Sokratis happy to count on Hummels-esque Luiz

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Sokratis thinks ‘good guy’ David Luiz is a fine addition to the Arsenal squad and says the Brazilian reminds him of Germany international Matts Hummels with whom he formed a three-year partnership at Borussia Dortmund.

Unai Emery fielded the Greek alongside the new signing, an £8 million deadline acquisition from Chelsea, for the first time in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Burnley and the duo performed well in the face of the visitors’ near-constant aerial bombardment.

With Calum Chambers dropped to accommodate Luiz and Rob Holding and Dinos Mavropanos injured, it looks as though the duo has a chance to establish themselves as Unai Emery’s first-choice centre-back pair in the coming weeks.

Much will depend on how they get on against Liverpool and Sp*rs in the coming weeks, but Sokratis is confident that they can build something special.

“I have known him for a lot of years,” the Greek told Arsenal.com on Sunday. “He also speaks some Greek and is a very good guy. I am happy also that we took a player like him with experience.

“When I was in Dortmund I played with Hummels, who has the same style as David. It was also a very good partnership and it is very good [now with David Luiz]. It was his first game, it is important that we won and we can go from here.

“When [David] came we spoke a lot that we will have moments when we struggle, but we have to struggle all together. Of course he is a player that has experience because he played for big teams. We need character and players like him.

“Yes, it is good [to build a partnership]. But we have also Rob Holding, [Calum] Chambers who are good players and Dinos [Mavropanos], who is coming back now. We have to be ready for every game. It is a lot of games and we need all the players. The important thing is to win as a team. In games somebody has to stay outside and somebody has to play, but the important thing is the team.”

Last year’s trip to Anfield – like many in recent seasons – was something of a nightmare as the Reds quick attack shredded the Gunners to record a 5-1 victory. Sokratis predicts a better showing this year.

“The 5-1 last season, it was not the game to take five goals – [there was] the penalty kicks, we made mistakes,” he reflected.

“I think this year will be different, but we have to improve of course from the work we do with the coach and his staff. We have to be prepared for this game. It will be difficult of course.

“It was not only this game we learned from [last season]. We learned from Chelsea, Manchester City. We know already to be at this level you have to improve and to have more confidence and character when you go to play there. We have to go there and play our game. We have to have confidence and be together for 90 minutes.

“It is a different game [from Burnley]. If they are on good day and you are having a bad day, it is hard.

“I think that we have to go and play our game. In the end, we know that it is difficult and we respect Liverpool a lot. But I think the best [way] is to go and play our style of game. We will see what happens.”

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Naked Cygan
Naked Cygan

No mention of Mustafi? 😆

Dave Cee
Dave Cee

Yeah, I noticed that too. Same as when Emery speaks about our defenders. He really must be on the way out

Truj
Truj

Is there life on Mars?
It’s on America’s tortured brow
That Mickey Mouse has grown up a cow

Lettra
Lettra

Yeah noticed that , damn Sokratis! The man is brutal on the field and off it.
I mean they still have to see each other on a daily basis.

Goonereality
Goonereality

He’s “persona non grata” at Arsenal now isn’t he. It’s an odd situation – in a sort of limbo, still on the books but not (apparently) even in contention for the first team squad now. I’d say that’s something we should be grateful for, but it’s unusual. As we all know by now I think, the problem is that he’s just not good enough but also too well paid – a fatal combination – to attract much interest (any interest?) from other clubs.

I hope we can offload Mustafi sometime soon but he could well stay until his contract expires. The only other option would be for the club to buy out his remaining contract – and that’s going to cost!

atom
atom

There have been rumblings (who knows if true) that Mustafi had indicated he didn’t want to leave. If that’s the case then Emery is doing the right thing – tell him that he is well within his rights to show up and train everyday and collect his wage packet, but if he wants to play then he needs to leave the club. That might encourage Mustafi to more open to different options rather than simply waiting for the perfect one to come around.

Andre
Andre

So almost like the way Arshavin ended his time at Arsenal. Well within his rights, but if one chooses to go out like this then it shows a total lack of motivation and pride. Which may also explain why you’re just not good enough.

A Different George
A Different George

I don’t believe this story. Mustafi might be saying he is unwilling to leave if it means a substantial wage cut, but that is quite different. Remember, when we were afraid of losing him (I know, no one wants to admit this), there were rumours that his wife wanted to be closer to her family, and that he was looking for a move to Italy. I think he will be playing in Serie A or possibly in Spain within the month.

