Arsenal finished their pre-season with a disappointing defeat to Barcelona in the Joan Gamper Trophy on Sunday. The Gunners had taken the lead in the 30thminute after a sweeping move involving two of their highest paid stars.
German ace Mesut Ozil sent a sweeping pass to Gabon forward Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang who finished aplomb from a long range. Arsenal had the better exchanges in the first half and appeared to have contained their hosts.
However the second half revealed one trait of Arsenal that manager Unai Emery has found difficult to change. Barcelona were handed the equalizer after a horrible mix up between Ansley Maitland-Niles and Bernd Leno who allowed a simple back pass to get through.
Barcelona completed the comeback in the 90thminute after Luis Suarez made it 2-1 with a crisp finish. After the game, Arsenal fans lamented the familiar failings of the club to keep opposition out with a number of players blamed for the defeat.
Maitland-Niles was blamed for the equalizer with a group of fans claiming that the player offers nothing for the club in attack and is susceptible to defensive mistakes. Maitalnd-Niles has been deputizing in the right-back position for a while and the blame is partly on Arsenal’s inability to sign a specialist right back.
German defender Mustafi was the subject of ridicule for the winning goal after letting Luis Suarez out of his sight. Mustafi has been linked with a move from the club and if Sundays performance was a gauge, he appears to have lost the ability to play at the highest level.
Here’s what some Arsenal fans have been saying about Mustafa’s performance vs Barcelona despite coming on as a substitute.
There was a time I thought improved structure will lead to Mustafi realizing his potential. But he is simply incapable of sensing danger. Watch some of the goals we concede last season, its those long balls in behind. Continually gets caught out. Oh, and its just not him.
— LTArsenal™ (@ltarsenal) August 5, 2019
It’s no coincidence ffs. I love emery but if he keeps using mustafi then I’m saying emeryout pic.twitter.com/KHNv7Wp1vB
— 👑 (@King_Pepe19) August 4, 2019
87th minute: Barcelona 1-1 Arsenal
88th minute: Mustafi subbed on
89th minute: Barcelona 2-1 Arsenal pic.twitter.com/5xoVo2seM9
— Aaron (@Azzinator1998) August 4, 2019
Arsenal suffering late defeat in Barcelona shouldn’t disguise the fact Calum Chambers been very good in pre-season. Deserves a chance IMO. The problems tend to occur whenever Mustafi is remotely close to the pitch.
— John Cross (@johncrossmirror) August 4, 2019
He's done it again
He's done it again
He's done it again pic.twitter.com/kXsXWvhAOu
— Kemba Walker stan account (@liquidateAFCnow) August 4, 2019