After a slow start to life under Unai Emery, things are slowly starting to look up for Arsenal.
The Gunners are now on a run of four straight victories and seem to have to put their poor start well and truly behind them. Plenty of players have now found their feet and are starting to play to the best of their abilities, meaning that Arsenal fans are filled with a sense of optimism which has been sorely lacking in recent years.
One of those who seems to have stepped up to the plate recently is summer signing Sokratis Papastathopoulos. The Greek centre-back joined Arsenal from Borussia Dortmund to help tighten up the traditionally leaky defence, but he endured a shaky start to life in north London.
It is fair to say that many Arsenal fans had their doubts about the 30-year-old during pre-season after he put in some questionable performances.
Oh for Christ sake Sokratis genuinely looks shocking, not much different from Mustafi— J (@JGooner15) July 14, 2018
Bro we bought Sokratis 16m. This guy is terrible— Emery's Son (@donceelogy) August 1, 2018
Early days, but Sokratis is worrying me a bit!— Hillsy-the-Gooner (@TrevorH18852991) August 1, 2018
However, he has since found his feet and is putting in some consistent performances at the heart of the Arsenal defence.
He was particularly impressive against Vorskla in the Europa League on Thursday evening and was arguably Arsenal's standout performer. His performance did more than enough to win over supporters, who are now convinced that he'll be a permanent fixture in the defence going forward.
You can’t tell me Sokratis is a bad defender just because of a pre season game,his been one of our most consistent players this season already. Kos-Sokra partnership will stop us leaking goals— 👥 (@agbooski94) September 21, 2018
Sokratis easing in nicely! Not a bad player!— Kyle_AFC † (@kyl3_hopkins) September 20, 2018
Sokratis has really surprised me since joining. Solid, reads the game well and has bags of pace. Look forward to him partnering Koscielny at the back.— AFCAMDEN (@AFCAMDEN) September 20, 2018
Can we all just appreciate Sokratis' pass to Lichtsteiner in the build-up there please. I love him more each game.— Charles Watts (@charles_watts) September 20, 2018
First team captain Laurent Koscielny is set to return to action in December and the French defender is likely to be partnering Sokratis rather than replacing him. As far as Arsenal fans are concerned, the sooner Shkodran Mustafi is phased out of the first team picture, the better.