Shkodran Mustafi says he’s always done his best as a professional at times when it looked as if his Arsenal career was over.
The German was told he could go during the summer, and barely played under Unai Emery. However, since Mikel Arteta took over he’s been back in contention, and today – selected ahead of the fit again Sokratis – played well in the 0-0 draw with Burnley.
On a day when the Gunners were tested at Turf Moor, Mustafi was strong defensively, and spoke afterwards about how he’s had to deal with time out of the team and criticism for previous poor performances.
“For me it’s always been the same, I always try to put my personal stuff behind me and be there for the team,” he said.
“Always when the team needed me I wanted to be there, not only in the games but as well in training.
“It’s easy to be professional when things are going good but I think it’s the same and important when things are not going so good personally, to be professional. At the end of the day, we are here to work and we are here to play for a big club.
“I always wanted to be ready and be there and whenever the team or the coach needs me I always say I’m going to be there.”
And on the draw with Burnley, he continued, “It’s not easy because they have big strikers, they have strikers that are used to fight every time the long balls especially from the wide areas.
“I’m not the biggest centre-half but I think it’s important to just go and try and win.
“I think you have to expect it first because if you come here and you think you’re going to play nice football and you’re not going to get hurt then you’re going to lose games like this.
“We are now in a situation where we just need to win the games and I think as soon as we start doing that the confidence will come.
“You will get a push off the confidence and I think that’s going to be so important for us because we want to play football and to play football the way we want to play is we have to have confidence and the personality.
“I think that as soon as we can start winning games again, I think we’re going to be on the right track.”
How did Mustafi rate? Check out the player ratings, and rate the players yourself in our Burnley 0-0 Arsenal player ratings.