Picking On Mustafi Won’t Work This Time! By Dan
It’s ironic, as even before our game against Leicester I was planning an article about something I have noticed within our fan base. How there are some players that gooners simply don’t like their peers criticising, while there are a group of the same old names who get questioned all the time.
Almost to prove the point, Mustafi has played less than 45 minutes this season yet in the last 24 hours he’s been highlighted as a reason behind all our problems. This is a defender who since Arteta arrived was easily our best central defender out of a bad bunch.
Sunday was his first game since July. That was when he was outstanding in the FA Cup Semi Final. You remember that defensive tactical masterclass against Man City, which led some to arrogantly predict a title challenge and still my favourite, ‘we are lifting the Champions League inside three years’.
Instead of some admitting that you got carried away in the summer, you needed a scapegoat, making Mustafi’s return timely.
He gets zero support or understanding he’s been injured for 4 months; he is just an easy target.
Don’t get me wrong, he was out of position for Vardy’s winner, as was Leno, as was our midfield. If you want to blame Mustafi for the goal, then fine, but he wasn’t the only reason we lost that game.
I personally feel it should be taken into account how long he’s been on the side-lines. It’s funny though that the same people who won’t show empathy for the German will make a hundred excuses for Aubameyang, easily one of our worst players in this campaign.
He was yet again invisible in defeat. Theories range from all our attack goes down the other side, or he should be in the middle. It’s funny how though he was scoring goals last season from the left? Isn’t that the position he won us the Cup from?
It’s easier to blame Laca, despite working harder.
Bellerin gets a hard time for not being confident in the final third, and now we are starting to pick on Willian. Yet Pepe seems immune from any backlash.
Apart from Saka, we have convinced ourselves we have youngsters that are better than they actually are. Willock, Reiss Nelson and Maitland Niles have been around the first team for a few years now and do very little (but let’s target Xhaka).
Eddie comes off the bench and apart from diving doesn’t look like he believes he can make any difference (but let’s blame Laca).
My moral compass is simple. You can’t have one rule for one player and a different one for someone else. That’s called an agenda.
An example would be why when we point out the regular Leno mistakes that’s not okay, but let’s pounce on Mustafi’s error when he was one of our most improved players post Emery.
Our keeper should have stayed in his goal so is partially responsible for that goal for Vardy. His kicking was poor, as it was three times in Austria.
Goalies are taught to palm balls to the side. Pushing it into the middle is a sin. He did that at Anfield and the Etihad. He’s done the same in the North London Derby.
In fact during the last campaign he was near top of the list for errors leading to goals (think Chelsea, Everton, Olympiakos). So why if I mention that will some readers call me a Martinez fan boy, but Mustafi is fair game? It’s because as a fan base we are fickle and probably get laughed at more than anyone else.
Not just for statements like a team who finished 8th can close a 45-point gap on Liverpool.
Or Niles is better than Kante.
Arteta is better than Pep!
Better then Wenger!
Auba better then Henry!
We simply think we have better players than we do.
How quick were certain YouTube channels to call Leno one of the best keepers in the League? What had he done to earn that accolade? Instead of admitting that, peeps are scared it will hurt their views or subscribers.
I was asked in the summer why do I emphasise on last year being our worst position in 25 years? It’s because I want some fans to see how far we have fallen.
Finishing 8th means you’re an inconsistent team, so why would you expect consistency six weeks later? Because we are called Arsenal?
We have no divine right for anything.
If you want to say, ‘Mustafi’s not good enough for a side who wants to compete’, then I agree, but we don’t have an owner who cares about competing.
In terms of challenging, I agree Mustafi’s not good enough. Neither is David Luiz or Cedric, but we gave them new contracts. How many errors did Luiz make?
Apart from a few games towards the end, what did Ceballos do to grant another loan?
We replaced Martinez who was competition for Leno, which would have brought out the best of both, and swapped him for Runarsson who our manager clearly doesn’t trust.
We sack 55 staff, yet turn down 20 million for Maitland-Niles who remains a makeshift fullback. Name me 10 great games he’s had in three years?
Saliba was good enough to play every week in France, but suddenly can’t be trusted to play in the Europa League?
I like our manager but when was it okay to look at an asset we paid over 20 million for and say, ‘nah’? It’s your job to teach him and make him better!
I don’t like singling anyone out.
In my opinion a supporters job is to support.
I watched the likes of Stepanovs and while there was banter, I never remember Highbury turning on anyone or getting angry. I blame social media for that.
Everyone now has an opinion which they can share with the world in seconds. They go over the top when things are going well, and ultra-negative when things go wrong. The truth is in the middle. Yet we live in a world where people don’t know how to wait.
If something goes wrong, they demand an explanation. There has to be a reason, someone to blame.
We have a generation of supporters who haven’t got the life skills to let Arteta make baby steps.
We didn’t lose on Sunday because of Mustafi. We lost because we are not as good as some of our fans think we are…