Mustafi admits mistakes, hits out at Petit, sees ‘ray of hope’ in cup performances

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Shkodran Mustafi admits his mistakes in an Arsenal shirt have made his life difficult at the club but he believes some of the criticism that he’s endured in recent months has become irrational.

A high-profile and costly error in a home defeat to Crystal Palace in April capped a terrible run of form in the second half of last season which led to the defender falling out of favour with Unai Emery over the summer.

In a no-holds-barred interview with Spiegel Online, Mustafi opened up on the situation.

“In the first two years after my move to Arsenal in 2016, things went very well for me,” he said.

“I saw myself as a performer. But shortly after Christmas 2018 there was a kink. I’ve made a few mistakes and they’ve created a mess that I’ve never experienced before.”

He went on: “I’m self-critical enough to realize that I made those mistakes. I can also deal with tough criticism. But the criticism has become escalated and irrational.

“I have become a target. At some point, people even blamed me for a defeat I had not played at all.”

The German hit out at Emmanuel Petit in particular after the former Gunner called him ‘King of the Blunders’, saying ex-professionals should understand the difficulties of the job.

“It’s on the Internet and it’s going to haunt me for the rest of my career,” he said of those comments.

“Former players like Petit shouldn’t need to make a name for themselves by making condescending comments about current players.”

Having been part of a defence that has kept clean sheets in each of his three appearances in the Europa League and Carabao Cup, the 27-year-old appears to be rebuilding his confidence and says his wife has played a big part.

“There were days when I really doubted something about myself,” explained Mustafi.

“But at some point I realized that I am mentally strong. Something my wife said helped me a lot: ‘If you were really as bad as people are making you, you would never have been a World Champion and Arsenal player, something must have brought you here.” Since then I can handle it better.”

Mustafi also made clear that he’s not sought help to cope with the barrage of criticism and that he still has family and friends around him that mean he enjoys his football.

“I felt like I could get through this myself,” he said.

“For me, it would have been red alert if all this had ruined me so much that I had no desire for the game. If I could not have laughed in training. But that was not so. I continued to have friends in my job.

“And my family helped me.”

It was also put to him that after Unai Emery’s public statements about how he should find a new challenge, it was somewhat surprising that he was still an Arsenal player.

“In the summer there were options to leave the club,” he said.

“But there wasn’t an option that all sides would have been happy with. Arsenal also attached some conditions to a possible departure despite their statements.

“I also knew the next change is extremely important to write a positive chapter in my career again. If I move somewhere that doesn’t really fit, the situation couldn’t improve much, so I stayed.

“I am open for the future – also the Bundesliga. In the Europa League and in the League Cup I played the entire games and we did not concede a goal.

“For me that’s a ray of hope that things are looking up again.”

__

It’s well worth reading the full interview which has some very direct questions (even via Google Translate). You can do so here. 

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Andreas
Andreas

Mustafi gonna Mustafi

HelderHughes
HelderHughes

To a certain extent Mustafi is just a symptom. Just as Xhaka is a symptom. We don’t give enough protection to our defensive units and mistakes turn from near misses to almost certain goals.

However his mistakes are less positional or tactical but just plain stupid. You can teach a defender to become more astute in all aspects but decision making. If a player regularly has rushes of blood to the head and refuses to learn from those mistakes, I think it’s fair to say that this will be the common denominator throughout his career.

Ya gooner
Ya gooner

I get the mustafi thong cos yeah he’s a centre back but isn’t xhaka supposed to be the protection lol. Also if players make mistakes due to stupidity they are no longer a symptom and more a cause, unless those stupid decisions are down to the pressure of the system. Hmmm It’s all a bit chicken and egg isn’t it…

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

At this point it’s just a cliche doing the rounds. For every stupid individual mistake there’s an Emery to blame. Next will be talking how the coach is responsible for our 80m signing not being able to cross a ball without it ballooning pathetically out of play.

Karma
Karma

Hahaha, hypocrisy and double standard at its best. If you blame Wenger for wasting the club’s 35m on Mustafi and wasting the club’s resources to assemble a disjointed squad for Emery to inherit plus Emery gets credit for Guendouzi’s performances. If Luiz, Pepe and Sokratis (a combined fee of close to 100m if not over) are not being able to cross a ball without it ballooning pathetically out of play as you put it, whom should we blame? Oh wait I know, let’s blame Wenger. Take the Wenger hate-shades off and argue objectively. You are a hypocrite!!!

