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.

newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Fair play to him, he had an excellent game.

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

A good game, no mistakes but not excellent.


Well, no one was excellent yesterday in terms of having a world class performance. What has been excellent is the change of form from Mustafi. From catastrophic liability when he played or rotting on the stands a few weeks ago to rock solid in a very short span of time. This certainly deserves my respect and hopefully also the respect of others.
There are players at this club who have it much easier and don’t show such commitment.


I always stayed professional.
But remained shit…


Perhaps that was a bit harsh of me to say that but its very difficult to erase allof his mistakes that has cost us so dearly since he arrived…

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

You couldn’t even erase your own mistaken comment.

Ashish Mann

Brilliant comment mate. Put that lad right in his place.


Well, you can say that the mistakes of Mustafi cost us the CL, then I can say that the missed pen from Auba against Spurs, very casually taken in minute 91 while the score was all square, cost us the CL.
The reality is that over the span of a season, no player will cost a team something because you will always find other moments without this players involvement where necessary missing points could have been gained. Your argumentation is valid for a cup final where one player might make a decisive mistake.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

It wasn’t “since he arrived”. We didn’t lose a game during his first 20 appearances.


As a negative little turd I don’t think you should be criticising anyone for being shit.


Musti has always been a brave player and he’s playing well now. I’m pleased for him.

Runcorn Gooner

Give him his due he has always put in a shift and been involved in many skirmishes and got injured without moaning unlike some of our players who fall over for no reason. You know who you are Lacazette Guendouzi and Torreira.


And 42 points behind Liverpool.
Sorry but I had to bring reality into the conversation because so many will come on here trying to convince me that we played well, that we were unlucky. We are fighting relegation so we are not playing well…
Arsenal are garbage – stating the obvious…


Everyone knows where we are, and what’s gone wrong, but we’re making improvements, in small increments. Emery’s last 10 games leaked 18 goals; Arteta’s first 10 have leaked 8 — we’ve been begging for this kind of improvement for over a year. Our attack will start clicking, and when it does, and the goals arrive, as Mustafi says, our confidence and results will return.


We’ve out shot our opponents in 2/9 games.

Taken 8/18 points.

There’s been no improvement.

We’ve played well in small periods of games, but been outplayed by some pretty bland teams for the majority.

I suppose having blind optimism, is better than having no optimism at all.

Keep burying your head in the sand.

i think Arteta needs 18 months minimum, but if he can’t convince the players of his ideas soon? Then the writings on the wall….

And around and around and around we go……

The players look so flat.


Be patient if you can. I don’t see it as blind optimism, in part because things were so bad under Emery that Arteta feels utterly positive, and I do see a marked improvement in our structure and substance even if the results are not there yet. They will come, things will get better, joy will return.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

Some people don’t do patient. Any slight imperfection in the team they deign to support is taken as a deliberate slur against themselves personally. They hate it because the team has embarrassed them in a very public way. They can’t be argued with by other fans because the team is their toy, and nobody elses.


I have no idea how you can’t see improvement during Arteta’s time.


lies, damned lies, and statistics

tanned arse

I think the foundations are being set we look like a team who is in control of what’s going on but lack that quality in attack. For me that’s down to the personal. Laca really is average with moments of top quality. Auba is elite at moving amd timing his runs to get high percentage shots off but isn’t that clinical amd the rest of his game is practically non existent (his goals come at the expense of team build up most of the time. Hence few others score). Ozil plays ok the periphery with no intesity. Those 3 restrict… Read more »


At some point Aubameyang is going to dip, Alexis’s fall from grace was rapid.

And we can’t fall into the trap of offering him a big deal, sell, sell, sell.

I like a Lacazette, but any offers approaching £45-£50mill, then sell, he’s 28.

Ozil is finished, and has been for a long time, our season in the league is a write off, time to throw in Willock, Willock has a future, Ozil doesn’t, he’s had more than enough chances now.


He’s f’ing toast. Get him out of here.


I am sure we’d love to. But how would you facilitate that? We are stuck with this guy until the end of next season and then he will get a very silent and unspectacular exit. I am already intrigued in which sh1te league he will end up now that China is no option anymore. Probably USA or Quatar … or maybe he will even retire for good.

Paul Roberts

Difficult to thumb your post up or down as you have many points within it.


With Auba, Laca, Pepe, Martinelli, OZIL and Co. WTF should we struggle in attack?

