Shkodran Mustafi was ruled out of the FA Cup final yesterday, the hamstring strain he picked up against Man City is too serious for him to recover in time.

It was the German’s 9th appearance in just over a month, and the physical strain took its toll late in the game when he raced to clear from Raheem Sterling.

Last week Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta revealed some of his squad were being nursed through ongoing aches and strains, with injections required in certain cases to get players through the games.

And ahead of Sunday’s final Premier League encounter of the season, he expressed his concern at how much has been demanded of players during this period.

“I’m worried, for example muscle injuries are related to this because we have to expose our players,” he said.

“We’ve had some really bad injuries, don’t forget, in the last few weeks when we lost big, big players. Our goalkeepers, central defender, Martinelli, midfielders but it is what it is.

“It’s an unprecedented time with Covid-19, we knew the challenge afterwards. The Premier League has done the best possible way to fit all the fixtures into this calendar year and we’re going to move everything back to the next season.

“It’s our responsibility to put a plan together where we don’t expose them [the players] as much as we can but sometimes it’s inevitable. When you don’t have the numbers they have to keep playing.”

Pressed further on whether or not he harboured deeper concerns about the lack of a proper pre-season before the new campaign begins on September 12th, he said, “Yes, but it’s going to be the same for everybody so we have to adapt.”

It’s the second time in three years Mustafi will have missed an FA Cup final against Chelsea. He made a big contribution to the team getting there, so let’s hope that the lads can finish the job in his absence.

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goongot

Realistically, How much can we get for mustafi now in tramsfer window ?

jimbo

10 million? BOGOF deal with ozil thrown in free

Richie

10 million sounds about right if Dejan Lovren is close to joining Zenit St Petersburg for £11m. But I think Arteta will opt to keep him; he appears ahead of Sokratis and Holding in the pecking order.

Jean Ralphio

I think we can make at least 70 million by getting rid of players we don’t need. I get anxiety thinking about our wage bill.

Public Elneny

I think we should aim to play most games with a back 4 next year, in order to gain more control of the midfield. Meaning 4 or 5 CBs is enough. Something like: Out: Sokratis ~5m ish, Mustafi 10, Holding 15 In: Saliba -, new CB (Mings? 30) Leaves: Luiz, Saliba, new CB, Mari (injured) and Chambers (v injured) Could leave us a little short at the start of the season with Mari & Chambers out and new signings adapting. But except Luiz, that would at least leave us with a group of CBs who are more than a short… Read more »

Goonerrific

Mings? That’s 6ft 4 Mings that got out jumped by 5ft 9 Eddie? I’d sooner stick with holding.

Vonnie

I’m sorry for Musti and he will be a big loss. The way he’s stepped up and changed his game has been amazing. We’ll miss him in the final, he’s our best header of the ball and fits well into the back three.

jimbo

He definately wont be a big loss. hes too erratic and prone to massive blunders to be trusted in a game this big. Holding and tierny either side of luiz will do nicely.

Moxrex

Holding has been equally erratic if not more. There is kind of Anti-Ozil and Anti-Mustafi squad out there. Everyone makes mistakes but some are made scapegoats for everyone else. Luiz had fantastic game against City and same for Mustafi but people will jump on their backs regardless.

Mustafi has not made any major errors since the restart and switching to back 3 has also helped in shoring up the defense. Plus we are not playing on the front foot as well helps. I remember Squillacci once said that “playing in Arsenal’s defense was the worst nightmare for any defender.”

God is a Gooner

In fairness he’s not been flawless since the restart. Mustafi had a shocker in the NLD after a decent first hour

Moxrex

No one is in this team including the manager and the board so, why point out only one person?

jimbo

Not making anyone a scapegoat. In my opinion he is not arsenal quality, too erratic and makes too many mistakes. Ive based this over the 4 seasons that hes been here. since the restart we have won 4 lost 4 drawn 1.

