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Name Shkodran Mustafi
Gender Male
Ethnic German
Job German Footballer
Desc A liability who Arsenal will be desperately regretting not offloading to Inter Milan when they had the chance. Unreliable and error-prone, Emery does not rely on the German in a back-four and the club will be keen to move him on, even if his value has dipped dramatically

Affiliation

Org xxxx National Team
Club as Player Arsenal FC

Relationship

Father Kujtim Mustafi
Agent Kujtim Mustafi

2019 10 08 Retrieve

[Mustafi opens up on dip in form and social media criticism] In the first two years after my move to Arsenal in 2016, things went very well for me. But shortly after Christmas 2018 there was a kink. I’ve made a few mistakes and they’ve created a mess that I’ve never experienced before

[One game in particular where Mustafi endured a torrid night was during a 5-1 defeat to Liverpool in December 2018] I had missed three weeks injured and then went into the game without training with the team because the coach needed me. At half-time it was 4-1, I had a few bad moments and injured myself again.

Afterwards, I got a lot of negative comments from Arsenal fans on Instagram and Twitter, and articles were written in which I was harshly criticised. I’m self-critical enough to realise that I made mistakes. I can also deal with tough criticism. But the criticism has become escalated and irrational. I have become a target. At some point, people even blamed me for a defeat I had not played in at all. There were days when I really doubted something about myself. But at some point I realised that I am mentally strong.

Something my wife said helped me a lot: ‘If you were really as bad as people are making you out, you would never have been a world champion and Arsenal player, something must have brought you here’. Since then I can handle it better.

Football has become more inhumane. Social media has also contributed to this, because anyone can comment, without names. People can unload their frustrations directly on us. It is no longer about the sport, but only to discredit someone to get as many likes as possible. I would like to see more restrictions in the future. What’s on the internet will never disappear. And I’m worried that this will eventually affect my children.

2020 02 21 Retrieve

[Mustafi open to Arsenal stay after incredible turnaround under Arteta] Why not? I have always taken things day by day. We had a game on Thursday, we have the next important game at the weekend and as long as I am playing for a club I always gave everything until the last minute. When I decide, or when the club and I decide, it is going to continue I am happy, if not then we have to go forward

[He played a starring role in Greece on Thursday night and is almost certain to start again on Sunday when Everton visit Emirates Stadium in the Premier League] If you think things are over for you, then you should retire. That’s not like you should think as a professional. You always get the opportunities and a team has more than 20 players for a reason. There is a lot of competition, there are a lot of games and everyone in the team is needed. The main thing for me was to be professional because as long as you stay professional, you have no fault for anything. Stay professional, wait until you get your next opportunity and then obviously you have to take it

[Despite that positive mindset, Mustafi admits that it was tough to deal with not being included in matchday squads during the early months of the season] It has been difficult. But I am a person who tries to see more the positive things than the negatives. I think that helped me a lot. Having my family around me – my kids, my wife – because life is not only football. That’s something I kept remembering to myself. Being in training every day, playing a lot of games, you get a lot of attention but still at the end of the day I am a father of two kids and I try to focus on this as well

[Far from being criticised, they are now being praised - with Mustafi even having his name chanted by the Arsenal fans in recent weeks. And for a player who has had a difficult relationship with his own supporters in the past, that is something to savour] It is always important to have a good relationship with the fans. For me the main thing was to be professional, to always be there for my team-mates and for the club and then obviously when you play well they appreciate your performances. But it makes it easier when you have the fans behind you, back supporting you, so I am happy for that

2020 05 15 Retrieve

[Shkodran Mustafi has lauded Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta] He’s a little like a professor. He knows exactly where he wants the players to be when on the ball and how to react when losing the ball. It’s very special. When I pass I am usually only focused on where to be if we lose the ball but he wants me to contribute offensively too. So we constantly need to make an option for the player on the ball. When you are 28 and you play in different countries with other coaches you think you know everything but then he came in and there are things I’ve never known before

Sometimes we don’t realise what a difficult job it is. From 25 players maybe 20 agree with the coach and five still think we should play different. Since Mikel has come in he has 25 players on board and this is not easy to achieve. Everyone understands and everything he says makes sense. There is nothing we can complain about. Everyone has benefited, even Mesut

There is so much talk and opinions on this but I’m just looking forward to playing. Germany has done very well with the situation. That’s why they can start playing but it’s very difficult to explain what I think. I don’t know difference between Germany and England. Some think it’s good, some don’t. For me, the main thing is we have to think of the safety

2020 05 21 Retrieve

[Shkodran Mustafi says Mikel Arteta’s arrival at Arsenal has benefitted everyone at the club] Each one of us has benefitted from this arrival. He has brought a very clear identity and a very clear idea of how he wants to play football, but at the same time he gives you space to make your own decisions because you are on the pitch and you know exactly what the coach wants from you. I think as well he has been listening into the changing room and listening to the players to find out why things were not working out before. Sometimes we don’t realise how difficult it is to be a coach because you have so many people that you have to make follow your idea. Sometimes players are happy, sometimes players that don’t play are not so happy, so it is not easy to have all on board and all agreeing with your ideas and philosophy. But he has managed to do that and in this short period it has been something very difficult to do, but he has done it. That is why we created a bit of momentum and we are heading in the right direction. I have benefitted from his arrival and his coaching. When you are 28 years old, you think you have heard everything and then a coach comes in and you still learn and hear things that you have never heard before. He has been incredible since his arrival. He has shown his aura and his personality just shows that he is so convinced of the way he thinks football should be and how he wants his team to play

2020 06 16 Retrieve

[Arsenal defender Shkodran Mustafi says that is interested in a return to Germany someday] The Bundesliga is always interesting for me. In terms of sport, it has made great progress. It’s also my home. In the current situation, it is difficult to predict how the transfer phase will go. Many are amazed at the level there. In England, they were very surprised at how well the Bundesliga managed to restart. The Premier League has certainly taken this as an example