Maybe Arsenal’s Mustafi is actually better than you think?


Shkodran Mustafi has been the subject of heavy criticism for Arsenal in recent weeks, however stats released by daily fantasy football game in fact reveal the German has outperformed a number of the Premier League’s best centre-backs in six key areas over the course of the season.

We have taken a look at how Shkodran Mustafi measures up against the best performing centre-backs from the Premier League’s top six clubs. The results may surprise you.

Mustafi has won more tackles and interceptions per game than any of Jan Vertonghen, Nicolas Otamendi, Chris Smalling, Virgil van Dijk and Andreas Christensen. While only the Liverpool and Manchester United centre-backs have made more clearances, blocks or won more aerial battles.

Additionally, Mustafi’s single defensive error is reasonably good when compared to the three Otamendi and Christensen have made, alongside the one from van Dijk in just five Premier League appearances for Liverpool.


  1. gotanidea says:

    Mustafi is similar to Koscielny and Monreal, aggressive and has a good anticipation

    But he also made plenty of errors, maybe that was why Valencia were almost relegated when he played for them

    Because of his aggressiveness, I think he would be good as a DM and maybe that was why Wenger always put him in the middle in his three-CB formation

  2. Sue says:

    He does have a good game, usually followed by a shaky one with a fair few errors. He does worry me sometimes, but I do think there is potential there

    1. A.ball08 says:

      Totally agree
      Decent defender with too many mistakes him which is like all our defenders
      Can be made to be very good defenders with the right coach but I am afraid we dont have them at the arsenal
      I look at the cb at man city and a season or two ago he was pants
      Under pep he has become disciplined, solid and is even keeping stone out the side this season, so It can be done
      Out with the old, in with the new management team so we can move on
      By the way..hats off to the boys and AW for this one off game.done a grand job on AC and restored some pride but one offs are no good. Consistency is what we crave for

  3. Innit says:

    Mustafi is worth keeping as a squad player but we need to sign two Top CBs
    Koscielny is past his prime. He use to be World Class but that time is gone now
    Mertsacker is retiring
    Chambers, Holding and Mavrapanos are too inexperienced
    None of these players should start every match.

    We need
    1. Two CB
    2. Defensive Midfielder
    3. Box2Box central midfielder
    4. Another RB
    5. An attacking midfielder/Winger

    1. gotanidea says:

      I wish Arsenal would chase the defenders and DM from the top European clubs before the World Cup starts

      For winger, there is Adama Traore that is very prominent in this season

  4. H&S says:

    Five wins in 2018 does not make a good team.
    Five wins out of fifteen games
    Nothing has changed no matter what Wenger says.
    He is leading people down the garden path.
    Next he will be arguing that he should be given another contract to ensure stability.
    Its just a circle of crap that leads to the same results every season.
    Posters on here saying that we need two centre backs, a defensive midfielder, a right back etc. like its just that simple.
    When you have no tactics and no defensive coaching buying players is not a solution to anything – you should have tactics and then buy players to play to those tactics..
    The reality is that we beat a very poor Milan side who are just coming out of a similar crisis as we are currently experiencing.
    Arsenal are a crisis team…

  5. Break-on-through says:

    Mustafi has made more than one defensive error. Maybe when a player is not in his position to stop something they don’t count that as an error. Or if he’s second to a ball that he should have done better with, they don’t count that as an error. Did they say which goal he had his error on. They probably count a pass straight out to his opposition as the error, but we know that he has more than that. This is why you can never go Bible mode on stats. Its in writing, it must be true.

  6. AndersS says:

    The problem for Arsenal’s defence and goalkeepers under Wenger has been, that he is not capable of organizing the midfield players and the offensive players and make them work, when the opponents have the ball. That puts the defence under way too much pressure resulting in chances an goals. These stats show exactly that. Good defenders and good goalkeepers have every single one under Wenger been turned into looking like donkeys, because of his incompetence.
    Last night was a prime example. Suddenly our defenders looked very strong. And why was it?
    Because Ramsey (for a change), Xhaka and Wilshere were very disciplined in midfield.
    For some reason this only happens 4-5 games a year. Probabky because they are not drilled/coached well enough.

    1. Sam says:

      I appreciate your comment mate, please lets do this more often

  7. Good but panic a lot under pressure

  8. Grandad says:

    Stats are of limited use and should be treated with the utmost caution. The fact of the matter is that Mustafi lacks height,presence,composure,speed and positional nous which includes decision making.He is an erratic centre back who is one of the main reasons for the decline in AFC.Your article should be evaluated when attempts are made to sell him on as i suspect we will take at least a 50% not on the £35m paid to Valencia.

  9. Sam says:

    The cause to Arsenal’s diffensive problems is their inability to hold on to the ball. Apart from Mhkitanya who I think is more of a central Midfielder than a winger who can hold on to the ball for long, none of Arsenal Fc players can hold the Ball at his fit for 3-4 seconds. Not even the Almighty Ozil can do that. And I think he’s No where near a top class football player for me. He’s lazy, arrogant and thinks he’s better than others in the team. Did u see how Xhaka played with ease yesterday with Ramsey and willpower? We’ll get the best of him if we can put Arteta/Cazolar type to play with him and that is Mhkitanya. That means we’ll take less pressure from our opponents. Wenger should stop thinking we can defend for 90mins to only do counter attacks.

    We are Arsenal, let’s do it the Arsenal way. Hold on to the ball, dominate and attack. Gring back the glory days

    Arsenal forever

  10. Ozziegunner@Newcastle upon Hunter says:

    Two comments, firstly you don’t get selected to play for the German National Team if you are a poor player and secondly it well reported that Arsene Wenger does not coach defense nor let Steve Bould apply his expertise and experience.

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