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02nd Oct 2016

Theo Walcott puts his finger on how Shkodran Mustafi has changed Arsenal

Have the Gunners finally found what they’ve been missing for years?

Rob Burnett

We all know the narrative about Arsenal by now – heaven knows Graeme Souness has told us often enough.

Ever since the big characters like Tony Adams, Martin Keown, Patrick Vieira, Jens Lehman and co left the club, they have been a side packed with talent – but lacking the strong-willed talkers on the pitch who can cajole the best performances out of the team in tough moments.

A team full of Mozarts, but no Bravehearts to get them going.

It’s Souness’s pet theory (tune into Sky for any Arsenal game he is covering), but plenty of people have levelled the charge at the Gunners.

But have they now found the answer to this lack of mental toughness?

These quotes from Theo Walcott suggest they might just have done so.

The England forward says German international Shkodran Mustafi, who joined the club in the summer, isn’t afraid to call people out for making mistakes:

Arsene Wenger has made the same point about his new defender.

“Koscielny is the leader because he is captain, but Mustafi looks like he is taking leadership as well at the back,” he told The Sun.

“What is surprising is how quickly he has integrated into the team at the back and how quickly they have formed a pair that works well together.

“Mustafi is a player who is highly focused. On that front he is a typical German — he wants to do the job well every day and he speaks his mind. He is vocal in the dressing room. He is not a quiet guy who hides. He gives his opinion and communicates a lot.

“When you isolate the pictures of the game and look at that he speaks a lot during the game.”

Can Mustafi’s influence push Arsenal on towards the Premier League title they crave so much? Only time will tell…

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