Ealing

I agree with this comment, but not your earlier comment about Mustafi

Andy

He is not the quality to be a starter in a Top 4 side. I don’t think many would disagree with that. The wider problem is how Arsenal as a club can move players out, who are under contract, with big wages, and who have no legal or other incentive to seek alternative employment. The players hold all the cards – people critised the club over letting Ramsey go for zip, but we can’t hold him down and force him to sign our contract, or a contract with another club. The fault lies with whomever in this shitshow manages the… Read more »

Moxrex

We are no longer a top-4 club anymore, the only thing top-4 about us is the wages being paid to the executives. We don’t play like one, we don’t hire like one, we don’t have standing like one

Pakgooner

Yeah because Squillaci & Silvestre was the dream CB pairing back in the day…

Moxrex

Pascal Cygan was not Maldini but the team was built in a way to cover for others follies. Squillaci was not paired with Veira or Gilberto he was playing behind a team built to attack and with a genuine attacker made of glass (RVP)

Arthur Varghese

He’s become better under Arteta. But if you analyse his errors it’s cost us dear. One Eg: see the ball from which Vardy scored to level scores. Second Eg: Trying to dribble past Sterling & losing the ball.
Reason why we need solidity in back 3.

Moxrex

When you ask the defenders to play the ball it basically means he will look up trying to find a team mate before taking the correct action. In the match against ManCity look at the number of passes infront of our goal before it was sent to byline leading the goal. When it works great but when it doesn’t it counts as a mistake. I am not defending Mustafi, I am stating the obvious which is that our defenders will keep on making mistakes because the managers expose them more. If the defenders were required to hoof the ball as… Read more »

Ozillator

Is it just me , or does anyone else think that Shodran eats small children for breakfast?
I think we will miss him in the final…..

djourou's nutmeg

not only they’re being constantly exposed to covid amidst an epidemic, they’re also askey to play every three days forcing fatigue and muscular injuries. and they’re even asked to take a pay cut. aren’t players unionized or something? it’s ridiculous how they’re exploited for money. the season should have never restarted under these conditions.

David Hilliers Arm Cast

If only they were fairly compensated in wages (despite the pay cut).

Quick reminder of the reality that the lowest paid first team players makes more than the average person in a week. Also like Ozil they can just refuse to play.

Martin

What evidence do you have that Ozil is refusing to play?

DaDude

I am sure he is not refusing to play, otherwise Raul would just terminate his contract. He is simply not good enough to be in the squad. If that is the case because he is not trying enough and could be better or simply a physical or psychological cripple is up to anyone’s guess.

PB70

Quick reminder, a lot of players in sports get paid shit loads of money due to the fact the average person chooses to pay in to the system. Another reminder, getting paid shit loads for a job does not make you a part of the Marvel Universe where you develop immunity to viruses and increased durability.

djourou's nutmeg

yes they’re paid a lot, yes they live better than most of us, yes there is people that is exploited in worse manners. that doesn’t mean players should endure exploitation. they’re put in danger without need, just for our entertainment. it doesn’t matter how much they’re paid or if someone else’s having a tougher time. they don’t deserve to work in unhealthy conditions, as anyone else.

jimbo

yeah those mulit millionare premier league footballers are so exploited. how do they manage

jimbo

i was referring to the fact they had to take a pay cut. But as you mention it i doubt their physical hardship and fatigue comes close to many people on low paid jobs who work 50+ hours a week just to be able to pay their bills. so forgive for the lack of sympathy.

PB70

Your issue is with capitalism. If people get injured on the job, you show no sympathy due to how much they get paid?

