Shkodran Mustafi has been one of the most criticised players for Arsenal this season and it is hard to find many fans that have anything positive to say about the German defender and he has done himself no favours at all with his latest comments.
Mustafi stated the obvious saying that one mistake can be costly and that the defender’s job is to try and not concede goals but there was a tinge of feeling sorry for yourself with the rest of his comments.
“[The final] is going to be a game where one mistake punishes you and that’s why we’ve got to be very careful,” Mustafi said in a press conference.
“Our job as defenders is to try not to concede goals, but if you make 90 percent of your job and in the 10 percent the opponent scores a goal, people forget about the 90 percent
“The coach prefers that we make mistakes but still play our game instead of just playing anything so he cannot identify us with the game we were supposed to be playing.
“You want to finish the game knowing you did this, this, this and that is why you won the game. Rather than saying, ‘How the hell did we win that, because we were bad’
“That will not bring you consistency. You are not going to win without an identity and that was how we wanted to play.”
Where to start? OK, there is no point doing 90% of your job if you lose the game and concede goals and can anyone honestly say that the defence did 90% of their job against Everton, Wolves, Crystal Palace and Leicester City at the end of the season?
If the coach is ok with mistakes because you played your game right and can be identified then I have to ask, is the coach sending you out with the right tactics in the first place.
Now, of course, I understand what Musafi is trying to say there but results speak loudest of all and whatever identity Arsenal is looking for it certainly has yet to raise its head above the parapet.
The best teams are the ones that do win ugly, that does come off the field saying how the hell did we win that but Mustafi need not worry because this season when we have played badly, we lost. I am not sure there were that many occasions when the players came off the field thinking how did we win that, well, maybe against ten-man Watford.
Mustafi is right when he says you are not going to win without an identity but the thing is this, Arsenal have no identity right now and if he thinks the way they are playing making mistakes in defence is sticking to some sort of identity then maybe, just maybe, that is why the Arsenal defence has been so crap this season.
I have to say this, Mustafi’s latest comments have highlighted the huge problem at Arsenal this season, the players think they have an identity and are playing to that belief but they simply do not have an identity and that is why they finished fifth after an end of season collapse in the Premier League.