Mustafi driven to improve by social media doubters

53

Shkodran Mustafi says he’s learning to ignore negativity aimed at him on social media despite the temptation to reply to some of his biggest haters.

The Germany international has over 700,000 followers on Twitter, 1.2 million followers on Instagram and 982,000 likes on Facebook – a pretty impressive set of stats for a player who, like Marmite, splits opinion.

A couple of decades ago, top-level players could simply choose not to read the newspaper if they wanted to avoid feedback on poor performances, nowadays, with the pressures from marketing teams and agents to maintain a presence across the web, it’s slightly harder to bury your head in the sand and focus on the next game.

Still, Mustafi is giving it a go, especially at a time when his form has been in the spotlight.

“Social media is difficult to handle when things are going well and then when things are not working out it’s even tougher,” Mustafi told Arsenal Player.

“When things are going well, it’s easy to read those comments and like what you read. It gives you confidence but you have to be careful not to get carried away because you still have to stay professional.

“Then when things aren’t going well, obviously you don’t like the stuff you read. You don’t agree with a lot of comments, so it makes it difficult. It’s so much easier when things are going well because when you’re reading comments you don’t like, you have to go out and play and you’ve got those comments in your head.

“I managed to try to block it out a little bit. I was not that active on social media and wasn’t reading comments, I wasn’t too concerned about social media, I just wanted to go back on the pitch and give everything because I knew that in this moment I was not playing the football I know I could play.

“It gets a little bit frustrating to read those comments but at the end of the day, you have to be professional and I tried to be as professional as I can. Sometimes you read comments and you really disagree, and you want to say something but then you just leave it because you want to stay professional.

“The next day you’ve got training so you’ve just got to take all that energy and just use it on training and trying to improve yourself, rather than just on social media.”

It’s not the first time Mustafi has spoken about dealing with criticism. A couple of months ago he gave a really interesting interview in the German press where he spoke openly about the pressures of living in the public eye and how ridiculously over the top criticism takes a toll on confidence.

Once again, he’s reminding us that athletes, for all their wealth, are still people. An important message to remember.

guest
53 Comments
oldest
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Horses Head
Horses Head
4 months ago

Please tell me improve is a place and hes been left there

viegunner
viegunner
4 months ago
Reply to  Horses Head

Stop downvoting, it’s downright funny

jw1
jw1
4 months ago
Reply to  Horses Head

Looks the best place to comment:
Cheers #20. Best of.
Please, improve elsewhere.

Rich
Rich
4 months ago

There’s no value in criticising him, his confidence is completely shot, we probably couldn’t give him away at this point.

90% of what he does is good, it’s just the frequency of his howlers, maybe we should try getting him a prescription of Ritalin.

jw1
jw1
4 months ago
Reply to  Rich

Know you’re half-kidding.
But I’ve considered maybe some sort of a chemical imbalance– for almost 3yrs now.

It Is What It Is
It Is What It Is
4 months ago
Reply to  jw1

In my opinion, it’s a personality thing. When criticism (or praise – believing the hype, complacency at the other end) reaches certain levels, the pressure is on these individuals every training session and match. The action and reaction, depending on the individual, could linger in their professional lives, and translate to their personal. The verminator, Bosscielny, the BFG rose to the challenge. David Luiz’s reactions (and sometimes, lack of) after a gaffe piss me off, but if he crumbled, he wouldn’t put out the 8s and 9s. Mental fortitude? Arrogance? Professional focus? Sokratis plays the victim or the brute, accordingly.… Read more »

Prakhar
Prakhar
4 months ago

Hate the guy, fair enough. But please don’t @ or comment negatively on his personal profile.

WengersNoseHair
WengersNoseHair
4 months ago
Reply to  Prakhar

I’m not sure why it’s ok to hate him?

David Hilliers Arm Cast
David Hilliers Arm Cast
4 months ago

Because that’s what people do regardless or right or wrong? It’s like saying the stop racism campaign will get rid of racists. It won’t as idiots are still going to be ignorant butt holes regardless of a campaign.

Gunnermite
Gunnermite
4 months ago
Reply to  Prakhar

I think it’s best the player avoids reading those comments cos imagine you commenting on a Jon Terry page or that of any of spud players. The point is his followers are not restricted to only Arsenal fans. Fans of opposition teams can pose as Arsenal fans to write those negative comments as well.

