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Arsenal hero reveals what Sokratis said to team-mates after Watford blunder


Arsenal legend Robert Pires says Sokratis Papastathopoulos publicly apologised to his team-mates after his horror show against Watford last week.

The Greece international gave the ball away in his own box, which gifted the Hornets a goal and started their comeback.

Pires – who works closely with the first-team squad – says the experienced defender was full of remorse after the 2-2 draw.

“I talked to Sokratis and he said: ‘yes, it’s a mistake. It’s my responsibility’ and he apologised to the other players,” Pires exclusively told Starsport earlier this week.

“For me it’s the reaction. If you make a mistake I don’t care, that’s football. But for the next game you need to be the boss.

“I feel a good atmosphere inside the dressing room. Watford was an accident.

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“If there’s a good reaction against Aston Villa, the fans will appreciate it.”

Arsenal now have several young English stars in their ranks.

Joe Willock, Reiss Nelson, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Emile Smith-Rowe and Bukayo Saka – who dazzled against Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League – could all become regulars for the Three Lions.

Pires says it’s a huge boost for Gareth Southgate and the north Londoners.

“Of course it’s good for England, but first of all good for Arsenal,” he added.

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Robert Pires says Sokratis was gutted by his Watford shocker

“Willock signed a new contract but Nelson had a very good opportunity last year on loan in Germany.

“Now he’s back at Arsenal and he’ll got more minutes and possibilities. Arsenal are building – or rebuilding – a new team.

“We have young players and I’m happy because the owner, Mr Kroenke, has also spent a lot of money for Nicolas Pepe.”

Arsenal host Aston Villa at the Emirates this afternoon.

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Arsenal starlet Bukayo Saka impressed in the Europa League

Despite the underwhelming showing against Watford, Unai Emery’s men are favourites to get a result.

Pires, however, has urged caution although is keen for the side to put on a show in front of their home support.

“When we talk about the Premier League all the games are tough,” he said.

“We will play at home, at the Emirates. The last game there we drew against Spurs. Now it’s time to win for everybody.”



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