Thursday 23 February 2017

Mustafi: New nous puts Gunners on glory trail

Nick Purewal

Mustafi hailed Champions League hat-trick hero Mesut Ozil as a constant danger in front of goal. Photo: PA
Mustafi hailed Champions League hat-trick hero Mesut Ozil as a constant danger in front of goal. Photo: PA

Shkodran Mustafi believes Arsenal are developing the adaptability required to chase major honours this season.

The Germany defender hailed the Gunners' tactical nous during an 11-match unbeaten stretch that hit new heights in Wednesday's 6-0 thrashing of Ludogorets.

Mustafi hailed Champions League hat-trick hero Mesut Ozil as a constant danger in front of goal, and tipped Arsene Wenger's men to keep refining their tactical nous - they host Middlesbrough tomorrow seeking a seventh consecutive Premier League win.

The former Valencia star believes Arsenal now have the tools to switch their approach if their preferred method stalls.

"It's about having identity, and we are doing very well reading the game," said Mustafi. "Sometimes it's important to go and win the ball in the final third but sometimes it's about staying back, being compact and trying to win the ball in the middle of the pitch.

"That's what makes big teams win titles, reading the game well. So it's not only about us simply playing our game.

"Sometimes if you see that it doesn't work you have to change it and you have to be able to change your style of play."

Mustafi hailed Ozil's finishing talents as among the best on show at Arsenal, backing his Germany team-mate to extend his scoring feats.

"We all know he has qualities and can make things happen in the final third," said Mustafi.

"He has that quality on the ball, he sees runners. He is a quality player and he has all the qualities to score.

"If you find him in the final third with a ball on his left foot there's always danger."

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