For most fans, pre-season is more about seeing new signings and youngsters being given minutes amongst the senior squad. However, this summer, Shkodran Mustafi’s performances have been drawing the eye. After a truly shocking campaign last season, it looks like Unai Emery could be set to help revive the German’s career at The Emirates.
Mustafi has had a very good pre-season. Error free. His playing out from the back has been great. He’s looked solid for the most part. He’s stepped forward quite a few times and intercepted the ball nicely. Deserves praise for sure.
— LTArsenal (@ltarsenal) 1 August 2018
Arsenal fans need more than two hands to count the number of errors their defender made last season. Under Arsene Wenger and with no real defensive midfielder in front of him, Mustafi’s confidence was shot to bits as he committed mistake after mistake and saw Arsenal concede a shocking 51 goals, more than Burnley and Newcastle and only three less than Brighton.
Fortunately for the German, Emery has come into the club and his defensive emphasis has seen the club improve at the back on the whole already, although the real test will be Manchester City a week on Sunday. For now, though, the days leading up to that game will be spent focussing on helping to build the partnership between Mustafi and new signing Sokratis Papasthatopopoulos as they look to improve on last season’s 6th placed finish.
You can see the Gunners’ verdict on Mustafi’s turn in form here:
it’s so sad people have failed to see he’s looked solid along side papastathpoulos all preseason
— 13th Street (@august__jules) 2 August 2018
He's quality. Great partner for a TOP cb. But w/ a shaky partner,doesn't cover quite enough ground; not quite enough anticipation; we end up wide open, vulnerable to any kind of speed. Any time the back line is asked a question, I'm held breathless. Leno maybe a big absence too
— what would arsene do (@oawgunner) August 1, 2018
His issues were never skill-based. Entirely mental IMO. He second guessed every decision he had to make. Confidence hit rock bottom.
— Vincent Spencer (@macktruck81) August 1, 2018
only reservations based around him being able to this on a consistent basis. He has had good string of games earlier. Still hopeful
— rachit mishra (@rachitmishra5) August 1, 2018
He looks solid
— BThomas x (@byronbazza21) August 1, 2018
It's probably because Koscielny ain't around
— Jigga (@WiseOneJigga) August 1, 2018
Totally agree with you
— SPORT ZONE (@SportStories247) August 1, 2018
The fans are keen to Mustafi show his form in the Premier League and will get behind him whenever they can.