Has Emery given Mustafi his confidence back at last?

All Arsenal fans are fully aware that Shkrodan Mustafi was one of our biggest problems last season with so many individual mistakes in a very shaky defence. Even Arsene Wenger told reporters that the German was suffering from a massive drop in confidence for most of the season. But according to an interview in the Standard, Mustafi is feeling a lot better now under Emery.

He said: “Playing against Man City, it’s not easy to put everything you have been working on onto the pitch. Maybe against other teams you can get away with one or two mistakes. The next game is Chelsea — we can’t make too many.

“But if you are scared of making mistakes, that’s when they happen. We have to be sure about what we want to do. We are trying to play a different game from last year. If we’re confident, we’ll get results.

“He told me the positives in my game and what to work on. I’m happy because it’s difficult when you never know what to work on because no one tells you.”

I wonder if that was a veiled dig at Wenger not helping him last year, but whatever the reason it can only be good that Mustafi, and all the other players, are listening to Emery and taking on board his instructions. A confident Mustafi can only be a boost to our defence…

Keep the Faith!



  1. gotanidea says:

    I think Mustafi is feeling the competition from Arsenal young CBs and he was threatened to be sold as well, hence the better focus

    It would be good for a while, but once he realizes that Sokratis and him are the guaranteed starters, he could go back to his erratic behaviour

    Therefore Arsenal had better get a taller and faster CB in January, to push Mustafi/ Sokratis and to increase the threat in set pieces

  2. Leon says:

    I’m sorry but this is a ridiculous article.
    He has played one competitive game under Emery – we lost 2-0 and should have been beaten by a bigger margin.
    Exactly how would that improve his confidence?
    And Mustafi is not that great a player…
    Instead of struggling to find something to write why not wait until there is something to write about?

    1. Aardvark says:

      Because he also looked good pre season and perhaps you should also wait wait to reply to something in a positive manner.

  3. Declan says:

    No, it’s not ridiculous mate. He also played well in pre season. Stop struggling to be negative yourself.

  4. kev says:

    Mustafi at his best is a good defender but I hope people are not expecting him to become world class because that to me is a stretch for him.
    He can be good but not world imo.
    Most of the mistakes he made last season were down to him although Wenger’s tactical defensive foundation is really lacking.What I don’t like about our defenders is that they are turned too easily.To be world class you must be good in 1v1’s with most players.Thats why I like Koscielny so much and not rate our others defenders as much.Look at how some were worrying themselves about Calum Chambers leaving Arsenal on loan.Funny and unsurprisingly he goes and makes a mistake leading to a goal against Fulham in his first match.

    1. kev says:

      Also changing our minds on signing Soyuncu will be a big big regret for us.Jusy when I thought Arsenal had Koscielny 2.0 then we go and do this.
      Emery wanted an experienced CB hence the links to likes of Vida,Boateng and other experienced CB’s
      Soyuncu was a Sven target but Emery chose to go the experienced way and funny enough we signed no one.

    2. mobella says:

      He may not be world class to you but he has world cup and confederation cup medals which are world cup competition. As for Emery not want Soyuncu can u tell us how you know this.

      1. Sarmmie says:

        So that makes him special? Eh?, during victor Valdez’ time at Barcelona, he was the goalie that won most trophies in that period of time, would you have called him the best goalie then?

  5. John Legend says:

    It was obvious our players stopped improving under Wenger. It will just take the new coach a lot of time to get all these guys back to their best. I foresee a good team later this season and a better one next season

    1. Xxnofx says:

      Listen I’ve wanted wenger out for the last 5 years but maybe get some facts right before you talk absolute nonsense .
      Wenger bought in probably 3 of the best defenders we’ve seen in the last 50 years , yes the team went stagnant but for some fans on here to say he didn’t know how to set a defence up is absolute dig sh1t .we can all agree the team in the last few years as regressed but don’t slag him off for that maybe salute him for what he did achieve .

  6. MikeSA says:

    Mustafi is not the first defensive player to mention this particular problem.

    We’ve had several defenders who’ve been “not good enough” who’ve had perfectly respectable careers at other significant clubs and who’ve made similar comments.

    Keown also mentioned that Wenger refused to let him show a defender some footage of where he was out of position because doing so “might destroy his confidence”.

    There were reports from players in the German squad during the last Euros where there was speculation as to what on earth Wenger actually did every day.

    Bellerin regressed under Wenger’ tenure, as did many others.

    Oxlade-Chamberlain comes from a footballing family, so was extremely diplomatic about it, but he moved because he as stagnating under Wenger.

    Wenger totally lost the plot when it came to coaching, specially defense.

    1. ken1945 says:

      MikeSA, some really interesting comments that I hadn’t realised had happened before i read your views.
      Can you give me details of the several defenders, deemed not good enough by Wenger, who had perfectly respectable careers at other significant clubs and made similar comments?
      Who were the players from the German squad who wondered what Wenger did every day?
      You obviously have the facts, so I’m not saying it’s wrong, but the only player I can think of is Cashley Cole and his nickname explains the reason he left.
      Anyway, look forward to hearing from you with the names and details of where/when this happened.

      1. MikeSA says:

        Squillaci for starters.

