Sokratis: the art of defending… and its future


Sokratis has undoubtedly been one of our most impressive performers this season.

A no-nonsense defender, the Greece international has been a commanding presence in our back line and has established himself as a firm fan favourite with his tough-tackling approach.
So how did Sokratis become a defender?

“Of course all kids want to be strikers and when I was younger, I also played a little bit up front, but it was very fast,” he told Arsenal Player.
“The coach understood that if I wanted to play football at a higher level, I would have to change my position to play at the back. Then I started to play in defence when I was 13 years old, so everything worked out well.

“Of course whoever scores the goal takes all the glory, but for people who understand about football, they know that the defence wins the league. If you have a good defence, you can do good things.

“It was like that for Greece at the 2004 Euros. If you see afterwards in 2014, Greece had a very good defence. We had one style like Italian teams. Of course the mentality changed a little bit because when you win something very important like 2004, everyone afterwards looks for this.
“I think that football in the next few years will be difficult for the defenders now,” Sokratis added. “But for me, it’s OK because before football changes a lot, I will finish football! At my age, and for the next five years, I hope that football stays the same and that the rules don’t change so that I can still play.

“If you see all the teams and the coaches now, the new generation look for defenders who can do more than defence. They like to play like a No 6 or a No 10. Of course it’s a style of play but I think that if the football is going forward like this, the managers will need players who can play that style of football.
“But then if that’s the case, the game will finish with three or four goals each time. This is good for the people who are watching the game. Of course, I don’t like this. I prefer defending and not conceding goals. We’ll see. Football is going forward.”


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