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Arsenal defender Mustafi laughs off 'irrational' criticism: I'm mentally strong

Shkodran Mustafi has laughed off a poll naming his as the world's second worst defender.

The Arsenal stopper finished behind Manchester United's Phil Jones in a survey conducted by Spanish newspaper Marca, who asked 150,000 people who was the world's worst defender.

But Mustafi says he isn't bothered by the poll results.

"In the first two years after my move to Arsenal in 2016, things went very well for me," Mustafi told German outlet Speigel.

"But shortly after Christmas 2018 there was a kink. I've made a few mistakes and they've created a mess that I've never experienced before."

Mustafi added: "There were days when I really doubted something about myself. But at some point I realised that I am mentally strong.

"Something my wife said helped me a lot: 'If you were really as bad as people are making you out, you would never have been a World Champion and Arsenal player, something must have brought you here'. Since then I can handle it better.

"I'm self-critical enough to realise that I made mistakes. I can also deal with tough criticism.

"But the criticism has become escalated and irrational. I have become a target. At some point, people even blamed me for a defeat I had not played in at all."

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Freddie Taylor

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