Shkodran Mustafi says Arsenal’s North London derby victory over Sp*rs is proof that Arsene Wenger’s squad have character even if their critics continue to write them off.
The Germany international returned from injury to head the Gunners into the lead on 37 minutes and was in imperious form throughout as the home side protected a well-earned clean sheet.
Speaking after the victory, the Germany international accused the media of stirring speculation when they know nothing about what goes on behind the scenes at London Colney.
“That’s you guys thinking it,” he said. “As always – Arsenal is dead. Arsenal is not coming back. It’s always the same. It’s about what the team is thinking and feeling.
“We keep saying it that we are always alive, we always believe in ourselves, we always try to give everything on the pitch. Obviously when it comes to games like this you have to show character. We showed a great character, when we had the ball but also when we didn’t have it.”
Arsenal travel to high-flying Burnley next Sunday knowing they need to maintain their momentum if they are to keep pace with the top four. Currently, the Gunners sit in sixth place, level with their next opponents.
“It’s about being consistent,” noted Mustafi when asked Arsenal need to do next. “That’s our goal every day in training because you are only as good as your last game. If you win today and lose next weekend you are back where you were.”
The German, who nearly left London for Milan in the summer, also dismissed questions about his future at the Emirates.
“You [reporters] like to get the shit, the biggest shit. That’s your job,” he said. “People outside, talking and thinking that they know everything. What happens in the changing room is the real thing.
“I don’t understand why people just talk about things they cannot know about. If I have been talking to clubs or if I haven’t, it’s only rumours. Obviously there are so many newspapers, they need something to write because it’s boring if the paper is empty.”
He was similarly confrontational when the subject of Alexis and Mesut Ozil was brought up.
“You want everyone to leave, don’t you? We need the players, not everyone can leave. They are big players. Alexis, Mesut, they can create chances and score goals.
“Obviously everyone in the team wants them to stay here but in the end they choose. It’s their careers and they choose what decision they make.”
As a fan, you can’t help but love all of the above from Mustafi; a proper ‘backs-to-the-wall’ media appearance, peppered with swear words and a defiant tone we’ll need if we’re to achieve anything of note this season.