Arsenal supporters have been in high spirits throughout the international break after seeing their side record a ninth straight victory in all competitions prior to the fortnight interruption.
Unai Emery’s men went into their encounter with London rivals Fulham on October 7 having won each of their previous five Premier League matches, alongside two wins in the Europa League and indeed a Carabao Cup victory over Brentford. And the Gunners made in nine on the spin at Craven Cottage as braces from Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang alongside a stunning Aaron Ramsey goal sealed a comprehensive 5-1 success for the North London giants, thus moving them to within two points of top spot.
As such, there have been many thrilled Arsenal fans up and down the country in recent times, although several have taken to Twitter recently to bemoan a recent injury setback for defender Sokratis, with the centre back set to miss the clash with Leicester City on Monday.
And while many have taken to Twitter to express their concern at the news, those fans are wrong as it certainly isn’t the end of the world given the Gunners have won their last two matches without the Greece international.
Yes, there is little doubting that the 30-year-old has proven to be a very shrewd addition by new manager Emery in helping to shore up and solidify the Arsenal backline, with the centre back appearing in all of their opening six Premier League games to underline how highly Emery thinks of him.
And in performing well in those matches, it looks as though Sokratis has become one of the more reliable defenders at the Emirates Stadium, but that’s not to say that they have suffered without him in their last two league matches, both of which the North Londoners have won.
The Gunners registered a clean sheet without the Greek star in beating Watford 2-0 before shipping just one against Fulham last time out – it’s hardly been a defensive crisis in the last couple of matches.
And that is partly down to the improving performances of centre back duo Shkodran Mustafi and Rob Holding, with the latter in particular producing a dominant display to negate the threat of Troy Deeney and Andre Gray in victory over Watford, while the pair both excelled against Slavisa Jokanovic’s Cottagers last time out.
Thus, while Sokratis’ recent injury setback is a blow to manager Emery, messrs Mustafi and Holding proved in the last game that they have what it takes to succeed and produce dominant performances at Premier League level – it appears that the centre backs at the club are pushing each other on to get the very best out of one another.
As such, while those Arsenal fans are right to underline their frustration with Sokratis’ injury concerns, his likely lay-off is certainly not the end of the world such have been the efforts of Mustafi and Holding in recent times.
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