Shkodran Mustafi had an outstanding game on Saturday, and, scoring the opening goal while also marshalling Harry Kane, was arguably Arsenal’s man of the match. And speaking to the media after the game, Mustafi dealt with media criticism of Arsenal as authoritatively as he did with Tottenham’s attack:
As always – Arsenal is dead. Arsenal is not coming back. It’s always the same. It’s about what the team is thinking and feeling. We keep saying it that we are always alive, we always believe in ourselves, we always try to give everything on the pitch. Obviously when it comes to games like this you have to show character. We showed a great character, when we had the ball but also when we didn’t have it.
Mustafi reportedly came close to leaving Arsenal for Inter Milan towards the end of the summer transfer window, but when asked about that, the German responded aggressively, saying, “You [reporters] like to get the shit, the biggest shit. That’s your job...If I have been talking to clubs or if I haven’t, it’s only rumours.”
Mustafi is not only vocal to journalists (and really, with 473,000 followers it’s simply not on for Mustafi to punch down like that) but is also vocal in the dressing room; post-match, Arsene Wenger cited Mustafi’s communcation, calling him a “leader” like Per Mertesacker.