Sokratis left frustrated but insists things are getting better

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Sokratis has echoed the comments of head coach Mikel Arteta by expressing his satisfaction with Arsenal’s performance in the opening 35 minutes of the 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace. Like the Spaniard, he also recognises that we dropped off in the 10 minutes either side of half time and paid the price by conceding a sloppy equaliser.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had finished off a slick move to put the Gunners in front on 12 minutes but the afternoon turned sour for the club captain when VAR adjudged a late tackle on Max Meyer to have been reckless. A yellow card issued by referee Paul Tierney was upgraded to a red and his teammates had to play the final 23 minutes a man short.

“I think the first 35 minutes, we played very well,” Sokratis told Arsenal.com.

“We did exactly what our manager asked of us. For 10 minutes in the first half and 10 minutes in the second half, we lost the game. I think we lost the mentality, the structure that we had. After the red card, it’s difficult.”

On the slick football that led to us breaking the deadlock – an 18-pass move and neat finish – Sokratis continued: “It’s everything about the work we do in training.

“I think that the first 35 minutes had a lot of things that we’ve been working on. Everything there was positive.”

Not so positive was the way we conceded. Arteta says he was upset with the way his players, who seemed to be expecting a free kick to be lofted into the box, turned off. Palace instead worked the ball to the right flank and when the Gunners failed to clear a cross, Kouyate played the ball to Ayew who finished with the aid of a big deflection off David Luiz.

“A little bit of it is us switching off and we were also unlucky because the ball came off David,” said Sokratis.

“I think that we fought afterwards and in the end we are not happy. We did much better than the other team but a point is a point.”

Given the sending off, Sokratis said a draw was probably an acceptable result although it’s clear that more dropped points is frustrating.

“In the end, if you play with 10 men then yes [it’s a good point]. But if we watch the game back again we’re disappointed because I think that we played much better than them. We had lots of chances to win the game.

He ended on a positive note, stressing that things are improving under the new regime.

“We had the chances and we were unlucky,” he said. “I am very happy that we showed this spirit, especially after the red card. I think that this period has been better with what we’re doing right now, that we’re fighting all together, than how it was two or three months ago. We have to look forward, improve and play better of course, but with this spirit.”

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C.B.
C.B.

Unlucky result, especially their deflected goal.

Still on the up but shame about Auba and hope Torreira isn’t out too, both top players.

Jean Ralphio
Jean Ralphio

Sokratis didn’t have his worst game but my god he is terrible on the ball.

Naked Cygan
Naked Cygan

This season has been a total shit show. We have no luck. VAR always seems to work against us. Let’s just get 10 more points and write off this season.

Jeremy
Jeremy

I always wonder what Arsenal did all those years ago to have officials and the FA hate them so much. As soon as we look like we might start putting a run together we always get shafted. It’s been happening as long as I can remember. And then to have the fans of other fans sing ‘same old arsenal’ does my head in. My old man always thought it was a north south divide thing but I feel like the issues run a bit deeper than that.

Vonnie
Vonnie

Most referees are from the north, I think it all stems from the battles with the mancs and the Invincibles. Mike Riley is the manc supporting ex-ref in charge at PGMOL and he seems to have a few dodgy characters that he likes to referee Arsenal games. I don’t believe they’re fair or competent at all, and the fact that it’s a secret society that’s not answerable to anyone is very suspicious in my view.

Jeremy
Jeremy

It’s amazing really, their hatred must run extremely deep for them to risk their reputations cheating a team they don’t like. My old man said this bias goes back to when he started watching them in the 60s. I’m still convinced that brown paper envelopes are trading hands. Where there is money there is corruption, Fifa proved that.

Vonnie
Vonnie

I think some of them are bought and some are just plain incompetent. The fact that nobody ever raises the issue is disappointing, I’ve heard that TV contracts have clauses that they can’t disagree with the referee, I’d love to know if it’s true, it certainly seems that way. The boxing day game on Amazon, all the first half the pundits were discussing referee decisions and then after half time not a word, almost like they got a warning.

Mekus
Mekus

If proven to be true, then that will be really disturbing. They can’t be made a law unto themselves. With responsibility comes accountability. They can’t be trusted to regulate themselves, there’s need for an external body that holds them responsible for any seeming suspicious display by any one of them or by the organization as a whole. They seem like a cult group by the sounds of things. See no evil and say no evil. Absolute rubbish!

DaDude
DaDude

I find it extremely disturbing that referees are not accountable to anyone for what they do. Just like managers are obliged to give a post match interview, I would prefer if refs had to do that too, if the media requests it, so they can explain their decisions. For example I still don’t know why our 3-2 against Palace at home was disallowed. Because Sokratis pushed someone in the build I think they said? I didn’t see any such thing.
This was a VAR decision, so they saw it only on video. Then ffs get the ref in front of cameras and let him show and explain us the push, while he is shown the video.

Oregoon

Right, on video. So now an eye in the sky set up with the studio having the last word so that the on field ref gets let off the hook? We can only guess at the integrity in this set up, but in concept it is strange. If the league is having two refs for every game then why not put two on the field and just call them the way they see them. That ultimately is what they are doing on these subjective calls anyway.

Mekus
Mekus

Wish I have clapping emoji here just for you. Exactly my suspicions and fears as well and I don’t think that they are farfetched.

Lack of Perspective
Lack of Perspective

Probably just good old fashioned xeno0hobia afyer Wenger took england by storm.

Wilf
Wilf

It’s part of it, but it goes back a lot longer. It’s real. I’ve lived it as have many others.

Martin
Martin

VAR doesn’t make decisions it’s the referees who are to blame as they make the decisions from what they see

Vonnie
Vonnie

That was a brilliant clearance off the line, there’s a lot more determination in this team. It was harder with ten men and against thirteen men, but two months ago we would have lost that game 3-1.

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

Lots of positives and another point towards st totteringham’s day.

Wut
Wut

Ayew and Zaha are cunts.

Mekus
Mekus

Especially Ayew. F…ing scumish twat!

Santori
Santori

We are a one half team at the moment.

Came out without Torreira second half (He was kicked off the park by Ayew) but still we should have managed the game better.

I did not think anyone dropped their level particularly nor was Guendouzi coming on at fault but overall lack of cohesiveness against expected response from them start of second took its toll with an unfortunate deflection off Luiz.

Thereafter you got the sense we had a bit more urgency and could have nicked it but Ref ruined the game.

Poor striker’s tackle by Aubameyang and a dangerous one but did not think it had any malice just mistimed. Ref could have gone for a yellow. Not sure why we need VAR.

Still managed the game OK with 10 men but Tomkins should have also been off with a red for his sliding uncontrolled two footed lunge. where’s the consistency ref?!

Had that been so, we could have edged it.

As is still work in progress and unable to get pass Palace which we bossed first half.

Rotation within a match will be key.

AS I mentioned, we should be looking at a CM even with Cebellos back. Deep midfield needs boots on the ground.

One injury to either of Torreira or Granit and we will be struggling. I would be closely looking into a loan for Emre Can if I were Sanlhi.

We need to keep energy levels up and things fresh in midfield. Guendouzi is an excellent young player but on a learning curve as well, some experience will be useful regardless. If we can rotate Granit, Torreira and Emre Can in deep midfield, Ozil, Guendouzi and Cebellos can be used further forward. frankly I’d send Willock out on strong loan.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob

If Torreira is injured for the next match I hope hector is fit and ready for rightback so that AMN can take up Torreira’s position

Homer
Homer

Good lord. AMN?!?!?