Jamie Carragher claims defender is not up to Arsenal level after Watford error

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Jamie Carragher has suggested that Sokratis Papastathopolous isn’t at the required standard to play for Arsenal following his mistake in the 2-2 draw against Watford on Sunday.

The 31-year-old lost possession in his own penalty area with Tom Cleverley intercepting his attempted pass before scoring past Bernd Leno to bring Watford back into the game.

Watford went on to secure a deserved point after Roberto Pereyra scored a penalty late on following a clumsy foul from Arsenal’s other centre-back David Luiz.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Carragher questioned Unai Emery’s decision to sign Sokratis and Luiz since arriving at Arsenal last summer.

Carragher said: ‘Emery inherited poor defenders. He has tried to move on Shkodran Mustafi, who made a lot of mistakes, but in David Luiz they have signed another defender who makes mistakes and in Sokratis, the club have brought in someone else who is perhaps not at the level where they need him.

‘I can understand the signing of David Luiz as he was cheap and they needed somebody, but I’m not his biggest fan and to give away two penalties in four games is not a great start at all.

The problem is, that will not change, no matter who the manager is. ‘David Luiz has had plenty of managers and he has always had the same problems.’

Sokratis was one of Emery’s first signings at Arsenal, joining in a £17m deal from Borussia Dortmund and he has been a virtual ever-present in the starting XI ever since.

This season, Sokratis has partnered Luiz four times in the Premier League, but the pair have combined for a mistake leading to a goal and two penalties conceded already.

Carragher’s fellow Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville, meanwhile, went a step further, stating: ‘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.’ Sokratis held his hands up after the game, posting on Twitter: ‘I think that I cost the game for the team. It was my mistake for something simple that I don’t have to do.’

 

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