Sunday, May 19, 2024

Graham: Hopefully Mustafi is the one

George Graham is hoping Arsene Wenger’s acquisition of Shkodran Mustafi means Arsenal’s quest for a tough central defender is over.

The former Gunners manager says he’s been impressed by the way the World Cup winner has settled at the Emirates and particularly enjoyed watching the centre-back boss professional whinge-bag, Diego Costa, in the 3-0 win over Chelsea.

“I’m sure Arsène has been after a centre half for a few years, but there aren’t many great ones about,” Graham told The Times [paywalled].

“Early days, but I like what I see of [Shkodran] Mustafi — typical German defender, physically tough, mentally strong. Hopefully he is the one. He was excellent against [Diego] Costa.”

A winner of two Division One titles, two League Cups, an FA Cup and the Cup Winners’ Cup, Graham knows a thing or two about what it takes to succeed at the top end of the game. Now 71, he says he’s still hoping to see Arsenal do what they’ve never done – win the Champions League.

He reflected: “Hopefully, with the buys Arsène has made, they’ve got that toughness now and they can have a real go — not just in the Premier League but in Europe because what I would love, more than anything, is to see Arsenal win the Champions League.

“I thought they were the best team in Europe around the Invincibles season [2003-04]. They were phenomenal. They had it all — power, strength, beautiful football.”

Arseblog News couldn’t help but do a little *sigh* at those last lines. In a parallel universe that Wayne Bridge shot cannons off the post, disfigures John Terry’s testicles and Thierry runs up the other end and scores the winner. Monaco are dismissed in the semi-final with ease and then Robert Pires’ hat-trick in the final against Porto is so damaging for Jose Mourinho that he packs in football on the spot to become a pig farmer in rural Portugal.

Anyway, we digress. If you’ve a subscription to The Times you can read the rest of Oliver Kay’s lovely interview with George Graham here.

Listen to today’s Arsecast, Ozil’s goal, the NLD and more

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Arseblog News Hound’s comment at the end is full of win…
if only it happens in the real world!


you don’t see GG piping up about the club very often. Glad it’s a nice interview and not an overly critical take on AW, though I can’t read it.


George knows


Can’t believe he’s 71 now! Boy do I feel old…

“Georgy Grahams magic, he wears a magic hat, and when he saw the agents bung he said I’m having that!”


Mustafi header against Spurs. Calling it.


or a Xhaka 30 yarder


I’m greedy, i want both!

Parisian Weetabix

My money’s on Rosicky. I don’t care who he plays for now, Rosicky ALWAYS scores for us against Sp*rs.


Flamini Brace surely?


Rosicky and Pires to get a run-out on Sunday then? Guaranteed to win


Mustafi has been great so far. Was a bit skeptical over him as I felt he was a bit similar to Kos and gabriel and thought it’d be Kos – TV4 pairing all over again, but it has worked out better than expected.
He was my 3rd choice signing behind Manolas and Koulibaly, but it’s turned out alright.


I still feel they are a bit shaky. Both terrific defenders and hopefully they will continue to develop their partnership for the next months.


Yeah I get what you mean. Mustafi seems to struggle with crosses and balls played in behind. He’s young and will improve with time.


Mustafi is the man for me….guts and steel..In mid- field….


I have sympathy for the pigs.


We still let teams have a lot of chances against us so I’m not fully convinced yet. I’ve been hurt before.

Remember Senderos’s emergence? Man of the match v Bayern and looked like Tony Adams reborn, even kept Sol benched for the cup final.

Then…and then. He got Drogba’d.

An Ox-sized Coq

Mustafi will absolutely screw up, it’s inevitable cause no one is perfect. It seems people have forgotten that bit when Koscielny cocked up the League Cup Final. I have faith from the early displays that he will develop nicely.

Reality Check

He did alright against Drog of today (
Costa), that’s also in his first few games. Not bad


There have been errors, and clearly getting the teamwork spot on with his co-defenders is something that takes a bit of time, but overall I’m very happy with him. He’s only (relatively) young, but hasn’t seemed overawed in the slightest and has no qualms about barking out instructions to senior colleagues. My prediction is that by the end of this season he will be being touted as one of the best centre-halves in Europe. And will be a future captain.

It Is What It Is

Fully agreed. If Arsene is gonna spend that much money on a player, it’s going to work out in all likelihood…let alone, that much for a defender (position shouldn’t dictate price or associated value but, this is Earth). If Arsene is going to spend that much WONGA, it is safe to assume he requested a feasibility study, stool sample, amino acid composition of his mothers breast milk etc. Not to mention, references from captain Per, and the second coming himself. Where a missed chance is a learning opportunity for a striker, I hope we remember that a defender’s errors can… Read more »

David Hillier's luggage

My bitterness towards George Graham has fallen in recent years, not least because of his comments in the press clearing showing he still loves of Arsenal and seems to have a massive admiration for what Arsene has done for not only us but the game in general.

I’ve also come to realise that his time at Sp*rs was only to show them that to win anything they needed an Arsenal man to do it.


George Graham, Arsenal legend, 77 goals, doubles, league titles as player and manager.
Anfield May 1989 and only ONE game short of an invincible season in 1990/91


we lost once to chelsea….

it’s amazing this (losing only once) has not be mentioned too frequently…

Edu's nose

Graham Mustafi, anyone?

Scott P

Not me, but thank you for the offer.


Graham 6 titles in 9 years.
Wenger 9 titles in 20 years.

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