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

You are all over the place. gotta ask and you are stupid or something?
This a prime example of straw-man’s argument. Where do I talk about mustafi blah blah Wenger blah blah… in this?
Jog on.

Gunnermite
Gunnermite

Stupid? That’s a low blow! You can do better than that. Come back when your head is cleared.

SaltnPepe

You know a lack of confidence can affect all aspects of a persons game, the simple things become hard, the hardest thing become impossible. Just something to consider before pointing the finger

Gunnermite
Gunnermite

Hahaha, hypocrisy and double standard at its best. If you blame Wenger for wasting 35m on Mustafi and wasting the club’s resources to assemble a disjointed squad for Emery to inherit plus Emery gets credit for Guendouzi’s performances. And when Luiz, Pepe and Sokratis (a combined fee of close to 100m if not over) are not being able to cross a ball without it ballooning pathetically out of play as you put it, whom should we blame? Oh wait I know, Wenger. Take the Wenger hate-shades off and argue objectively.

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

looks I was right. All over the place and with multiple names.
must be grinding your gears.

Imustafiyou
Imustafiyou

We don’t blame Emery for every single mistake by player. But when he keep insisting of using the same player and that player keep making the same mistake, it is his fault. Mustafi made mistakes, he is out of the squad. Ozil had not been impressive in training, he is out of the squad. When Xhaka made mistakes, why is he being named captain and played every single Premier League games?

Jean Ralphio
Jean Ralphio

But they are asked to play that way? Xhaka is playing a role even now that other teams can easily exploit. Our defence is maybe not as bad as people think but it’s made worse when Emery plays a way in which the opposition is allowed so many shots on target. Any defence will let in a goal with the amount of shots we allow opposing teams to have. Sooner or later someone is forced into making an error.

Runcorn Gooner
Runcorn Gooner

….As Xhaka is doing at the moment. Irrational Pulling back players creating more pressure on our defence.

Emery’s obsession with Xhaka could be his downfall.

In addition Mustafi has been given more of an opportunity than Ozil which is ridiculous. Mustafi has done well against poor opposition in 3 games but Ozil hasn’t even had that chance.

Emery is making a rod for his own back. If he keeps winning ok but we are not playing well overall and his luck may run out.

myrtle
myrtle

Jesus christ, come on. Forget his downfall, it could be the club’s. Do you think Lacazette and Aubameyang would like to stick around for next season’s Europa league conference. Absolute joke, he’s had over 60 games and still hasn’t got a system in place.
P.s Mustafi, fair play, keep it up. He looks better with Holding next to him.

Futsboller
Futsboller

Indeed – Auba is everything to this club right now, and he does not look happy out there in this “system.” We need a happy Auba, whose grin helps fill the void left behind by Santi’s departure, not a grimaced one.

The abuse of Mustafi is pathetic …

Andreas
Andreas

Like I said!

Ozenal
Ozenal

Totally agree. His judgement is awful, someone needs to check if he needs contact lenses as he is terrible at judging distance.

The further the ball is away, he can just see there is no red shirt around the ball and just goes in for the kill

Similarly when exposed down the channel he will go to ground, which is his go to escape clause. And a dream for anyone like Vardy or Sterling who can coax a foul out of anybreferee

Abel
Abel

Its un fair to rate him so unfairly. During the early part of last season he was formidable with Rob Holding. .

He is a fighter he can help us alot to improve defensively. The coach has to find partneships that works better for team.

Its not fair to point a fingure at one prayer when the whole team is not performing.

Dave M
Dave M

Mad respect to mustafi for staying strong and fighting back.

