Shkodran Mustafi says Arsenal can’t afford to make further mistakes when they face Chelsea on Saturday having had their new playing style tested to the max by Manchester City in their opening game of the season.
Reflecting on last weekend’s defeat to the reigning champions, the Germany international admitted that implementing their pre-season work on the playing field proved particularly tough against Pep Guardiola’s slick operators. That said, he insists that playing with fear is not an option if they’re going to make Unai Emery’s tactics work.
“Playing against Man City, it’s not easy to put everything you have been working on onto the pitch,” he told the Evening Standard.
“Maybe against other teams you can get away with one or two mistakes. The next game is Chelsea — we can’t make too many.
“But if you are scared of making mistakes, that’s when they happen. We have to be sure about what we want to do. We are trying to play a different game from last year. If we’re confident, we’ll get results.”
During a nervy opening 45 minutes, Mustafi and new boy Sokratis were charged with collecting the ball from Cech at almost every re-start. Sometimes it worked, often they found themselves closed down rapidly. He recognises, courtesy of feedback from new coach Unai Emery, that he has improvements to make.
“He told me the positives in my game and what to work on. I’m happy because it’s difficult when you never know what to work on because no one tells you.”