Why do fans find it difficult forgive Mustafi? by Lagos Gooner
A case study of Shkodran Mustafi’s time at Arsenal.
Hello Gooners! Well, it is no longer news that Shkodran Mustafi may be allowed to stay back at Arsenal and fight for an opportunity to impress the coach and win back the love of Arsenal fans. For somebody who was abused or attacked both online and offline, this may be a tough task to accomplish. The good news is Mustafi is ready to do whatever it takes to contribute his quota in making Arsenal successful again. The problem now is will the fans give him the chance to do this?
If there is one Arsenal player who has suffered enough backlashes from both the media and Arsenal fans, it is the world cup winning German defender, Shkodran Mustafi. The player himself attested to this, in a recent story about him in the news. According to the Sun, Mustafi admitted that he had to quit social media after his Arsenal blunders led to abuse from trolls.
Speaking to the Arsenal website, as reported by the Sun, Mustafi revealed he tried his best to block out the abuse. He said: “You’ve got to deal with social media. It’s difficult to handle when things are going well and then when things are not working out it’s even tougher.
“I managed to try to block it out a little bit. I was not that active on social media and wasn’t reading comments, I wasn’t too concerned about social media, I just wanted to go back on the pitch and give everything because I knew that in this moment I was not playing the football I know I could play.
“I was just talking with the closest people around me like my family, my parents, my wife, my kids, and this helped me to forget about everything.. In the morning when I was coming to training, I would just focus on the training and then go back home to spend time with my family. I tried not to read too much stuff that people were saying.”
Now, let us look at it this way; nobody sets out to intentionally commit errors that will lead to ugly accidents. We are all humans and we are bound to make mistakes. I understand that after making several silly mistakes people are bound to lose faith in such a mistake prone person, but attacking him everywhere he went, was totally out of order. I have people working for me and I will never be the type of person to make a fellow human being feel totally worthless and hopeless.
“It gets a little bit frustrating to read those comments but at the end of the day, you have to be professional and I tried to be as professional as I can.
“When things are going well, it’s easy to read those comments and like what you read. It gives you confidence but you have to be careful not to get carried away because you still have to stay professional.
“When the fans are on your side, it gives you so much more confidence. As a defender it’s always difficult because you always have pressure, especially when you don’t have the ball and the opponents are attacking. Every little mistake and every little error you make can lead to a goal.” Mustafi confessed.
Why is it difficult for fans to forgive players and give them another chance to redeem themselves? Is it because they are professionals and are expected to be perfect at all times? Or is it because they earn so much money playing football and this puts so much more pressure on their heads to perform so well in every game? Whatever the case, can we please remember that these players are humans and are prone to making mistakes, even when they don’t wish to? Can we as fans allow players make mistakes and learn from them?
We are Arsenal and we are proud.