Mustafi reveals the factor responsible for Players’ Development or Deterioration by Akinnubi
What really makes a player develop into the best version of himself? And what makes a player deteriorate to his worst version? Some will say its Motivation, Hard Work and determination to be the best (C. Ronaldo?) but our German defender has another answer to the question.
Speaking this week, Arsenal’s no.20 said: “Competition is something that brings you to the next level, because if you have no competition and you know you are starting week in, week out, it takes a little bit of the quality [away]. When you know you have someone standing on your toes, you are going to try and be better and better every week.”
The statement is one which is quite agreeable but has it really been evident in this team over the years? No.
Take last season for example, the first XI players are listed first while their competitor(s) are in brackets:
Xhaka (M. Elneny)
Looking at this squad, we’d note that the ‘competitors’ are not really players who will oust the first team players (except maybe a couple of players) and as evident last season, only injuries, suspension, ineligibility (Auba) and when players are being rested, are the only factors that changed the starting line up. Like Mustafi said, our crop of players cannot be said to have the Ronaldo mentality (even though his place is not up for grabs he still pushes himself to be better) and so knowing their status in the first team is secured, then they might say to themselves: “there’s nothing to fight for” which simply isn’t true.
Even though the competition for places isn’t fierce, I hope Emery can get rid of this mentality in the squad (cos it’s obviously there, these players haven’t been fighting for their positions in the first XI) and tell them there are reasons to turn up every match and give 100% to the team. Judging by this squad’s quality, we can’t bench eight or seven first team players (like fans are calling for) but the coach can raise their level, motivate them, tell them they can be better – and replace those who aren’t ready to put in the effort.