Sokratis says he’s improved so much under Unai Emery this season that he believes the Spaniard is the best coach he’s played for.
It’s quite a statement when you consider the Greece international has worked with Massimiliano Allegri at AC Milan, Thomas Schaaf at Werder Bremen and Jurgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel at Borussia Dortmund.
While the Gunners haven’t exactly looked comfortable at the back this season – in part to do with the implementation of Emery’s ‘play from the back’ policy – the 30-year-old has enjoyed a solid first year in England making 39 appearances. In pretty much every one of those games he was the biggest shithouse on the pitch, which certainly seemed to endear him to the Arsenal faithful.
Speaking ahead of the Europa League final with Chelsea, Sokratis explained why he’s been so impressed with Emery. “He’s the best coach I had in my career,” he told the Guardian. “That’s because I have improved a lot under him. I play faster than one, two or three years ago.
“I think more and I make better decisions and his coaches do a lot of individual work with us. You can also see that because of the number of young players coming through.”
Whether Sokratis actually believes that or not we’ll never know. But it’s certainly the right thing to say ahead of a major European final when collective belief is so important.
Luck will also play a part, which is why the Greek defender will be bringing some friends to watch and not others.
“I take the people who have watched me play before – and we won,” he explains. “The others I ‘put out’. It’s like ‘black arts’. Four or five will come. I hope that they bring us luck.”
Sokratis, like so many of the first team squad, also had his say on the Mkhitaryan situation. He’s certain that a player with whom he played in Germany, will be a big miss.
He said, “I don’t like to be in his position, really. I am very sad he will not be with us. He’s a good player and a very big player. And you know some times political things, something out of football. Of course, we are sad but we also have to play for him and for the players who were injured in the year.”