The Statistics proves that Arsenal star is wrongly criticised

If there is one player at Arsenal that has come in for a ton of abuse and criticism from his own fans it is defender Shkodran Mustafi but statistics show that he was our most effective and reliable defender.

I have had a look at the statistics for Arsenal defender at the official Premier League website and they make for some very interesting reading.


Out of all the defenders Mustafi has made the most passes, 1,765 and even better, he made the second highest amount of passes from the entire team, Only Granit Xhaka made more.


Same with touches of the ball, Musafi was by far the top defender with 2223 touches and only Xhaka had more in the entire team.


Again, Mustafi made more tackles than any other defender with 62, that is 20 more than second-highest Sokratis on 42 and out of the entire team only Lucas Torreira made more with 65.


The German did make more fouls than any other defender but less than Granit Xhaka and Alexandre Lacazette.


With so many touches you would have thought that Mustafi would have been dispossessed the most but nope, Saed Kolainac, Hector Bellerin and Stephan Lichsteiner lost the ball more often and Mustafi was dispossessed just six times.


Yes, you guessed it, the most clearances by any player at the club was Musafi and he made 53 more than any other defender.

Clearances off the line

Only three of our players made clearances off the line with one each and of course, Mustafi was one along with Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Nacho Monreal.

Now, we do need some context, Mustafi played more minutes than any other Arsenal defender and the stats do not always tell the true story, as an example one single mistake can have a bigger impact than ten other mistakes but even so, over an entire season Mustafi has proven that he is no worse than any other defender and the stats have him as one of our better more reliable defenders.

Some will no doubt say that he was the best of a bad bunch so I decided to find a Tottenham defender that played more or less the same amount of games and that was Toby Alderweireld who played 34 games compared to 31 from Mustafi and it really was an eye-opener.

In some areas, Alderweireld has a better record but in many others, it is Mustafi with more interceptions, tackles, tackles won, headed clearances and aerial battles won.

On those stats alone you cannot argue that the Tottenham man played any better than Mustafi and yet it is our defender that is dumped on from a great height.

Just something for us all to consider.


  1. Who cares about statistics? I watch him week in week out and he is an awful defender.

    And all of the important statistics are against him. Penalties, errors, clean sheets and goals conceded all in favour of Alderweireld.

      1. Who are you calling an ignoramus?!

        So you rate Mustafi and believe he is a better defender than Alderweireld?

        I don’t have an agenda, the guy is a terrible footballer and does not belong in a team who is meant to be fighting out for league titles and playing against Europe’s top clubs.

        If we are looking at statistics lets look at the ones that matter.

        Goals concdeded – 9 worse off
        Clean sheets – 7 worse off
        Penalties conceded – 2 worse off
        Errors leading to goals – 1 worse off

        I watch football with my eyes and not by statistics and I’m fairly sure more people agree with me than you in the fact that Mustafi deserves to be moved on as quickly as possible and we should pocket whatever cash we get for him.

    1. Exactly Will, i hope we can use these stats to dupe whoever we sell him to. Hopefully they don’t watch him play before they make a decision to buy him. Mustafi always top certain stats, it’s why i think arsenal bought him in the first place, they didn’t watch him enough and just went by his stats.

    1. You realize that the stat -“goals conceded”- is about the whole team (when Mustafi plays) right? It’s not as if he allowed in the goals, but the result of the team’s defending.
      All in all, I’d rather he left seeing as he has lost the confidence of the fans. I like him, though because he gets stuck in.

  2. mustafi is not an awful defender but he makes too many costly mistakes.
    and when you consider that Germany have players like rudiger and Hummel’s ahead of him tells you what people really feel

  3. Just like Ozil’s case, we can always argue about Mustafi because of his excellent defending statistics. His interception and tackle stats are even higher than Van Dijk’s

    He has been consistently producing great statistics since playing for Valencia and those stats were the main reasons Arsenal bought him. However, stats could be highly deceiving, as what we saw on Xhaka’s forward passes and Ozil’s key chance statistics

    I urge Arsenal not to look merely at the defending stats when looking for a new CB. Instead they must focus on the number of errors created, the number of goals scored, penalties conceded, goals conceded and clean sheets

  4. Stats showed the other day that iwobi was a boss .we all know just from watching these types of players they are sh1t
    Mustafi along with iwobi should be shown the door and replaced with proper talent ,maybe take Xhaka with them

    1. But you guys have been touting Ozil’s Chances created Stats every season. But but Ozil creates many chances that everyone seems to mess up.
      The Ozil stats are correct while other players Stats are deceiving according to you guy.

