Mustafi: We need to be calmer

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Shkodran Mustafi thought he’d grabbed a winner for Arsenal against Vitoria when he headed home our sole shot on target with 10 minutes remaining only for the home side to grab an equaliser a minute into stoppage time.

The Gunners remain top of Europa League Group F but a fourth consecutive game failing to hold onto a lead marks, coupled with our lack of creativity up front, makes for a worrying trend.

After the 1-1 draw, the German admitted that Arsenal need to be more calm, intelligent and efficient on the ball.

“I think we had a lot of possession and we controlled the game, but then we let them come back at us on the counter-attack through some sloppy passing,” he told Arsenal.com.

“In the second half, we came out better, had better passing and were playing forward a lot more. I think we need to stay calmer in the final third to finish our chances off.

“We managed to not concede before we scored, but then, unfortunately, they got an equaliser. We could have dealt with it better but in the end we have to accept the draw.”

Asked about Arsenal’s inability to close out the game, Mustafi seemed to accept that the Gunners lost control in the final stages.

He reflected: “I would love for them to not have scored in the 90th minute, but when you score a goal and still have time to play against a team like the one we played, they throw everything up front.

“Sometimes it’s not organised any more, they throw a lot of bodies in the box, they keep crossing. We could have done better but in the end we have to accept it and take the point with us.

“I think we could have dealt a little better with it instead of letting them cross into the box again. In the end, you have to accept it, move forward and take the positive things into the next game.”

Arsenal started the game with youngsters Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli leading the line alongside record-signing Nicolas Pepe.

They often looked isolated as the midfield vacated the centre of the park to pick the ball up deep and feed Kieran Tierney and Ainsley Maitland-Niles, deployed for the first time this season as wing-backs in a 3-5-2 system.

The players looked unfamiliar with what they were supposed to be doing. Mustafi admitted that the attack looked disjointed.

“We didn’t play the first half as we wanted and in the second half we were better with our rhythm and passing, but no we just need to stay calm,” he said.

“Everyone wants to show a lot and give everything but sometimes when you are overly motivated, it’s difficult to play your game.

“We just need to play our game, stay calm and then in the final third try to be a bit more intelligent and efficient in our passing.”

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Naked Cygan
Naked Cygan

I am not his biggest fan, but I give him an A+ for effort and not telling the fans to fk off. Respect…

Man
Man

At this rate there’ll be no fans left to abuse the players.

DaDude
DaDude

… or to be abused by players

Lula
Lula

Captain material. (tongue in cheek!!)

Dekker
Dekker

i thought his ‘cupping ear’ celebration was a nod to Xhaka and a subtle way to tell the fans to fuck off..

Jo Shmo
Jo Shmo

Mustafi is so much more understandable than Emery.

Alex
Alex

If it were any calmer I’d have slept!

Soffen

I fell asleep after 30 minutes… unfortunately I wake up 5 minutes later

Longbow
Longbow

I actually fell asleep at half time and woke up in the morning. This is the first time this has ever happened to me. 🙁

Mouise
Mouise

Funny that once again it was better once Ceballos was not on.

Rich
Rich

Football is unpredictable, but it would be a very strange result if we won on Saturday.

If Emery gets the boot Monday? I hope we have a well thought out solution….

I just don’t see the club paying Emery and his staff payouts, and then paying compensation to tax an employed manager of any substance.

Which leaves:
Mourinho
Arteta
Ljungberg
Arsene

An Arteta + Alonso combo would probably be my pick at this point, but whoever takes over? I don’t see much changing

Dom47
Dom47

As if moaninho would be cheap… Arsene? Really?

Rich
Rich

Mourinho wouldn’t cost any money in terms of compensation.

Arsene is available, so wouldn’t cost any compensation.

Rodgers has a 32 months left on a £5mill a year contract,he wouldn’t be cheap….

Sacking Emery and staff will likely cost us around £10million

It’s all well and good saying sack Emery…. but we have to be aware of the way we function as a club from an economic standpoint.

If we sack Emery? It has to be a calculated gamble

Arteta + Alonso would be a punt, but maybe an inexpensive one in comparison to other options.

Mourinho until the end of the season, with a heavily incentivised CL bonus, would be a short term calculated punt, we know he wants the job and to get back into work, we’d hold the a lot of sway in negotiations, I can’t say I’m at all keen, but he’s one of the few options who speak English and know the PL inside out…..

There isn’t a clear option to replace Emery, and any move to replace him, will impact us next summer financially, particularly if we get it wrong, and then have to move again…

Maybe paying for Rodgers would work out cheaper long term, if we think he’s the right guy? It would also knock the wind of the sails of Leicester who are flying….