Luther
Luther
4 months ago
Reply to  Gunnermite

Let’s not make excuses for our bullshit fans. Those abusers ARE gooners. Fans of rival clubs would be much more inclined to abuse our more successful players.

Chrispy
Chrispy
4 months ago

Another important message to remember is he is still devoid of defensive ability and it seems, ambition to leave his £100k weekly pay packet rather than actually play football. But I agree that the likes of Twitter really is a toxic place.

HelderHughes
HelderHughes
4 months ago

I know it sucks to get abuse online. But perspective is really important. Firstly trolls probably aren’t even arsenal fans and as a result the abuse isn’t a true representation of our supporters feelings. Secondly, everyone in the public domain gets this abuse. Yes it’s probably a bit worse if you’re underperforming but everyone from Taylor Swift to Phillip Scofield get awful things said about them. Thirdly if it were not for our psyches that gravitate towards negative comments while ignoring the positive then these abusers comments would be as insignificant and the abusers probably are themselves. We need to… Read more »

jw1
jw1
4 months ago
Reply to  HelderHughes

Why even accept others doubting of you?

GraeB
GraeB
4 months ago
Reply to  HelderHughes

HH, I agree with all bar the first paragraph. When you look at the comments made on this site about him, you can’t really believe there are no Arsenal fan trolls on his pages.

I hate the whole anonymous aspects of twitter etc where you are aiming comments directly to someone. That’s different to remarks made on third party sites like this one which can be avoided – much like I do with AFTV.

hustle6
hustle6
4 months ago

It would be awesome if Shkodders turned it around and started playing well. But social media is not the only hate in his life, he has taken on the mantle of pantomime badguy/idiot at the stadium it actually kind of concerns me a bit lol. I’ve seen many arsenal players get booed out by the Emirates fans or be derided through quietness or subdued murmuring when they touch the ball. But I ain’t never seen it like how it is for Mustafi. ANY time he touches the ball he is greeted with a crescendo of moans, groans, “Tsk”, “FFSS” “oh… Read more »

Torterrier
Torterrier
4 months ago
Reply to  hustle6

I am not sure a crescendo of moans, groans and swear words is passive aggression but I do understand your point.

Joseph Odinga
Joseph Odinga
4 months ago
Reply to  hustle6

Sorry, sometimes a bad player is a bad player. Mustafi just isn’t good enough, period.

That said, vicious abuse is uncalled for, however useless the player is.

Santori
Santori
4 months ago
Reply to  Joseph Odinga

Useless is Elneny or Mhkitaryan. Can’t even get rid of them.

At least we finally got rid of Jenkinson. He was crap.

Mustafi has still some use .

Luiz isn’t much better.

This season, Mustafi has barely featured (nor Granit) and we are still shite.

Go figure.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla
Gutbukkit Deffrolla
4 months ago
Reply to  Santori

Jenks was one of us. I don’t know who you are.

therealafb
therealafb
4 months ago
Reply to  hustle6

I do agree with this in games I’ve been to. As someone else commented though, 90% of what he does is actually good, it’s just the big mistakes he seems to be prone to. Good at attacking from set pieces too. Also, while I wouldn’t say he’s a leader, he has a voice – and you’ll always see him talking to other players on the team and encouraging the youngsters. If he could just concentrate for 90 mins we’d have a good defender on our hands…

Upamecano but downalego
Upamecano but downalego
4 months ago

Social media is definitely a hotbed of toxic behaviour and insults, but it is for almost everybody, not solely certain football players. Nobody is forcing anyone to go on Twitter etc, the reason footballers do it is because they simply want more money and an even bigger profile, despite already having enough to live in luxury for the rest of theirs and their kids’ lives. Sometimes greed comes with consequence. Our so-called ‘tough’ players are utterly bubble-wrapped and it’s infuriating. If they actually listened to the initial constructive criticism and improved their flaws the descending quality in their performances probably… Read more »

Gutbukkit Deffrolla
Gutbukkit Deffrolla
4 months ago

There’s a fair bit of twisting reality to get everything to agree with your vision of Arsenal and its players. I’ll give you a simple example. Aubameyang is not so much a good ambassador for our club as he is a man that rather desperately wants to leave it because it isn’t reaching anywhere near the level of football that he believes, quite rightly, that he deserves to play at.

