The Arsenal defence is so bad that some consider Mustafi an upgrade

At the start of the season, it was unthinkable that we would see Shkodran Mustafi back in an Arsenal shirt in a Premier League game, well, for some fans, it is now a serious consideration.

Mustafi was rightfully castigated for his mistakes last season but in all honesty, I am struggling to think of a time when he was as bad as what David Luiz or even Sokratis are now, in fact, out of all the defenders I thought Mustafi was the best of a bad bunch over the last few games of last season.

Even for Mustafi, it would take some doing to make as many mistakes as Luiz has done since he signed for Arsenal and anyone reading my articles concerning Luiz will have read me saying that the Brazilian is not an upgrade on Mustafi.

I hate to say it but I was right.

Mustafi is not Arsenal quality I will freely admit that but he is better than Luiz and no worse than Sokratis and there is now a good argument for playing him alongside Calum Chambers.

Why should Luiz and Sokratis be allowed to continue to start for Arsenal when they are actually playing worse than what Mustafi did?

It is quite bad that we are in this situation but it is what it is and it is all about minimising the damage until Rob Holding returns to full match fitness and dropping Luiz and Sokratis for Chambers and Mustafi has to be an option now.

Put it this way, it could hardly get any worse.


  1. I feel so sad right now..

    It’s really bad when you see stuff like this being discussed!

    I thought I would have seen the back of Mustafi this summer but now we might actually need him?


  2. It’s sad when one player is singled out and castigated due to his mistakes. If you look back when Mustafi first came, he was holding it down. Then it all went pear shaped and he was hung out to dry. But if you look closely at our midfield, how it was set up and how the players there often neglected their defensive duties, you’d see why our defence is always caught out trying to compensate. We haven’t played with a defensive structure for sometime. Not with AW and now not with UE, who made a point in stressing on his arrival that he would sort out our defence. But didn’t. They say the striker is the first line of defence. After that the midfield and finally the back line and keeper. When an opposing teams attack doesnt have to worry about the first 2 lines of your defence, your back line are sitting ducks…

    1. Exactly, sir.
      Many fail to see, that for at least 10 years, we have seen all the defenders we have had, and you could say all the goalkeepers we have had, being turned into worse players, than they were. You can’t name one defender, that has evolved into a better player in our team.
      This is not a coincidence. It is because our defense is under too much pressure all the time.
      I still hope UE can fix this, but I am starting to have serious doubts.

      1. Our midfielders don’t protect our back four at all, until we have the viera and Gilberto type of midfielders our defense will never be good. Look at how even this so called small trams even control games in our home ground that’s not the Arsenal i first know,Secondly our team lack metal toughness if we are playing and we a leading even three goals to nothing and we conside one at moment the some pressure will switch on our team, then we start making mistakes.

    2. I am not singling one player out at all. I believe at least half the team are not good enough for the club and that includes Xhaka. Seriously, as far as progress goes it’s plain to see it’s not happening and hasn’t for years. I do blame management, straining staff and scouting but even at this level you need to learn from your mistakes and these guys don’t!

  3. Good news for Sue,

    Zaha has handed in a transfer request….

    If am to read btw the lines..arsenal has made contact after a poor start.

    The Kroenke clan have have given their word to Emery that they won’t sack him, and he’s been told to build a team for the future.. NOT NOW.?..hence his constant experiments

    1. Nero… seeing as in every game our defence goes AWOL, we have to now attack, attack, attack!! So, I’m all for Zaha coming to us…. but after the horror shows recently, would he even want to??? ?

  4. we have probably the worst manager in epl having spent 150m and now on a free fall, surely no one can ever again say the owners are stingy.first things first we need a new manager anytime soon.Bring ARTETA who was second in the interviews already he cant be worse Kreonke is business man and he will need to see value for the millions spent on new buys and wages

    1. If Xhaka is our DEfensive midfielder they won’t perform as they should, Need to play Torreira, I will make the same comment a 100 times, Torreira needs to be the one covering our defense, be our outlet from defense to attack, Need to play like this next match.


  5. Of course Mustafi is far better than Luiz and Socrates. He is a world cup and confederation cups winner .He wouldn’t cause an aimless penalty and would not give ball blatantly to the opponent to score, especially without any pressure .It is time for urgent changes in our defense, and even Mustafi would be an upgrade.

