Mustafi’s clean sheet record is key to Arsenal’s new-found belief

The 5-0 scoreline against Huddersfield last night was not a fair reflection of the game on the night as the Arsenal defence were pegged back by the Terriers on many occasions, especially in the first half. But our defenders were equal to it, and Koscielny, Mustafi and Monreal kept the Gunners in control and they managed their third clean sheet in a row.

It is no coincidence that this new found believe began against Tottenham, when Mustafi returned to the centre of defence after a long spell on the treatment table. The reason I say this is not a coincidence is because, if you look at the stats, the three League games that he played in before his injury all ended with clean sheets for Arsenal as well. That alone can tell you how important he is to our improved game right now.

In the first half, and as well in the second half, a few passes were a bit sloppy. That complicated the game because I think the plan of Huddersfield was to stay compact and win the balls and then counter-attack, which I think they did well. They were quite compact, but as soon as we tidied up our passing and the ball movement we found a way through and we played some good football. Overall we had to step it a little bit up because in the end yes it was 5-0, but the goals came late and they could have punished us in the first half, so it was a really tough game.”

Olivier Giroud, who had a great view from the subs bench in the first half, was full of praise for the Arsenal defence. He said: “”We killed the game off in the final 25 minutes but it’s true we could have scored before, but they were always dangerous on counter attacks,”

“We had to be very cautious at the back and we defended very well. I thought all the defenders played very well. They didn’t let Huddersfield come out and put good pressure on the strikers. They did a great job.”

I, for one, seriously hope that the German can stay fit for the rest of the season, and I’m really looking forward to see another clean sheet against the Portugese bus conductor on Saturday….



  1. Anko says:

    If we don’t concede goals, we don’t lose the game! So I think Mustafi is an improved player. He is complementing Kos very well. He is calmer, steadier and his movement and positioning is better. I remember against Tottenham he defended with every part of his body. He is definitely better than last season.

  2. Break-on-through says:

    I was almost as happy with the clean sheet as I was with our devastating penetration. Cech is looking every bit a top bracket keeper lately, he had one big moment or two and he didn’t disappoint. Defenders look good, players in front of them are doing well too.

    It’s just a shame that those bad v good decisions don’t seem to be evening up at manc, most everything seems to be going their way. It could have been interesting if our match v city was a home tie instead, but even gaining three points on them is too big a lead to give to anyone going into Christmas then the new year.

    I reckon we could have gotten more goals if we really wanted to, if Lacazette had stayed on or if Alexis was in a greedy mood, or if Ramsey went all gung ho ..though am glad he stayed disciplined.
    Some mentioned Ozil putting more grit into his game at a suspicious juncture.
    Myself, I noticed something about Alexis, he seems a wee bit less selfish of late. He was always a decent creator but he used to put himself first a little bit more than he would others. Lately and last season he is looking more a team player. And the way he celebrated that third goal, looked as if he was told to look a real team player. Because he looked to me a man that is happy right where he is, but we know that not to be true. His agent might have spoken with him about it ever since that Bayern fiasco, afterwards looking like he had the hump with players who are not of his level. I prefer this Alexis although I don’t mind a greedy player so long as his heart is in the right place. Speaking of greedy, Giroud the snake in the grass, Kolisnatch.

  3. John Legend says:

    They play with more believe now. As soon as the believe drops and Mr inconsistent Arsene and can’t motivate them, results start to fail us again.
    We have enough quality to challenge every season but we do not have a manager that can motivate his players throughout a season.

    1. Mitch Connor says:

      I agree with you about Wenger not being able to motivate the players but I don’t think we have enough quality every season. For a few years we lacked a top striker and defensive midfielder. This season we are weak in Central Midfield behind Ozil.

      Wenger needs to go for us to challenge

    2. john hodges says:

      whats wrong with you , who picked the team ,who made the game plan,who got 3 points.

    3. john hodges says:


      1. Tristan says:

        don’t bother, mate. for some the glass will always be half empty.

    4. jon fox says:

      Agreed whole heartedly! One thumping win against lesser lights and out from their closets crawl all the pathetic AKB’s , with their stupid dislikes of your accurate and needs to be said post.

      1. Alexis the Great says:

        I didn’t think you would call the Spuds a ‘lesser light’ but Hey Ho! Or are you talking about Burnley who are currently above Tottenham!

        1. jon fox says:

          Perhaps you have chosen not to notice but the lack of general team motivation by Wenger has been going on for most of the last decade. My whole point is that one or two/three wins against other teams, even a Spuds that never turned up on the day and a fortunate win at lowly(in reputation) Burnley is just a blip , so far, though in the right direction. BEFORE CHANGING MY LONG TERM VIEW I NEED TO SEE AT LEAST THE WHOLE OF THE REST OF THIS SEASON WITH A FULLY MOTIVATED TEAM. We can all play the game of cherry picking certain few results to back our argument. Mine is based over the last whole decade.

  4. Nuhu says:

    dats true oooooo

  5. Uzi Ozil says:

    That’s the reason why I was shocked when he was close in joining inter onloan. Maybe it was just rumour but it was all over the media.

    Anyway, glad he is around and doing well thus far.

    I just wanna beat Manchester United and Mourinho. Who’s with me? Hehe

    1. Tristan says:

      the media talks $#it and should be taken with a pinch of salt.
      Yes, i’m with you stuffing manure and maureen would be sweet.
      Up the arsenal!

    2. Tunyzone says:

      I’m with you mate, three point against the bus conductor.

  6. Grandad says:

    3 clean sheets on the spin is unusual for Arsenal albeit the average quality of the opposition.The real test will come against a Man Utd side with real pace upfront.With regard to the weaknesses in the side Xhaka and Sanches have been no better than average since the start of the season and do not justify their places .A bid of £30m in Jan for Sanches should be accepted. As for Xhaka he simply does not have the speed nor mobility to be a success in the Premier League

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