Shkodran Mustafi has let rip in an extraordinary interview about his career at Arsenal.
The defender hasn’t been able to win over supporters at the Emirates Stadium after a series of high profile errors led to widespread criticism in the stands and on social media.
But speaking in an interview with German publicationDer Spiegel, Mustafi said that much of the criticism he has received has been ‘harsh’ and irrational’.
He said: “In the first two years after my move to Arsenal in 2016, things went very well for me.
I saw myself as a top performer. But shortly after Christmas 2018 there was a kink. I made a few mistakes and they caused a chaois that I had never experienced before.
“I had missed three weeks injured and then went into this game without a training session with the team because the coach needed me.
“At half-time it was 1-4, I didn’t look good a few times and injured myself again. Then I got a lot of negative comments from Arsenal fans on Instagram and Twitter, and articles were written in which I was harshly criticised.
“I’m self critical enough to realise that I made those mistakes. I can also deal with harsh criticism. But the criticism has escalated and become irrational. I have become a target. At some point people even blamed me for a defeat in which I hadn’t played at all.”
A low point for Mustafi was an article in the national press that reported that the defender had parked his Ferrari in front of a pub on a matchday, blocking the way for supporters to enter.
Click to play
Tap to play
Asked about the article, he said: “That was the climax of this madness.
“I wasn’t in the squad, but I wanted to see the game. On the way to the stadium I stopped briefly and asked a steward if I could drive through. He said, ‘wait a minute’ and then let me through. That must be exactly where the photo was taken.
Stay up to date with all the latestArsenal newsfrom James Benge and the team atfootball.londonacross our social media channels.
Facebook: You can follow ourArsenal page here
Instagram: Follow ourArsenal page here
WhatsApp:Click hereto enroll or text NEWS to 07557204612 and then add the number to your phone contacts book as arsenal dot london (case sensitive, with spaces) to receive daily updates and breaking news on Arsenal.
Your phone number won’t be shared with any other members of the group.Click here for more information on the service.
“But of course I didn’t actively block the way to the pub.”
Mustafi added: “Football has become more inhuman.
“Social media has also contributed to this, because anyone can express themselves without a clear name. People can dump their frustrations directly on us.”