Premier League

Mustafi reacts to ‘worst defender’ poll and ‘king of blunders’ jibe

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Shkodran Mustafi (Arsenal FC)

Image credit: Getty Images

ByMichael Hincks
09/10/2019 at 08:45 | Updated 09/10/2019 at 09:33

Shkodran Mustafi insists he will ignore a poll which saw him voted the second-worst defender in the world, although he did admit to being annoyed by Emmanuel Petit’s “king of blunders” jibe.

The Arsenal centre-back came second behind Manchester United’s Phil Jones in a poll run by Spanish paper Marca.

Talking to Der Spiegel, the German said he would take no notice of the poll, which had more than 150,000 votes.

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Asked if he thought he was the world’s second-worst defender, Mustafi replied: “No, I do not think so.

I would think about it more seriously if it had been a survey among the best coaches in Europe.

Shkodran Mustafi - FC Arsenal

Image credit: Getty Images

“In the first two years after my move to Arsenal in 2016, things went very well for me. I saw myself as a top performer. But shortly after Christmas 2018 there was a kink.

“I made a few mistakes and they produced a reaction that I’ve never experienced before.”

Mustafi is yet to appear in the Premier League this season, but has kept three clean sheets in his Europa League and League Cup outings.

He has endured a tumultuous time at Arsenal since joining from Valencia in 2016, and last season he was dubbed “king of blunders” by former Arsenal midfielder Petit after he started in a north London derby against Tottenham.

“That annoyed me a lot,” said Mustafi. “It’s one thing when fans or the media criticise you. But it’s something completely different when an ex-player, who knows how hard it is sometimes on the field, says something like that.

I expect those players to be more sensitive and to see what this sharp criticism can do.

“In the past, it might have been in the paper for a day and then people would have forgotten. Today it’s on the internet and it’s going to haunt me for the rest of my career.

“Actually, former players like Petit shouldn’t need to make a name for themselves by making condescending comments about current players.”


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