Shkodran Mustafi is an enigma, he is both a liability and an asset.
Last night we saw both sides of Shkodran Mustafi, we saw the frustrating error part of his game but we also saw that he has that potential to be a top defender.
If you take out his glaring mistake and just look at his performance after that you cannot hand on heart say he had a bad game, in fact, you cannot call it an average game, he was very good.
The thing is this, by including the error it freakishly makes his display thereafter all the better.
We are talking about a player who has zero confidence, it is shot to pieces and that was before the match even kicked off.
He is criticised left right and centre and is subjected to some terrible abuse, we banned a site user last night for a vile comment about him and his children. He gets booed, laughed at and even some have called him the second-worst defender in the world.
So, think about how he feels mentally and emotionally when he takes to the field of play, think how he must have felt after his mistake leads to a penalty and red card, he must have been devastated beyond belief. One could be forgiven for worrying about his actual well being and I do not say that lightly.
But he lifted his head, puffed his chest out and got on with it and what a performance he put in. He made some crucial tackles, cleared the ball time and again and was a rock.
In the cold light of day reading and listening to Arsenal fans almost everyone has commended him, in fact, some are saying he may have a future at Arsenal after all.
Mustafi is error-prone, let’s not make any bones about that but when he is not he is actually a very good defender, he made the assist for Gabriel Martinelli last night, he has a wicked header, his passing is decent for a defender, it is just those annoying mistakes he keeps on making.
If Mikel Arteta can get him to eradicate those silly little mistakes then he would be like a new signing for the club.
He has a chance now to kick on, the fans will back him, that is evident from last night, but it is down to him now.
I love nothing more than seeing someone rise like a phoenix from the ashes and I really do hope that Mustafi can do that.