Mustafi Leads The Fight Back

Calling it a “siege mentality” is a step too far, the footballing equivalent of Phillip Hammond telling the world there aren’t any unemployed people in the UK. However, Shkodran Mustafi’s attack on the media this weekend is certainly some spine and fight being shown.

The German ‘called out’ the media on their behaviour toward the squad after the 2 – 0 derby win. No doubt buoyed by a goal and Man of the Match performance in all but name, Mustafi declared:

“You like to get the s***, the biggest s***,” he said to journalists. “What happens in the changing room is the real thing. I have been talking to clubs or if I haven’t, it’s only rumours. I’m here, I’m standing in front of you in an Arsenal shirt.”

He then turned his attention to the media portrayal of the club,

“That’s you guys thinking it. As always, Arsenal is dead, Arsenal is not coming back. We always are alive, we always believe in ourselves but we all know that if you win the big games but lose the small games you’re not going to finish top of the league or even in the top four. If you win today and lose next weekend you are back where you were.”

As you were, gentlemen. He hadn’t quite finished,

“You want everyone to leave, don’t you? We need the players, not everyone can leave. Obviously, they are important and everyone in the team wants them to stay.

“If you look at what Mesut achieved, you have to give him credit and respect. It’s sometimes stupid to just go out and say ‘he’s not good enough, he’s not this or that’.”

Fair play to Mustafi; it’s about time someone showed some balls and he did that in the most important arena: on the pitch.


Rather like the intensity of Saturday’s performance, you wonder where the ferocity of character has been hiding. It’s too much to call it ‘old skool’ leadership but the attitude rolled back the years. More of that; Köln on Thursday and Burnley next Sunday, require the squad to show more of the same belief in each other.

Ultimately, it’s too late for Sanchez. No-one will be surprised if he leaves in January although I’d expect it to be the summer with us currently on the cusp of the top four, Arsène’s validation of his season.

Özil? No-one is sure, such is the lack of speculation. A free transfer seems good business for any big club but the wage bill which accompanies him makes that a false economy. In both cases, the transient nature of modern football is laid bare for all to see.

It wasn’t a good weekend for journalists and the Arsenal. You know all about the Arsenal Twitter vs. Daily Mail mismatch. A provocative piece purporting to be a mixed XI ahead of the derby got one Adam Crafton abuse once Arsenal’s social media guru posted a gif of Mesut Özil sipping a cuppa. All well and good.

Some took it as a cue to abuse said journalist, using racism, homophobia and anti-semitism, all of which are vile and utterly unacceptable.

However, various hacks decided that Arsenal’s Twitter admin knew what response would follow and was responsible for the abuse. One or two said Arsenal should apologise because they knew their 12m followers would over-react. Indeed, a very nasty letter was going to the club in protest and demand they say sorry.

While all this was going on, the hacks were scooping water out of their ship as they torpedoed themselves with their own logic.

Bring Out Your Dead…

If Arsenal twitter is responsible for the reactions of others, then so are the Daily Mail and Sun hacks; the Telegraph and Express as well. Hiding behind “I didn’t write it” or “He doesn’t share those views”, doesn’t cut it.

The Heil, as this was the hack in question’s employer, is a good example. As English as English can be, it’s owned by Rothermere, a toff who pays taxes in France where the rates are lower than here. His name never appears in the same articles as Starbucks, Amazon or Google, even though it’s the same net result.

Then again, this is a rag whose editor reviles the EU while claiming close to £500k since 2011 in EU subsidies. The same EU which chastised the Heil for feeding an atmosphere of hatred toward EU citizens in the UK since the Referendum.

If Arsenal are responsible for the tweets of others, every journalist is responsible for the hatred and intolerance their employers promote; it’s that simple. That’s where their logic takes them.

It will be disappointing if the teas and coffee at Arsène’s pressers this week aren’t served in Özil mugs…

’til Tomorrow.

34 thoughts on “Mustafi Leads The Fight Back

  1. YW,

    Hands up — I thought Mustafi was not going to make it — but like the Arsenal he can be pretty average, but then he can play really well — and Saturday was one of those bright moments.