IMO, the difference between mustafi and xhaka is mustafi has the talent he just lost focus too often and made a bunch of mistakes that got way to frequent. With xhaka, he’s just limited:
1. He cannot turn and beat a player with the ball at his feet; crucial to opening space and creating opportunities in attack. Also means he cannot beat a press by turning a player and must pass out of it, which if the press is strategic will cause problems for the guy he passes to.
2. He is a poor tackler that fouls way too often and picks up reckless reds and yellows.
3. His mobility is poor. This means he gets beaten too easily by fast counter attacking players and exposes us in open play, we’re countering that it seems by playing him even deeper (he’s decent positional) and also keeping douzi deeper to support our defense, but that then means our attack is SO isolated because our midfield is so deep and xhaka in particular is not mobile enough to get up in support.
4. His poor mobility and his poor tackling also mean he cannot be involved in a press when we are defending because he’s beaten too easily by his turning him our playing triangles around him.
5. And to compound that he makes as many (if not more) stupid errors as mustafi did.

Points 1-4 are all fundamental problems that cannot or are extremely difficult to fix. And that is our captain… We aren’t sorting our current dysfunction until xhaka is moved out of the starting XI, but Emery is not going to do it, so we have to play with this malaise and a makeshift midfield that spends a lot of its energy covering xhakas weaknesses than playing to our strengths or exploiting weaknesses of our opponents.

I AM ARSENAL
I AM ARSENAL

Xhaxa is just slow. With and without the ball. All his mistakes stem from this.

Ska
Ska

Damn. You actually managed to turn the reponse to a heartfelt Mustafi interview into yet another Xhaka rant. Pretty long, too. 5 points and all.

Maul Person
Maul Person

Yeah but is he wrong…?

Perry Crows
Perry Crows

6. Lacks swag.

Dave M
Dave M

Players and emery don’t agree…

btw
btw

Xhaka has more errors leading to goals/penalties than mustafi

OnlyBeingHonest
OnlyBeingHonest

Shut up you twat.

HelderHughes
HelderHughes

Please welcome to the discussion poet laureate OnlyBeingHonest.

OnlyBeingHonest
OnlyBeingHonest

Mustafi basically saying he’s been struggling emotionally and mentally with the ridiculous treatment he receives, and the first thing someone says on here is “Mustafi gonna Mustafi”

To which you reply “his mistakes are less positional or tactical but just plain stupid”

perpetual poster, HelderHughes, Have a day off the internet mate, the anonymity has made you into a moron.

HelderHughes
HelderHughes

You do realise the hypocrisy of jumping into arguments to defend what you perceive as abusive by being abusive don’t you?

Most of us conduct ourselves well on here and it should be applauded that we don’t turn this site, like a lot of the internet, into a cesspit of name calling and insult flinging. I suggest you do the same if you wish to be taken seriously.

OnlyBeingHonest
OnlyBeingHonest

HelderHughes in a Nutshell lady’s and gents,

“it should be applauded that we don’t turn this site, like a lot of the internet, into a cesspit of name calling and insult flinging. I suggest you do the same if you wish to be taken seriously”

This of course after his initial reply, below

“his mistakes are less positional or tactical but just plain stupid”

hypocrisy.. Meet.. HelderHughes.

More important things in life than football, People like yourself who live on the internet would do well to learn that. he’s basically said the abuse he receives online has effected him and his performances, First thing you can think of is to call him stupid?? your right, the internet is a cesspit.

HelderHughes
HelderHughes

How do you know calling me a twat and a moron doesn’t affect me personally? And given that I’m far more likely to read that than Mustafi is, shouldn’t you think about your online behaviour?

OnlyBeingHonest
OnlyBeingHonest

I didn’t call you a twat, I called Andreas a twat, for his pointless, stupid comment, “Mustafi gonna Mustafi” which i also clarified in me first reply to you, for reference, go back and re-read,

I’m fine with my online behaviour, when a player gives an honest interview where he actually comments on how his life has been effected by online abuse, from fans and players, and the first comment is “Mustafi gonna Mustafi” and the first reply goes on to call him stupid, (I’m assuming because you didn’t read the interview only the little bits in the article) then i am perfectly fine calling those trolls out over it.

Nice attempt at playing the victim by the way.

HelderHughes
HelderHughes

I actually called his mistakes stupid. A clear distinction. But one you will gleefully ignore on your crusade to rid the internet of abuse by flinging abuse around.

N10
N10

My reaction exactly!

Adams9802
Adams9802

He may have a part to play still. Last year was a complete and utter disaster for him but there is a decent defender in there somewhere. I hope he can make a comeback and be the £35m defender we thought we bought as clearly Luiz and Sokratis are just as liable.