But making a managerial move like that mid season, is going to have implications, and there’s no guarantees….

Dave M
Dave M

So Arsene, we gave you your 2 year detention, you can come back now… As long as you’ve learned your lessons Ok? This team needs discipline and if teams work out your tactics you have to change, ok? OK? Good, welcome back.

A Different George
A Different George

Well, Emery has the advantage that other teams can almost never work out his tactics. Unfortunately, neither can his players.

Dom47
Dom47

I know it might not be accepted so well, but I can’t wait for this guy to be somewhere else. Don’t want him near the team or to listen anything he has to say. Cost us too many points.

Along with Xhaka and Emery. All deadwood and need to leave.

jarlov
jarlov

I know it might not be accepted so well, but i cant wait for fans like you stop being shit fans. Not to wonder the Emirates sounds more and more hostile every passing week. Mustafi knows the club wants him away, he knows he is very unpopular among the fans, but he does his best every time he plays. He was our best player today, so why not start picking on Holding who had really bad game, if it is so importent for you to pick on our players?

Dom47
Dom47

Jarlov, why am I a shit fan? I’ve seen enough of him to know he is done at Arsenal for me. Him being here irritates me as if he was a serious about his career, and seeing that he is not wanted here both from the fans and the manager, he would have gone on loan at least to get his credibility back. Look at Smalling, he went to Roma on loan and resurrected his career. Niw they want to pay 15m for him.

Even if he gives his best as you say, it is not enough. He lacks composure in decisive situations and that has not changed, ever in his Arsenal career. Look at hia performance vs Lpool. His own goal made things difficult for us from the start in an already hard game. I know it can happen to anyone, he who works makes mistakes and all, but to him it happens too often, the same with Xhaka. It is not a mentality of a seasoned, mature player.

Yesterday he did score bu again he almost scored an own goal as well.

He’s a disaster waiting to happen and this soft approach you preach has gotten us where we are, becoming more and more mediocre in our elite status as a big football club. We are actually becoming just mediocre.

jarlov
jarlov

I guess you and the rest of our way to many fans who boos our own players, became fans during the early Wenger area? Can we not just support and try to build our players confidence? Instead of all this displeasure against them?. Imagine being not wanted and having the fans against you every time you play. What is left of his confidence?

My point is. As long as you play for Arsenal, you should be supported by the fans. The game yesterday was terrible. Why? Wrong formation, wrong tactics, and players on their way of losing their last bit of confidense. Emery is at fault for the misery we are in at the moment, but us fans dont make it easier for our boys by treating Mustafi or whoever is the latest scapoegoat, with hostillty.

A Different George
A Different George

I did not see yesterday’s match, but I am very worried if you are right about Holding, because he has been very poor the past several matches. Misjudged high balls several times, and has been easily turned by less than world-class forwards. Hoping it is just a lack of match sharpness.

Swerve
Swerve

100% agree. It’s not just these two being bang average, they both look to blame anyone else when they do make mistakes.

Pay no attention to Mr. Self Righteous down there and his 7 man band. Probably Millenials anyway.

SharpasFc
SharpasFc

Grow the heck up!

Hi-brid
Hi-brid

I’m not wanting to single out Mustafi here, but “in the end we have to accept it” seems to be part of the problem. Why do we have to “accept” rank mediocrity and the inevitability that we will always concede equalisers? Emery’s last few post-match interviews have been the same, i.e. “they pushed and they scored”, like night follows day. It is all of your jobs to stop accepting this as an inevitability and do something about it, for fuck’s sake!

A Different George
A Different George

I think he was saying, in a more diplomatic way, what we all think: we did not play well enough to assure us of winning and we have to accept that, over time, if we play badly, the results will reflect that.

Santori
Santori

I said it before, fans tend to want to scapegoat certain players ignoring their better value and amplifying their faults.

We saw that with Flamini. When Coquelin (by popular consensus) returned, he and Ramsey conspired to let in 14 goals in 7 straight matches that season.

We saw it with Mustafi. Sure he has a lot of faults but he was always strong for us in the air and was an outlet putting long balls out from the back (if you listen to the media, you’d think this was a new capability with Luiz)

We then saw it with Granit. Again midfield has been no more capable if less without Granit.

Mustafi to his credit is trying to rehabilitate his reputation.

Frankly we have poor options in defense because we neglected to fix them last summer.

Luiz is a panic buy. Saliba bought on promise and without any impact to this season.