Upamecano but downalego
Upamecano but downalego
4 months ago

“There’s a fair bit of twisting reality to get everything to agree with your vision of Arsenal and its players” If so, cite an example in the words I wrote. I honestly don’t get the impression you’ve actually read my comment, not only that but your sentence is borderline nonsensical. My comment is based on actual interviews by the likes of Xhaka, Mustafi & co who have stated (research it yourself, most of them are available on this site!) how they are the victims, and I amongst many others think a lot of these players are far too spoiled and… Read more »

Upamecano but downalego
Upamecano but downalego
4 months ago

Oh, and side note, santori you have way too many additional profiles now. Instead of manufacturing people on your side, why not just realise you’re wrong about most of the things you spout?

Torterrier
Torterrier
4 months ago

Nobody deserves abuse but as a professional athlete he should be driven by his instinct to succeed, and not because trolls write him insults. What happens on social media is completely irrelevant. If you receive abuse; report it, make your profile private or delete your account.

The internet develops faster than human beings can cope with, people are not taught how to deal with such vile abuse.

Me from Here
Me from Here
4 months ago

No one is above criticism but sometimes people forget that those sports personalities are humans. I find it difficult that people go crazy when sports personalities in their 20s or 30s did or say something while our older and supposedly “wiser” political leaders do much worse. We place the burden of the society on footballers, basketballers but we excuse politicians. Footballers are paid to entertain but politicians are elected to lead. Most people pile their frustrations on sports personalities because they “get paid” a lot but many of them are still growing and learning life. Imagine how many us behaved… Read more »

Forest gooner
Forest gooner
4 months ago

Now he sounds like a world champ.

catbiscuits
catbiscuits
4 months ago

“a pretty impressive set of stats for a player who, like Marmite, splits opinion.”

I’d say there’s a pretty strong consensus on him, to be fair…

ThaatArsenalGuy
ThaatArsenalGuy
4 months ago

His lack of self awareness is so fucked .

He tries to convince us that criticism is the same as abuse, invalidating any criticism of him as a player .

Abuse is disgusting and unacceptable

Criticism is subjective and should be used to help him improve, instead he takes the coward option as he also does on the pitch

Santori
Santori
4 months ago

…he isn’t exactly the only one.

We weren’t exactly not shipping goals/making mistakes at the back even without him out. In fact we were just as poor.

A Different George
A Different George
4 months ago

I think you have proven the case you thought you were defending. “Coward?” Really? Not “he regularly lets players get behind him,” but “he’s a coward.” Not even, “he’s crap,” “not good enough,” “terrible player,” but “coward.” What is the matter with you?

ThaatArsenalGuy
ThaatArsenalGuy
4 months ago

Calling his actions cowardly is not abuse.
He regularly chooses the easiest option, at the expense of his team and teammates.

Cowardly behaviour.

I don’t take joy in saying this about an arsenal player., But it’s there for everyone to see.

Luther
Luther
4 months ago

How would someone who writes such piss poor English like you do, know the difference between abuse and criticism, or between any two words in the English language?
You’re the coward really, as you hide behind your computer to abuse Mustafi, but if you were to ever bump into him, you’d beg him for a selfie, an autograph, and the pleasure of having his babies.

ThaatArsenalGuy
ThaatArsenalGuy
4 months ago
Reply to  Luther

Wow , you feel very strongly about this. I apologise for disrupting your obviously well balanced and healthy mental state .

Kolasinac
Kolasinac
4 months ago

If we bring another good CB this month, I won’t even care that much whether he stays. If he then plays badly or makes mistakes he won’t play bar a huge injury crisis.

Santori
Santori
4 months ago
Reply to  Kolasinac

Which we probably won’t.

HoldenontoArsenal
HoldenontoArsenal
4 months ago

Notice that the guy with the strong leadership personality who told the ignorant, childish ass**le fans to fffff off…he has proven he was correct and the fans wrong. No need to list the number of players we have who are showing and had already shown they are better than our lazy spoiled fans give them credit for. Defenders make mistakes, they get beaten. Only the very strongest mentally can withstand vile abuse, a select few humans are capable of that. Arsenal have made Mustafi a poorer player than he was when he came here. I for one hope he stays… Read more »

Luther
Luther
4 months ago

Even better still, if the players who have yet to be abused, and are in fact respected and worshipped by the abusers, were to “Xhaka the fans who Mustafied” their abused teammates.

