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.