Maybe all of you complaining about how much sports people get paid (or didn’t jump at the chance to have their pay cut) should stop following sports/entertainment that pay their workers too much. Instead, you could spend your time and money helping those who work 70+ hours a week and get paid less than USD100/month.

jimbo

Not complaining about anything.they earn big money good luck to them.
The point that i replied to said that they are exploited for money.
to say they are exploited when they earn such big wages and have most of the power in the game is laughable
maybe read the threat before jumpiing to conclusions

PB70

True, the majority of people who are exploited don’t make nearly as much money. However, the OP point was correct, regardless of how much the players get paid. If you think the owners, sponsors, and corporations involved in any sport treat players differently to other ‘workers’, you’re mistaken. Whatever helps the bottom line is all they care about and they will exploit anyone regardless of their salary. So, I for one, am glad the players have more power. Would be great if it happened in every industry. With a shortened season and squeezing in as many games as possible to… Read more »

djourou's nutmeg

why doesn’t the premier league take a pay cut? they earn far more than the players. would you be ok if you had to take a pay cut if the company you work for wasn’t selling enough? you’re focusing too much on how much they’re paid and not on actual workers’ rights.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Did they endure worse physical hardship than nurses who worked overtime and unprotected and some died of COVID-19? Let’s be real a second. They live in Eldorado compared to 99% of people. Most people don’t even do their dream job to start with.

PB70

I am sure many of us spend hours on nurseblog and share your concerns. After all, good vibes and whinging about how much footballers make while not going through the requisite physical hardship, ain’t gonna change squat. Also, if a nurses’ dream job was to be a nurse and they live in a slightly better neighbourhood – does that mean they deserve overtime and to be unprotected? The article is simply about a manager’s concern about his players due to the abnormal schedule. How much they make and what they do for a living doesn’t really have anything to do… Read more »

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

The discussion started with Djourou Nutmeg saying players were constantly exposed to COVID and fatigue. This is why I immediately thought about nurses. I watched a call between Ian Wright and Lukaku during COVID. Lukaku said Inter Milan took great care of them. They wanted them to have good nutrition so they delivered food to them every day. They also send gym machines to everybody at home. It is not easy you know, some of us live in a flat and not in a house, said Lukaku. On the other hand, I do understand how demanding the current schedule is… Read more »

djourou's nutmeg

the health care system is needed through a pandemic and they should get assurances about their safety. football ain’t needed nor the players are given any assurance. again, the fact that they’re wealthier than you doesn’t mean they should risk their health and their childrens’ just for your amusement, and the fact that someone’s having a rougher time doesn’t mean they should stand exploitation.

Andy

Physical hardship? Do me a favour.

Leon

How much would we get if we sold or moved on all the dross?
Would be have enough players to make a team of eleven?
Arsenal do not buy the right players for the system and their style of play – they just buy players for that position and hope for the best.
That is why we have so many players who are just not good enough..

Fatgooner

Shame about Mustafi but I’m not too bothered. He’s had some decent performances recently but he showed at WHL just how awful he can be too. Rob Holding can do a job for us at Wembley.

Hopefully, tomorrow we’ll see a ghost team against Watford: there’s absolutely no reason to risk anybody in that meaningless match.

Liverpool showed this week that the Chavs are dodgy at the back. If we defend well enough we’ll beat them.

Andy

I have to disagree. We should approach Watford properly and professionally, and play to win. The attitude that some games are less important than others has come back to bite us on the arse time and time again over the last 10 years or so. We should build some momentum by sticking it right up Deeney’s hole. We have a week to recover after that.

Fatgooner

And what if Auba or Laca or Tierney picks up an injury and misses the final? I don’t give a shit about Watford, but we need to win the FA Cup badly. We need the strongest possible squad available against the Chavs. Risking our top players in a meaningless game is utterly stupid.

Andy

Or .. we go into our biggest game of the season on the back of two defeats to relegation fodder, fielding an eleven that hasn’t played together for 3 weeks?

Santori

Probably would have been better to have Mustafi backing up Bellerin against the dangers of Pulisic in the finals. He’s been generally excellent with headed clearahces as well which could protect against Abrahams or Giroud. but the other thing we may miss is his deep cross field passes out to Tierney or Auba from the left of defense. That said, likely we will see Rob Holding start so hopefully we see a back 3 bc Luiz, Holding are not the most convincing in a flat back 4 (nor Mustafi it has to be said). prob cycle the diligent Tierney into… Read more »