Neil
Neil

He’s been playing reasonably well this season when he’s made an appearance. When on his game, he’s far more capable than Luiz and Sokratis. I hope that he can continue to turn things around and that we’ll see more of him

HelderHughes
HelderHughes

On what planet is Mustafi more capable than David Luiz?

Ya gooner
Ya gooner

Hopefully we play him in cup games and he does a job so his stock rises and we can get a decent fee once we draw the inevitable line in the sand and he goes.

TeeCee
TeeCee

Dunno. Is there a Planet Of The Arse-Sliders?

Danger Mouse
Danger Mouse

Planet Earth.

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

lol don’t get carried away.

Thierry Bergkamp
Thierry Bergkamp

All 3 of them are a pile of dog shit

HelderHughes
HelderHughes

Just look at the transfer fees paid and the trophies won by David Luiz. I’m not saying he’s not without his faults but only Arsenal fans could label a player dog shit who has probably won as many trophies as the rest of the team combined.

Mustafi belongs where he began in England. Everton. He’s just that standard.

Thierry Bergkamp
Thierry Bergkamp

Well I’m not judging him on what he won 6 years ago at Chelsea, am I, he’s here now. How hard is that to understand? Don’t be so simple.

Perry Crows
Perry Crows

I think you belong on aftv mate.

Dave1977
Dave1977

It almost seems as if playing for this team makes them rubbish…this team is somehow less than the sum of its parts…hmmm.

Viva La Prof
Viva La Prof

Under Emery so are we

Dave
Dave

Respect to him for how he’s dealt with the criticism.

Let’s hope we continue to see strong performances from him going forward in the cups.

Prince Gunneralaysia
Prince Gunneralaysia

He needs to keep playing in the cups game..it really bring out his best performance..

Crash Fistfight
Crash Fistfight

I think the whole “playing against shit teams” might help.

To be fair, I think his issues are usually from getting turned and/or having to run back towards his own goal:

– When the team is on top, the game is in front of him and he looks fine because he’s a decent reader of the game and a good passer.
– When we’re putting in a backs to the wall type defensive effort he also looks decent because he is actually quite good in the air and doesn’t need to move much laterally.

It’s when games are open (which is often the case due to our complete lack of structure in midfield) he gets exposed, but I think that’s a common problem for centre backs in our team.

A Different George
A Different George

Of course it helps that Mustafi’s three starts (and three clean sheets) have been against relatively weak opposition. But we are all incredibly excited by Martinelli’s performances, against the same opposition.

Dan
Dan

Hope he really learns from his mistakes and takes responsibility for them

Badaab
Badaab

Maybe he will raise his hand in exasperated fashion

A Different George
A Different George

This is an example of the sort of criticism that is not based on his play. Mustafi made far too many serious errors, but raising his hand to appeal for offside is not one of them. That’s straight from the George Graham playbook–watch Dixon and Adams do it every time a player got behind them.

Goonsquad
Goonsquad

It’s football. Criticism always becomes escalated and irrational.

Amusa
Amusa

Wow that was so heartfelt from Mustafi.
I think sometimes fans forget that players are humans to. Criticism is acceptable but the constant abuse he got online is unacceptable.
Sadly our fans abused even a Legend like Wenger and now players like Xhaka so there is little hope.
Really hope we take a step back and see the damage it does.

SweGooner
SweGooner

They are also multimillionares. If i could get the amount of money they get just to get criticised, id be as happy as one could be. Grow a pair.

Dave1977
Dave1977

Money over mental health? Seems pointless.

aberinkula
aberinkula

Hard to fault any of what he’s said, and good on him for being honest. His wife is entirely correct. The criticism has been irrational and I hope for his sake he comes through it mentally and while he’s with us, with good performances.

Amusa
Amusa

I wish he turns his career around, as his wife says there is a player in their hope he gets his confidence back soon. If we can support Luiz who makes mistake we must support Mustafi who is still young for a CB which people forget.

Ben
Ben

He comes off well here, and seems to be dealing with a significant career setback in a mature and positive way. It can only be a good thing from an Arsenal perspective if he continues to play well in the cups and provide competition for the “first choice” centerback pairing which has been unconvincing at best.

