The Great Mustafi Overreaction

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This is a comment Mills made , listen and learn. Again- Thanks Mills.


“If Mustafi is a pile of shite as Im told by aftv etc, then every single Arsenal defender ever, and probably every Arsenal player ever is a pile of shite? Strange logic? Non!

Truth is every player makes a mess of something sooner or later. I can list them off, or you can think of them yourselves. There’s been some big moments that went down the kasi, with big names at fault. Players are humans, not some AI bot that seems never to make a mistake. Notice in the AI of computer games they have to put flaws in the play so that somebody wins?
The history of Arsenal ( a considered process with agenda by humans) filters the subjective idea of whose a hero or villain, we then see endless highlights to remind of ourselves of good and bad moments, but these arent the full picture.

Humanity is at the key point of football, we hate the mistakes when they happen to us, but love it when it happens to “them”.
Mustafi is a good player, went through a fantastic period with us, then hit the wall and seemed to lose his confidence, which is a shame as hes a great player, and still can be.That will finish his career with us no doubt, but only because of money. Yesterday I thought , well he will be kicked out now if we lose, many players are bullied out of our club when they dont need to be. If the people who think hes shite at aftv then they should go out there and play at profi level, its a million more times harder than those people think. I got to the level below and even played with a lad who went professional and that was tough enough.
But we still need him (Mustafi) now, in this part of the season, but the mob want blood, they want to feel good, and Mustafi made them feel bad. Imagine how he feels, shamed and loathed. Must be big laughs. But the finger is pointing in the wrong direction, or at least not enough in all directions.

But why did the team give up at 1-2 down? The third goal ( poor marking) was the killer, and we had enough chances to make it three or even four. Mustafi is not the enemy or the evil one who ruined the day. The whole team are to blame and the fans too, they are also part of it all, and the typical reaction at 1-2 was to go all quiet and introverted, when the lads needed support.

aftv and people dont have the monopoly on opinions or on whats what, in my opinion.
I also wish people at aftv would stop going on about the “previous regime”. If thats was a regime then they want to get out a bit more. Closer to their understanding is probably that they cant dictate how Arsenal are run. And thank the stars for that.

Mustafi made a mistake, but so did our attacking players in missing chances and not converting, we cant have it one way and not the other? Theres no difference.

Sometimes I wonder, having watched “Our planet” recently if we football fans could also put as much thought and energy into saving ourselves psychologically and physically then our grandkids might have a better chance?


Mustafi is an Arsenal player, he does his best. Sometimes that may not be good enough, but no one should doubt his effort.

40 comments on “The Great Mustafi Overreaction

  1. Rich
    April 22, 2019 at 11:08 am Edit
    Mills, saw a guy I thought was reasonably sensible claim on Twitter Mustafi worst centre back in history of league, worse than Titus Bramble.

    At least it meant I could mark that guy’s card as ‘twat’, but beyond that what can you say?

    Do many really believe these things they come out with, about our own players?

    In one sense it is almost a good thing to know so many seemingly sensible people making their forceful judgements etc are not much better than the obvious idiots, and understand very little more than them, as it means there is potentially so much more of the noise that can be dismissed or ignored.

    Alas that’s probably outweighed by the fact that players and all have to live in a world with so much nonsense in it, and these things do filter down and have very real impacts on everything.

    Mustafi does not deserve this. At the worst, he is a good player with a few pronounced flaws, who may well suit playing in a team who defend deep and don’t leave big spaces to cover, rather than one where that’s not the case. To think he is anywhere near the worst defenders in prem, now let alone ever, is ridiculous.

    Terry looked completely finished when Chelsea were experimenting with a different way of playing which left him exposed and needing to cover more ground. Returned to their old way and he had an excellent season in a mean title-winning defence.