Santori
Santori
4 months ago

That’s a great attitude. He’s been on several times for us recently and done well. Some people will of course carry natural bias and pick out moments here and there he may have done better. But frankly as we saw with Holding at Leeds, these same people prefer to turn a blind eye to their preferred players when those players misplace a string of passes through the match, postionally were suspect. They prefer to imagine Mavropanos is better and fully baked. Or Luiz has less mistakes in him. We were not exactly water tight in defense without Mustafi ins quad… Read more »

Mintoes
Mintoes
4 months ago

Journeyman below-average CB who, like Ozil, knows he will never get as good a deal anywhere else that he gets with Arsenal. So why bother trying to move…

And social media hate is wrong, but if you don’t like it, guess what, easy fix, shut down your accounts and stay off social media. But no…can’t do that…”I’m a celebrity” after all…fkn joke. Leave immediately mustafi.

Luther
Luther
4 months ago
Reply to  Mintoes

I’m going to abuse the shit out of you now, and if you don’t like it, guess what, easy fix, stop commenting on this or any other blog or website. Do you go to old people after they’ve just been mugged, and tell them, “mugging is wrong, but if you don’t like it, guess what, easy fix, don’t go out of your house”? Do you go to rape victims and say, “rape is wrong, but if you don’t like it, guess what, easy fix, be ugly instead of being so attractive”? Do you go to people who have been run… Read more »

Mintoes
Mintoes
4 months ago
Reply to  Luther

Yawn, don’t like my comments easy fix, don’t read them.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla
Gutbukkit Deffrolla
4 months ago
Reply to  Mintoes

Journeyman-below-average CB who has played for Germany 20 times. He was doing fine until we bought him. Then after our run of 18 unbeaten games which he played in the abuse started.

There are an awful lot of below-average fans of Arsenal, but easy fix, shut down your accounts and stay off social media. But no…can’t do that…”I’m a keyboard warrior” after all.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla
Gutbukkit Deffrolla
4 months ago

Do you think you deserve that? Did you learn it possible to anything from it? Or did you simply feel abused and angered?

Gutbukkit Deffrolla
Gutbukkit Deffrolla
4 months ago

strike through “it possible to”, obviously.

It’s the easiest thing in the world to be abusive online. Any idiot, including me, can do it. But it never ever does anybody any good, and it never gets the result it was looking for. Mustafi will leave one day, but not because you told him that you wanted him to (You didn’t really tell him that, unless he reads Arseblog, so your anger was pretty much pointless unless you enjoy raging into your cocoa).

Arsemusic
Arsemusic
4 months ago

sadly its not only the rich and famous who become targets for serious online abuse but by speaking out he draws attention to it, which is a good thing. its not hard to separated his poor on pitch moments (which any player can be criticised for) from his personal being but haters don’t care and will keep on attacking/abusing him. As many parents nowadays might of had to do for their own kids…its time to close the online profile, step back, heal, regain confidence, find the love and support of your family. living daily with abuse of any kind takes… Read more »

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts
4 months ago

He needs a new start somewhere else.

Eric Blair
Eric Blair
4 months ago

I think it was here that I read the story of the Arsenal fan who saw Mustafi at a London airport and wanted to go over and say hello. As he got there and introduced himself Mustafi’s face went white and looked terrified, as if expecting a load of abuse, but the guy said simply he was delighted to have the chance to say hello in person to an Arsenal player. There are too many fucking idiots out there, and although I’d like to say the players should ignore all this shit they are only human. How about all the… Read more »

Luther
Luther
4 months ago
Reply to  Eric Blair

That’s a great idea. I wish that had happened in the very early days of the “Wenger out” abuse, and we had nipped it in the bud. We’d be a far more successful club today than we are. Instead we have a club full of players who have, for the majority of their time here, been shot of confidence, and appear to be useless or not trying in the eyes of simpletons.
In addition to your idea, let’s drive out the trolls – starting with the pricks on AFTV.

Bob Will
Bob Will
4 months ago

Welcome to the modern world Mustafi, lots of people watch so you get paid lot’s of money but it also means you are subject to criticism and sometimes it’s abusive. You could go play German second division if its too much for you mate.

Teryima Adi
Teryima Adi
4 months ago

These guys come under tremendous pressure. You must have nine lives as professional athlete in this age. Just look at how Xhaka caved under pressure from the Emirates crowd. Athletes aren’t far from the madding crowd.

CLEGooner
CLEGooner
4 months ago

Mustafi driven to London Heathrow by convoy of Arsenal supporters