    1. It’s high time UE drop both Luiz & sokratis for any available defenders on bench.The guys are psychologically confused.Unless the number of goals score will always be proportional to the number of goals concede.

  6. And why is it, we should think that a player (Chambers), who couldn’t get a start as a CB for a relegation team, should be starting???

    1. We had a crap away record last season, we equaled it with our first game that CC was apart of. Teams should stick to a winning formula at least until it proves otherwise or unable to choose it. We changed and had players playing back there who all never played together before, add to that the mishaps. I hate when managers keep with something thinking eventually they’ll be proved right, it doesn’t work that way, he was wrong to change it for the sake of Luiz’s passing ability. Defensive tactics are different from stale tactics that teams figure out, you need continuity in defence but preferably competent continuity or the least error prone continuity.

  7. That convulsed Emery system is making every player becoming trash,we are slowly becoming the Southamptons and Aston Villas

  8. No defenders can withstand the opposition’s barrage of attacks if they play with their manager’s bad strategy. Based on what I saw, our midfielders have tried their best to help the defenders in Watford

    Unfortunately the diamond formation is too narrow and that scheme allowed Watford’s wide players harass our fullbacks frequently, as what happened at Anfield as well

    Liverpool also don’t have a technically gifted deep-lying playmaker, but they have amazing wide players. Still unconvinced of Pepe, but we already invested a lot in him and he must train harder

    1. I am fed up with U.Emery insistent on a diamond formation when it is obvious it’s not working for Arsenal team. He should find a winning formulae to win games on the road. I don’t mind if the coach would sacrifice flare for his team to get result. We need the points. Other teams are fighting for points too.

  9. Mustafi suddenly looks WC, thanks to Luiz! Forget agent Cech, Luiz is a full blown wrecking ball, who is openly sabotaging our results, at the behest of Abramovic. Scary to think we have at least 41 more games to play this season.

  10. I think we should move Luis into Xhaka’s position for now. Luis is guaranteed to get some yellow or even red cards but at least he would add some steel to the midfield. Move Xhaka to the bench!!

    1. Completely agree. He’s played there before too. He simply doesn’t cut it as a CB. Espescially when he doesn’t have a player like Terry or Cahill bailing him out. Instead he only has clowns to play next to when he is already one himself.

  11. When I googled, this is what I found:

    David Luiz has conceded 2 penalties in 4 games at Arsenal having only conceded 3 in 160 at Chelsea.

    So obviously something is seriously wrong in the way Emery sets up his players. Mustafi was error prone but unravelled under Emery, so are all others. Mkhi is doing well and so are the others who left us, so that should ring alarm bells.

    As long as Emery thinks Forwards should help in Defence and Defenders should be near opponent’s goal, things are going to get worse. Add to this is the “playing from the back” nonsense.

  12. This could only happen to us!!
    Mustafi was soooo bad, he’s left out of the squad… but now our defence is even worse (how is that even possible?) we’re thinking of bringing him back, to be our saviour!! ???
    If you didn’t laugh you’d cry!!

  13. Mustafi is not an upgrade. It’s Emery who needs upgrading. Tactically we have been shite every game. Emery must be replaced

  14. Mustafi should be given a chance maybe on Thursday or League Cup/FA Cup matches to prove himself

    The Emery Out brigade is out in full force I see. ??

  15. If we are still shipping goals with this formation, then its a hopeless situation. Emery should give it a try.




    —-Pepe——Ceballos———Ozil (or Lacazette when fit)


    1. It is hopeless then Franco as Niles and Kolasinac cannot defend.
      Attacking wise, Niles holds the Prem record for overhit crosses and Kolasinac for pass backs ?

      1. ….Auba…Pepe
        Our current fullbacks perform better as wingbacks, When Bellerin an Tierney are Match Fit we could go back to 4 at the back but for now this setup is the best for me.

  16. Too early to think of sacking Emery imo. He just needs to stabilize his best first team choice and formation once Bellerin, Holding and Tierney are ready to play. AND most importantly he needs to DEFINE a style of play so that the players understand, adapt and become comfortable playing with each other and develop good relative coordination with the team mates on the field.

    BUT if he keeps experimenting even after he has all the players ready to play, then yeah, sacking would seem a good idea as such haphazard experiments will only deteriorate players morale and confidence as they continue to commit such idiotic individual errors time and time again.

