Video: Shkodran Mustafi vs Southampton (HD)

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Shkodran Mustafi Arsenal debut

Mustafi’s first match was a close one! Tough player but think his debut was good.

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16 Comments on "Video: Shkodran Mustafi vs Southampton (HD)"

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Why not

That kos-esque interception about half way through. Fuck

mannyg

I think it will be easier for Mustafi to adapt than Perez. Playing as a lone striker for a new club, new league and new brand of football will be difficult for him. Once he gets going, I think he will be a great signing. Loved his work rate against Southampton, too.

AlexisKoszil

It definitely makes to easier to play when you have a partner like Kos the boss.

Fuzz

looks like he loves defending. but has a pass too. high hopes!!

A Different George

Koscielny also deserves recognition for the maturity and leadership he showed in the way he adapted to Mustafi’s game, (in addition, obviously, to the tremendous goal). A lot of the time, it looked like Koscielny was playing Mertesacker’s role–allowing his partner to move forward in anticipation of passes, and initiate a counter, while he (Koscielny) moved into a covering position, filled spaces, and picked up runners.

I think in the future they will both do this for each other–I think we saw the makings of a central defensive partnership as good as any in the Premier League.

Fabulous

This. Very much this. Absolutely spot on. With Per-Kos, Per would do the sweeper job but against Southampton Kos adapted to his partner. We really do have the best CB in the league, which is a shame because the same league appreciates players like Terry more. Bunch of idiots.

Arsenal's Vardy

Anyone else loves how Mustafi dashes forward and jumps 11 feet in the air before he heads the motherfucking ball back. And the likes of Bellerin and Coquelins know to stay the fuck out of his way.

santori

As some should remember, it took Koscielny close to a season to adapt.

He made a lot of mistakes was caught out many times, scored several Own Goals and took a number of red cards.

But this team Wenger has now is more developed.

We can see Mustafi is also quality spent as he is settling in much quicker :

1)His positioning was generally good this considering he is still adapting to pace of league and players around him.

2) His strength in the air is a bit more of an issue but he will learn to get use to jumping for the ball quicker too and utilise positioning to gain the advantage.

3) Where I see he was strong (by design from Wenger) is of course he utilises the advantage that he has been deployed at Rback before. Therefore he naturally covers more to the right which allows for Bellerin to bomb forward frequently and gives the team better width (In turn Walcott is better able to make central runs)

On one occasion he won the ball wide and seeing opportunity push forward on the wing but no one anticipated his (obvious) cross coming in or exploited it.

4) He is aggressive. Seversal good steals and tackles. Particularly some he took initiative and came out of defense to challenge. He has to be careful particularly if he challenges higher up and he will have learnt that if it was mistimed, the chances of him recovering to put right is less in the PL because of how quick the counters are. In that, he is fortunately quite quick himself (again from his time at Rback) which helps but clearly positioning triumphs everything (as Per versus Gabriel arguments tend to erroneously be centred on ‘pace’)

I think Mustafi looks good first game in. Time will of course tell better.

santori

Wenger tends to also be very considerate when picking his signings.

I have already mentioned the soft (non footballing) side of selection. Secondary considerations like Mustafi being of Albanian heritage and Xhaka should not be taken lightly as it helps the players settle.

Similarly language is also an issue.

Wenger ‘s current Arsenal is mainly composed of 4 main language nationalities. Of course there is the local core (ironic to think the media makes no more meal about local content with us…look at the rest of the league)but the Francophone core which many press would deem to criticise Arsenal for bias on is actually quite small (the pres were never quick on the uptake). The German and Spanish contingent has taken a bigger increase in recent seasons (reflective as well of their general strengths internationally)

As far as German is concern, we saw a snippet of Xhaka on the bench in banter with Per who is doing a great job settling some of these players in quickly (since he has to be sidelined by injury)

Worth noting as well the number of players now we have from La Liga shared experience. Santi of course, but also Gabriel, Monreal, Mustafi, Perez. Bellerin of course has less experience in this regard but heritage will also play a part.

As far as the German speakers, Ozil, Mustafi and Xhaka are also Muslim heritage (whether practising or non) which helps them settle if not by primary design, it is a also a good by product. Add in Elneny and there is good company if need be.

Lest some people take this point as a negative (there may be some), I actually think it is an unhighlighted positive for the beleagured Muslim community these days.

These are side elements which if not the main reason for Wenger does factor into tertiary thought when signing players. Clearly not priority but something that does help in getting the players working as a unit quicker.

The casual critic of course will likely not take it into account or the selective statistician will conveniently turn blind eye toward. But there is some impact and I do not for once think it was not in the very back of consideration even if not anywhere near top priority.

Sheekiz

Great points Santori. I actually keep track of all these connections and groupings you mentioned. Language and culture are massively influential in how quickly and well a player settles, and that can have a knock-on effect in their performances.

Sometimes we forget that our players are real human beings and not football playing machines. Majority of us would look to our 50’s as the peak in our careers. Most footballers peak by 30. It really quite young when you take a step back and think about it.

Anyways, I am massively excited by Mustafi. Sure this performance was far from perfect, but as many have said, we have the makings of an incredible CB pairing here. I loved Mustafi’s tackles and interceptions, and he looks very confident and capable on the ball. He is only 24, and could well develop into one of the best CB’s in the world in a few years. He definitely has the potential.

Matt

Am very curious to watch them all on Tuesday. Come on!

Tim

He is in many ways a fusion of Per and Kos.

Like Per: his distribution and comfortability on the ball is similar to Per. Per seeks to move the game forward with direct passes to receptive forwards dropping off their markers. Mustafi does this but in a different way, he seeks to use his mobility to drive into open space and draw out an opposition player before releasing it to the then available Arsenal midfielder. Although similar, it is also slightly more dynamic – and more risky.

Like Kos: he is mobile and aggressive like Kos is when played alongside Per or a slower defender like Sakho or Varane for France. They both have that instinct to intercept the ball just as the opposing player is receiving it. Usually coming through the back leads to fouls, so defenders and especially less mobile CBs stay away from it. Except the best, and Kos fits into this category. His decision making is sublime and so he knows when you make that risk in going beyond the receiving forward and taking the ball. Mustafi has this and it’ll be well focused by learning from Kos over the next few years.

Considering the tough nature of the game.. There are signals there we have got our hands on a real gem.

Dan Hunter

Thumbed up for “comfortability”

Paul

Where are the people who said he was average

Paul

Sorry my post was cut off…”at best” yesterday?

antisonfire

I think he was quite average – Kosc was clearly the standout CB.

However, I think he showed promise. He was obviously nervous.

What I’m worried about is the fact that he plays a very similar game to Koscielny – but not quite as well. He constantly tries to nip in to intercept, sprint out to head it etc. It didn’t always come off.

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