It goes without saying that this season, for the most part, has been a success thus far for Arsenal Football Club. While they may have had early setbacks against Manchester City and Chelsea they’ve been on fire ever since then, to the point where a place in the top four doesn’t seem all that unlikely after all. Alas, with great power comes great responsibility, and the responsibility of the club at this moment in time is for them to realise that they have a weak link in their ranks – Shokdran Mustafi.
Elephant in the room
It’s not exactly groundbreaking to suggest that the Gunners’ biggest problem in the last few years has been at the back. For as many world class forwards as they’ve had, they’ve had an equal amount of defenders that just haven’t been able to live up to expectations. That’s partly due to the system they’ve been playing in, but as well as that, it’s also because the players themselves just aren’t good enough to compete at the highest level in the Premier League.
Unfortunately, Mustafi falls into that category, and it becomes more and more obvious every time you see him play. The 26 year old German international has had a series of opportunities to shine with the club, but across the last two years he’s failed to really find that consistency that is necessary for the top flight. Some felt as if the introduction of Unai Emery would help his confidence, but that hasn’t been the case whatsoever.
Yet, despite his shortcomings, Emery still insists on sticking with Mustafi. Perhaps he can see something that many of us can’t, and they do say that managers are special entities in that regard, but it feels like we’ve got enough evidence to work with now. This is a club that is on the rise and there’s just no time for nostalgia selections – because we’re past that stage.
Arsenal have a series of important games coming up after the international break, and with Liverpool being on the horizon, it’s terrifying to consider what kind of fun the Reds’ attacking line-up will have when they come up against Mustafi. We’re sure he’s a lovely bloke and maybe some time away will mean he comes back stronger in the long run, but right now, he’s a liability.
Do you think Mustafi should keep his place in the first team?