In midfield, we added cebellos (if temporarily) as replacement to Ramsey but not as the upgrade to control the midfield in which we have needed for sometimes since the loss of Santi.

Ozil isn’t the answer anymore than he was guilty of not meeting on off ball effort last season.

People just want convenient scapegoats

the truth is a little more complex and requires more issues in several areas beyond just the manager to resolve.

BUT people are lazy and prey to crisis manufacturing, simple answers provided by the media.

Alas. And they are culpable in just as much for then creating the toxic atmosphere that compounds our problems, not help them.

A Different George
A Different George

As has been true for a long time, some of your insights about players are valuable. Perhaps if you cut out the stuff about how everyone else is gullible and lazy and stupid, your posts would be treated more seriously.

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

We need a new manager. It may not work but it needs to be given a go.

Bodie CI5
Bodie CI5

Like we’re going to listen to you, 1 you can’t even do your own job properly and 2 you should of been sold years ago,, thank you.

David Weller
David Weller

Rubbish, you need to get up off your backside and strive! It’s like watching the Sunday team.

The Arsenal
The Arsenal

Got to respect this guy’s character whatever you think of his ability.

bob
bob

“Everyone wants to show a lot and give everything but sometimes when you are overly motivated, it’s difficult to play your game”

Honestly, “overly motivated” is not what it looked like today. Watching us impotently pass in a U shape, carefully avoiding all the dangerous attacking areas of the pitch, had me begging for the sweet release of death until finally the ref blew his while after what seemed to be an inhumane amount of stoppage time.

Meh
Meh

Did people not see him cup his hand to his ear à la Xhaka after he scored? We saw it in the stadium, did this not make it to TV?

DaDude
DaDude

It could be seen (not in close view though), however, one couldn’t see on TV if the gesture was made to the away section or to home fans.

A Different George
A Different George

Oh for God’s sake–“a la Xhaka.” Really? Have you not seen a hundred goal scorers do that, especially away?

Lula
Lula

Mustafi has come out of all of this likeable and with genuine respect for his professionalism. I’d love to see him do well somewhere more at his level. But in this game, he was one of the few remotely willing let alone able to make an incisive pass. And his goal was well taken. Easy enough they say when you’re unmarked, but you still have to tuck it away and he did it well.

Vonnie
Vonnie

I think he’s taking the mickey out of the manager, we need to be calmer……………..

sam K Mawedze
sam K Mawedze

we are conceding too many goals from crosses for the why?? Against CP it was a cross from the left, against Liver it was a cross from the right. against wolves it was a cross from from the right, against Vitoria it was a cross from the left ..whats going on, organisation at the back is lacking ….

goonshow
goonshow

I’m not one for knee-jerk reactions, not to players nor (especially) managers. I wasn’t ever on the Wenger-out wagon and have been a voice for patience as regards Emery.

That said, I have slowly reached the tipping point – and become incensed by what this small-minded, narrow-visioned, incommunicative (except his enviable vocabulary of platitudes and cliches), indecisive and frankly, cowardly man has done to our club in less than 2 seasons.

Yes – he inherited a fragmented team with some deadwood.
Yes, he needed time to first, undo the last year or two of Arsene and then refashion our style as he saw fit.
But…
He has had almost two years.
He works in a state of the art infrastructure with one of the world’s great stadia as his desktop.
He has enjoyed (with Auba/Laca as Arsene’s last gifts to him) a far larger player spend than Arsene ever had.
He has the unqualified support of the club.
He has been given a multi-pronged support team with no small amount of skills to offer him.

And yet…

His only ability to surprise or exceed expectation is in the way he continues to find new ways to make us even worse. His latest tactical masterstroke: a single pass into the opposition box from 520 completed, over 95 minutes… ONE!!!!!

I ask you all to pause for a moment, to reflect on just how staggeringly awful that is for a team known not too long ago for their flowing, attacking football.

But this new humiliation is just the latest depth to which the millstone that is Unai Emery has dragged the Arsenal.

Pick a stat… any stat. We continue to rewrite our proud history downwards. The talk last month was about our inability to create for our strikers – how we sit back and allow record numbers of potshots at our goal. And now, Emery had exceeded even that turgid stat: we are scoring… even taking the lead in our last 4 matches. However, in an all-new low, we have managed to blow the lead in ALL of those – 4 successive victories squandered in just 2 weeks…

This man must leave the Emirates tomorrow morning. And never, ever return. He has shamed our great club – not because he has failed to make us better.

But because he has not even tried.