Mustafi ruled out of Southampton trip


Arsene Wenger has ruled Shkodran Mustafi out of Sunday’s game with Southampton, but says the German international could return for West Ham on Wednesday.

The 25 year old limped off early during the 3-1 defeat to Manchester United last weekend with what the manager described as a small thigh problem.

However, in a team news update ahead of the trip to St Mary’s, Wenger says Mustafi will not be involved.

“The only one out at the moment is Mustafi,” he said.

“He is certainly not available for Sunday. There’s a little chance of him coming back for West Ham, but he will not be available for Sunday.”

Cynics will point to the Frenchman saying something very similar about Alexandre Lacazette before the United game but this does seem quite definitive.

Theo Walcott, fresh from a goal and a good performance in the 6-0 win over BATE Borisov, will also be available to face his old club if selected in the squad.

“He had a little tight calf and that’s why I took him off,” said Wenger, “but he looked alright after the game.”

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21 Comments on "Mustafi ruled out of Southampton trip"

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I love Per, but maybe this is the type of game where we could try going back to 4 at the back. I know Ramsey has benefited from the new system, but can’t help feeling our defenders don’t try those daft passes if they have two deep lying mid-fielders to pass to.


Tend to disagree. Nacho is not a natural CB for a classic CB pairing. Could be a trouble considering 1) we go to St. Mary’s and 2) Austin seems in-form.

If it was an easier home game, I’d say let’s roll with it. I’m all in when it comes to us reverting to back four, but this doesn’t seem like a suitable occassion to me.

Surely would be happy to be proven wrong though.


I tend to the view that Nacho can do pretty much anything. But you may be right that west ham on weds might be a better option. Jack should be available as well for a start! Though that may be just wishful thinking on my part


Nacho is susceptible in the air.

He cannot do everything. He also made some poor decisions against United…rolled over far to easy by Martial for the goal.

Jack starting is a risk given injury record.

Its important to be more balance and not get overly taken by a performance in the Europa against Bare.


Caught ball watching and completely lost valencia for the first as well.


Have to say I don’t share the same enthusiasm for the four at the back a lot of other people have recently. My mind instantly goes back to last season. Once Cazorla was injured, our performances got progressively worse with the back four to the point of being completely dire by about March. Sure, the back three isn’t perfect. But we’ve had some fantastic performances with it, and the last month or so has been especially encouraging. Which CB pairing do we trust in a back four system? Will Nacho have anywhere near the same level of performance as either a cb or lb? Alternatively can we trust Kolasinac defensively at full back and will his attacking contribution be hindered? How will Ramsey’s form be affected? The possibility of a back four is worth thinking about when we rotate our selction (last night was a prime example), but at the same time raises a lot more questions than people seem to be considering.


That’s an argument I’ve been also using over the summer & in the beginning of this season when many people called upon reverting to back four – we absolutely collapsed using back four system during last spring and we’ve done nothing ever since (especially in terms of bringing new, suitable midfield players) to make it work. Therefore I have no idea why this system should suddenly start working now.

I realize I’ve only just said in the previous comment that “I’m all in when it comes to reverting to back four,” but now I’m wondering if it isn’t just me “wanting to shake things up a little just for the sake of it.”

Our midfield is vulnerable already and many times we’re just relying on Xhaka – who doesn’t have legs to do it – running our midfield game. Don’t see how taking out extra player behind him to cover for his mistakes would be beneficial.

If we do revert to back four, we should still move to 4-3-3 to throw in extra defensive body into our midfield – I believe it would do good to both Xhaka and Ramsey. Going back to 4-2-3-1 doesn’t seem right since, as mentioned earlier, this exact squad (bar Laca) already played together in this system and it didn’t work.


Its not a zero sum game.

Both back 4 or back 3 are options.

Depends on opponents and how they come at us.


