Shkodran Mustafi was Arsenal’s man-of-the-match against Newcastle according to WhoScored, as ridiculous as that might sound to anyone who watched the game.
The stat-based website gave Mustafi a rating of 7.9, higher than anyone else on the team. Even above Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on 7.5, who was one of few players to come out of the match deserving of some credit for his efforts.
It just goes to show how one or two incidents can heavily affect the outcome of a statistical analysis of a match. His last-man tackle when Arsenal had already lost the game, plus winning a large number of aerial duels, was enough to secure a top rating.
Whilst other key moments clearly didn’t factor into the final score. For example, Mustafi’s decision to dive in and completely miss the ball under almost no pressure, leading to a dangerous Newcastle attack.
I call this one “Mustafi: a study in disciplined defending.” pic.twitter.com/eM2U1NNfcb
— YankeeGunner (@YankeeGunner) April 15, 2018
Then there was the fact he made the same mistake for the second time in a week, not paying any attention to players making runs around him.
Mustafi last week vs Long.
Mustafi this week vs Perez.
— Gunners.com (@Gunnersc0m) April 15, 2018
One of those moments cost Arsenal their lead, the other could easily have ended up in a goal on another day.
What’s more, these are mistakes we’ve seen repeatedly from Mustafi, not just one-off errors. You can’t gloss over them because the player wins a high percentage of his aerials.