Goonereality
Goonereality

Let’s hope so. We don’t know for sure of course, but I’ve seen a figure of around £150,000 a week in reports about Mustafi’s wages. If that’s anywhere near correct then it’s no wonder he won’t leave for a substantial pay cut – assuming any club wants him, that is.

As I said earlier, we could just let him get on with it and pay him for doing nothing. However, there’s another angle. We’re just beginning to negotiate extensions to the contracts of Aubameyang and Lacazette. They won’t stay for the same money (or anywhere near it, I guess). The overall wage bill has already increased by the new signings (having gone down temporarily with the departures of Cech, Ramsey, Welbeck etc.). If we did manage to offload Mustafi, we’d be able to use the wages headroom to fund increases for our top strikers.

Danny
Danny

Or tell him to work harder and improve? Motivate him and help him iron out the mistakes? Improve his value to arsenal as an asset and a player?

atom
atom

@Danny

If we’ve reached a point where the coaching/ technical staff believe the Mustafi simply isn’t good enough, then it doesn’t really make sense to take the risk of playing him in meaningful games or really from even taking minutes away from the younger CB’s (Holding/Chambers/Dino) in the cut competitions. Emery spent a year trying to iron out his mistakes- some players simply aren’t good enough.

@A Different George

I don’t doubt the wage cut is a major reason he won’t leave. Whenever you hand someone a contract that turns out to be incredibly off base from their performance level, it becomes virtually impossible to get them to leave (Ozil, Sanchez, Mik, etc. are only a few examples). Emery & Raul however can attempt to convince the player to take the cut by simply telling them they won’t play for Arsenal again. Then it’s totally up to the player to decide how much playing regularly matters vs. financial security.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia
Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Not if you think you are being targeted by fans and commentators and the manager didn’t support you enough.

Naked Cygan
Naked Cygan

I feel bad for him now. Not his fault that he is not good enough at this level. We should blame the bastard that recommended we pay 30+million for him.

Cacho
Cacho

Me too. Can’t imagine what it’s like for him. He has his issues, but the constant barrage of abuse has to take a toll at some point. Hopefully he can go to some sun soaked club on the continent and have some fun again.

Xhaka's 18-Point Turn
Xhaka's 18-Point Turn

People literally bay for his blood on here and its not like he bought himself or plays himself..

Teakster
Teakster

Who? 😉

Mike22122
Mike22122

Honestly think the best thing we can do with him is sell or loan him to a Europa league team have them pay as much of the wage as possible(I dont care if its 1% tbh) and stick a can play vs parent club clause in. So we can actually benefit from his mental diarrhoea

don’t forget
don’t forget

Interesting that he didn’t even mention Mustafi.

Dave M
Dave M

Who’s Mustafi?

HelderHughes
HelderHughes

Simba’s dad?

Charley
Charley

What’s Mustafi

Kofi
Kofi

What is Mustafi?

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia
Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

The problem with defence is that once a partnership is working, there is no game time for other defenders unless there are injuries. It will be very bad if Holding stays on the bench for months after being injured for a year. There are FA cup games but they do not have same intensity and are not played every week. Carabao should be used to improve U21 academy players.

atom
atom

Europa League – we should be able to qualify for the knock out rounds while still “resting” a lot of our bigger players.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia
Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

People need to tell me why Vermaleen was sold after Kos-Mertsacker partnership was formed.

atom
atom

Vermalen couldn’t play with Kos – too similar of style at that point & was starting to pick up some real injuries. I suspect Vermalen was sold b/c he wanted to go to Barcelona (thought he could win a starting spot) & I can’t remember a lot of instances of Wenger playing hardball with a player who didn’t want to be here.

Reality check
Reality check

Like Mustafi, he started very welll, was even made club captain. But then our world class defensive coaching cought up and he was relegated to the bench before being sold to Barca. Zalatan ended Vermmalen’s already stuttering Arsenal career.. his positional sense and reading of the game was quite bad. To his credit, never said a bad word against Arsenal.

Dan
Dan

Honestly think mustafi is gone. Was a little disappointed with some of our fan base treatment of him. Players are human too no one likes making mistakes. Booing him in the end was not right it just breaks a player already low on confidence I prefer positive reinforcement it’s not like he doesn’t know his mistakes. As long as a player wears the colours and shirt we shouldn’t boo them what’s the difference between those fans and opposition fans?

Thierry Bergkamp
Thierry Bergkamp

Does he know his mistakes, though? He usually blames everybody but himself for his fuck ups.

Crash Fistfight
Crash Fistfight

Still doesn’t make it productive to boo him, though.