Paul Roberts

Maybe because Ozil is a spent force and Lacca is on a really bad period of form (his giving the ball away annoys me more than his lack of ability to hit a cow’s arse with a banjo). Auba thinks he’s great because the focus of criticism has not been on the attack and he is concentrating on smiling a lot. Pepe is an attacker best played in a team that plays the counter attack (which we don’t). Martinelli could be the next Ronaldo but he’s 18 years old. That’s my thoughts…:-)


Always done his best, can’t ever fault the man at that specific thing.


Needs to shut the eff up and leave… Never repaid the money and support we invested in him, he cost us much more than he gave, so we need to get him off the books asap. Whatever he has to say is irrelevant now.


Top post. It’s largely because of his mistakes that we haven’t qualified for the Champions League since he joined us and also why we’ve given away so many precious Premiership points this season. Here we are, scratching around above the relegation zone and this plonker is fishing for compliments after he finally manages to put in a couple of reasonable performances.
Too little too late.


It’s not because of Mustafi we haven’t qualified for the Champions’ League; it’s because of shit fans like you. You have created this toxic atmosphere that puts unnecessary pressure on our own players, forcing them into needless errors. You’re supposed to put pressure on and scare the shit out of opposition players, you wally.


Luther, yes, the fans are responsible for the mess we’re in. We are super nice and patient as fans, everybody knows Arsenal has pretty well mannered fans, if some are pissed off they have the right to be. Also, blaming other fans for anything is super low, thinking you are better fan than anyone. The nerve in some people…


Correction – we USED TO have very well-mannered fans; we used to have classy and knowledgeable fans. Then they started listening to TalkSport, got brainwashed by Adrian Durham and other Arsenal-haters, AFTV was born, and now we have so many vile and thick fans. Why are Liverpool doing so well? Not just because they have a great manager and quality players, but also because they have great supporters who get behind the team when the team is doing BADLY as well as good. Even when Liverpool had mediocre sides, their fans were right behind them. Look at how they inspired… Read more »

Dr. kNOw

Wow. Just… wow. It’s the fans fault. Yes. They blindly followed Arsène, who held Chelsea up as a shining example of the bane of modern football, when it was in fact the waving of the white flag in the quest to compete. They believed Wenger when he said the club will only make signings that will improve the squad – when there were glaring gaps – even though it was hogwash and there was, in fact, no such budget. They even believed Gazidis when he said the club will compete with the likes of Bayern Munich. You blame AFTV. Do… Read more »


For your information, I am a silver member, and have been since 2001, when it wasn’t even called the silver membership. I have also been a travel club member since 2008. So I do certainly go to games, home, away, and abroad. And that’s how I’m in a position to blame many of my fellow gooners – if I hadn’t been to games, I may have been totally oblivious to their constant sabotaging. I was at Highbury on Boxing Day 2001 against Chelsea, when at 1-1, Arsene Wenger decided to take off Freddie Ljungberg (my favourite player at the time,… Read more »


‘For your information, I am a silver member, and have been since 2001, when it wasn’t even called the silver membership.’


Yep. It was called the ticket registration scheme in those days.


Err their fans backing sure made them a successful Premier League side over the past 30 years… Not.


Well that just further proves my point. They’ve waited double the amount of time for a league title as we have, yet their support has been much better than ours. They have had worse teams than any of our teams since our last league title (at least until Arsene Wenger left), yet their support has been much better for those mediocre sides than ours has been for even our title chasing sides. Also, don’t forget that they’ve won the Champions’ League twice during that league drought; both significantly helped by their supporters – second half comeback in istanbul, and second… Read more »

Venga bus

Hope Me2 doesn’t have small children

Right Across Sunderland!

Well played, Shkodran. Keep that up and nobody will have any complaints. I’m all for rewarding good performances so he starts the next game for me.


Performances like this from Mustafi aren’t new.

90% of what he does is usually very good.

Its the frequency of his brain farts that’s the problem.

I’ve never had a problem with him, it’s not his fault he’s got the attention span of a goldfish.

Hopefully he strings together a decent run, then he’ll hold some value for when we shift him in the summer.


He is not the only one making mistakes otherwise we won’t be where we are. He has barely played most season, come in to do a decent job bar one high profile error.

Merson's Grin

Can’t remember the last time I voted up one of your comments.
Liking the brevity sir!

A Different George

Mustafi has made too many serious mistakes, I absolutely agree with that. But when there is structure and communication in a team, not every defensive mistake, even a serious mistake, ends in a disaster. Most are forgotten once the match is over. I still doubt that Mustafi can continue at Arsenal (too much of a past to overcome), but I am certain he will do quite well somewhere else. (Chris Smalling is currently in Serie A’s best 11 at Roma.)


