Mustafi: Arsenal fan criticism can be 'frustrating'

Arsenal defender Shkodran Mustafi has said that he disagrees with much of the social media criticism aimed at him by the club's fans.

Mustafi, who has made just 10 appearances in all competitions this season, has received online abuse from Arsenal fans blaming him for the club's poor defensive record.

"It's difficult to handle when things are going well and then when things are not working out it's even tougher," Mustafi said in an interview with the club's website.

"When things are going well, it's easy to read those comments. Then when things aren't going well, obviously you don't like the stuff you read. You don't agree with a lot of comments, so it makes it difficult.

"It's so much easier when things are going well because when you're reading comments you don't like, you have to go out and play and you've got those comments in your head.

"I managed to try to block it out a little bit. I was not that active on social media and wasn't reading comments, I wasn't too concerned about social media, I just wanted to go back on the pitch.

"It was difficult sometimes to understand because even in a few bad games where I wasn't involved, I was the one to blame.

"It gets a little bit frustrating to read those comments but at the end of the day, you have to be professional and I tried to be as professional as I can. Sometimes you read comments and you really disagree, and you want to say something but then you just leave it because you want to stay professional.

- ESPN Premier League fantasy: Sign up now!
- VAR in the Premier League: Ultimate guide
- Premier League winter break: All you need to know

Earlier this season, the 27-year-old said that he had become a "target" for criticism at the Emirates.

Mustafi signed for Arsenal from Valencia in 2016, two years after winning the 2014 World Cup with Germany.

Teammate Granit Xhaka has previously spoken out against social media criticism from the club's fans.

Xhaka was stripped of the club's captaincy after reacting to in-stadium jeering the club's fans, following months of online criticism.