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Gary Neville slams ‘poor player’ Sokratis Papastathopoulos after Arsenal draw at Watford

first_imgGary Neville slams ‘poor player’ Sokratis Papastathopoulos after Arsenal draw at Watford Advertisement Phil HaighMonday 16 Sep 2019 8:04 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link24Shares Commentcenter_img Sokratis Papastathopoulos has come in for some serious criticism (Picture: AMA/Getty Images)Gary Neville has not held back on his criticism of Arsenal defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos after his mistake led to Watford’s first goal in the 2-2 Premier League draw on Sunday.The Greek centre-back was attempting to play out from the back from a goal kick when his pass was diverted into the path of Tom Cleverley by Gerard Deulofeu.Cleverley calmly slotted past Gunners goalkeeper Bernd Leno to reduce Watford’s deficit to 2-1, before Roberto Pereyra scored from the penalty spot after he was clumsily felled in the box by David Luiz.Neville thinks that the standard of defending at Arsenal means that they have not moved on since Unai Emery took over as manager last summer, and has singled out Sokratis for particular criticism.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENT‘Arsenal are trying to come out of the Arsene Wenger era and rid themselves of these types of games where they are exciting going forward, they can score goals, we know they’ve got good players in attacking positions,’ Neville told Sky Sports.‘But then you question their resilience, their game management, all the basic aspects of football, that they’ve not been good at for a long period of time now.‘A lot has been said about this type of thing [playing out from goal kicks], it’s just really poor play, people will point to structure, tactics, playing out from the back and whether you should split your centre-backs into these types of positions but it’s just really bad play.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man City‘Every time you watch Sokratis play, or him [Luiz] they just regularly make mistakes. The best players have concentration and focus, they don’t make mistakes.‘Arsenal’s defenders always give you a chance. Watford at 2-0 down never feel for one second that they can’t get back into the game.‘I just think Sokratis is a poor player, he’s a poor player. I don’t think it’s structural, I don’t think Unai Emery’s going to change, I just think it’s poor execution.’The Gunners centre-back has openly admitted to his own mistake, believing that he cost his team the three points at Vicarage Road.‘I think that I cost the game for the team,’ Sokratis said. ‘It was my mistake for something simple that I don’t have to do.‘I think this was the problem why we lose the three points. I apologised because I cost the game for the team and I have to work harder.’MORE: David Luiz has never had any of the qualities Arsenal need, says Tony CascarinoMORE: Tom Cleverley was surprised Arsenal kept playing out from the back during draw against Watford Advertisementlast_img read more