    Mandy Dodd
    April 22, 2019 at 11:10 am Edit
    Mustafi is a decent player, had a good game as recently as Watford. There have been a few other clean sheets lately as well. He is athletic, good in the air, doesn’t hide.
    He certainly seems to have regressed recently, though it could be argues that With Sok and Kos , he is just fine.
    But I cannot help wondering if what seems a lack of trust from his team mates , and possibly coaches has dented his confidence.
    The first goal, is someone has to be blamed, I would have to unfortunately say Jenks, a ring rusty player, who I believe also has trust issues from some of the team. The second goal, comical, but basically, a communications fuckup, it happens to the very best. By the third goal, the team had gone to shit, a bit like the ref.
    Arsenal’s problem, since the holding injury, and constant need to re-jig the defence, with constant injuries and suspensions since holding. The defence has been completely unstable virtually all year, I cannot think of a rival who has had to chop and change anywhere near as much this season.
    Sadly for Mustafi, I doubt he is anywhere near Emerys first choice now or in the future, and probably knows it. I suspect he will move in the summer, perhaps to a more stable defensive setup, where referees actually protect players and properly enforce the rules of the game, where he can build up his confidence and show again he is a decent player.
    Emery has a lot of work to do,this summer, just hope he has the funds, and structure in place to do so. Still no news on the head scout, the Edu TD latest, rumoured to be arriving in late July, which is helpful!
    There is no point for singling out individuals for performances like yesterday, the main culprit was initial selection , compounded by a fixture pile up, injuries and squad issues. Perhaps these new training regimes some players wax lyrical about have taken a toll, as they did initially at Liverpool when Klopp arrived. We traditionally finished the season strongly, looking fresh, this season, we look a bit ragged and down to the bare bones. Maybe a learning point there.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fair few could get what should be a wake up call when we meet Valencia soon.

    Coquelin was another regularly described as terrible, woeful, etc, when in fact he is a good player- strengths and weaknesses like the rest- who had some excellent games with us.

    He is very capable of having a stormer against us and doing us damage (banned for 1st leg though).

    Mustafi would be the same. Those who go in hardest on these players would no doubt try laugh it off as a joke if they faced us and did well, or put it down to some fault with our club that they didn’t play like that for us.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mustafi has made one too many errors. This reaction is an aggregation of all of those, whether it’s fair in isolation or not. Actually, the fact that Mustafi is otherwise a good defender might make his propensity to having these moments of stupidity all the more infuriating,

    But we’ve also seen Kos make some high profile errors. Two of which might have cost us trophies. One in the League Cup final in 2011, and one last season in the semi final of the EL against Atletico.

    So why do we love Kos and hate Mustafi as Arsenal fans?

    I think one of the things is how they react to these errors. Kos accepts responsibility, while Mustafi always seeks to evade it. He even suggested that it was Wenger’s (lack of) coaching which left him confused on the field. He started the season well, so we all shrugged and moved on and wished him well in the future. But to me, it suggests a guy, who for all his qualities, doesn’t learn from his mistakes because he, in some small way, seeks to absolve himself of the blame.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. all 3 goals were Mustafi’s fault, he should not have allowed Mavropanos to give away such a needless freekick or to also allow Mavropanos lose his man on the first, or Jenks play Benteke onside on that goal too, he should not have allowed Guendouzi to play the scorer on side for the 3rd goal & he should not have allowed Iwobi miss that chance, he should also not have allowed Moss to not give us the two good penalty shouts we had, fucking Mustafi.

    By the way Emery says Mustafi has been consistent this season, but be the reason why he has picked him to start in more BPL games than any of other defenders, in fact Mustafi has started more BPL games than any other Arsenal player, so if Mustafi is oh so bad what does that say about our tactical genius Head Coach, really what does it say.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. George, sent an email over to you re the Valencia game.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. @shard agreed.

    i don’t think its a physical\technical thing with Mustafi as he has attributes to be a very good defender.

    His poor decision making is why i think he has not fulfilled his potential yet. get the impression he sometimes wishes to play in midfield cause he is decent on the ball.


  7. shard as you say about Mustafi looking like he seeking to blame others for his errors, to me this suggests a player who is lacking in confidence, and who knows he is getting blamed by a large section of the fans for not only his mistakes, but for everyone else’s too. If a player lacks confidence, the last thing he needs is to heap more blame upon himself.
    Emery has started Mustafi the most of all our players in the BPL this season, 28 games, I seen a stat recently that Mustafi had made more headed clearances than Sokratis and Holding combined this season, but you know like Ozil his “body language” is a reason for some to hate upon him, and like Ozil the hate has nothing to do with him being a German Muslim.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. @eduardo792

    for the first goal the whole backline was a mess, very disjointed.

    Would not blame Mustafi for that but as a team we were setup flimsy for the free-kick. That back 5 would not have lined up together that much this season i ithink.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. and fucking Mustafi didn’t make Moss give us a penalty for this

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Eduardo

    I appreciate all that. All the stats and the appearance figures. I could find reasons or context to try to refute them, but that’s neither here nor there. I just find it difficult to trust Mustafi. I really like him. I think he’s a good defender, with potential to be great. I don’t think the 35m price tag was too much for him. He’s definitely better than he gets credit for.

