This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Speaking on Premier League Productions (as quoted by The Express), Manchester United legend Paul Scholes has slammed Arsenal defender Shkodran Mustafi for his latest horror showing in the clash against Norwich on Sunday.
The Germany international has been the subject of intense criticism since his time in England, with Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher particular scathing in his assessment of the defender by simply declaring that he’s not good enough.
And following another disappointing performance at Carrow Road at the weekend in which he came under fire from Arsenal fans, Scholes launched a stinging attack on the former Valencia man.
He said: “It’s no surprise, I think he (Mustafi) was at fault, possibly, for both goals. He doesn’t tackle, he should be having a nibble at the ball but he drops off so far because he’s so frightened of getting done.
“He’s just thinking about getting back to his goal, not going out and engaging with the player. He almost tries to get out of the way, instead of being a defender who’s desperate to stop the ball going in. He just lets people walk through him.”
After a reasonably error-free campaign to date, Shkodran Mustafi had seemingly knuckled down and gotten back to basis, even notching a goal against Vitoria in the Europa League. Having been heavily criticised for his role in that crucial defeat to Crystal Palace last season when he shockingly allowed Wilfried Zaha through to score, the German has been in better form this season, averaging an impressive 7.07 match rating in his five European appearances.
But against Norwich – his first Premier League start of the campaign – the 27-year-old was back to repeating familiar habits. Diving into challenges, lazily dangling a leg out to try and win the ball, and most criminally of all, turning his back for the opening goal from Teemu Pukki. In a nutshell, the 90 minutes were Mustafi at his typical worst. Freddie Ljungberg showed him some faith in bringing him back into the starting line-up, but he simply proved that however much you think he has changed for the better, he still remains the same-old blundering calamity.
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