BuckNasty
BuckNasty

I cringed when people were booing, but there’s an argument to be made that the booing may be what has finally forced Emery/Raul/Edu to force him out of the club.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla
Gutbukkit Deffrolla

You think Emery couldn’t tell that Mustafi was struggling and only worked it out because the crowd was booing him? That’s an insult to Emery.

Henkamp
Henkamp

His statement of “it may be easier” to defend against Liverpool’s front 3 than it was against Burnley has got Liverpool fans smarting badly.

What Papa simply meant was that Liverpool will be less physical and than Burnley. English is not his first language. But these scousers don’t seem to understand. They are lambasting him and Arsenal on their forums right now.

It’d be an interesting game come Saturday.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia
Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Firmino in David’s pocket, Salah in Papa’s pocket, AMN vs Mane is where our weakness is. In the second half, I will love to see Pépé’s dribbles that will send Virgil on his arse.

Rich
Rich

Niles was our best player against Newcastle, and he was good again against Burnley.

He’s learning a new role, while still getting to grips with stepping up to first team football, I think he’s a fantastic young talent, who has everything you’d want in a footballer, we’ll likely get a few more wobbles along the way, but he’s on the right path.

Dave M
Dave M

Reckon the performance of our holding mids might play a pretty crucial role here… Can’t let firmino, sane, Henderson, ox, lallana wander ’bout the top of the box like that mcniel bloke did from Burnley. Stay solid. Cut off the supply lines. Agree though, Definitely need big games from Ash and nacho!

Oregoon

Yes, and we turned the ball over way too many times against them at Anfield last year. Midfield is the key. If they get the opportunity to bore down on us with numbers we will get toasted. I would rather see us not play out of the back to the same extent we did against Burnley.

Dave M
Dave M

It was funny when the crowd cheered when Leno decided to finally hoof one upfield near he end of the game.

Nshsh
Nshsh

Ash?

A Different George
A Different George

I think the key will be Aubameyang consistently forcing Wijnaldum back to help Alexander-Arnold, which will open up space in the centre of midfield. (Of course, that means someone other than Aubameyang will have to help Monreal against Salah. No, he won’t be in anyone’s pocket.)

lessthanthesumoftheirparts
lessthanthesumoftheirparts

Who gives a flying f*ck?? All that matters is the 90 minutes this weekend.

Amusa
Amusa

I’ve never heard a scouser speak English 🙂

Crash Fistfight
Crash Fistfight

You probably couldn’t hear through all the phlegm.

Dave M
Dave M

One kept asking me if I was alright like I was a lepper or something!?

Thierry Bergkamp
Thierry Bergkamp

I didn’t think English was a scousers first language, either.

ThaatArsenalGuy
ThaatArsenalGuy

No mention of Mustafi when talking about the “good options” we have.

Eyeyi owen
Eyeyi owen

Perhaps you guys should not show any sign of fear at an field because together the team is strong

iddi amin apangu
iddi amin apangu

If Mustafi is to remain at Arsenal then his chance stands at only playing Carabao cup other wise his inclusion in the bench will even make me feel bad.

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

I thought Sokratis had a really good game alongside Luiz.

Nick
Nick

I always thought we should have signed Hummels. We were linked with him for several seasons but I think he was just too comfortable in the Bundesliga and we never went for him. He and Per would have been a terrific partnership

Santori
Santori

Somewhat of an exaggeration.

BUT we will need experience considering the number of younger players in squad currently.

That said, SSbob a bit of a band aid. Hopefully its a strong band aid.

In any other circumstance buying an old player ala Squillaci last minute end of window bc we could not get the player we wanted, same people would crow Panic Buy. Instead, now they publish comparisons to Hummels.

In any circumstance when same said defender stares blankly at the ball, loses his marker in the box he would be called ball watching ala Mustafi. Instead it is quietly not mentioned.

Just saying. Double standards much?

Flavoured Rice

Sokratis and Luiz will be an alright partnership but we are absolutely kidding ourselves if we think Sokratis isn’t gonna get ripped apart against Liverpool again.

That he tries to attribute the 5-1 loss as having met Liverpool on a bad day – well, that is worrying. We didn’t just lose… we were battered. As we routinely have been against them at Anfield. I hope they’ve opened their eyes to the reality we are in for a hell of game. It wasn’t bad luck; it was bad organisation, stupid errors and a lack of quality.

We can keep Salah quiet, but the real danger is Sane. That guy is an ice cold killer. Stop him and we might get something.

Santi Cabellos
Santi Cabellos

Ya unfortunately we wont be facing sane this weekend

Arunava
Arunava

“We can keep Salah quiet, but the real danger is Sane.”??
you are joking right?