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

watch now how everyone will be a bit more supportive and kind around here. After years of abuse by the same folk.

Neil
Neil

That’s kind of how it goes, isn’t it? The anonymity of the internet absolves one of responsibility for one’s comments.

Gunnerer
Gunnerer

If this is what it takes for people to become supportive , so be it. The hare thrown at him was beyond toxic

Tim
Tim

The criticism was more than irrational. It was plain mean and offensive at times. The same is now happening with Xhaka. Some fans think that because they are fans, everything is allowed. Social media make things worse – forums such as this one too: they bring the worst out of people: they become bullies, insult, judge, attack in ways they would never (I hope) do in real life.

Ilari
Ilari

Completely agree. We all saw the mistakes, but I would never say those things that I saw about any player wearing our shirt.

Der32
Der32

Unai made things worse for Xhaka by naming him captain.

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

only he did not.

Dave M
Dave M

I completely agree with that. The problem is crossing the line into abuse. I have no problem discussing tactics and strengths and weaknesses and trying to find ways to best move forward. Jokes here and there are funny and fine, But no need for the abuse especially targeted abuse that goes after players on social media. No one that has ever pulled on the arsenal shirt is shit, they’re all way better footballers than we are… Even squillaci! Look he wasn’t good enough to be pulling on that shirt, but he still wasn’t shit. I’ve made it clear I don’t think we’re moving forward while we keep xhaka in our midfield and I’ve listed the reasons why I think that he limits us tractically, but I’ve also said it’s pretty clear he’s a good bloke and well respected and I try to keep a decorum about it.

Christopher Kench
Christopher Kench

I sympathise with him. He’s some way off from being a top class CB, but I very much doubt he means to go out and do a bad job and he doesn’t pick himself; like Xhaka, the manager picks him. That’s not his fault and the vile abuse he/both have suffered is ridiculous. I don’t really see a future for him at Arsenal, but good luck to him whatever he does.

Spursarewank

Xhaka is dogshit

Grymelock
Grymelock

The very first question they asked:

“Mr Mustafi, are you the second worst defender in the world?”

Shit man, Germans don’t fuck around 😳

You gotta admire the defiance, though.

Forest gooner
Forest gooner

Who is the worst? 😐

Bai Blagoi
Bai Blagoi

Phil Jones

A Different George
A Different George

Note, by the way, that Jones played for Man United sides that won titles. It helps to have a system to protect you. Ask Otemendi–who in my opinion is not as good a defender as Mustafi, but who usually comes through fine because he has a system (including a brilliant holding midfielder) around him.

Drogheda Gunner
Drogheda Gunner

I agree otamendi is horse shit

Pakgooner
Pakgooner

John terry

Bai Blagoi
Bai Blagoi

I am serious, the article mentions a poll by Marca that resulted in Phil Jones “winning it”.

Voice of reason
Voice of reason

Lack of self awareness and insight is astonishing. He really thinks he made mistakes after christmas 2018? He has been dreadful since Christmas 2016! No wonder, Mustafi (and Xhaka) never seems to learn anything and blame everyone else. Even here he blames Petit and then Arsenal management for not moving in the summer

N10
N10

He’s a cunt. Can’t wait to get shot of him.

A Different George
A Different George

A good example of the irrational, over-the-top, criticism he is complaining about. He doesn’t blame Petit for his mistakes, he says Petit as an ex-player should understand how difficult the game can be. He doesn’t blame Arsenal for not moving him, he says that there was no move that was right for everyone, including his own career (presumably both money and location) and Arsenal’s conditions (presumably a transfer fee). It sounds entirely honest to me.

Flash
Flash

I think Mustafi’s biggest problem is that he is not really a defender material psychologically.
I mean as a defender you usually want somebody who is – first of all: reliable, serious, a leader etc. Like Adams, VanDijk, Kompany, Puyol, Maldini…
But Mustafi is rather a weirdo, scatty, joker – That’s why he is so error-prone in my opinion.

Other than that: it is very interesting to see, how he performed on the long run…
Our statistically best 3 players in the last 3 years (via: WhoScored.com):

16/17 Sanchez, Mustafi, Ozil
17/18 Mustafi, Sanchez, Auba
18/19 Lacazette, Auba, Mustafi

Don Cazorleone
Don Cazorleone

Statistically best by what metric?

