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Sokratis Papastathopoulos
Gender Male
Ethnic Greek
Job Greek Footballer
Desc Adapted well in his first season and also has genuine leadership qualities in the dressing-room. One of Arsenal’s more reliable options in defence this season and a worthy back-up at the least


Org xxxx National Team
Club as Player Arsenal FC

2019 05 26 Retrieve

[Sokratis Papastathopoulos says The absence of Henrikh Mkhitaryan should drive Arsenal on to win the Europa League] Of course it’s a big loss for us. We are very sad and now we have to win for him. We have to go (there) and play our game. To believe we can do it and I think if we give 100 per cent and have a good day, and also luck, because in one game anything can happen (then) we can do it.

[Now only victory on Wednesday will seal a place at Europe’s top table next season] [Chelsea] have very good players and a good manager. We respect (them) but after we plan to play our game. To play our game, to create our chances, to be focused, to defend well. To play altogether and in the end to win the game - it’s difficult for us, but it’s also difficult for them

2019 05 28 Retrieve

[Sokratis Papastathopoulos credits Unai Emery with being a better coach than Jurgen Klopp] He’s the best coach I had in my career. 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.

[Sokratis added when asked if anything can be taken from that contest heading into another clash between London rivals in Baku] I remember it was a good game from us. We were much better than them. Chelsea has a good team. We respect them. We are not afraid. It’s one game. One final. We like to be there. We like to win. We want to play next year in the Champions League. Hazard is a very good player but we also have very good players. We plan for everybody but they are planning for us. It’s clear, it’s a final. We have good players. We have Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette, Mesut Ozil, they have Higuain, Giroud, a lot of good players

2019 05 31 Retrieve

[Arsenal defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos has apologised to Gunners fans after his side were beaten 4-1 by Chelsea in Wednesday’s Europa League final in Baku] You all deserved better and I’m sorry that we couldn’t give you what we all wanted. For every single Arsenal fan who was in Baku and around the world, we are sorry. We’ll work to get stronger for next season to give this club the success it deserves

2019 09 15 Tweet

[Sokratis apologises to Arsenal fans after Watford capitulation] Today’s result is not good for us. I feel responsible for this result, so I would like to apologise to all of you. I don’t like to hide, and I will keep working hard in order to achieve our goals

2019 09 16 Retrieve

[Sokratis accepted full responsibility for Arsenal’s collapse at Watford and apologised to his team-mates in the changing room after the game] I think that I cost the game for the team. It was my mistake for something simple that I don’t have to do. I think this was why we lose the three points. I don’t want to speak about others. It was my mistake and this cost the game. Nothing else. The other guys tried their best. I didn’t have to do this mistake. Without my mistake, we would take the three points

[When asked if he had apologised for his error, which came when Arsenal were trying to play out from a goal-kick] Of course. I apologised because I cost the game for the team and I have to work harder. I know up to this moment I didn’t have a mistake, I didn’t do nothing. Everything was near too perfect. But defence is no risk and it was my mistake

[From the moment Cleverley took advantage of Sokratis’ error, Arsenal had little answer to the constant wave of attacks that Watford unleashed as the second half wore on. An equaliser seemed inevitable and it finally arrived when Luiz tripped Pereyra with 10 minutes remaining, the third penalty Arsenal had conceded in their last three games] We didn’t have the same pace in the second half as in the first half. But if we didn’t do these mistakes, I don’t think we draw. Of course they had other chances to score more, but if we didn’t make these mistakes then nothing happens

2019 10 01 Retrieve

[Arsenal captain Granit Xhaka has found support from team-mate Sokratis Papastathopoulos, who says that Switzerland international is deserving of the role] Granit has been here for many years so I don’t find a reason as to why he shouldn’t be the captain. We have five ‘captains’ and everybody has to accept this and be together. ‘m happy because I know the guys who are captains will do very well for the team. Of course, if I want to say something, I have experience and everyone respects it. So, of course the captain is important, but as the coach said, it’s also important that the other players keep the atmosphere in the club very good. There are a lot of things Granit does behind the scenes. When you get on the pitch for your 90 minutes, it all comes from the week before and I think that he and all the other players work really hard for the team

[He urged the support to be patient with the team, despite a 15-year drought without winning the league] For me, I can understand because the fans wait a lot of years to win something. They have to understand that we are here, we give 100 per cent and then the first time they win, we win also. For example, I am 31 and I don’t have a lot of personal achievements - my best achievement is if this team win. Of course, they have to be emotional but also they have to know that we are here and we going to give more than 100 per cent