I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how solid the team can play with a back three at times this season, but whether it is a back three or a back four, we are only successful when we play team defence and work as a unit (and don’t give the ball away for free). The team broke down mentally last season during that horrific run, so I don’t know if that justifies consigning the back-four formation to the dustbin.

I personally would like to see the return to the back four (though not exclusively) because I think we have to perform at about 120% intensity in the 3-4-2-1 just to get a positive result, and we seem to bypass the midfield completely both defensively and in attack (we just lob the ball forward or break with speed – neither is a bad thing). I also think Bellerin is not as effective in this system – his game depends on surprise and his overlap, and currently everyone knows where he is (within 10 yards of the touchline, and that hair doesn’t help matters) and he’s rarely the extra man (i.e., in the back four, when he goes forward, we really have the extra numbers). Ozil also performs much better when we’re set up in a back four, with more runners to hit and more space to exploit at the top of the midfield. I’d like to see the team sent out with the purpose of scoring some goals, taking our attack relentlessly to the opposition from the kickoff, and the 4-2-1-3 carries that mentality forward. That said, I don’t think we should start every game that way; against more formidable opponents, we should set up cautiously and firmly, and let our advantage develop over the course of the game.

If Wenger opts for the 3-4-2-1 on Sunday, I’d put my vote in for Chambers to play on right of Koscienly and Monreal. He looks ready to do the job.


I agree with most of your points, but I think Mertesacker between Koscielny and Monreal is by far the better option if we go three at the back on Sunday.


The midfield have to make themselves available, not hide.

I don’t think 3 or 4 at the back is an issue.

The problem is both Granit and Ramsey are pass and move players not comfortable receiving the ball with backs to opposition when under duress.

Neither can turn very well.

Jack can turn and hold the ball in tight confines better. He maybe an instrument we could use next to Granit.

Whether he has built up to the energy levels chasing the game of Ramsey is another thing and certainly we must be careful not to over use him for fear of injury.

Another option is the less experience but physically tough Iwobi. He has ability on the ball in tight confines and turns to face the opponent quickly.

The sort of quick build up play with short passes the “second” team did against Bate is what we need but in PL we are afforded less space so players have to expand and contract come closer to each other to support and move the ball around.

The players were too far from each other against United. Yes there were passing channels available to both Koscielny and Monreal and Mustafi but the options were dangerous bc they were at distance with a fast United player close by in attendance.

It meant Koscielny played a 50-50 ball which got intercepted which was probably what Mustafi was trying trying to avoid when he got caught dallying.

Later against United players came closer to each other in support and we found better purchase.


stick with holding and chambers

High gunner

conspiracy theory number one: mustafi is not injured so we can continue playing 4-3-3


Theory number two: It’s actually a “Little Groin problem”

Andy Mack

When AW said that Lacazette wouldn’t play, it was pretty soon after the ‘incident’ so they didn’t have time to fully assess the injury, so it’s rather different from saying Mustafi won’t play 5 days after the ‘incident’.

Thierry Bergkamp

Why make Mertesacker captain if he won’t play, even when fit?


Because he’s the BFG; everyone (except for Macey) looks up to him. Despite what people say, we’ve got good captains in the squad who can do their duty during games — Walcott did a solid job yesterday, and Koscielny is no slouch.

Rectum Spectrum

Mustafi has a badly bruised…….ego.


Mustafi-Koscielny-Monreal is still the best defensive option.

However with Mustafi out Either we use Per in a back 3 or back 4 or we have either of Holing or Chambers with Koscielny shifted into the middle.

Bar the poor decision against United Mustafi has been excellent over recent games.

Such sort of mistakes will happen. Remember the red cards own goals and penalties conceded by Koscielny first season.


Walcott’s looking sharp. Might be good to unleash him at some point against former club.

Giroud and Jack too are options.

Both Holding and Chambers acquired themselves very well against Bate too.

Great to have competition and the added options.


Why did it take us so long to notice that Mustafi had a problem with small thighs?