The yellow card picked up by Sokratis in the first half of our 1-0 defeat to Everton yesterday was his 10th of the season, and as such he will now face a two game ban for cumulative yellow cards.

Had he avoided a booking yesterday he’d have escaped as the deadline for that punishment would have passed, but the Greek international will now miss Monday’s trip to Watford and the home game against Crystal Palace.

It leaves Unai Emery and Arsenal hoping that Laurent Koscielny can overcome the foot problem which has kept him out of our last two matches. In the aftermath of Goodison Park, the Arsenal boss cast doubt over his potential inclusion for this week’s Europa League quarter-final first leg with Napoli, saying of the captain and midfielder Granit Xhaka, “They are doubts for Thursday.”

It’s an untimely suspension but not an unexpected one. Sokratis does like to play on the edge, and the totting up of yellows makes him this season’s most booked player.

Our options at centre-half are limited enough as it is, and Emery doesn’t seem ready yet to include Dinos Mavropanos in the first team squad.

Sokratis is eligible for Thursday of course, and the Gunners will also be boosted by the return of Lucas Torreira to domestic action on Monday as he completed his three game ban yesterday and will be available for selection when he go to Vicarage Road.

Check out the brand new Arsecast Extra, discussing Everton, our away form and much more

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Sue

Of all the players you’d want to start at Vicarage Road – Sokratis was definitely one of them.. so now he’s out is a huge blow! If Kos doesn’t make it, well it doesn’t bear thinking about & after how we (& Watford) played yesterday, it’s not looking good is it?
Oh I’m full of the joys of spring today 😂

Yankee Gooner
Yankee Gooner

I’m having deja vu

Jacob
Jacob

I listened to the first half hour. You didn’t mention tactics. Everton adopted tactics which Arsenal did not deal with very well:
– almost every time Pickford distributed the ball, he hoofed it down the field onto Arsenal’s defensive third. Normally the defenders are favourites to win the headers but that didn’t happen
The Everton strikers actually won a very encouraging percentage of those headers. Every time Pickford cleared the ball, it became an opportunity for an Everton attack.
– Everton went man to man and crowded the Arsenal ball carriers which affected the accuracy of the passing. Meanwhile Arsenal persisted with zonal marking which gave the Everton players room to play and time to line up their passes.
– Everton came on physically and tried to boss the game. When Arsenal tried physical play, they gave away free kicks and cards. Maybe the ref was influenced by the crowd but I suggest that the Arsenal players should practice their tackling and physical crowding of the opposition.

Each of these strategies can be countered and when they are, the away games will be winnable for Arsenal.

Mc1892
Mc1892

I dont think our players tried physical play at all. For the first half at least, there was a quite irritating number of our players falling to the ground when touched. I didn’t think Everton were even particularly physical themselves (Zouma aside), they just bullied us in the way Vieria et al used to do to lesser players. There’s a really worrying mentality issue as soon as our current crop leave the safety of the Emirates- they just looked terrified from first minute to the last yesterday.

Limey
Limey

Spot on!

santori
santori

Everton always had this trait about them. They’re not a dirty side but they are physical – Richarlison etc.

We have beaten them before even so.

We lacked the appetite yesterday. The frontline did not create anywhere near enough chances and we were far too slow getting to the final ball.

Plus Iwobi I felt should have started. He made a big impact coming on but by that time, our structure was compromised.

Defensively, Everton didn’t have as many chances until the breakaways toward end of game when Ramsey, Guendouzi pushed forward and over gambled in search of goals.

The goal that was let in happens but how we responded was the bigger issue.

I felt there was a distinct lack of urgency on our part. Too much intricate build up and then carelessness on the part of certain players executing the final ball.

Mustafi wasn’t the one who gave away the ball the most by a country mile. There were plenty of players who were too slack but somehow never criticised with the same degree.

gus
gus

We are worse at the back then under wenger, every team knows kolasinac leaves a massive whole down his side when he trys to play like a winger, the centre backs are piss poor, guendozi should be in the second string for a few more seasons, to think we nearly got to third but i thinks we have been found out,
playing out from the back is just cringeworthy with the players we play

Goontang
Goontang

To be fair Kolasinac is not playing left back either. His role has been as a wing back and more attacking. The duty is of the 3rd center back to fill that hole. You could easily say that if we reverted to a 433 than kolasinac wouldnt have racked up the assists he has this season either. So you either have defensive stability or you have a lack of goals. Both of which loses games. But we never complained having two up front and 3 at the back when we rolled over manchester United either when Kolasinac left holes at the back yet created a tonne of chances. I’m more disappointed we cant play or be confident to play auba and laca up front with ozil behind against a team like man utd, yet set up conservatively for Everton.

santori
santori

Monreal has been culpable for many mistakes. either out of position or too easily pushed off the ball.

He never gets criticised in the same way.

Too many people tend to live in dream land and have their favorite scapegoats.

Ignoring the others or worse building them up into mythical never do wrongs is the reason why people continue to be flummoxed why we are constantly still an issue even when Mustafi did not play against BHA, Soton (away), Liverpool and West Ham. We dropped 11 points there just saying largely thanks to Torreira.

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

In fairness, Guendouzi IS second string. Ramsey wasn’t fit enough to play 90 minutes (or at all judging by the way he faded later in the game), Xhaka was injured and Torreira suspended.

DyGooner
DyGooner

2 games suspension for yellow card accumulation is absurd, no wonder when there’s a tackle you have ppl rolling around the ground like pansies

santori
santori

The yellow was harsh. Maybe an appeal?

santori
santori

This could ‘cost us the season’.

The thing about Sokratis is he is too fond of the overly commited Greco-Roman thustling.

It comes back to bite us.

The yellow was a bit harsh that said. Maybe an appeal might work.

That said, if we are missing Koscielny as well (Granit also struggling to come back in), we have poor options with Mustafi, Monreal.

Mavropanos (the third in the “M’s) may have to be the solution but it is a massive risk as he is largely untried.

The young defender has good height and strength. Mustafi and Monreal need to be diligent and sweep up but both are prone to lapses in concentration.

People like to criticise and nitpick on Mustafi but Monreal has had his fair share of poor positioning and blunders, tackles giving away free kicks etc.

The other issue is AMN. He must not take his stake at Rback so casually. If he does, I’d rather play an average Jenkinson or over the hill Lichsteiner.

Overall we dropped our level up front as well.

With the sort of liabilities currently in defense, we needed to be far more efficient with chances.

The worrying thing is we struggled to construct enough chances.

And when we had them we did not show sufficient hunger to get to the ball first and turn it in.