Lots of Arsenal fans have rallied behind defender Shkodran Mustafi, after he gave an emotional interview with Der Spiegel blasting his critics.
The 27-year-old believes he has become a target when things go wrong at the Emirates Stadium, and claims he gets stick even when he doesn’t play.
The £35 million signing from Valencia (BBC Sport) has often frustrated fans down the years with some erratic defending.
Frustratingly for Gunners supporters, they know Mustafi has the ability to defend well for large parts of games – he simply makes too many basic errors.
That has been the case with player, but in 2019/20, Mustafi hasn’t put a foot wrong in his three appearances so far.
Speaking to Der Spiegel, he said: “The criticism has become escalated and irrational. I have become a target. At one point, people even blamed me for a defeat in a game I had not played in.”
Mustafi also took aim at Emmanuel Petit, who slated him after a mistake against Tottenham Hotspur last season.
“That annoyed me a lot,” he said. “It’s one thing when fans or media criticise you. But it’s a different story when an ex-player who knows how hard it is on the field sometimes says so.
“I expect such players to be more sensitive and realise what this sharply worded critique can trigger.”
Arsenal fans react
A lot of Arsenal fans showed their sympathy towards Mustafi on social media as quotes from the interview did the rounds:
Would be really great if he bounce back.
— kharis pohan (@kharis_kun8) 8 October 2019
Some tough questions in there but it seems as if he was very honest. Has been solid in the games he’s played this season and there could be a route back to the first team if he can continue to perform. From his first two seasons it’s clear that he has ability
— charlie carey 🤝 (@Jafuli_Charlie) 8 October 2019
Criticise him when he did badly, but give him support when he is doing good.
He had 3 great games this season to be fair
— TY (@O3gunners) 9 October 2019
Clean slate now Shkodran..,… Don’t let me down….
— Jackson Hunt (@Borificent) 8 October 2019
He will get back to his best… #COYG
— Olayinka Muideen (@OlayinkaMuideen) 9 October 2019
I’m one of his critiques but he deserves his second chance to prove himself! Sad read though.
— Boomgooner (@tadgooner) 8 October 2019
Elite mentality, his mistakes has been nothing but awful but he’s right about Social Media making people more harsh and can say whatever it is against player, making hating someone a trend…
— goofy gooner 🇮🇩 (@sojoyaa) 8 October 2019
Damn I feel sad, but he has a really strong mentality
— ZhypeR (@Mk27_COYG) 8 October 2019
That’s a good mentality! Did good the last few games!
— Gaële (@goonergael) 8 October 2019
Thank you. Proper reality check.
— Jeffrey Krouwel (@JKrouwel) 8 October 2019