Sokratis: We need to win at least four more games

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Sokratis believes Arsenal have to win at least four more games this season to stand a chance of finishing in the Premier League’s top four.

Sunday’s 1-0 defeat to Everton saw the Gunners squander an opportunity to return to third place in the table and means just three points separate the four teams chasing league leaders Manchester City and Liverpool.

Next up, sandwiched between the Europa League double-header with Napoli, the Gunners face a tricky trip to FA Cup finalists Watford. After that, further tough away days await with clashes against Wolves, Leicester and Burnley likely to make or break our domestic Champions League ambitions.

Having picked up a tenth booking of the season at Goodison Park, Sokratis is now frustratingly suspended for the next two games. All the same, he’s laid down the gauntlet to his teammates.

“We need to win at least another four games and then we will see if we are in the top four,” the Greek international told BT Sport. 

The 30-year-old also tackled the thorny issue of Arsenal’s awful form on the road. Rather than admit it’s a problem specific to N5, he pointed out that other clubs are having similar problems away from home comforts.

“I don’t think [it’s a mental problem] because if you see big teams like United and Chelsea they also lost a lot of points,” he said.

“It is very difficult. We are in the Premier League and the other teams are strong.

“I don’t have a reason. Other teams are the same, some days good, some days bad. We have to improve and look towards the next game.”

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Ozymandias
Ozymandias

Squeaky Arse time…

Goonereality
Goonereality

Yep, and it could get worse unless the players start playing like they should be able to.

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

Maybe some allowances can made for yesterday’s performance, with our personnel issues and Everton’s resurgence, but the pattern has to be a real worry. We’re the only team in the premier league to have not kept at least ONE clean sheet this entire season. That includes Huddersfield and Fulham who have already been relegated!

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

clean sheet away from home*

renaissancerosicky
renaissancerosicky

Love his expression in the picture.

Dave
Dave

Someone just let rip and he just caught a strong waft

Goonereality
Goonereality

We may need more wins – so let’s hope he, and his team mates, improve their game very quickly or we won’t get a top four finish, or get past Napoli in the Europa League. Something Sokratis could contribute personally is to try and get through games without being booked so often and then suspended! Ten bookings is a clear sign that he’s far from the finished article and that at 30 years old, for goodness sake! He needs to concentrate (over his latest suspension period) on improving his personal game, doesn’t he.

Vino
Vino

As I have watched most of his Bookings. It is more necessary than silly.

Goonereality
Goonereality

That’s funny, because as a season ticket holder I’ve watched them at The Emirates, and he’s too often a tad “hasty”, shall we say. Anyway, whether necessary or not, he’ll be absent for two crucial games now. Does that make no change, or does it have a negative effect? If it’s the latter, then he does to to get his act together.

Dave
Dave

Emery could’ve started with a back two to prevent his suspension.

Then we might’ve taken the game to them with Ozil actually ahead of the two central midfielders linking midfield to attack.

George
George

I can’t agree with that. I like him well enough as a defender, but he’s not subtle in the art and is a penalty waiting to happen with his constant wrestling in the box.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia
Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

The concept that players are counting the number of games they need to win instead of thinking about winning every next game is wrong. Yesterday, they thought in their subconscious mind that they had a margin. Pep was once talking about how a game against Burnley was going to be very tough for them. He knew they would trash Burnley. He just wanted his players to put the effort and not let Liverpool gain more points than them.

Stayn
Stayn

Good old Papa. No bullshitting or beating around the bush

OnlyBeingHonest
OnlyBeingHonest

Arsenal wont win ANY of their remaining four away games.

OnlyBeingHonest
OnlyBeingHonest

Haha who are we beating then?? we are poison on the road

Cool hones
Cool hones

We will beat Burnley and that’s it. Bunch of bottlers.

OnlyBeingHonest
OnlyBeingHonest

We’d be doing well at that, 2 draws two losses I reckon,

Goonereality
Goonereality

Hopefully, that will be too pessimistic a forecast but some Gooners on this site have to realise how poor we are on the road and that a very quick and very big improvement is needed from the players (except Sokratis, who has been exempted at the most important stage of our season, but never mind Papa). No pressure then.

Santori
Santori

I was hopeful we could win ALL the remaining fixtures but the way we prosecuted the last match does not fill me with much confidence we can hold to end of season.

Add that to loss of Sokratis from suspension, Koscielny yet to recover from injury and Granit. Our backline already feeble is weakened further.

BUT it really is up to the players on hand if they believe they can. We have gone through patches seasons before with poor selections and ground out results.

As mentioned some seasons past, Ramsey was a liability in midfield paired with Flamini but the pair took us through a good unbeaten run when we were shy of many of our big players (including Alexis) and we beat City not to mention Olympiakos away in a must win.

More importantly, the front men need to be far more efficient with these sort of inherent weakness at the back further hampered by injuries.

We need to score and put teams to the sword. What was worrying against Everton is the sheer lack of output or hunger to get to the ball first and turn it in.

George
George

So, what you’re saying is we’ll win them ALL?….

Futsboller
Futsboller

I wasn’t surprised to see a 3-4-2-1 in a tough away match yesterday, and I don’t think Emery was wrong to send the team out that way, but I think that our Away struggles are significant enough that we need a reboot in our approach. No one in this league is afraid of Arsenal’s defending, and no one trusts it to win a match. Many teams are, however, afraid of Arsenal’s attack, and Emery should take a gamble–the worst that can happen is that we lose, like we did yesterday, and we’re kind of expecting that anyways–and load up on it for our next PL match against Watford (2 legs against Napoli requires its own strategy). Some heavily attack-weighted 4-4-2 or 4-3-3 or 4-1-4-1 to boost our mental approach to the game, and to take a chip out of the opposition’s gameplan. For example, I think starting Auba and Laca together sends a message to the opposition about our intent, and clearly our guys know to whom to get the ball. We can’t afford another loss — it’s that simple. We need to start these games with an early goal, or at least that early pressure that sets the tone.

lari03
lari03

Or perhaps we need to get players who can lift the team with individual moments of brilliance. That was what Alexis Sanchez gave to us, we have lost that and the combination of Mhkitaryan and Aubameyang cannot replace the zip Alexis used to give us.