I AM ARSENAL
I AM ARSENAL

Mustafi as well as Maguire have had better ‘stats’ than Van sink over the course of a season. Stats are mostly bs. They talk about our away record for example when spuds and man u have been worse away than we have been for 18 months.

A Different George
A Different George

No one is saying WhoScored’s system is the only thing to consider; no one who watches thinks Mustafi played nearly as well as Van Dijk. But it is also ridiculous to think these metrics are completely baseless, that Mustafi is always terrible. He is, in my opinion, a very good defender who makes too many disastrous mistakes and so cannot be counted on.

Flash
Flash

Spot on!

Mouise
Mouise

German, Muslim, maybe it’s too much for some.

Crash Fistfight
Crash Fistfight

Is that why Xhaka’s getting so much abuse?

Ric
Ric

You are an absolute eejit

Belfast Gooner
Belfast Gooner

I had the good fortune of briefly chatting to Shkodran at an airport on Sunday night on my way back from London. He was trying to blend in as much as possible and when I said I was an Arsenal fan who was at the match earlier, you could see on his face the worry of whether I was going to start digging him out.
My point is that when a player gets so much flack that he feels the support is against him I think it has gone way too far.
I thanked him for taking the time to chat and we wished other a good journey. He is is an absolute gentleman.
Hopefully he can get his confidence back as I think he has a part to play this season.

Spursarewank

You are a good person, keep on with your good sense and humanity

Gunnerer
Gunnerer

Belfast has good gunners

Niran
Niran

Wow Who Would Have Thought ???… Footballers Are Humans Too… Fans Need To Recognize This And Start Supporting Our Players It Could Really Kick Up Their Confidence Level When They Put On The Red And White.

Reality check
Reality check

Sad how the so called support actually helps destroy players. Some actuall support might actually pull the struggling players out of the hole, but now, fans just bury them and move on to the next one.

Forest gooner
Forest gooner

People watch the match to get entertained although at different levels. Such mistakes really suck all the vitality of supporters.

AussieGooner
AussieGooner

What is all this bollocks about being entertained I keep reading about here lately. “Arsenal are supposed to be entertaining, it’s our DNA” kind of crap.

Do fans really watch football to be entertained?

It’s not a play, or the movies. It’s football. It isn’t supposed to be entertaining for a fan of a team. It is fucking horrible, it is but wrenching pain and disappointment mostly.

Watching your team has much more in common with BDSM. Not entertaining, not fun, not something you really want to do but more something that you have to do because the pain gives you an orgasm and gives your shitty life some meaning and passion.

I do wish people would focus less on this idea we are supposed to be entertaining and just get back to supporting our team, and payers, and enjoying the pain and suffering like proper Arsenal fans always have done.

Temporary
Temporary

WTF!

Bai Blagoi
Bai Blagoi

“Do fans really watch football to be entertained?”

Uhhh… what?!

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

You have a point. Indeed football is mostly disappointments.
The majority of football teams lose more than they win. Supporting a top team will make you lose perspective of what this game is about. How do we think fans of relegation and mid-table clubs stay supportive throughout their lives and fill their stadiums every weekend? Certainly not because of all the winning going on or the brand of “beautiful football” which only a handful of clubs can play.
English football especially has been know through out it’s history for the lack of technicality and the emphasis on physicality and pace. It was hoofball all those years until some 20 years ago.
And so I struggle to see the point about entertainment. Because it is mostly heartbreak.

A Different George
A Different George

Not sure if you are serious, but if pain really gives you an orgasm, perhaps a visit to a therapist is in order.

Thierry Bergkamp
Thierry Bergkamp

How much patience do you expect fans to have for somebody who always loses his head, which ends up costing the team points?

Okechukwu Jude
Okechukwu Jude

Frankly I feel for Mustafi but I remember the first goal we conceded against man city in the carabao cup in Wenger’s last season, a long ball from the goal keeper and a tender shove from Aguero was all it took to dislodge Mustafi. Next thing he did was look for who to blame and looked at the ref. So funny. There is a reason we love Cazorla and Rosicky etc, no school boy errors. Deal with it Mustafi. Xhaka is next in line.