    But as I said, I don’t think I trust him anymore not to make at least one big error in a game. The times when he has an incident free game are now more remarkable than when he doesn’t. (eg Watford, where he was great)

    I was about set to give up on him last season, but I clung on hoping he will fulfil his potential. And you know, he still might. But that error yesterday, the manner of it. I don’t think he comes back from that with the fans.

    Also, I disagree that the blaming others shows a lack of confidence. That it’s a reaction to circumstances rather than something more instinctive. In any case though, I will never advocate getting on his back and definitely not seeking out to abuse him on social media like some cretinous individuals do. None of that. But honestly, ultimately I think Mustafi has cost us too often with his errors and generally spreads confusion in defense.

    And of course, I don’t say this with any arrogance.The coach’s decision is what matters and not mine. So all I’m presenting is my opinion.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. gee

    Mustafi’s technical ability is very good. Not sure he’s got the quick decision making to play in midfield though.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Absolutely right, Shard. I can forgive the physical & mental errors because who among us makes none. What I object to about Mustafi is his tendency to blame someone else for his errors.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Shard.

    agreed thats probably why coaches play him CB/RB but i think Mustafi himself sometimes thinks he is or might have played there in his younger days.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. It’s worth remembering that we lost two first-choice defenders and an important attacking role player to season-ending injuries. So to have a top-four finish still in our hands with four games left suggests at least to me that things are not hopeless.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. I know 4th spot still in our own hands, but its not as much in our own hands as many seem to think, we are only ahead of CFC by 4 goals, if we both win all our remaining games then goal difference will decide who finishes higher, we’ve only won 3 BPL games by more than 2 goals this season, and 2 of them were v Fulham,
    CFC play tonight at home to Burnley, if they win it will put extra pressure on us to get a win at Wolves on Wednesday

    Liked by 1 person

  16. 900 I don’t think anyone on here is saying things are hopeless, just not as good as they could have been. Too many sub par performances when opportunities arise for us to kick home an advantage when direct rivals have slipped up.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Good stuff Mills and Eddie at 1:40pm.

    I try hard not to pay much attention to anybody rubbishing our own players, especially from those within our fanfase, but sometimes it get too much.

    Been through this rubbish with Ramsey, Giroud, Mertesacker, Arteta, Özil to name a few. Arsenal fans’ need to have a villain, a scapegoat, when things go to pot is the greatest thing weighing our great club down.

    Liked by 3 people

  18. Nwakali having Visa issues preventing him from returning to Portugal. Seems near certain now we’ll be taking a hit on him and he’ll not get to wear the shirt.


    Still annoys me that Iheanacho got a permit and he didn’t when their credentials were almost identical (both player of tournament in u17 world cup winning teams)

    Think it’s case that the other nigerian, Chukwueze, we were after with Nwakali, but didn’t join because of work permit, is the one who is making real name for himself at top level and has earned rave reviews at Villarreal.

    Never gonna be easy signing players who won’t get work permits for a few years if at all.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. A player can be talented and good but not have the right temprement for a specific role out of two or three options that they might play in during their careers.


  20. I believe a top four finish or a Europa league win would be punching a little above our weight, when you see how some rivals are funded, perhaps some of the hotheads need to see a little context, this club is going through a lot of change and instability, look upstairs for starters. Of course both top four and EL are still possible, but just saying.
    As for Mustafi, he has had some difficult games, but so have most Arsenal defenders, especially in recent years. He may leave, but his replacement also faces a difficult task, mainly due to the way we play, defenders are often left exposed as backs are caught in advanced positions on counters, mistakes are inevitable. Some teams have two experienced holding MFs, even with a flat back four, some teams get away with more than we do at the back. Our defensive solidity from the Invincibles peak reduced to a degree with changes in the game, and after Wenger discovered Cesc and got pissed off with Paddy constantly angling for moves. Emery hasn’t really given the defence any more protection in most games, although things have improved a little in terms of clean sheets recently, until Palace. Yesterday, we had Guen and Elneny in mf, a very raw partnership and not offering much protection for the defence.
    Arsenal is a very difficult place to be a defender, especially one developing , or low on confidence. Other teams know this and set up accordingly, as I suspect do some in the PGMOL.
    I still think Emery is more likely to change the way we play in his second season, for better , or for worse, but we shall see.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I see there’s plenty of blame to go around. The in stadium scuttlebutt in the first half was that it was all El Neny’s fault as he is too slow with his passing and only passes backwards. Sorry to say that I was not confident going into this match – I had a feeling that we could get done by Palace after our midweek exertions and unfortunately that was deepened when I saw the ‘mix and match’ nature of the team. Too many players were having a rare outing together, which doesn’t often work for our game. We do much better when there is a settled team who get into a groove together. Xhaka and Ramsey are harder to replace than some will admit and as good as Ozil is, he needs someone to play off. It was notable how much we improved with Iwobi for him to play off, even Aubameyang came to life after an anonymous first half. I thought Lacazette worked really hard, but this was another game in which we missed the physical presence of someone like Giroud up front. It will be interesting to see whether Emery looks to bring someone like that in, or renew Danny Welbeck’s contract?

