After more than 100,000 votes were cast, Spanish publication Marca named the eleven players voted the worst performers for the year, with two Arsenal stars having been included:
MARCA: The Worst XI after almost 100,000 votes pic.twitter.com/NFqrYyGbI2
— M•A•J (@Ultra_Suristic) September 24, 2019
Shkodran Mustafi and Stephan Lichtsteiner (who was let go in the summer) both made it in, and neither of them are really a surprise inclusion considering how poorly they performed for the Gunners.
Lichtsteiner’s signing on a free transfer from Juventus was always a punt. At 34 years of age, the Swiss international was already well past his prime and he looked well off the pace needed for the Premier League.
He was certainly an experienced defender, and always fronted up to the cameras, even if his individual performance weren’t at all impressive. He started the infamous 5-1 defeat to Liverpool last December and put in a display that BBC pundit Alan Shearer called at the time as “comically bad.”
Lichtsteiner only started five more league games following that match, after being a regular fixture in the squad before that humbling defeat. He has since gone on to play for Augsburg in Germany, starting four of their first six games in the Bundesliga this season.
Whiles the Swiss defender may have departed, Shkodran Mustafi is very much still part of the Gunners’ setup. Despite being told he could leave by manager Unai Emery in the summer, no team were willing to match the London club’s asking price for the German.
The 27-year-old has not featured in a matchday squad for a league game this campaign but he has started in both of Arsenal’s cup fixtures. Ironically, the centre-back has helped to keep clean sheets in both the win against Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League and the victory over Nottingham Forest in the Carabao Cup.
The problem with Mustafi is that he is not necessarily a bad defender, but he makes awful decisions. Ther German international can’t be relied upon to go through 90 minutes without making a calamitous error or making a rash challenge.
Many supporters will be hoping to have seen the last of Mustafi as a regular first-team player at the Emirates but, with the Gunners’ defence looking as porous as ever in recent weeks, there could still be a way back for him.
Rob Holding’s return to fitness will likely prevent that from happening, though, and a lot of fans will be hoping he is offloaded in January.