Sokratis and his Greece national team manager Angelos Anastasiadis seem to be at odds and only one of them looks like they have a future with the team.
Sokratis, of course, wasn’t the worst Arsenal defender last season, far from it. But he was part of a larger comical collective in which he played an active part.
Off on international duty and trying to qualify for the 2020 Euros, which he thinks they have no chance of doing now, he hit out after his side lost for the first time to Armenia following a defeat 3-0 by Italy.
“The goals we conceded were playground goals and I take full responsibility for that,” said the Arsenal star. “I will take responsibility for whatever you wish. I believe developments will come and should come. I do not know anything specific, as for the soccer issues it is the president [of the federation] who is responsible.”
As a result of the defeats, the media in Greece are reporting a split has formed in their camp with #TeamSokratis believing that the coaching setup ‘refuses to see reality’.
Ekathimerini.com then report there are claims that Sokratis, who captains his country, along with Costas Manolas gave Costas Grammenos, the Greek Federation president, an ultimatum – pick between them or the manager from now on. Manolas was clearly not happy with being kept on the bench against Armenia.
Anastasiadis wasn’t best pleased when he was informed of his captain’s statements, saying: “Well, I believe we will go to the finals. If Mr Papastathopoulos does not believe so, he has no place here. He should not have told the press but to us in the locker room that he does not believe we can proceed. He is automatically placing himself out of the national team.”
Seemingly not wanting to cool the situation, he added: ”Ask the other lads, [Costas] Fortounis, [Dimitris] Siovas and [Andreas] Samaris, whether any one of them does not believe in it. The answer is what I am telling you.”
Technical director Angelos Basinas wasn’t for playing peacemaker either: “When you play like that from the first 10 minutes, the manager cannot do anything. I believe there is a future, there are lads who wish to give everything, whoever does not want to come should not join us. A managerial change will not do anything.”
Alternate president, Nikos Vakalis, however, did reportedly say in the early hours of Wednesday morning that appointing Anastasiadis might well have been mistake and he should probably do the decent thing and toddle off.