Thursday, May 30, 2024

Emery on Mustafi: Sometimes players don’t play well

Unai Emery refused to single out Shkodran Mustafi for criticism after the German made a huge blunder which allowed Wilfried Zaha to put Crystal Palace in front during the 3-2 defeat to the Eagles today.

The Gunners had equalised through Mesut Ozil, and were on top until the defender inexplicably stopped at a crucial moment, allowing the Ivorian to nip in and put the ball beyond Bernd Leno.

It was a catastrophic error. Mustafi also failed to track the run of Christian Benteke for the first – although Carl Jenkinson played the Palace man onside – and his defending for their third left plenty to be desired as well.

To top it off, he picked up a yellow card for an absurd dive, but when asked about him after the game, the Arsenal boss chose to speak in more general terms.

“We can speak about players individually, but sometimes they can play very well, sometimes cannot play well,” he said.

“But I prefer to speak about the consistency in the season. I think we are, every player, helping and every player is playing with a big performance and today also, when you can defend against a player like Benteke or Zaha, you can suffer more than maybe in other situations.

“But if today we were better in the set pieces, maybe we could have won this match and also, we controlled the possession but in the attacking third they defended their goal and their box very well and we didn’t find the best situation to score and to take more chances to score.

“In all the season I think he is being consistent.”

To be fair, that last sentence is quite difficult to argue with. And look, the manager can’t lambaste his players in public, we all understand that, but hopefully this only solidifies the club’s stance in which he is reportedly a candidate for departure this summer.

How did Mustafi rate? Check out the Arsenal 2-3 Crystal Palace player ratings

Arsenal 2-3 Crystal Palace – player ratings

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I’ll probably get thumbs down for this, but is he the worst arsenal player in recent history? And if not why/name one


Silverstre, chu young park, squillaci for a start


Did any of them cost £35 MILLION???

Runcorn Gooner

Emery got it right. Mustafi is consistent. Consistently dreadful.
He dives in on players totally unnecessary e.g. Spurs for the
decisive penalty and countless other times. He never ever learns from his mistakes.

The annoying thing is that AW almost got rid of him 2 years ago.


Perhaps I’m watching too much “Line of Duty” but is Mustafi a rat planted at AFC by the Spuds?

(No, I don’t want him to meet the same fate.)


Against Everton last match, he made the most tackles and intercepts plus won the most aerial duels and duels won. What is consistent is that some people like scapegoats. Some years back it was Flamini. Now its Mustafi. When Flamini played for a stretch with Ramsey (then a liability as well in deep midfield) the pair put together a great run even with us without some of our better assets. We won games against City and Olympiakos away no less. It was when some of the top assets returned to squad that we started to dry up in front of… Read more »

Billy Bob

Yeah but we still lost to Everton so not a great example

Michael Laniyan

Consistently useless and a should be sold, players like this drag the team down with their ineptitude. Absolutely unworthy of Arsenal shirt!


This is the thing with him, he makes mistakes and does risky things all the time

Not surprising he costs us points

He does have good games sometimes but not enough

Whiskey Will

Challenge accepted! I think I can do a whole starting 11.
Chamakh, Arshavin, Gervinho, Denilson, the ghost of Abou Diaby, Samir Nasri’s chin, Squillaci, Santos, Djourou, Eboue, Almunia.

Arse City Blues

Arshavin worse than Mustafi?? Are you serious? And Gervinho and Eboue were unfairly maligned in my opinion.. Eboue was mainly very good (except when thrown into DM of course 😉 ) and Gervinho did some amazing things, only to then miss a completely open goal.. a bit like Hleb actually!


I’ve had this conversation with friends and though I don’t believe him the worst he is without a doubt my least favourite. The arm flapping and looking for someone else to blame the primary reason why.

Red Arrow

Gus Caesar??

Cliff Bastin

Well narrowing it down to just centre backs who have annoyed me as much as Mustafi :

Cygan, Senderos, Squillaci, and some games Vermaelen. None of them were World Cup winners though.

SB Still

While Emery doesn’t want to criticise any player in public, I hope some of them got the hair dryer treatment in the dressing room/private.

Now we desperately need 2 away wins.


to be fair, mustafi has been consistent….consistently shit that is


Can he be considered consistent as in consistently awful?

Maybe that is what Emery meant.


