Mustafi: I’ll just keep playing my football

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When Unai Emery went public on Arsenal’s willingness / eagerness to let Shkodran Mustafi leave, it looked as though the German had played his last game for the Gunners.

In the end, a move never materialised. Clubs are thought to have tested the water but having been given a whopping contract that still has a couple of years to run, you can hardly blame the defender for sticking things out at the Emirates.

On the one hand, he knows he’s at the bottom of the pecking order now, propping things up with Dinos Mavropanos, on the other, it’s pretty clear that when he is given game time, like he was last night, he has to take those opportunities to put himself in the shop window. After all, he’s still only 27 which in the life of a centre-back is pretty young.

Last night, he did pretty well against Eintracht Frankfurt. While the game was comically open and Arsenal allowed the home side 24 shots at goal, at least we came away with a win and a clean sheet.

After the game, Mustafi made clear that he has no intention of kicking up a fuss about being relegated, for the most part, to a bit-part role.

“I‘ve never been someone who begins a war when something doesn‘t work out,” he told the press in the mix zone after the 3-0 win.

“I always said: If it is possible, I am open to take the next step. If not, I keep playing my football.

“My father, who is my agent, spoke to the club. I am an Arsenal player and I’ve still got two years contract.

“The manager said he sees me the same way he sees every player in the team. That‘s why I played today and that‘s it. We are going to see what the future holds.”

You can’t argue with that.

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Red-Sky
Red-Sky

I’d like to see Mustafi start a war for not being a regular starter. That be funny.

Jack but
Jack but

Honestly , I will choose mustafi over Louis

Arsenio
Arsenio

Louis Vuitton or Louis van Gaal?

TeeCee
TeeCee

Joe Louis? Bit old for a central defender and of course dead, but apart from that…

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia
Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Mustafi should give Luiz advice for next year.

Dobbi
Dobbi

Last season’s scapegoat for Arsenal’s defensive failings. Well guess what, we’ve looked just as bad, if not worse, in the current season without him. You can put Tony Adams and Martin Keown in the current team and we will still leak goals because its the entire team’s responsibility to defend, not just the center backs.

Rich
Rich

Xhaka, Mustafi, Luiz, Sokratis, Kolasinac are all error prone, and wouldn’t get in any other top 6 team on a regular basis, I’m not convinced their problems are coaching ones.

Ozil is a Jackle and Hide, and Mkhitaryan was the same, and that’s got nothing to do with Emery, it’s just who they are….

Torreira, Guendouzi, Willock, Nelson, Niles, Holding, Saka, Smith-Rowe, Tierney, Bellerin, are all young players learning their trade.

Pepe and Ceballos are still relatively young, and going through a customary adjustment period.

Apart from Aubameyang, Lacazette and Leno we don’t have any other top class experienced players to build around.

Would Ashley Cole have reached the same heights, had he not come into a back line of Lauren, Campbell, Keown, with the other experienced internationals through our team?

Look at the nous and experience other sides have throughout their squads, we don’t have anywhere near the quality or experience running through the spine of our squad.

This is also a new team, building a team takes time, and we’re likely at least 2 seasons away from progressing, that’s if our fan base haven’t forced out 3-4 managers, and destroyed our youngster confidence permanently in the meanwhile.

George
George

Jackle and Hide, huh. Outstanding.

Rich
Rich

Ozil + Mkhitaryan are mostly hide, how often do they shown up? But when they do they’re usually devilishly delicious …

Neil
Neil

*Jekyll and Hyde

Dom47
Dom47

George, don’t be like that, not everyone speaks English as their native language.

Neil
Neil

Man City put away 8 against Watford, and we only managed a draw. I think that says it all, in terms of the gulf between the top two sides and the Arse

Rich
Rich

Man City put 8 past Watford, we managed a draw, but Norwich who beat City 3-2 last week, then lost to Burnley 2-0 today, and we beat Burnley 2-1 just a few week back…

So technically that makes us better than City using your logic?……

ToucanSam
ToucanSam

That’s a lot of common sense for one comment. You need to gear down mate.

truj
truj

Poor old Senderos and Djouru … we’ve got our Arsenal back.

George
George

Yeah, well, I’ll take my chances with Adams and Keown thanks very much.

It’s not a zero-sum game after all. Mustafi can suck independently.

Mesut O’Neill
Mesut O’Neill

Hasn’t Dave Luiz already made more errors leading to goals than Mustafi did the whole of last season?

Danger Mouse
Danger Mouse

Definitely…When it became clear that the only centre half available in the summer was David Luiz we should have kept our money in our pocket. Luiz is MORE unreliable than Mustafi. Even Lampard sussed that one out. Luiz’s horror show at Liverpool was possibly the most lazy, brainless defensive display I’ve ever seen.

Neil
Neil

Not sure why the above was downvoted. There’s truth there. I’d say that Mustafi has more reason to work tirelessly to improve than Luiz at this point…and Mus did ok against Frankfurt

Ordnance Dave
Ordnance Dave

Was hoping David would come in and try to shut up all his doubters. Rather, he seems to be quite happy to just go through the motions this season. When Holding is back he should be dropped.

ach
ach

Why keep mentioning this 24 shot thing? Why not your beloved xG? Oh wait, it doesn’t fit the narative.