        He had a solid reputation and career before he arrived, and also,after he left.

        Read his interview, he was very respectful,but mentioned that he received no coaching at Arsenal and that Arsenal was the only club in his career where he was considered to have been a failure.

        We hear a lot about Mustafi, but we seem to forget he was in the German squad that won the World Cup.

        After coming to Arsenal, suddenly he’s a joke?

        Other clubs have had better defensive units with far less talented players, the difference was they were just better drilled and trained.

        Djourou and Senderos both played for a strong Swiss side, why were they poor at Arsenal?

        Toure was great for a long period, but eventually started becoming indecisive and getting caught on the ball. He went on to play for Citeh and Pool.

        Gibbs started out well but began to be caught out of position and poor in both attack and defense. He left and until his injury was starting to look like the player we first thought he was.

        I’ve already mentioned Keowns nugget (I am open to correction but I yhink the German squad nugget might have come from him too).

        In Wenger’s earlier years he had defenders who already knew what they were doing and were able to guide others (Campbell was a major coup in that regard).

        Players that succeeded at Arsenal were players who either already knew what to do, had help from others, or worked it out for themselves.

        Many claim that Henry was a Wenger success, and he was, but not because of Wenger’s coaching. Keown was the one who took him to watch Ian Wright play at West Ham and to watch his movement off the ball.

        Once Gilberto left, the team lost the last remaining element of leadership, and it was downhill from there.

        In terms of the talk from the German squad, one of our more respected ex players (I’d have to go back an check), mentioned after the last Euros that this had been a discussin point with our current and ex German contingent in the squad. It was reported at the time from an interview with the player.

  7. TW14-TH14 says:

    A good article for the Wenger bashing brigade. Just realised that Wenger appeared at the training ground, ran around and told the players to go home. Yeah, he couldn’t even coach the players how to pick up a ball.

    1. Phil says:

      Yeah that’s about spot on Pal judging by the performances in his last couple of years

      1. MikeSA says:

        You’d swear Wenger spent hours coaching the defense, using ropes to keep them in sync and hammering home positional,discipline only for the players to willfully ignore his tactics and instructions during matches.

        Obviously if they’d just stuck to his explicit instructions we would have not been caught out over and over and over and over and over and over again, year after year after year.

        Obviously he was so,patient and trusting with them that he continually tolerated this ill discipline and disrespect from them because he was such a nice guy.

        Strange how several completely different sets of players seemed to suffer from the same malaise, nothing to,do,with the single common denominator of course, that just couldn’t be true………

  8. Thomo says:

    Everyone knows he only cared about the technical side

  9. Frank says:

    I think mustafi needs some time and support to to be a world class player

  10. Grandad says:

    For the good of Arsenal FC i sincerely hope Emery can improve this centre back who cost the club £35m Based on last season’s performances Mustafi was lacking in speed,composure and the ability to read the game.These weaknesses led to his omission from the German World Cup squad and more importantly cost Arsenal dearly home and away.He was not alone as the entire back line and goalkeepers were bang average at best.At this point in time we do not have one top quality defender on our books and until this situation is addressed and remedied we shall continue to be also rans..Emery has a massive task ahead and I do not believe he can make Arsenal great again with our current squad of defenders and another bad buy in Xhaka..I sincerely wish him well.

  11. ken1945 says:

    Of course it was a dig at Wenger, what else could it have been.
    But before everyone starts slating our ex manager yet again, just take a deep breath.
    The only one who made such glaring errors was the player himself.
    No one trained him to be a kamikaze centre back, he did that all by himself.
    Now if Emery has given him the new found confidence that he says he has…. BRILLIANT for our club.
    Couldn’t care less about anything else, not interested in blame games, just winning games.

  12. Sarmmie says:

    He might have wanted to aim a dig at him, but he didn’t lie in the process, Wenger paid little or no attention to the defensive side of games while he was manager

  13. Chabaloah says:

    I agree it is both player and managers responsibility. When each of them arrived they were very good players. However the constant injuries and changes to our backline made us vulnerable and had the defenders lack understanding with one another which affects their decision making and thus their confidence – a manager who does not give instruction from the touchline -this situation is a recipe for disaster. Different players need different things.

    I am happy that they are receiving instruction and hopefully some continuity in partnership. Kosc when he first arrived was slated for decision making, mert criticised for pace, yet they went on to form a brilliant partnership. Monreal the same where he was kept out by Gibbs. It takes time and instruction.

    We all laughed at pep for sticking with stones, yet he’s gotten it, Hart was shipped out immediately because he’s a drug addict – nobody chews that much gum unless they’re gurning.

    Atletico Madrid have a brilliant defence but what are they consistently good at even before this current era? Producing strikers – Aguero, Torres, Costa, Falcao. Their defence has been drilled by a manager who saw to discipline them into it, now they are world class defenders because defending is about discipline and instruction.

    I love Wenger but I am certain our training methods were hurting our players as our injury list was always high and that lies with not only the manager but the backroom staff. Now as we are not a pressing team our fitness is not there, therefore it cannot be injury through fatigue, Sanchez hardly became injured, Ozil the same, it is a matter of training styles.

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