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Why Mikel Arteta’s redemption powers may not solve Arsenal’s core problems (News)

On January 21, Shakoudan Mostafa experienced one of those moments that seemed to happen to him more than any other defender. Certainly it wasn’t his fault alone that David Luiz dropped Tammy Abraham and Chelsea scored from the resulting penalty kick. But it was the German who sold Bernd Leno for a short period with a back pass that created a chance of nothing for his opponents.

These were the moments when Unai Emery tore his hair, publicly insisting on separate occasions that Mustafa could not be trusted in a four-way defense and should leave Arsenal. In the wake of yet another mistake, Mikel Arteta was given the opportunity to repeat this approach, perhaps even to hint that a World Cup winner may be irreparable.

Could Arteta change Mostafa’s career path at Arsenal? “My job is to do that. Not at all.”

Mustafa has not been the level of absolute perfection for the past nine months, but the German center-back is one of many Arsenal players to whom Arteta has shown amazing replay abilities. Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Granit Shaka, Mohamed Elnni and Rob Holding may reflect on the big steps they have taken since their new manager took the helm.

Arteta understood their qualities and applied them to his side. In Mustafa’s case, they are a combination of powerful passes for a defense and a willingness to throw himself in the path of danger. Sometimes, the latter rushes in defense, which creates more problems than it solves, but this Arsenal coach helped the German to know when to play conservatively.

At his best during the post-reboot period in the Premier League, Mustapha reflected the improvements Arteta made to Arsenal and everyone else: he may have been a bit safe but more reliable than he was previously. It deserves the credit for having a clear plan in place.

“I have to say, I have never gone through such detailed training sessions,” Mustafa said before Arsenal’s Europa League match against Dundalk at Emirates Stadium on CBS All Access on Thursday. We work in great detail about everything. Of course, we try to play our football first but then we analyze the next opponent and see where we can defeat opponents with our strength.

“He always has an idea of ​​how he wants to play the next game and not every match is the same. He analyzes the team so well that when we go to the training ground, he knows exactly what he wants to do, and what we have to train so that we are ready for the weekend.

“This is the positive thing, when you enter the game you have that image that you had in the training session, you have the same picture in the game and that helps a lot.”

For his part, Arteta is equally impressed with Mustafa. He has spoken publicly that he is “really pleased” with the performance of the defender, and is in a special place he loves the German equally.

This rather raises the question of his future. Mustafa himself indicated that there had been no talks on extending a contract that expires next summer, something Arteta said would be discussed internally. Sources close to the defender indicate that those talks will not take place for some time yet as the 28-year-old focused on restoring his edge after three months on the sidelines with a hamstring injury.

It will be several weeks, and probably more than a month, before his focus begins to shift to what might happen in the next season. In the summer, the German has been the subject of interest for Lazio and many other clubs in Italy, although none have advanced to the official bidding stage.

Mustafa said he would not rule out extending his residency beyond its fifth year now that he has finally shown some kind of figure, even in flashes, which earlier in his career could have justified the $ 45 million Arsenal paid him. “When I made the decision to sign for Arsenal, it was because I respect this club and I think it is a huge club. That’s why for me, if I can stay at Arsenal, that means a lot to me of course.”

For his part, Arsenal would prefer not to lose Mustafa for nothing, but he would have accepted his offers last summer. The question now is whether Arteta fell in love with the prospect of reviving this player’s fortunes so much that he failed to make the most draconian decision to let him leave when his contract expired.

Arsenal players celebrate David Luiz’s goal in a 2–1 win over Rapid Vienna in the European League
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Arteta’s faith in his correctional abilities was demonstrated all this summer. He pulled the plug on loan to Newcastle for Rob Holding because he believed Arsenal’s first team was a better environment for the 25-year-old to develop in. For the same reason, Gunners turned down any interest in Emile Smith Rowe, the young playmaker who was the subject of interest on loan from the English Premier League and European clubs.

He has likewise persevered with Alexandre Lacazette and is openly optimistic about his faith in the Frenchman, whose three goals in the Premier League so far this season have somewhat hidden a player lacking ferocity and cunning in the 2018-2019 season. To accommodate one incompetent striker, he has widely positioned Pierre Emerick Aubameyang on the left, often isolating him in matches where Arsenal desperately needs his captain’s goals.

Meanwhile, players like Mustafa have stayed, partly because in tough times financially there wasn’t a great market for high-income players but equally because Arteta and Edo Gaspar were not so fierce in communicating with many of their teams that it was time to act. On.

The unanswered question is to what extent he can improve these players, and to what extent Arteta or any manager can truly influence development. Where will Arsenal get with Mustafa Mohsen? Hugely, especially with all his steps, he is still guilty of the kind of mistakes that gave Leicester City the win on Sunday.

After all, when Arteta took charge of this group of players, with enthusiasm and confusion due to their recent training as they were, they finished 11th in the Premier League table. Even for the best coach, it is a tough challenge to take on such a squad and remake it into a serious contender at the top of the English game.



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