Thursday, February 29, 2024

Mustafi ruled out of Southampton trip

Arsene Wenger has ruled Shkodran Mustafi out of Sunday’s game with Southampton, but says the German international could return for West Ham on Wednesday.

The 25 year old limped off early during the 3-1 defeat to Manchester United last weekend with what the manager described as a small thigh problem.

However, in a team news update ahead of the trip to St Mary’s, Wenger says Mustafi will not be involved.

“The only one out at the moment is Mustafi,” he said.

“He is certainly not available for Sunday. There’s a little chance of him coming back for West Ham, but he will not be available for Sunday.”

Cynics will point to the Frenchman saying something very similar about Alexandre Lacazette before the United game but this does seem quite definitive.

Theo Walcott, fresh from a goal and a good performance in the 6-0 win over BATE Borisov, will also be available to face his old club if selected in the squad.

“He had a little tight calf and that’s why I took him off,” said Wenger, “but he looked alright after the game.”

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eternalflamini

I love Per, but maybe this is the type of game where we could try going back to 4 at the back. I know Ramsey has benefited from the new system, but can’t help feeling our defenders don’t try those daft passes if they have two deep lying mid-fielders to pass to.

yen

Tend to disagree. Nacho is not a natural CB for a classic CB pairing. Could be a trouble considering 1) we go to St. Mary’s and 2) Austin seems in-form.

If it was an easier home game, I’d say let’s roll with it. I’m all in when it comes to us reverting to back four, but this doesn’t seem like a suitable occassion to me.

Surely would be happy to be proven wrong though.

eternalflamini

I tend to the view that Nacho can do pretty much anything. But you may be right that west ham on weds might be a better option. Jack should be available as well for a start! Though that may be just wishful thinking on my part

Santori

Nacho is susceptible in the air.

He cannot do everything. He also made some poor decisions against United…rolled over far to easy by Martial for the goal.

Jack starting is a risk given injury record.

Its important to be more balance and not get overly taken by a performance in the Europa against Bare.

myrtle

Caught ball watching and completely lost valencia for the first as well.

Sean

Have to say I don’t share the same enthusiasm for the four at the back a lot of other people have recently. My mind instantly goes back to last season. Once Cazorla was injured, our performances got progressively worse with the back four to the point of being completely dire by about March. Sure, the back three isn’t perfect. But we’ve had some fantastic performances with it, and the last month or so has been especially encouraging. Which CB pairing do we trust in a back four system? Will Nacho have anywhere near the same level of performance as either… Read more »

yen

That’s an argument I’ve been also using over the summer & in the beginning of this season when many people called upon reverting to back four – we absolutely collapsed using back four system during last spring and we’ve done nothing ever since (especially in terms of bringing new, suitable midfield players) to make it work. Therefore I have no idea why this system should suddenly start working now. I realize I’ve only just said in the previous comment that “I’m all in when it comes to reverting to back four,” but now I’m wondering if it isn’t just me… Read more »

Santori

Its not a zero sum game.

Both back 4 or back 3 are options.

Depends on opponents and how they come at us.

Futsboller

I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how solid the team can play with a back three at times this season, but whether it is a back three or a back four, we are only successful when we play team defence and work as a unit (and don’t give the ball away for free). The team broke down mentally last season during that horrific run, so I don’t know if that justifies consigning the back-four formation to the dustbin. I personally would like to see the return to the back four (though not exclusively) because I think we have to perform at… Read more »

arsepedant

I agree with most of your points, but I think Mertesacker between Koscielny and Monreal is by far the better option if we go three at the back on Sunday.

Santori

The midfield have to make themselves available, not hide. I don’t think 3 or 4 at the back is an issue. The problem is both Granit and Ramsey are pass and move players not comfortable receiving the ball with backs to opposition when under duress. Neither can turn very well. Jack can turn and hold the ball in tight confines better. He maybe an instrument we could use next to Granit. Whether he has built up to the energy levels chasing the game of Ramsey is another thing and certainly we must be careful not to over use him for… Read more »

ronaldo

stick with holding and chambers

High gunner

conspiracy theory number one: mustafi is not injured so we can continue playing 4-3-3

Mpls

Theory number two: It’s actually a “Little Groin problem”

Andy Mack

When AW said that Lacazette wouldn’t play, it was pretty soon after the ‘incident’ so they didn’t have time to fully assess the injury, so it’s rather different from saying Mustafi won’t play 5 days after the ‘incident’.

Thierry Bergkamp

Why make Mertesacker captain if he won’t play, even when fit?

Futsboller

Because he’s the BFG; everyone (except for Macey) looks up to him. Despite what people say, we’ve got good captains in the squad who can do their duty during games — Walcott did a solid job yesterday, and Koscielny is no slouch.

Rectum Spectrum

Mustafi has a badly bruised…….ego.

Santori

Mustafi-Koscielny-Monreal is still the best defensive option.

However with Mustafi out Either we use Per in a back 3 or back 4 or we have either of Holing or Chambers with Koscielny shifted into the middle.

Bar the poor decision against United Mustafi has been excellent over recent games.

Such sort of mistakes will happen. Remember the red cards own goals and penalties conceded by Koscielny first season.

Santori

Walcott’s looking sharp. Might be good to unleash him at some point against former club.

Giroud and Jack too are options.

Both Holding and Chambers acquired themselves very well against Bate too.

Great to have competition and the added options.

Hi-brid

Why did it take us so long to notice that Mustafi had a problem with small thighs?

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