Arsenal Shkodran Mustafi has hit back at Emmanuel Petit for calling him the ‘King of blunders.’
The German World Cup winner has been frozen out by Unai Emery from Arsenal’s Premier League team. Mustafi has played just three games so far this season, two in the Europa League and one in the League cup.
Mustafi was partly responsible for a number of Arsenal’s mistakes and was heavily criticised by fans and pundits alike. The German was asked about one particular statement made by Arsenal legend and former World Cup winner Emmanuel Petit after his performance in the North London derby against Tottenham back in March.
The Gunners drew 1-1 against their fierce rivals with Mustafi conceding a penalty by pushing Harry Kane in the 73rd minute. Petit spoke to RMC Sport in the aftermath of the game and called the defender ‘A king of blunders’. Mustafi was clearly not pleased to hear that from another professional and hit back at the Frenchman.
He said: “That annoyed me a lot. It’s the one thing when fans or media criticize you. But it’s a different story when an ex-player who knows how hard it sometimes is in the field says so. I expect such players to be more sensitive and realize what this sharply worded critique can trigger.”
“In the past, that might have been one day in the paper and then people would have forgotten it. Today it’s on the internet and will haunt me for the rest of my career. Actually, former players like Petit should not have to make a name for themselves by making condescending comments about current players,” Mustafi said.
Mustafi never quite recovered after that game and was benched in the very next fixture against Manchester United. The 27-year-old was also left on the bench in Arsenal’s Europa League final defeat and with the arrival of David Luiz in the summer, he has further been sidelined.
However, the German international has a 100% clean sheet record this season and has performed really well in his three starts. With Arsenal’s defence still struggling, he might well find himself back in the Premier League if he continues his good work in the Europa League and in the domestic cup competitions.