2019 10 28 Retrieve

[Sokratis has blasted the Premier League’s use of VAR after complaining it has robbed Arsenal of four precious points in the past week] In a league like the Premier League, the best league in the world, the VAR has to be used in a better way. Last week it was a clear penalty, they didn’t use VAR and we lose the game. This week, it was a goal. I watch again and Calum did nothing. We lose three points. Of course, we also made mistakes, we can speak about those mistakes, why we conceded and why we didn’t score. We can discuss about a lot of things, but last week and this week, if the VAR is used better we have four points more. And if we had 19 points today it’s a different thing. Of course, we have to improve, we have to work and do better things. But we have also to watch what happened. VAR for me is a good solution, but the referees have to use it every time. I believe the Premier League is the best league in the world so everything has to be perfect

[Goals from Sokratis and David Luiz had put them in a commanding position inside 10 minutes, but Palace reduced the deficit when VAR awarded them a penalty for a foul by Chambers on Wilfried Zaha. Jordan Ayew then levelled with a back-post header early in the second half and the visitors held on for a point, despite some late pressure from Arsenal which saw Alexandre Lacazette go close twice] We had a lot of chances to close the game, but we didn’t close it. The first goal they scored was a penalty, until then they didn’t have a chance. The second half we had one unlucky moment, after that we had enough chances. We had to score more. I think we were unlucky

2019 11 08 Retrieve

[Sokratis Papastathopoulos insists it does not matter who wears the captain’s armband at Arsenal in the wake of Granit Xhaka being replaced by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as skipper] I think it is the first time he is a captain. For me it’s important that Aubameyang first has to score, he has to do his work. The captaincy or who has this [armband] on the pitch, I don’t think it is very important. He is a very good guy, but who has the captaincy is not very important. It is important that all the team is good in the dressing room. We are like a family. In the end who brings to the pitch the captaincy is the last thing

[Emery’s side are winless in four matches in all competitions] It’s a very big game, a game we have to win. Of course we have a lot of games in front and if we see last year we were there but in the last seven games, we didn’t win one. The other teams were six, seven points behind us but in the end they were in front. We need to be consistent all year, not only one month. Leicester is in a very good moment, they’re a very hungry team. You can see this. We have to be ready to beat them

2019 12 13 Retrieve

[Sokratis: Beat Man City & Arsenal could explode into life] Of course, it is a very difficult game. Sometimes, these are games where you can explode. We need one good game in our home to explode

You have to have quality but to show the quality you have to first show intensity, win the duels, be organised. The team has quality, but to show the quality you have to do the dirty work. If you do the dirty work and you’re organised, you can win. But first of all, you have to work on intensity, pace and organisation

2020 01 01 Retrieve

[Arsenal defender Sokratis relishing life under Arteta after Man Utd win] We have started again, I think we have a lot of space to improve. The second half we didn’t play like the first but I think every game we are getting better. The fun is back!

I think it was great. We were great in the first half and showed a maturity in the second. We have to be honest and admit physically we are not ready, but you have to show heart and this team is ready to change a lot of things. We showed that today and we are going to do big things in the future. Mikel Arteta is a great coach, he was a great player. I think he can improve every player. And in life when you are happy results can be different. If you work with happiness and believing what you are doing it is totally different. Our season started very bad but things can change

2020 01 07 Retrieve

[Sokratis Papastathopoulos is eager to point out that defenders are not robots as his form at Arsenal casts doubt over his future at Emirates Stadium] Football has changed a lot in the past 10 or 12 years. When I started football, I was in Italy. I was in Greece first, but afterwards I made the step to Italy. It was not so necessary to play out from the back and because of this, you also didn’t concede a lot of chances or a lot of goals.

Now, every team, or most, has to start from the back and exchange a lot of passes to arrive in the opposite area and to score. The more passes and more things you do, you also have more risk inside. For this, it’s more beautiful football, but also the teams concede more goals because the players are not robots. Everybody makes mistakes.

That’s why being a defender these days is very difficult. I think it is one of the most difficult positions. Maybe you don’t have to run like a midfielder, but every mistake that you do is a very hard mistake for the team, so you pay very expensively. But I still love being a defender. And for me, the part I enjoy most is when you can defend well like a team, to control the game, to fight for every ball and every duel.

