Sokratis Papastathopoulos hit back at condescending reports in the Greek media this weekend, after his appearance for the Arsenal u23s.

Sokratis Papastathopoulos at the Emirates Stadium with the Arsenal u23s (Photo via Arsenal Academy on Twitter)
Sokratis Papastathopoulos at the Emirates Stadium with the Arsenal u23s (Photo via Arsenal Academy on Twitter)

As we reported yesterday, Sokratis Papastathopoulos accepted an offer to play for the Arsenal u23s recently, starting with an appearance against Everton in the Premier League 2. He played over 70 minutes and helped them keep a clean sheet.

Greek outlet reported on the appearance with the headline: “Not even Sokratis expected his career to end up like this at Arsenal”. However, the player hit back at that suggestion, insisting it was his choice to represent the team.

“The fact that I went and played with Arsenal u23s but also that I will play again until January at least is clearly my choice and my honour,” Sokratis said.

“In these 15 long years of my career, I have more than 560 appearances, over 25 goals, winning 6 titles in three different leagues, and three important tournaments with my country.

“My career is very big and will continue to grow even more, so you on the keyboard can continue to disrespect values and careers just to get a ‘like’ and a comment. We will speak from January.”

I think it’s extremely harsh to say anything negative about Sokratis in this situation. In many ways, he was just unfortunate to miss out on the Arsenal Premier League and Europa League squads.

Arsenal didn’t make the extra sale or two to open up space for him, and Sokratis being in the final year of his deal made him an easy target for exclusion. Napoli – touted as the favourites to sign him – ended up not needing a centre-back after failing to sell first.

None of that was Sokratis’ fault, and there’s no suggestion of laziness behind the scenes or public shows of dissent. Quite the contrary, he’s showing full respect to Arsenal and to the youth side he’s currently helping out.

Of course, the main aim of his appearances with the u23s is to get fit and sharp for a potential January move. Nothing in training quite reflects the intensity of competitive football, even if it’s competitive youth football. So it’s the smart choice for Sokratis to make.

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 06: Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal celebrates with Fabio Vieira following the team's victory in the penalty shoot out during The FA Community Shield match between Manchester City against Arsenal at Wembley Stadium on August 06, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

2 players back, 3 out: Arsenal team news for RC Lens clash

Arsenal are set to welcome two players back into the fold when they take on RC Lens on Wednesday night, but three more will remain absent.
BRENTFORD, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 25: Leandro Trossard of Arsenal in action during the Premier League match between Brentford FC and Arsenal FC at Gtech Community Stadium on November 25, 2023 in Brentford, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Trossard on Arsenal team dynamics and settling in

Leandro Trossard discusses his on-field chemistry with Bukayo Saka, his adaptability in Arsenal's front line, and his smooth integration into the team.
NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 04: Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal, looks on prior to the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Arsenal FC at St. James Park on November 04, 2023 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Premier League appoint officials for Arsenal-Wolves ‘PGMOL derby’

Amid the current refereeing controversy surrounding both clubs, the Premier League have appointed their officials for Arsenal's game against Wolves on Saturday.
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - MAY 28: Douglas Luiz of Aston Villa in action during the Premier League match between Aston Villa and Brighton & Hove Albion at Villa Park on May 28, 2023 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

Arsenal want his midfielder, Unai Emery responds

Unai Emery has reaffirmed reports that Aston Villa don't want to sell Douglas Luiz in January, amid strong interest from Arsenal.
SALZBURG, AUSTRIA - OCTOBER 25: The UEFA logo is seen prior to the UEFA Champions League group E match between FC Salzburg and Chelsea FC at Football Arena Salzburg on October 25, 2022 in Salzburg, Austria. (Photo by Sebastian Widmann/Getty Images)

PSV vs Arsenal preview, team news, tickets & prediction

PSV and Arsenal have made decent starts to the respective league campaigns on the home front, and the two teams could be challenging for...