After an hour of yesterday’s game against Crystal Palace, the match was finely balanced at 1-1 but then Benteke put a probing pass towards goal. Mustafi easily got to the ball ahead of Wilfred Zaha, but suddenly stopped and tried to block the striker instead of following the ball. Zaha easily glided around him and had a free shot on goal which he easily converted, and suddenly Arsenal were in big trouble and only had 30 minutes to turn the game around.
But when asked about Mustafi’s performance after the game, Emery refused to criticize the error-prone German. “We can speak about players individually, but sometimes they can play very well, sometimes cannot play well,” the boss said. “But I prefer to speak about the consistency in the season. I think we are, every player, helping and every player is playing with a big performance and today also, when you can defend against a player like Benteke or Zaha, you can suffer more than maybe in other situations.
“But if today we were better in the set pieces, maybe we could have won this match and also, we controlled the possession but in the attacking third they defended their goal and their box very well and we didn’t find the best situation to score and to take more chances to score.”
As he mentioned consistency, Emery was then asked if Mustafi had been consistent this season, and he replied: “In all the season I think he is being consistent. We speak about every match.”
Actually I think he is right! Mustafi has consistently made mistakes this season, in fact he was the same last season, and the season before too. I have lost count of the amount of points the German has cost us since his arrival.
Although Emery refuses to blame Mustafi in public, surely he must be privately planning to get rid of him in the summer?