Dave M
Dave M

What was the xG In this game? They did have too many clear cut chances. I can only remember 1 in the 2nd half, rest were half chances at best

bruv
bruv

it was 1.8 i think

Goontastic
Goontastic

I believe it was just : SWAG

Bishop
Bishop

I lay our defensive frailties at the Manager’s feet.
… but Come on buddy, you need to leave. Some things aren’t meant to be.

Mintoes
Mintoes

Absolutely. He was shit under Wenger also. And let’s nit forget he wanted to leave the club after the first season and join Inter because he couldn’t settle. Been a bad fit from the get go.

Twatsloch
Twatsloch

OK, we know it’s not worked out on the pitch and his fate has been sealed albeit postponed, but at least he conducts himself with dignity. I can respect rhat. Unlike a certain French shirt shifter.

Santori
Santori

Bottomline

1) We have failed to address our defensive issues in the summer yet again. Luiz was a panic buy ala Squillacci (I’m sure plenty similar voices then convinced themselves what a good idea it was). Saliba an expensive punt on a player with barely 19 matches under the belt and a year unavailable. The goal was always to have to rely on Koscielny one more season too long. He did us a massive favour but we failed to capitalise.

2) I’ve been saying it for several years now it does not matter if its Mustafi or whoever at the back (last season Koscielny-Sokratis went 7 games leaking all manner of goals including against Wolves away and Chelsea in the finals)

Now the narrative is its Xhaka’s fault bc no one else plays in midfield. Never mind Guendouzi has made more errant passes, it is now Granit the scape goat.

Midfield’s issue start from its relation with the forward line.

3) Might as well keep Mustafi. None of the other options are any more convincing. This isn’t setting the bar terribly high of course. BUT some prefer to believe Holding and Tierney will automatically make us stronger.

Holding as I mention impressed last season in a back 3. He still needs to be ore watertight if U23s is anything to go by recently. Tierney has to step up from Scottish league first which is several leagues below the PL so its wait and see. They still have yet to prove their worth.

…meanwhile IMO, we should be trying to find the best partnership with Sokratis (Holding or otherwise). Save Luiz for back up. AND we should also keep a 3-4-1-2 format handy given assets currently at fullback and the incompleteness of our Cback options. Luiz, Holding, Chambers AND Mustafi seem all slightly stronger in a back 3)

A Different George
A Different George

What happens if Mustafi keeps playing this way (not just no mistakes, but goal-saving clearance), and Sokratis and Luiz keep playing the way they have? I don’t think it will happen–I think he will still make some incredible error, even in the League Cup or the Europa group stage–but what happens if he continues like today?

Anonymarse
Anonymarse

If he plays well he can play as far as I am concerned

foreverinourshadows
foreverinourshadows

play the way you want, but not at Arsenal and take the clueless Xhaka with you, it was a complete shambles last night and if it hadn’t been for our keeper, we could have been four down in fifteen mins, it was laughable and embarrassing, and once again Emery showed what a one trick pony he really is

Gunnerer
Gunnerer

Waited all match yesterday to see a Mustafi howler. Instead, saw him make a couple of goal saving tackles and interceptions. On a good day he’s alright. This scapegoat mentality has to end. Till he’s a gunner, might as well back the player to perform rather than demoralise him to the pits

Reality check
Reality check

On his day, he can have Diego superc**t Costa disappear in his pocket..

Espen
Espen

“This scapegoat mentality has to end”. Thank you Gunnerer, it’s so difficult to find balanced comments like yours on this blog anymore

Reality check
Reality check

Espen
I don’t mind people having an opinion regardless of how stupid it may be. What I do have a problem with is the constant witch-hunt of our players. Some classless idi*ts on here try to hack every comment section in order to bash Xhaka, Mustafi, Ozil, Kola and recently Luiz and Papa.. some have even started on Pepe already.
You know who you are, just keep your toxic hate away pls. We know who is good or ain’t good, no need to show how intelligent your are by point out the obvious at every opportunity. Le-grove’s comment section is more suited to that kind of BS. Arsenal is synonym with class and values, don’t spoil it FGS.

Cultured Determination
Cultured Determination

headlines got my alarm bells ringing. his type of football is dive in, miss. dive in, penalty.

Another Paul
Another Paul

Em…this article is about Mustafi….not David Luiz

Robert
Robert

Give Mustafi a chance in premier league…. give Luiz a break as he needs more rest after the screw ups which costed us 7 points…

Dom47
Dom47

Surely there were options to leave, on loan at least, partial wages paid, he did not want it and that is that.

We should not be ok with him getting back in the team though, only if he plays these cup games to rest the main players and that is it. And then try to get rid of him in January.

No matter what he says, how sensible it is etc, doesn’t matter. We know what he can do for us and that ship has sailed. Maybe he can be a good player, grow more and develop but somewhere else.