The former Gunners full-back is looking for the German defender to divert attention away from his appearance and onto his on-field performances
Shkodran Mustafi needs to “have a word with himself and pipe down a little bit”, says Lee Dixon, with the Arsenal defender advised to focus more on his performances than “hair and sunglasses”.
The Germany international is considered to have enjoyed a welcome upturn in form since Mikel Arteta inherited the managerial reins at Emirates Stadium.
Having become a scapegoat for supporter angst at times, the 27-year-old appears to be enjoying his football again.
A positive attitude on the field has been reflected off it in a change of appearances for Mustafi, but Gunners great Dixon would prefer to see the World Cup winner avoid putting himself in the spotlight.
“[Mustafi] seriously needs to have a word with himself and pipe down a little bit,” Dixon told the Handbrake Off podcast.
“Bang me 25 appearances out and 15 clean sheets then he can do what he likes with his hair and his sunglasses. Just sit back down for a bit and carry on churning the results out.”
Mustafi is accustomed to being centre of attention in north London, not always for the right reasons, and Dixon says criticism comes with the territory of playing for a global heavyweight.
The former Gunners full-back added: “I’m pleased that he’s bucked up and he’s playing well, but you can’t say to the crowd ‘When he gets it, don’t say anything, don’t feel nervous’. The crowd feel what they feel.
“You’re a professional footballer playing at the top of your game for Arsenal. If it really bothers you and you’re appealing to the crowd saying ‘Please let me play my game and see how good I am’, that’s fine.
“But you can’t be sheltered from that, that’s part of being a footballer. If you can’t handle it and it gets to you, no disrespect, go and play lower down the leagues.
“Go and play for another team where there’s only 5,000 people there and they’re not going to get on your back. This is Arsenal, we’re here to do one thing and that’s win trophies.”
On the advice that he would offer Mustafi, Dixon said: “My advice to him would be put your hair back how it was, take your sunglasses off, go and hide behind your captain and churn out 25 performances.”
It could be that Arteta calls on Mustafi again when Arsenal return to action on Monday with an FA Cup fifth round clash with Portsmouth.