Ollie123
Ollie123

Fair play. All footballers are human at the end of the day. He didn’t write a £35m cheque for himself, he didn’t wait until the last minute to sign himself after an awful transfer window, yeah he did make mistakes and he probably isn’t good enough for this level but that’s hardly his fault. Hope he learns from this and moves on.

Represents a panic buy of a good defender but not good enough.

Xhaka on the other hand…

Forest gooner
Forest gooner

Wouldn’t it be great if Arsenal can add one more cog in the new structure… head of psychology?

paul roberts
paul roberts

Fair play to him and I do agree we all forget how young his is but expect him to be gone before too long.

Gervinho
Gervinho

Sometimes it’s easy for us to forget that these are humans that we’re screaming at…

…but then again, I often find myself screaming at my digital FIFA 20 defenders too…

Dave Cee
Dave Cee

Can.t really fault that viewpoint. I.m hoping for a good season from him, regardless of the competition. He is a human and an arsenal player after all

jon

I suspect players might actually be Reading Arseblog.

Petit's Handbag
Petit's Handbag

The internet is funny

I AM ARSENAL
I AM ARSENAL

Damn that made me feel a little bad. Some of those errors though..

Thierry Bergkamp
Thierry Bergkamp

What game did he get blamed for which he didn’t play in?

TOGooner
TOGooner

I’m curious as to what ‘conditions’ arsenal put on his departure?

Ric
Ric

Probably just referring to the size of the transfer fee we wanted. Highly doubt it’s a sell on clause or buy back option lol

Shank

I miss Santori

Shank

I’d say get yourself back to a good standard and you will be loved.

Ray Smuckles
Ray Smuckles

I have some sympathy for him.

BUT

He’s paid extremely well to do a job. If he makes massive mistakes in that job he should expect criticism.

In a previous job I was a salesman. Let’s say that three times in one year I messed up the negotiations of a multi million dollar contract at the last minute. We were in the prime position to win the deal but I made a mistake and messed up the numbers or insulted the client’s mother.

My boss would be pissed. My bosses boss would be pissed. People would doubt my abilities and professionalism. I’d be out of a job and rightly so.

mrugunner
mrugunner

totally agree! they are professionals in (overly) highly paid and mediatized positions. they should expect criticism if they aren’t performing. and moreover, do they even give a s*** about what is being said?

Oneofbellerinscornrows
Oneofbellerinscornrows

I think James put it best once, i think it was a game where Per and Kos had a meltdown he said something along the lines of: “Arsenal have great defenders in a terrible defensive system, which equates to us sometimes defending great and sometimes defending terribly”. Mustafi will mustafi because he is in a poor defensive system and is being constantly exposed, leading to anxiety around the possibility of conceding and therefore creates panic to prevent it.

I think there is and always has been a root defensive issue with Arsenal which was papered over by having a world class defender in Kos. Now that he’s gone, our defensive system is really coming to light. Anyone short of a world class defender will be lacking in this system.

Ozenal
Ozenal

Mustafi would be of value to a team like Burnley etc who defend deep and compact. Plenty of players around him to make up for any mistakes. And everyone is so close together that he won’t feel the need to make ill judged rushes forward to players who are unmarked or have easily run past the defensive midfielder… Guendouzi *ahem*…

Basically he doesn’t suit the style of football we all want to see. Someone saw some stats regarding tackle percentage, age and world cup games and thought: 40m

Even if he is injured.

A soft touch for sure. Hopefully we aren’t so soft anymore and Don Raul will be able to make better use of 40m and 90+k in wages

Dave M
Dave M

Any defender is better suited to a compact defense that gets help from more players being around him. That is the problem with our current midfield setup – it is too open due to certain mobility and defensive issues that expose our defense. To counter that Emery seems to be trying to make us sit deeper and be more compact, but that is coming at the expense of isolating our attack. We were almost a back 7 and front 3 at times against Bournemouth and even united. Hence, a lot of this comes down to lack of midfield balance. Playing a proper DM (Torreira) and then supporting CMs that can drive forward and support the attack and still get back and cover (two of Willock, Douzi, and Ceballos) seems blatantly obvious.