      Double standards or what?

      1. I think you’re mistaken me for someone else
        I don’t need to state ozils stats I just watch him and that’s all I need to know

  5. Mustafi could have the bets stats of any defender in the world; if he still makes absolutely vital mistakes on a near game by game basis then it’s all for nothing, isn’t it?

    If a striker misses a chance gifted to them by Mustafi then it’s not going to show up, that just looks poorly on the striker, but it’s still a mistake that could have very easily been converted had it been against a different team.

  6. Same goes for Xhaka; unless he is scoring or assisting every single game then the negatives of his mistakes are not outweighed.

    Seriously, about a year ago I started taking a mental note every time Xhaka or Mustafi gave the ball away with a very easily avoidable mistake in a dangerous area, and it happens about 19 games out of 20. That is no exaggeration.

  7. The stats in this case do not even begin to tell the story. Mustafi is a CB, as such he is under far less pressure than players who spend most of the game in the opposition’s half. He may have made the most passes but 95% of them were either lateral or back to the keeper. Equally, I’d say around 80% of those were completely unopposed. Unfortunately, due to injuries and suspensions, Mustafi has played more minutes than any other defender. Under Emery, we play out from the back the vast majority of the time with short passes to feet. When taken into consideration, those two factors explain the unexpectedly good statistics from a player who was arguably our worst of the season. Individual errors from Mustafi cost us games this season and the fact that we finished just one point behind Spurs means that most criticism of his play is completely justified. Why don’t you do an analysis on individual errors that cost us crucial points? I bet he’d come out on top of that list too.

  8. Do the statistics include brain farts?
    He has had a few decent games for us.. but the costly errors he’s made is what he’ll be remembered for! Zaha, anyone? Shocking…..

  9. Hmmm………………..stats can be misleading, an example, although nearly 63 years old I work out every day for over an hour and scientifically I have the gym age of 27 years and ab muscles you could do your washing on if ever your washing machine breaks down, but when I walk in a night club with my abs glistening through my muscle fitting T-Shirt, women ignore me to the extent that they get chatted up better by the hat and coat stand and prefer to leave with the handsome bugger !

    1. ? where do I start?! Gym age of 27! Glistening abs!
      Muscle fitting t shirt!! ? ha well at least I know where to come if my washing machine does ever break down!! ?? I did mention you to RA earlier, he said you always make him laugh (I can see why!) then mentioned something about a white van, with pasties coming out of the back!!

      1. Sue, I`m surprised RA didn`t mention my Love Shack aswell ! 😆

        My job is to deliver delicious cakes and pies around the coast of Cornwall 4 days per week………………`s a hard life ! 😆

        1. Well I’d better ask him about that haha!!
          Can’t be bad, LCM… picturesque surroundings, lush food in the back (cakes not pies!)
          Then to top it off by seeing you go round & round & round the roundabout getting dizzy (RA quote!) Brilliant!! ?

  10. I call BS on this.

    If you use your eyes to judge Mustafi, it is perfectly obvious that he is a liability.

    Ever heard of the saying “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

  11. Yet another foolish stats slave writing this daft article. I am tired of telling these daft stats worshippers how wrong mere stats usually are. Whatever any stats say, we all KNOW Mustafi is a dreadful CB. TROUBLE WITH STATS WORSHIPPERS IS THEY DO NOT LIKE USING THEIR EYES! Stats also prove Mustafi has missed far fewer open goals than even Auba. Do you see how pointless stats are now! Are there any stats for failing to mark the opponent properly and just diving in rashly or of standing off and letting him score? No , of course not! Stats are a daft diversion from using your eyes and brain!

  12. That’s what’s so aggravating about Mustafi. He’s fantastic on paper, but his decision making is awful. The stats are also completely wrong about the errors he makes leading to goals, he frequently makes amateurish catastrophic errors that lead to goals, not once or twice, it’s probably closer to 10. He’s lost us many, many points.

    This affects the entire team, making us brittle and nervous. Hard for Arsenal to win games and dominate when they’re constantly nervous about being incompetent at the back.

    Mustafi’s fantastic 90% of the game until he switches off completely and let’s his runner go by completely unmarked, or has one of his trademark stumbles or giveaways, often leading to an opposition goal being scored against us. Bizarre, but there you have it, so good and yet so bad.

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