Papastathopoulos says Arsenal have become better defensively under Arteta

Arsenal defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos has said that the Gunners have become better with their defensive displays under the guidance of Mikel Arteta. The north London side have remained unbeaten since the turn of the year and much of that has been contributed by the improved displays in the backline.

Of course, they have had the tendency to draw most of their games but Sokratis feels the team are on the up with Arteta at the helm, the former AEK Athens mansaid: “When all the players defend, the defence is better. It’s not down to four or five of us – it’s down to the whole team and now we do that a lot better. We’re not allowing opponents to have a lot of shots like we were earlier in the season and much of this is down to the work of the manager. From his first day, he spoke to us about what we had to do better. There is still a lot of room for improvement but every week we look to take another step forward.”
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Arsenal defender attracting interest from Olympiakos

Arsenal defender Konstantinos Mavropanos could reportedly be heading for a loan departure from the Emirates Stadium, having struggled for gametime with the club. The Greek defender was promising with his displays during the closing stages of Arsene Wenger’s tenure but he has since struggled for playing time with a number of injuries along the way.

Mavropanos has made just a couple of appearances for the Gunners this term but his prospects of securing a regular berth appear slim with new manager Mikel Arteta looking at the possibility of adding another centre-back in the ranks rather than banking on the options at hand. As a result, Mavropanos has been touted to head for a fresh challenge for a while and reports in England claims that he could join either Nottingham Forest or Olympiakos in the New Year.

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Athens Get First Win in Three after Beating Volos

AEK Athens were able to prepare for the game against the Olympiakos in style after a 3-2 success over Volos at home. This was the first victory in three matches for AEK Athens, who had previously drawn games against PAOK and Larissa. The game started with a disappointment for the home team, who conceded the 24th minute through Joaquin Torres. Athens, though, were level after just four minutes when Marko Livaja came up with the equaliser after capitalising on an assist from Petros Mandalos. From then, the game took a major turn in the direction of the home team because Juan Muñiz was sent off with a straight red card deep into injury time.

This helpedAthens make significant inroads into the game just after half-time. ManagerKostenoglou responded by making changes at half-time by bringing on the likes ofGiakoumakis. It took a while before the changes made a desired impact.Mandalos, who had previously assisted the equaliser, came up with a goal from the penalty spot in the 75th minute. The pressure ultimately started telling on the visitors, as Mandalos came up with another goal just three minutes later. Even thoughAthens looked like being in a great spot for a comfortable victory, Volos once again made things tough by scoring the second goal of the evening with seven minutes left.

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Pedro Martins Happy with Champions League Qualification

Olympiakos was Pedro Martins claims that it is a remarkable achievement that the team was able to qualify for the Champions League where they will play alongside the likes of Bayern Munich and Tottenham. The Greek outfit were able to get past Krasnodar in the qualifying rounds. They have been able to set up a group stage along with Spurs and Bayern – two teams that are favourites to even win the competition. The incredible strength in this group may bring about some kind of a rotation policy, according to Martins.

The Greek football culture was heavily criticised earlier but it has progressed in leaps and bounds. Yet, it is rather difficult for the difficult to expect getting past the two games. Still, it has not prevented Pedro Martins from dreaming about reaching the knockout stages of the Champions League. At the very least, the club will be hoping to reach the Europa League by finishing third in the group. After having adapted well to Greek culture and football, Martins says that he has already been able to achieve the first objective of getting into the Champions League which is very healthy for the club and Greek football as a whole.

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AEK Athens Bring in Kostenoglou as New Coach

AEK Athens shocked the football community by sacking manager Miguel Cardoso after just one match. The Portuguese manager took charge of the Greek outfit only on July 1st and he lasted just under two months at the team. He signed a two-year contract with the club, but the 2-1 defeat against Xanthi produced a shock response from the team. Club president Dimitris Melissanidis announced after the game thatCardoso’s reign at the club has come to an end. It is a major disaster for the Portuguese, who lasted only a short spell at his previous role.

Cardoso started his managerial career with Shakhtar Donetsk as the assistant boss. He became the manager of Portuguese outfit Rio Ave FC and he spent almost a year with the team – managing 42 games. This happens to be the longest he has spent at a club as a manager. From here,Cardoso made the switch to French outfit Nantes, where he lasted only eight matches. Then he jumped ship to Celta de Vigo where he spent only 15 games before coming to Greek football.Cardoso was brought in as the replacement for Manolo Jimenez.

Now, KinosKostenoglou has been appointed as the new coach of the club. It is understood that AEK Athens tried to bring in Gustavo Poyet, but a refusal from the Uruguayan has led them to switch their attention towardsKostenoglou. He has been in charge of teams likeAsterasTripolis,Anorthosis, Xanthi, andAris Thessaloniki. The team has done well to recover from the defeat against Xanthi, as they have been able to beat Trabzonspor in the Europa league before getting a comeback victory overAsterasTripolis in the domestic competition. The back-to-back victories have given the team a lot of confidence before they take onLamia just after the international break.

Former Arsenal defender speaks on the partnership of Sokratis and Mustafi

Former Arsenal ladies defender Alex Scott has said that Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Shkodran Mustafi have failed to work as a central defensive pair because of the regular tinkering done by manager Unai Emery. The duo featured during the recent away trip at Leicester City, where the Gunners were convincingly beaten 3-0 after they had Ainsley Maitland-Niles sent off in the first period.

Speaking after the game, Scott said that the recent downfall for the Gunners has come from individual mistakes, mostly from the heart of the backline. She added that it is a miracle that the north London side are still in the race to make the top four of the Premier League with two games to play.
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