    That’s not to say that Emery hasn’t made mistakes in team selection. For example, against watford, he destroyed the team balance, that he keeps saying is important to him, by starting Luiz, Xhaka, Ozil and Ceballos all four. Why would you require 2 deep lying playmakers and 2 front line playmakers? If Xhaka was to start, he would suffice in providing long balls forward, opening room for a less hot-headed Chambers alongside Sokratis instead of Luiz. If Luiz was to start as CB, why not start Torreira instead of Xhaka and have Luiz take the responsibility of providing long balls? Same thing with Ozil or Ceballos. You just need one of them. I think both Ozil and Ceballos were good in that game, but you don’t need both.

    Currently, my best team would be: 4-2-3-1

    AMN Sokratis Chambers Kolasinac

    Guen Luiz (OR Willock-Luiz, Tor-Xhaka Ceballos-Torreira)

    Pepe Ozil/Ceballos/Willock Laca/Nelson/Marti/Saka


    Important thing: Never Ozil and Ceballos both, Never Guendouzi and Torreira both, Never Xhaka and Luiz both, And never Xhaka without Torreira.

      1. I think overkill. With 2 such playmakers who lack physicality, opponents will overload the midfield with physicality that would be too much for the rest of the team to handle. One playmaker at the front, one at the deep is more than enough.

  17. AndersS I usually agree with your constructive comments but I think you are wide of the mark in your dismissive views on Chambers time with Fulham.He was a first pick I at centre back but was moved to DM to try to add some steel to that area.He did very well as DM and was voted Fulhams player of the year and deservedly so.He started the season as our CB at Newcastle and in my opinion, which is echoed by many Arsenal fans he was the best defender on the Park.Why he has not figured in the team since is beyond me and I have to say it has hardened my attitude towards Emery who seems devoid of any ideas for strengthening not only our defence, but our inept midfield which cannot cope with the likes of Doucoure, who is the type of player we are crying out for.If Emery doesn’t trust Chambers at centre back he should certainly play him as DM as neither Xhaka not Torreria are up to the task.

  18. once again arsenal fc find themselves the laughing stock of european football. this reminds me of the previous regime, but only when things went fans i think we deserve a lot more than that comedic performance last sunday . that was not a team on the pitch, that was a troupe of fools(with the exception of ozil).i have always been hard on ozil, i dont hate him, i dont hate anybody. but on sunday, for me, he was the only bit of class in a red and white shirt.

      1. hi PHIL, as i am totally blind it was actually hard to print, in more ways than you think. that aside, i , in my opinion, speak the truth . many wont agree , but i dont care, i am not afraid to be the laughing stock etc.i stand by what i have said about ozils performance on sunday . the truth is never hard to print, as you know sir.

    1. Exactly Ozil was the only one not giving the ball so cheaply, trying to find a play to get something going, And ceballos was doing good too actually It’s Just XHaka and Guendouzi that I just don’t rate them so high as Emery seems to.
      My next EPL 11
      Torreira marks and tackle way better that xhaka and guendouzi, When HE arrived he was the one tackling and starting the counters, I Believe if he is partnered with Ceballos I think We would have a Better midfield and better cover for our Defenders.

  19. There is no reason why Mustafi should not be allowed back fully into the team considering the performance of Socratis & D.Luze. Even if to take M. Niles position.He might performe better.

  20. Sokratis is a solid defender once he knows his partners and his job with them. Problem is Luiz, no CB would want him next to him because he’s too difficult to read. You don’t know when he’s going to go for the same ball you think you are best positioned for, when he has the ball you don’t know what he’s going to do with it, I’d imagine there’s times they’re thinking ..ffs don’t give it to me you mad thing. The lines defenders keep, distances and such, you just don’t know where he’s going to be, and defenders shouldn’t need to look before having a fair idea. Sokratis is the one that was playing with Holding, they both looked solid enough without much fuss, they understood one another. Then there’s the left back, Kolasinac, another head scratcher, sure it’s no wonder. Sokratis is not top bracket we all know that, but we know his strengths and his weaknesses, he’s not one of the blunderful players. Mustafi has his moments but with massive fan pressure he has fewer and fewer of those, maybe Mustafi and Luiz might understand one another better and they might try to see who f up less, it could be worth a go for entertainment value alone.

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