Arteta has turned Arsenal’s misfits into match winners

Hello Gooners around the world, happy new week! Congrats on the wonderful win over Newcastle United on Sunday. I actually saw it coming and I am proud we won in a grand style.

While we played Newcastle on Sunday, I observed something. I observed that Arteta is virtually making use of players that the fans consider not good enough or no longer good enough to play for Arsenal.

Against Newcastle, my star of the match is of course Pepe, followed by Saka and finally, I will choose Mustafi in third position. Pepe and Saka lit up the Arsenal attack on Sunday and they both deserve the accolades, but who even noticed that apart from one odd mistake by Mustafi, he virtually had a good game? Who noticed that Mustafi is gradually warming himself to both the fans that go to watch the boys play live and Mikel Arteta, the manager?

When Arteta came to Arsenal, the first thing he did was to recall Xhaka back to the first team, against the interest of many people. Xhaka right now, is playing his best games in the red and white jersey of Arsenal. Just the way he re-installed Xhaka to the first team, is the same way he started making use of players who probably felt they would never play for Arsenal again. Arteta is beginning to develop a knack for turning rejected players to player machines.

Against Newcastle, we didn’t concede a goal! This may be partly to luck (one of the Newcastle’s player played a ball that hit the bar off the post, after beating our defence), or the grittiness shown by our players, who defended like their lives depended on it. Our defending has been improving in recent games but with the way we played against Newcastle I believe we have finally found a defensive structure that works well for us.

Without trying to praise Mustafi for doing his job, I can’t just stop myself from giving him his due praise. I personally counted the number of successful tackles he had and it will surprise you that our German pro, won 15 tackles! And they were very crucial tackles. Mustafi is gradually forming a defensive wall with David Luiz and they are both slowly winning permanent slots in the middle of Arsenal’s defense. If Mustafi continues playing as good as he did on Sunday, and Arsenal is starting to keep more clean sheets, then I can assure you that both Mustafi and Luiz, players that the majority of the Arsenal fans don’t want to see play for us, will be in the middle of the Arsenal’s defence for a long time! Wow, I am so excited.

We are Arsenal and we are proud.

Sylvester Kwentua


  1. The way I see it Mustafi is a good defender Off the ball but not so great with the ball, I think he needs help and I’m sure MA will give him all the support and help until the end of the season if he don’t improve well you know the rest

  2. Mustafi was indeed great and further games will decide the improvement he has made under MA. The Mustafi-Louis combination can be played for PL and important EUL games. MA has definitely improved the way we defend. Defence starts from the first man up and most of our midfield players and forwards contributed to good defending and Mustafi definitely played his part. It has indeed been a transition for him. Next up we go to Greece and than Everton at home. Both winnable games. Up the Gunners!

  3. Mustafi had a good game, not “virtually” but actually. Arteta must be doing something right. Usually every fan I know, including me, dreads to see Mustafi on the field and are just waiting for the customary disaster to lose us the game. But he’s looked solid the last 4/5 games, the dread has given way and your heart doesn’t drop when you see his name on the team sheet.

  4. It was very good performance…. we did really well… but we are Arsenal Fans so why are we getting carried away with this win too much… we are Arsenal and we have done this for years and this is always expected from us..

  5. We now defend with 11 men, that is the main difference between Arteta & Emery: Everyone is involved!
    During Emery’s reign: Xhaka,Mustafi or Luiz would find themselves defending against 2-3 opponents at a time which would require them to make a decision that would lead to a penalty. We as fans would mistakenly start blaming the player but in reality it was the formation + tactics that were wrong. It is logical, you cannot defend against 4-5 people attacking your goal with 2 centerbacks unless the 2 backs are both called Van Dijk. Good thing about Arteta is his ability to chop & change the team to find a goal against opposition, this would have been a bad game for Torreira as newcastle offer little going forward so Ceballos did prove to be a masterstroke tactically. Euro League should be an interesting game to watch, I’m counting on seeing Guendouzi there who seems to have a lost a step as well as martinelli on the left where Auba was against Newcastle. Good times indeed but let just see how it goes over the season. The heart says we can make Champion’s league but my brain says it is too late already!

  6. Let’s not get carried away too much. We played really well but Newcastle was really poor too. Also, we didn’t play full 90 min with the same intensity.
    A win against Everton and draw at City and then we can start talking about Top 5.

  7. Also it is advantageous to have a near fully fit squad available.
    By the way Sylvester and Admin Pat is what action was Emery supposed to take after Xhaka threw a tantrum and told fans “to f##k off” when leaving the field?

  8. I cannot and will not join this near fan “campaign” of Mustafi having had a Damascun conversion and now being a good player. I say bunk to that! Of course we now have a man in charge who has reconnected all team departments and that has helped enormously . But Mustafi is slow and uncertain on the ball, though he is combative with a good attitude. But he simply lacks judgement and lacks it big time. No amount of trying to rewrite history will change historical facts. Not for me , anyway.

    1. well said Jon. When Mustafi tosses away more points this season everyone will be saying he is crap again. You have to choose at a point. Mustafi has shown time and time again he cannot be trusted. Nobody in top 6 would have such an error prone defender if they really wanted a top 4 spot.

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