    Liked by 5 people

  22. Burnley ahead at Chelsea.
    Would be nice if that stays the same


  23. “Arsenal fans’ need to have a villain, a scapegoat, when things go to pot is the greatest thing weighing our great club down.”

    Preach, my brother! I am heartily sick of it personally. It is really beginning to spoil things for me. I spend so much time biting my tongue at the match that I’m in danger of biting it off altogether!

    Liked by 4 people

  24. Danny Has been a serious loss this season Passenal, really serious. And I really wish we still had, or could even force a return of OG.
    Hope Emery does have Danny or a similar player available next season, got the impression Emery rated Danny, though I suspect those upstairs will see him as too much of a risk to offer a new contract

    Liked by 4 people

  25. Oh well, Burnleys favour to us didn’t last long


  26. Most of the Prem league teams that had tough European games midweek either lost, or below par, strange that, but at least we have an individual to blame.
    Liverpool exempted, easy European tie, relatively easy fixture yesterday, and they know salah only has to over react and a pen is guaranteed, whether correctly or not

    Liked by 1 person

  27. so with cfc drawing 2-2 to burnley, it means four wins from four will see Arsenal top 4, seven wins on the spin would see us get top 4 and win EL


  28. Mandy, Aye. Maybe makes the very iffy team yesterday a bit more understandable. Think that makes only one game of six Chelsea have won after European games. 4 losses.

    2 off injured today. Kante will be giant loss if for any length of time. I don’t know their lineup midweek, but if Hudson-odoi played, suppose probability is that it influenced the achilles rupture he suffered tonight. Obviously professional clubs packed with support staff know a whole lot more than we do about fitness issues. Imagine how gutting it would be if that was Ainsley, or anyone really.

    Gotta say I could never have dreamed that after losing Kos to that injury, having surely played him at least a little more than we should have, out of necessity, we would end up doing the same, after his having made as good a recovery as anyone could hope for.

    I feel a bit weird about that, as though we are not looking after a fantastic servant as well as we should. But that’s where we are. It’s testament to how important a player he is for us and how badly we want this CL qualification.

    Does make me wonder how little Emery trusts current cb’s bar Kos and Sok, given he was willing to go with such a dubious centre mid pairing, but not to rest Kos. Guess the hope is that with 3 cb’s you can better cover any issues with form, fitness etc than with two, but I’m not sure it works like that unless you are set up pretty defensively.

    Very annoying that Liverpool seem to be sailing through it all, with their four key men -Van Dijk and the three forwards- all having great years fitness wise. Often seems the way though that title contenders/winners have very settled teams for most of year.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. ‘We have got to be ready for their pressing,’ he added. ‘They have got quality on the ball so we have got to defend well, and when we win it we have got to be ready for their aggression.

    ‘They will snap at your ankles and heels and kick you. They are not going to allow us easy counter attacking because there will be fouls, I have absolutely no doubt about it.

    ‘When you watch those games they commit so many players forward and they will be stopping us as high as they can I think.’

    Some truth in it but got to love the comedy factor in a Utd boss talking to media about cynical fouls from opposition ahead of a game.

    It was only this season they laid down the real filth on us in the game that, thanks to a sneaky, cynical late hit, put Holding out. Moreover, there’s no doubt Ole is a true Son of Ferg in his approach to foul play (about 80% of Mctominay’s game seems to be grabbing, hassling and kicking people from behind)

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Speaking of that Utd game earlier, they’ve gone with same man in middle, Marriner. I thought he was rubbish in that game, in particular in first duty to protect players, bosses obviously thought otherwise. Expect leniency on fouls.

