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.