weight to command some respect with his years and Emery should make him captain to organise us at least defensively. I simply do not get this whole five captains thing.

santori
santori

Against Brentford, we need to audition the hopefuls or play those who need more game time

……………………………..Welbeck……………………………….
Iwobi……………………….Mhki…………………….Smith-Rowe
………………..Willock……………….Elneny…………………….
Ossei-Tutu………………………………………………Lichsteiner
………………….Mavro…………….Holding………………………
……………………………..Leno……………………………………

Brendan from nY
Brendan from nY

Elneny or Monreal, Liechtsteiner if desperate. It sounds funny but Welbz could have been a great CB. He is good at set pieces, good recovery speed, good tackler and ball winner. In a pinch, he could do a job. He has a versatile skill set

Goonerink

Might be wrong but think he started there as a kid?

Billy Bob
Billy Bob

Maybe play a three man defence?

No Longer Laughing Stock
No Longer Laughing Stock

We need to inject Laurent with whatever those fucking chinese swimmers were taking at the Olympics. Need the captain back right now.

alderweireld science
alderweireld science

Who’s got bacary sagna’s mobile number?

manty
manty

Currently plays in the MLS.