Martinellis belly
Martinellis belly

I do feel sorry for him on a human level of course I do. It must be so hard to deal with the contempt and especially for his family
But
The interview did make me worry about his mental strength even more. I was watching Rio Ferdinad, Frank Lampard and Steve McMannamen talking about the abuse and criticism you recieve as a player and especially as a young player and how some shrink and some rise up to it and become more determined to prove the doubters wrong.
I think Mustafi doesn’t have the same thick skin they do and i think a move to a lower pressure environment is best for everyone.
90% of the time he is a good defender but those mistakes are always going to be there and then the criticism will be too, one interview won’t stop the criticism coming next time. He should just move back to the Bundasliga and be happier.
I certainly couldn’t deal with the mental pressure and stress of being a professional footballer!

Martinellis belly
Martinellis belly

Downvotes for being realistic and not wanting the guy to suffer?
Do we have amnesia? Of course hes going to cost us goals and of course everyone will criticise him. Thats the reality

joanne Jeffery
joanne Jeffery

Perhaps the down votes were more to do with the sentiment about the stress of being a professional footballer. Stress compared to someone on a zero hours contract at minimum wage with a bullying boss and a family to feed? Or someone with an illness facing a PIP review. That’s the reality for a lot of people. I don’t know how I’d deal with that.

Martinellis belly
Martinellis belly

Well if thats the case maybe a part of that point was missed.
It takes elite mental strength to become a professional footballer. So many have talent but many fail because they dont have the thick skin to survive and get to the very top amidst intense competition.
I personally don’t think Mustafi has that elite mental strength to perform well for a top club under pressure and I don’t think that a high percentage of the population do. Its one of the reasons these guys make it to the top.
I was a decent player myself like many but didnt have the mental strength the top pros do. I think you can see the way Mustafi reacts under pressure on the pitch he does crazy things.
Of course footballers are far more comfortable financially than the rest of us and have an easier life in that sense but guys like Mustafi cant perform at a top club because of the mental presure. That was my intended point

Martinellis belly
Martinellis belly

The scenarios you laid out are undoubtedly worse than being a footballer receiving abuse but what I meant is that the performance of the players suffer because of the abuse and that I personally would not be able to perform properly under that pressure like the top guys can and like Mustafi cant

joanne Jeffery
joanne Jeffery

Yep, I guess top sports people have a level of self belief that’s very high

Matt P
Matt P

Good on Mustafi for owning his mistakes. And I think the criticism *has* been a bit overly harsh.

Vonnie
Vonnie

I’m really glad that Musti is OK, there’s been so much nastiness aimed at him. Yes, he’s been frustrating at times, and made mistakes that have cost us, but any decent manager would have taken him out of the firing line and built him back up. There is a very decent defender in Shkodran Mustafi, but setting up the way we did, with the defence exposed and every team setting new records for pot shots against us, was no help to any defender, and will always lead to panic. Socratis and David Luis have also suffered, and it’s the same with Granit when he’s asked to do a job that he can’t do, so he panics and makes silly fouls. I think that Mustafi will probably move to Germany in the summer, in the meantime I’m pleased to see him playing and doing well. He’s also very right about ex-players and their toxic comments, Petit and Keown are at the top of the heap for really vicious attacks on our players, I have no time for either of them.

Tom
Tom

yeah 2018 isn’t when it started, he made massive errors before then, in particular I remember the cup final vs city. That was the day I lost patience with him personally (it was also my birthday!)

Clockendrider
Clockendrider

Petit really is the worst kind of self interested rent a quote. Quite why anyone should give this prick the oxygen of publicity is beyond me, much less listen to anything he has to say. A low rent Merson.

karl
karl

You got to think that an organised manager could get a tune out of a squad like ours. In the meantime, Mustafi must be smiling at his clean sheets and has a good point about Petit and his departure.

OnlyBeingHonest
OnlyBeingHonest

Has played well when needed this season, Interview is a real eye opener, Players struggle after receiving constant abuse online and from the terrace, shock.. horror..

SarcasmB0t
SarcasmB0t

He’s been fine in the cup games. He may well get a few games in the PL if he keeps it up.

I hope he doesn’t fuck it up again – for his sake and for ours.

Byo
Byo

I’ve always felt uncomfortable with some of the “criticisms”, abusive language and general non consideration that football players are human beings first