Interview

Mustafi - How I deal with criticism

Shkodran Mustafi will be the first to admit that dealing with criticism is a large part of being a professional footballer.

Our centre back has experienced his share of highs and lows since joining the club from Valencia in August 2016.
 
So how does he handle the criticism that sometimes comes his way?
 
"As a central defender you have a lot of pressure, but then you make this mistake and suddenly the pressure becomes even more," Mustafi told Arsenal Player. "To handle this pressure is not always easy. As a central defender you have to do your job perfectly to just have a normal game.
 
"When you win all your tackles, when you win everything on the pitch but then make one mistake that you're punished for, it destroys everything that you did before. This is something that makes this position so hard.
 
"It affects you, too. After the game of course you're disappointed because nobody is happy making mistakes, but when I made a mistake and we conceded a goal from it I would go into the dressing room and I'd be disappointed to let my team-mates down. This is the first thing.
 
"You look at each of the players and think, 'OK, they worked so hard and one of my mistakes made us lose the game'. You blame yourself a lot. I am quite harsh on myself as well when I make mistakes. This is something you have to learn to deal with because the next day you're straight back in training and you're focusing on not making the same mistake again.
 
"It's something that affected me but I had to deal with it because I didn't want to make the same mistake again, I wanted to come to the training ground and show them that I am going to be there for them, I am going to be there for the team, I am going to be there for the supporters."

 

 

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