Mustafi still waiting for first win since swapping Arsenal for Schalke
Former Arsenal defender Shkodran Mustafi is still waiting for his first win at Schalke after four games at the German Bundesliga side.
The Royal Blues are in a grave situation at this point in the season, as they currently sit dead last in the German top flight with just 10 points from 24 games.
That means the Gelsenkirchen side only have 10 more games to try and make up an eight point gap between themselves and Hertha Berlin in fifteenth place. And on Friday night they blew a golden opportunity to try and rectify the problem.
Mustafi misses golden opportunity against Mainz
On a cold March night at Schalke’s Veltins-Arena the Royal Blues welcomed Mainz in a game that could only be described as a classic six-pointer.
Mainz travelled to Schalke sitting in just as precarious a situation as their hosts. As poor as Schalke had been, the visitors were just as nervous in seventeenth place and knew a defeat could offer their relegation rivals the perfect encouragement to pull themselves out of their mess.
As fate would have it, Mustafi would be the man offered the opportunity to put his side in front and potentially kickstart an almighty comeback for the Royal Blues.
With 18 minutes on the clock the former Arsenal defender leaped above all others and connected with a cross to fire a header towards the Mainz goal. The header had pace and was on target but failed to land in the back of the net due to some outstanding reflexes from Robin Zentner in goals.
In a completely uneventful game it was clear that Mustafi greeted the final whistle and a drab 0-0 draw with deep frustration and regret about failing to convert arguably the only golden chance his side were afforded.
How well is the former Arsenal defender doing in Germany?
It’s impossible to gauge what kind of impact Mustafi is having on Schalke because the club itself seems to be in a constant state of flux and utter turmoil. Despite only signing for the Bundesliga side a few months ago, Mustafi is already on to his second Schalke head coach in as many months.
According to FootballCritic, the 28-year-old defender has looked like a solid performer for the Royal Blues on some occasions but has also been at fault in a few disastrous results as well.
For example, the former Arsenal defender picked up a lousy 5.8 FC Rating in his opening game against RB Leipzig after creating an error that led to one of the three goals. And he was even worse in Schalke’s 5-1 thumping at the hands of Stuttgart.
However, Mustafi was Schalke’s top performer in Friday’s clash with Mainz with a rating of 8.4 and was equally impressive in the club’s recent 0-0 draw with Union Berlin. As Arsenal fans will know all too well, the defender certainly has solid performances in him but is undoubtedly capable of the odd high-profile mistake as well.