  2. Well that was a fun weekend! Arsenal showed up and played like the team that turned Chelsea over in the FA Cup Final.

    I thought the back 3 were outstanding, stepping into midfield when needed, and marking Kane out of the game. Xhaka kept Eriksen under control, and they had nothing else.

    At home we are a decent team. If only we could do the same away. Here’s hoping.

  3. Oh and a Daily Mail hack taking the moral high ground? They can all fuck off back into that rancid cesspit and pull the cover back over.

  4. The Mail should sack Crafton; being so poor as he’s shown at football matters.
    Though he’ll end up with a pay rise for all the clicks he’s delivered.

    Poor, poor Crafton.
    Quite sensitive for one who accepts his silver from haters.


  5. Good stuff Yogi!

    If you watch Mustafi though, he is a fiery character on the pitch, remember his first couple of yellows for us weren’t for fouls but having a go at the refs but you have also seen him have a go with players both on his team and not. I for one am glad he stayed, I think people forget that he only turned 25 this year and we all know that CB’s get better with age and he will also be better in his 2nd year. Good for him to tell the media to fuck off.

  6. Good afternoon YW from the sunny sud de la France.

    I must confess that I did not think we were going to win. Why we are unable to replicate this on a regular basis only Arsène knows.

  7. Had a look on Adam Crafton’s Twitter account today and it seems he has now protected it because of the tweet he put out!

    That’s a shame as I would have liked to see his combined Arsenal vs FC Koln 11

  8. As far as the contract situations go, I think the real thing is that we simply don’t know what is fact and what is fiction. More than anything with both Ozil and Sanchez is that sure it might be about money but I think ultimately they are different than players like Giroud, Theo, Gibbs, and others who while they might be happy to simply collect massive pay packets from Arsenal; I think Ozil and Sanchez simply want to win trophies because they know that they have the talent to play for clubs that should be winning trophies.

    Sanchez who I think will have plenty of offers on a free but they simply aren’t the teams that he had last summer. I think while Pep would like to have Sanchez, I don’t think he feels anymore that he needs him given Sane has started to show in England what everybody saw for club in country in Germany, Sterling while not scoring regularly is still not only young but has been impressive all season, Jesus just loves to score goals, Aguero not wanting to leave and Pep not wanting him to leave. Would Pep want a 29 year old Sanchez when he is building a young and explosive side and say he can go get somebody like Aubameyang who is younger. PSG and Bayern wouldn’t chase him given PSG just signed Neymar and Mbappe plus they still have Di Maria and Lucas Moura. Bayern have a pleathora of options and changed managers and maybe the new guy wouldn’t/doesn’t want him. So that leaves clubs like Manure, Chelsea maybe, possibly Athletico or he could return to Serie A.

    Ozil will be interesting because who really knows what he wants or the situation as a whole. I could see Barca coming in for him as has been reports and links as an alternative to Coutinho, maybe he goes to PSG and is their #10 or possibly to Juve to play behind Dybala and Higuian and then there is always Bayern who always seem to make these deals happen for top German players on a free.

    The problem with all of it comes back to the fact that should both or either leave, will get a quality replacement because there won’t be any money from their sale, at least that is how I could see Arsene trying to spin it only after Ivan tells us that we have money to spend on replacements of their quality.

  9. Mislintat has been confirmed as Arsenal’s new head of recruitment starting in December and Rowley is leaving the club.

  10. You are way ahead of everyone there, C. 🙂

    But has he been told there is no money for his recommendations?? 😀

  11. How d’ya like them potaters???

    Borussia Dortmund have admitted their regret at Sven Mislintat’s departure to join Arsenal as head of recruitment – but insist sporting director Michael Zorc will not follow him to Emirates Stadium.

    The Gunners confirmed Mislintat’s appointment this afternoon, clarifying that he will begin work next month with Steve Rowley standing down from his role as chief scout after 35 years but remaining at the club on a consultancy basis, as reported by Standard Sport this morning.

    Mislintat’s arrival is a significant coup for Arsenal given he is credited with unearthing a stream of young talent including Shinji Kagawa, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Ousmane Dembele.