Sometimes men like women, sometimes men like men, then they are bisexuals, though some just say they’re kidding themseeeelves…


Some are Left08, to them we say fuck the fuck off and disappear u irrelevant cunt.


Never heard of a show called Friends then? Millennials *sigh*

Tankard Gooner

Not right now Phoebe!


@LEFT08, I know the site is called ARSEblog, but this really isn’t the place for you to come out.


Too funny…lol


It’s not just that he’s bad, he’s arrogant. It feels wrong to hate a player who wears your colours, but…

And whichever transfer guru decided we need another young defender in Mavropanos when 1) we already had Holding and Chambers and 2) can’t rely on Koscielny’s fitness through a season, hats off. Top quality needs assessment there.

Greg in Seattle

Mavropanos didn’t cost us much and added to the youth locker, since you never know who will pan out. False argument to say he got in the way of bigger transfer business.

Now, loaning him out instead of Chambers, that I don’t understand at all.

Hank Scoprio

He’s been injured until recently hasn’t he? It wasn’t a choice of one or the other. Having said that I didn’t feel at the time we should have loaned Chambers and a lot of people were confused about that one.


Wenger bought Chambers for 16mill and chose not to buy Van Dijk.


Wasn’t he advised by scouts not to buy van Dijk because he was “too lackadaisical” (you may recognize this as the calmness he exudes in Liverpool’s back line these days)?


Don’t get me started on that fraud Wenger.

Bendtner’s Ego

I think Fulham asked about Callum and Callum was up for it because he knew he might not play much this season (going into it).

Although Fulham got relegated, he has played a lot of minutes and has had a good accounting of himself at DM.

Harish Hirani

I know it’s tough to think about but we will still need him until the end of the season.

I hope the displeasure from Arsenal fans will remain as subdued as humanly possible – getting on his back for the remaining few games won’t help us at all.

Kay Mensah

Mustafi is just an ‘ofun’…in my native language… He’s a dumb as a dead head can be

I’m not watching any match in which I see his name in the line up… If I do I may end up destroying my Television.

I lost hope for today when I read Sokratis was suspended… I knew Mustafi will end up betraying us.

Emery should also learn to stop experimenting sometimes, Elneny + Guendouzi… How?
We were not playing Wigan Athletic for God sake


Wigan won today btw

Good ebening… the Mustafi is look a bowl of paella – soomtimeees it is vary neeece, soomtimeees its tastes look donkee wizz. Good ebening.


Emery speaks at least Spanish, Basque and French fluently… Do a press conference in your fourth tongue before you take the piss champ.


Emery handled that question nicely, we should grant him that. Yes, in hindsight, the lineup was all wrong. But he has a thin squad…. if we had won or perhaps even drawn, we’d call him a genius. [Had we taken the easy chances, and had that second — most preventable — Palace goal been avoided, we would have actually won this.]

Lord Bendnter

The thing about Mustafi is that he actually plays pretty alright. Even today, he made some pretty good challenges as well. However, he makes those absolutely awful mistakes that cost us goals and/or points. His mistakes turn out to be major mistakes, basic mistakes that a defender should not be making at his level at all. That’s why we need a more reliable CB. Sokratis is way more reliable, but his tendency to get on the books means we can’t rely on him to play every game.

Fireman Sam

Mustafi must be selling his services for bitcoin to the highest bidder. Wonder how much spuds paid for that shoulder barge on Harry Gormless to get a point they didn’t deserve.


the entire defence needs a makeover next season 1)Koscielny is getting old 2) Monreal is getting old 3) Lichtsteiner and Cech are too old that leaves us with Sokrates as our only real defender, and he’s also getting old. And just for the hell of it Øzil, Auba and Mhiki are also getting old. in 3 years time 7 players will almost certainly be to old for our team, and Ramsey is also leaving this summer. All that aside I can see Bernd Leno, Bellerin, Xhaka, Torreira, Guendouzi and Lacazette becoming class players over the next couple of years. not… Read more »


Man, I remember 2 years ago when Arsenal tried selling Mustafa after one season. Then he was decent, and people were expressing shock and disappointment that AW was trying to sell “our best defender.”
How time flies.

Stevie B

Who the hell agreed to buy mustafi. They need to be charged with fraud.




Mustafi has been consistent…consistently poor.


I will lose a lot of respect for Emery if he doesn’t shift this arm-flapping, foot-sliding, big-mouthed, mentally-weak, dead-weight out over the summer.


Muatafi out.

