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Sokratis Is Better Than You Think...

It seems people have short memories in our fanbase.Only weeks ago, we were crying out for a defender who mastered the art of gamesmanship. We wanted a defender with grit, who wouldn’t take any mischief from opposing strikers, and had the beating of them in the air.We wanted a menace in both boxes, and one who would do it with a cold look in their eye, knowing they had the strength to back up their convictions.We then signed Sokratis, and his displays - and the team itself - have been pretty assured. Yet, there have been a gaggle of voices that are concerned that Sokratis is not what we needed at all - in fact he isn’t of the standard we require.The man has been judged in three friendly games…The Greek defender has never been the quickest, we knew this before he signed. He isn’t exactly the best distributor either. We didn’t buy him for that.What he does do, is excellent positioning to quell threats, and then give the ball to someone who can do something with it. He marshalls others, and he will be a sage mentor for the likes of Konstandinos Mavropanos and Rob Holding.Sokratis is not the man to race against the striker breaking through our lines - he is the man who will organise the resistance against that very threat.Plus - and here is the most pertinent point of all - Unai Emery has been in charge of his men for weeks.Not months, and certainly nowhere near long enough to make sure he gets his instructions across to a fine point. We are still in transition - and will most likely be for quite some time. Our defence are switching from zonal to man marking too, as well as other instructions that are new to them.We won’t see the best of Sokratis for a while, but he has experience to fall back on, which will certainly help. In a way, partnering with Mustafi will help. Mustafi has deceptive pace and his recovery bursts will make up for what Sokratis doesn’t have - and the Greek has the sage head and decision making that Mustafi needs. We also have a rapidly improving Calum Chambers.I’m not concerned about any of our centre backs - I’m just eager to watch as they take on Emery’s tips and tricks and slowly improve. Our defence is certainly in a better shape than it was last season. Fear not! Sokratis will come good!