Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown has criticised Shkodran Mustafi for repeating the same mistakes he has made all season
The Germany international arrived from La Liga side Valencia in the summer of 2016 for a £35m transfer fee and, despite having been a regular starter under Arsene Wenger in his two years at the Emirates, Mustafi has ultimately failed to live up to his price tag.
This season the 2014 World Cup winner has made costly mistakes at the heart of the Arsenal defence with a lapse in concentration proving to be very costly for the Gunners in the Carabo Cup final defeat to Manchester City and their recent league games against Southampton and Newcastle.
“It’s the away form that is the worst. It’s really quite appalling. It comes down to focus defensively. They have to be better.” said Keown, according to Goal.
“Mustafi seems to still be making the same mistakes he made earlier this season.
“If we look at last week against Southampton against Shane Long, a little run made to the near post and his body shape was all incorrect, he’s not looking at a possible opponent and he gets done at the near post. The same thing happened again.”
Keown, who was a part of the famous “invincibles” squad that went an entire Premier League season unbeaten in 2003/04 under Wenger, admits that Arsenal’s away form this season has been a costly blow for his former coach.
“Look at the qualities you need to win away from home and if that’s the Achilles heel. You need to be united, you need to have grit, determination and focus to carry out a game plan.” said the 51 year-old.
“They’ve had four wins in Europe and only three in the league. Wenger knows it’s not good enough.”
Arsenal’s hopes of qualifying for the Champions League next season rest solely now on their Europa League campaign with Wenger’s side set to host favourites Atletico Madrid for the first leg of their semi-final tie on the 26 April at the Emirates.