  12. The denial by Dortmund regarding their Sporting Director, Michel Zorc, NOT follow Mislintat to the Arsenal — is to me — an indication that there may have been talks about that happening, if they have had to deny it!!

    Gadzooks! — does that mean that Gazidis is en route to achieving his long held target of appointing a Sports Director over Wenger? Good luck with that. 🙂

  13. C,

    Well, if you get a real star as head of recruitment and scouting then maybe big transfers isn’t on the menu?

    Though Henry called it yesterday; the math for resigning Ozil and Sanchez with 400 Ks a week is a nobrainer.

  14. HenryB,

    I don’t think he has been, which means he will get paid a shit ton of money to be the Arsenal version of me: give quality scouting for players across Europe yet leads to ABSOLUTELY no new signings but at least you get to watch a ton of proper futbol and have more than just a PL view on futbolers 😉

  15. Where is Bill? Where is C? Where is Uncle Tom Cobley? In extremis, where is the Orse?

    Even Andy and Wavey are noticeable by their absences — is the world ending?? 😀

  16. And there is the Scout- In -Chief, C, baby, just as I was typing my call for chat-friends, and even my mate Welsh Corgi is on the case!! 😀

    Trouble is — the ‘Nut Cracker’, AKA my French girl friend has just arrived — there could be a small intermission from yours truly!!! 😀 How Ras copes with all those French babes I do not know!! 😀

  17. HenryB,

    Great minds think alike because I was thinking the same thing in regards to Dortmund, Arsenal and Zorc. I think the links of Zorc and Arsenal previously were not just stories and I remember Arsene addressing them and saying they were a non-starter but it really does shine a different light on this article from May 7, 2017.

    I actually think this is will be a REALLY interesting move in Ivan’s Arsenal revolution that he keeps banging on about. I do wonder what his role will be and more importantly, if he is the Sporting Director, I wonder how this all plays out with either the recruitment Ozil and / or Sanchez’s replacements or how this could potentially work especially with Ozil because now they can say to them: See what he did at Dortmund, we can do that here and we don’t have Bayern snapping up all of our best players.

  18. So just reading about this whole move and how it came about I found this juicy little nugget from yesterday it seems:

    Mislintat to Kicker: “I probably never would have considered leaving but being banned from the training ground and instructed to stay away from the inner circle (players, staff, many friends) [by Thomas Tuchel] changed my way of thinking.”

  19. welsh corgi cardigan,

    I don’t think its about big transfers aren’t on the menu but more than likely better players in that mid-tier range. For instance, the likes of Aubameyang (big transfer at the time), Dembele (big transfer at the time), Phillip (big German transfer), etc.; he makes big transfers but he also seems to have a brilliant eye for talent that is on the verge of being brilliant.

  20. HenryB,

    No, I stopped posting because you miserable lot left me hear and you know how I can get on tangents so I decided to lurk in the background until something juicy and WTF do you know, a man after my own scouting heart is FINALLY hired at Arsenal!

  21. HenryB,

    Hahaha, nutcracker, aka my french girlfriend😊. You’re a brave man Henry and we hope she don’t read ACLF. Good evening sire🙂..

  22. C,

    Yea, that’s probably true. We get some of this and some of that. But its change🙂.

    Very pleased with this signing. It’s like an overhaul and its great going forward.

  23. welsh corgi cardigan,

    I guess we gotta take what we can get and hope for the best, damn that sounds dreary which is a shame because we have a new coworker who is a Spuds supporter and we just discussed the NLD and it was a lot of excuses and o how I joined that conversation 😉

  24. C,

    That’s entirely typical of football journalism. The bums build players, and managers, up into superstars only to knock them down as soon as they prove to be no more than ordinary human beings.

    Dele Alli is twenty-one years old. He has played almost continuously and done very well for both Spurs and England over the past two years. It was obvious from early in Saturday’s game that he had fitness problems so it’s no surprise that he put in a below par performance and for that he gets ripped by a mug such as Carragher.

    Kane also suffered from lack of fitness, the two of them play as a pair they, rely on each other so it’s hardly surprising that they both had poor games but the journo can’t see beyond his own prejudice.

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