Let’s give him a break, ffs, he gave his all today like he does In all games for better or worst, easy to blame 1 individual from a team game, ok may not be the best c b with ever had but not the worst, if he wouldn’t stop sliding to ground there is a top player there


Mustafi isn’;t the reason why we are shit ind efense.

He has only played 4 or 5 matches this season most of which he has been good, one high profile error.

What happened in the other matches he did not feature? we were not any better.

We were not better either as well without Mustafi and with Torreira.

Today with Torreira, no noticeable improvement.


He was fine defensively but he needs to cut out the pushing opponents when we have a corner. Two corners were wasted today because of his shoving and giving away a free kick.

Mesut O’Neill

Only 2 undefeated premier league teams in 2020 ? #keepthefaith

Red Fred

We are on a new journey with Arteta and under him every player is getting better and more confident. So we should also do the same. Forget the negative witch-hunts for now. Do as the boss has. Clean slates all round and enjoy the positive progress.
under Emery confidence was really low and we really could have been in a relegation fight. If you cant see and appreciate the progress these players are making do you really understand football.


We are not getting enough wins and points.

Still same in 10th.

what new path?

A Different George

I thought yesterday was the first match under Arteta that was a bit of a regression. We were very good for about the first 30 minutes or less, which is worse than recently. But overall, I see consistent improvement in our team play and in specific players (Xhaka, Torreira, Ozil, Martinelli, Saka, Mustafi, Pepe).


He played well again, but that is not the issue at all. The problem is when an unforced error or lack of concentration comes. This is surely his last chance to prove himself.


The last chance was a long time ago.

the fact is we don’t have that much better.

There’s nothing wrong with Holding beyond not being terribly convincing either.

Sokratis is mysteriously ill. Luiz isn’t an upgrade more a panic buy.

We await to see if Mari can deliver.

But you are there on merit.


Judging by some of the typical comments here that do not live in the real world. We have not been punching above our weight (and leaking goals) even without Mustafi. In this match, we kept a clean sheet but we failed to score. That in itself you’d think should be an indication of what part of the issue is as well. BUT too many fans live in their own alternate reality. Sign a couple of people and suddenly they think we are world beaters. We are quite a ways away from that and we’ve failed yet again this season to… Read more »


a poor Burnley side who are on the same points as us and just beat Man U 2-0 at their own gaff…


Too right anyone with an opinion that doesn’t match yours is not living in reality …. yawn

Merson's Grin

Dear Blogs, thanks ever so much for the ‘read more’ button. I intend to use it in a most judicious manner!


As for Mustafi, I thought he has been very strong for us and was good today. Fantastic pass to release Ozil first half. Was diligent through out did not make any unnecessary fouls…came in with a couple of critical last ditch interventions or clearances. Not least alert to put out the ball no nonsense following Rodrigues attempt on the bar. Probably the better of the two Centre Halves today. Plus keeping Holding on the bench, not sure what’s wrong with Sokratis though. Those who thought we’d see the last of Mustafi with the loan on Mari upset today:D You stay… Read more »


What amazes me with Mustafi is how he’s made it to professional level at all. He strikes me as somebody who at 17 years of age should either have been made into a midfielder or cut entirely.
He’s too inconsistent to be a worthwhile central defender at the professional level.
Yes, he is good most of the time, but he’s mentally too weak – i.e. he is too stupid – not to throw away every other game.
Professional or not, he shouldn’t play for us.


He’s an alright defender and we all have hated his blame on teammates when he does something catastrophic.. but I don’t believe it’s right to say he’s stupid. His mental fortitude has somehow got him through fan pressure and he’s playing well above what we’ve seen him usually do. Our needs are still dire at the back, just let him play and see where it goes

A Different George

It’s amazing that all those football professionals, you know, the ones who picked the German World Cup squad, didn’t understand the game as well as you.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

I think you need to be aware that he has played football before joining Arsenal and he didn’t do too badly at all. German international. Won stuff. Respected. Son’t you think its strange that we have so many players that we fans really wanted here but who aren’t nearly as good now as they were before we bought them. It may be a strange idea but what if it was being at Arsenal, which is owned and run by dorks with no idea how “soccer” works but who think of the club as the perfect cash cow, that has buggered… Read more »

The Arsenal

Respect to him


true , he’s been amazing through a lot of criticism.. can’t remember if the crowd got on his back like they did xhaka though

Paul Roberts

He has some serious character and determination. I’d keep him right now. He may have been suffering from a fuck up virus that has now cleared? 🙂

Merson's Grin

With some protection from midfield he MIGHT not be so panic-stricken and error prone. For me his distribution is often exceptional, as is his character – who among us could deal with the vocal disappointment of 60,000+ fans and come through it?

Paul Roberts

Spot on mate!