    For us, it’s Atwell at Wolves, Oliver for Leicester


  31. Expecting a little treat Friday night as there’s u23 game at Emirates and they normally screen one live on website this point of season.

    Could be selection dilemma’s for it as u18’s have to win their game Saturday morning to seal league title, which then opens up route, if they beat north champions, to youth CL , regardless of what first team do, for next year. Six or so at present from u18’s who are regulars or featured recently for older age group.

    No brainer for me to ensure u18’s are strong for that one. Think Uefa Youth league a very good one for testing players, and losing that u18 title to Spurs would, obviously, not be good at all for morale.

    All of it complicated a little as policy is to hold players back from u23 duty if there is slightest possibility of being needed for 1st team duty, even as extra man in squad if anyone pulls out.


  32. Spuds back to their late goals


  33. Brighton showed zero ambition, but the dice are certainly rolling for Spurs this season, of luck is really shared out, expect Spurs to suffer an unfortunate relegation sometime soon !


  34. Only plus with the Spurs goal was I had set 90 mins as the time I would start believing Brighton might pull it off. So timing saved me a bit pain wise.


  35. From the AFC website.

    Sunday’s defeat against Crystal Palace dented our hopes of a top-four finish and, understandably, there was disappointment inside the ground and throughout our global fanbase.
    Shkodran Mustafi was on the receiving end of some of that criticism and Unai was quick to defend him ahead of the Wolves game.
    “I want to protect the players,” said our head coach, “and I protect Mustafi because I believe in him.
    “He is a very good centre back, he has the habit of doing the sliding tackle and using anticipation against the opposition. He can win one, win two, win three, win four – but if he loses one he is in the picture and if he concedes a goal he is the big picture. Sunday was like that.
    “I have spoken to him. I told him ‘You are young, you can improve and you need to work hard because you have a big quality for a centre back.’
    “For example, at Watford, he was the best of the 28 players, the best, and he won all of the balls in the air with his head, that is a very good statistic for him. On Sunday against Benteke it’s more difficult to win every ball in the air but it was 50:50.
    “He needs to improve things tactically, his decision-making, but he has good quality and my work is to help him.”
    What would also help him, according to Unai, is encouragement instead of insults.
    “I say to our supporters, ‘Help our players.’ Because I want every player to have big confidence,” he said.
    “I know there are reactions, and the first reaction is strong. First, when we win they are telling us we are the best, we have a record, we have a possibility to be third in the table – that is good.
    “But we should take the balance in the middle, because when we aren’t in this position in the table or aren’t individually also putting in good performances and the criticism is coming at us, it is time to find the balance.
    “I am going to protect the players and help the players. And all the supporters who love Arsenal, I prefer them to do that.
    “I know it is not easy and they are going to criticise when they are in the stadium and also when they are watching on TV. But personal insults I don’t agree with. Insults I don’t want. I think it is not necessary to be insulting.
    “If I protect the players, first it is for the confidence. I do criticise them – but only inside when I am working and we are speaking. I use my conversations with them individually and collectively and sometimes I criticise them. But outside I want to protect them. I prefer that as I think we need to be together.”

    Copyright 2019 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to http://www.arsenal.com as the source.

    Liked by 2 people

  36. Great management by Unai. Dont doubt for a minute he wants to help Mustafi, he is going to need him. and lets face it, SM is not without attributes as a defender, excellent in the air for starters, but he does seem to like a Sok and Kos alongside him, as opposed to a more raw player like Mavropanos
    But not sure Emery really trusts him in his own ideal formation, which to me is a four at the back
    Still, preaching to the converted here, but all our players need backing at this vital stage, wherever they are in Emerys pecking order, the likes of Mustafi may yet be called upon to do something vital, great, legendary and not forgetting, financially rewarding for the club and Emerys transfer plans .

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Good statement form Emery, that is.


  38. Saw interesting stat on twitter yesterday. Last season there were 63 games in prem where one team had over 70 pc possession; between 2003-4 and 2005-6 there were only 3 such games in total. That is some change.

    I felt almost sure some change on that scale had taken place simply because i couldn’t remember many/any games like it – full, full bus- until mid 2000’s or so, and it felt like something i would remember if I had seen it much.

    Really don’t think it has improved the spectacle/sport, though occasionally it can provide fun and enjoyment, in the end, if it works against a rival

    As it happens, not such a huge annoyance and issue for me at present as in last 5 years or more; guess that’s because our own possession figures have gone down a fair bit, but don’t know any of the figures

    Liked by 1 person

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