Santori
Santori

Granted he felt it was a risk to start Ramsey bc of injury concerns, the one player I would have preferred to see start against Everton was Iwobi.

Made a massive difference for a while when he came in (eventually fizzled out too but the team lacked structure to their play by then)

santori
santori

Just to add…arguably we are also lacking in a player from deep midfield who can carry the ball for us.

Guendouzi has been the most forward thinking box to box but we don’t have someone with the sort of ball retention skills like Diaby or Santi or at very last the physical imposition and long stretch of Diaby or Viera.

We’ve been missing that in deep midfield for a long while now.

Santori
Santori

Alexis lost the ball a lot but he functioned for us as a catalyst, the sort of player willing to and able to take on players.

We lack dribblers at the moment that can beat 2 or 3 players on their own.

Iwobi is the closest we have to replicate this but we have been missing balance from the right for far too long and are too dependent on Bellerin to make up for it.

What these catalyst type players do is they perform the unexpected and pull the other side’s defense out of position creating confusion and opportunity.

We are too predictable otherwise or rely on pass and move to get by. If a defense is tight and closes out our passing channels we start to struggle.

Goonereality
Goonereality

Yes, but away from home we’re probably going to need at least two goals per game as we seem incapable of not conceding… .

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia
Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Emery did make the mistake of starting Mikhi and Ozil. Yoy can’t afford two players with random performances in your team.

Alex
Alex

Strange this fashion to not attack Mki with mentining Özil. Mki was a shame, point.

Dave
Dave

If we’d had a back four we could’ve not started Sokratis to avoid suspension also.

PeteyB
PeteyB

Aye, but would probably have only delayed the inevitable… And a little counter productive to essentially internally suspend your own player to avoid an externally enforced suspension.

The gypsy gunner
The gypsy gunner

Jesus Christ…. Win all your fucking games! That’s the problem with this team and has been for years. No belief that they can actually perform. It’s always these wishy washy responses and a lack of grit. For some reason when a new player puts on an Arsenal jersey they immediately get this 4th place is ok mentality. Accept for Mustafi, he has sucked from the beginning. How he continues to be allowed to put on a jersey or even open the door to the stadium… I have no idea.

Hantal
Hantal

Top four is still in our control but we really do need our rivals to drop points too

George
George

They will. ManU are yet to play the Chavs for starters. And ‘Pool and ManC can help us out as well.

Santori
Santori

Harsh to see a yellow but he always skirts it and we may be punished with his absence. Is this a “cost us the season” moment.

Koscielny has been a great stalwart but some fans are deluding themselves if they think they will get another season out of him. If he can recover in time to be fit for the next several matches, it would be a bonus.

Otherwise we are going to have major issues.

Mustafi isn’t the liability many would like to cast him as (no more than others) but he will be less stringent at the back. Monreal also isn’t the most water tight.

Mavropanos mostly untested will have to come in and is a big risk. Granit nominally did a decent job covering at Cback but is himself trying to get over a knock.

One emergency possbility is to have Elneny at the back. He is an average midfielder but the times he has filled in at the back, he has been quite diligent. Still it is also an added liability regardless with a player in unfamiliar position.

The next 3 matches is going to be critical and frankly risks to the season either ending decent or on a wimper.

Dial square
Dial square

We need Tony Adams in that dressing room to show this lot what fight and passion really means..

Hantal
Hantal

Player tony yes, not current tony

henry
henry

I dont DON’T like this “at least” mentality from players. This does not help, if they are thinking that its okay to lose here and there. Evidence is clear with our results. Got to fix this mentality.

We are not out of it yet
We are not out of it yet

Please all read Adams9802 comments on the players ratings after Everton game and read my comments. Lets hit the nail in the head to any type of abuse

We are not out of it yet
We are not out of it yet

There will always be a thumbs down to equality. The message from me is stamp out ignorance and the actions (comments on blogs) from imbeciles and that’s the war half over. To combat racism or any victimisation it time to take the stand against people that always voice hatred if we want change. Please read the comments made by Adams9802 and read my comments.

Wilsheres Middle Finger
Wilsheres Middle Finger

Mate, it is not racist to say that Mustafi is shit. It’s stating a valid opinion.

We are not out of it yet
We are not out of it yet

Please all read Adams9802 comments on the players ratings after Everton game and read my comments. Lets hit the nail in the head to any type of abuse.

Wilsheres Middle Finger
Wilsheres Middle Finger

The only things that are reassuring me right now are:

a) We have two routes of qualifying for the CL.
b) Spuds and Manure have more red dots in their Last 5 matches on the PL Table.

Also worth a mention – I hope that this loss and inept performance v Everton is a watershed moment. Suerly the team cannot come out and show that lack of impetus again for the remainder of this season with our backs to the wall and so much to play for. Our home form suggests that we are a quality team, we now need to show some balls and get the job done, even when the porridge isnt ‘just right’ away from home.

Sancheezy
Sancheezy

It’s hard NOT to live this guy. No bull$hit from this guy. Definitely going to miss him in the next two games.

yea mon
yea mon

can’t stand this goof ball, doesn’t know how to defend keeps picking up yellows, him and mustafi are a couple of bumbling idiots

yea mon
yea mon

don’t mean to be rude but feeling pretty pissed off right now

Reon
Reon

I think we need at least 14 more pts