Every day is the one you have to show to everybody that you have a strong mentality and also your qualities in the game and mentality, especially to win. We have had some difficult moments this season and we know we need to improve, but we have the quality to do it. We just need the confidence

[Sokratis added on his role in a bigger picture at Emirates Stadium] To be one of the best defenders, you need to have everything to be complete. It’s about focusing on the game very well, pace, power, technique also, to control the game from behind. It’s also important to be a winner and to be a winner, your mentality has to be at a high level every day. In every game, every training session, every duel, you have to win it. If that means we keep the zero in the defence, then I’ve done my job

[He considers Liverpool rival Virgil van Dijk to set the standard in the modern era] What Virgil van Dijk did last year was something very difficult for every defender to do. Last year for him was perfect, especially for all the people close to him who helped him a lot. He was very good and it was a good year for him. With the way football is going in front, especially when everybody thinks about offensive players and how they can score more, I think the defenders need to start getting more credit

2020 01 11 Retrieve

[Sokratis curses Arsenal’s VAR luck after seeing Aubameyang sent off at Palace] VAR is there to help the referee. I didn’t show a good reaction but we are disappointed because we haven’t had a lot of luck. It wasn’t against VAR or anything

If we watch the game again, we are disappointed because we played much better than them and had the chances to win the game. The first 35 minutes we played very good and did what our manager asked. In the next 10 minutes and first 10 minutes of the second half, we lost the mentality and structure

2020 01 12 Retrieve

[Arsenal defender Sokratis says VAR must be respected now it is has been established in the Premier League] Of course when you lose the game from the VAR, sometimes you are disappointed. But I am not the special man who can say if the VAR is good or not. I think the VAR is there to help the referees. It’s the first year that VAR is in England. Of course it will improve, everybody expects it will improve in the years. We have to be respectful

[Focusing on the incident which saw Aubameyang dismissed against Crystal Palace] I’ve said already that VAR is there to help the referees. I think this year we are unlucky because VAR in three or four games can be better for us. I’m not thinking about the game on Saturday, but about the game at home against Palace and at Sheffield United. But in the end it’s not something where I criticise the VAR. The VAR I think is good because it’s there to help the referees

At the end I think the point was not bad because with football today with 10 players is very difficult. But if we watch all the game, we are disappointed because I think that we play much better, especially the first 35 minutes when we played really good, we did what the manager asked from us and what we’d worked on the last few days. We switched off for the first 10 minutes of the second half and of course we conceded an unlucky goal because until that moment I think they’d had maybe only one shot. After the red card it was difficult. We had to fight more, to show more spirit and we had to give everything. In the end, one point I think we are not happy with, but it’s not also the worst

2020 01 13 Retrieve

[Sokratis backs Alexandre Lacazette to step up in Aubameyang’s absence] Auba is a very important player for us. He’s the captain of the team. But now is the time that other players step up and show quality, they show mentality and they help the team and also the manager to do his work. We have to improve, to step up and to show that the year is not finished and that we have to fight for this

He’s a machine. A goal machine. Laca’s a very good player. In some games, from the outside, you can’t see what he can do. Maybe he is struggling a little bit, but we have to see also how the game is and which guy he has behind him. Laca on Saturday was against two players every time. When you play the ball to him it’s very difficult [for him] to do the first control because all the defenders are strong. I think Laca is coming better and better. I think he is a very good player, a massively important player for us. We are with him every time, he is with us and we will show altogether in the future a lot of things

2020 01 14 Retrieve

[Gunners defender Sokratis has backed Alexandre Lacazette - who has gone six games without scoring - to step up in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s absence] Laca is a massively important player for us. He’s a goal machine. In some games, from the outside, you can’t see what he can do or maybe he is a little bit struggling. Auba is a very important player. He’s the captain of the team, but now is the time that also the other players step up and show quality

2020 03 03 Retrieve

[Sokratis Papastathopoulos ready to quit Arsenal in the summer if he is not wanted by Arteta] I don’t know. I have one more year here but me, I never sit on my contract. I don’t care. If I’m not happy, I don’t play enough or the coach doesn’t like me, I don’t care about the contract. For me the money is not important, it is important I feel good, I feel happy and the team is happy with me. If not, I take the road and I finish. I don’t think about it, I think every day to be happy and help the team and in the end we will see but what I say is that I am not a player who sits on a contract - I don’t need it.

[Sokratis staked a claim for more minutes in his most recent outing for Arsenal, as he opened the scoring in a 2-0 FA Cup fifth-round win over Portsmouth] It’s a result that gives you a little bit of confidence back. Now we understand that first when you have three things (trophies) to fight for and lose one that last year you made the final in, it’s hard. The first thing the manager said to us is that this game finished and we have to look forward. We still have a lot of games in the Premier League but it is difficult and this year we didn’t start very good