Date: 5th April 2017 at 11:58am
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Shkodran Mustafi has admitted that modern day football means players have to develop a thick skin and remember part of their job is to remain professional when criticism comes their way.

With Arsenal’s struggles for form and results of late, criticism at Arsenal hasn’t exactly been quiet and these days of course with fans and players having access to social media it certainly ramps things up compared to a few decades back where fans just expressed their anger in the local.

Speaking to the Official Site with some positives from the two all draw with Manchester City at the weekend and now tonight’s clash against West Ham United, Mustafi admitted the game had changed when it came to the prevalence of criticism and having not seen a defeat in his first 22 games but now having lost six of his next nine, he admits it takes an adjustment.

‘It is difficult, but we are professionals. We are not only paid for playing football but to be professional as well. It`s part of our job to have a little bit thicker skin. But in the days that we live in now, it is difficult because you see it everywhere, on TV, then you have social media where you see a lot of things.’

The German international went on to say.

‘Sometimes you don`t want to see it, even when you want to just text with friends or look at pictures that your family posted or whatever. You get to see pictures that maybe you don`t want to see and then you read them and it might give you a bit of thinking that you should not think about. But we`re professionals and we get paid for that as well, to be professional on that part as well, not only on the pitch. That`s we have to do – be professionals.’

With his spell at Arsenal being his first real Premier League experience despite his spell at Everton earlier in his career, he ended by explaining.

‘It`s a new challenge for me. I have been two-and-a-half years playing for Everton, but only in the reserves. So I was really looking forward to playing in the Premier League. At that time with Everton it was not enough, so I am really happy to come back and enjoy playing in the Premier League because I think it is the most competitive league in the world.’

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