El Neny please out.

Although I don’t think we will get even 10m combined for both of them


He’s absolutely correct Unai. Mustafi is a player under the microscope whom some people have over emphasised for issues defensively. Is he the best defender in the world? Certainly not by a far margin. But people are looking for faults and he has them in him. OTOH when he played well last game against Everton, people preferred to single out Koscielny as the defensive rock for that game even though Mustafi won the most duels, most aerial duels, made the most intercepts and the most tackles. Suddenly no ‘By the numbers’ in that particular match. I’m not trying to defend… Read more »


What a hypocrite you are, consistently complain about Mustafi being singled out for criticism but you have no problem regurgitating your comments on Torreira that you copy and paste from one of your long winded previous comments.


The other issue with consistently singling out Mustafi is most people are looking for faults (ignoring the fact other players make them too) Of course Mustafi has not helped himself by this glaring error. BUT it detracts away from our bigger issues. We had plenty of possession today but it was for the most part (first half especially) sterile possession. When you look at shots on target and shots taken, Palace are virtually the same as us even with less possession. We had some good chances late on which Iwobi (who as a massive plus when he came on) did… Read more »


Have to mostly agree. Though just to be an arse, it was Mustafi who lost his marker to allow beneke a free header for goal #1. And the Zaha goal, WTF was mustafi doing? This is stuff high school/academy players learn not to do. Mustafi has a ton of natural ability, but his football smarts are non-existent. He’s learnt nothing and relies on his abilities to save him. Headless chicken … and he cost Arsenal badly. As others have said above, Mustafi has been making these costly mistakes since we bought him. He needs to be sold. The experiment is… Read more »


I’d like the club to buy a centre back (or any new player) from the Premier League so that they can hit the ground running. I’m a little bit fed up of players coming in from other leagues who always seem to need so long to settle. Ryan Fraser wants to come hear, we need a winger, so buy him. No brainer. As for Mustafi he is the very weak link in our very poor defence and has been for some time. There must be a half decent centre back in the Premier League who would jump at the chance… Read more »


Igors Stepanovs. End of discussion.


He gives 100% every game. He’s in shit form but never hides. He gets dogs abuse from the fans which can only serve to make his form worse. It’s standard behaviour for our fans and they won’t stop until he’s either: Left the club Starting playing like Paulo maldini. It gets boring the way our fan base single out a player and fail to have any objectivity. The worse thing about it though is that there’s no understanding of the fact that the more we get on a players back, the worse they are likely to play. Any way. I’ve… Read more »


“In all the season I think he is being consistent”
Yep! You are right on the money with that statement Unai. He is consistently worse than useless! 35 million! I think this is possibly Arsenal’s worst piece of defensive business ever. Hopefully he will be offloaded at the end of the season taking whatever we can get for him. Even if it is in Euros, Polish Zlotys or any other form of legal currency!


I didn’t think I would do this, but i feel the need to stand up for Mustafi. He is of course a player prone to do big mistakes and I agree that he’s not good enough for a top team, but does he really deserve the hate expressed both in Arseblog and in the replies? He tries hard every game, sometimeswhen the play suits him , he do pretty good, when the play make him to make swift decisions, he fails.
If we drop out of top four, it’s not Mustafis fault, it’s the collective weak team effort away.

Paul Roberts

Speech bubble on the picture…Leno is saying “What the actual fuck???” 🙂




The most Yellow bellied player to ever don an Arsenal jersey.


When Mustafi has a good game, it feels like more of an anomaly. He’s never lived up to the potential, and honestly, I’d rather we kept Gabriel (hindsight, innit?). We need to get rid of him in the summer if we’re going to have a solid defensive unit, but its unlikely given a couple of factors (our budget, his salary, and the age profile of our other defenders). Also, considering we have no technical director (still), the likelihood of us moving him on seems far fetched. If I were Emery, I’d have him playing with the reserves after the spineless… Read more »


Get rid of him! Holding is back next season and we’ve got mavrapanos so I’m not worried about the cb position too much. If we qualify for the CL then I’m sure we will be able to attract a good cb.


Mustafi did nothing wrong for the 1st goal at all. he held a perfect line with the rest of the defence that he can see in front of him. Benteke was a full metre in front and that was entirely jenkinsons fault, who has a full view of the entire backline and benteke too. You can even see Mustafi berating the lino after, because in his eyes, benteke is way offside.

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