Shkodran Mustafi has admitted Unai Emery’s decision to play a back-three was partly to blame for Arsenal’s failure to beat Vitoria Guimares on Wednesday.
The German scored his first goal of the season with a neat header, but the Gunners could not hold on to maintain their 100% record in this season’s Europa League.
It was another below-par performance from Emery’s side who were much changed from the team that drew with Wolves last weekend.
Emery opted to tighten things up with Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Rob Holding alongside Mustafi in an unfamiliar system.
The World Cup winner, who appeared to grab the winner in the 80th minutes said he felt Arsenal struggled to find “rhythm” as a result of the system deployed.
Mustafi told BT Sport after the game: “We played with a back three, a system for a long time we didn’t play. So we needed our time a little bit to get the rhythm in.
“In the first half we didn’t do as we wanted. I think we came out better in the second half, had better rhythm, better passing.
“We need to stay calm. Everyone wants to show and give everything, sometimes when you are over-motivated it’s difficult to deal with that.
“But I think at the end of the day we need to stay calm, play our football, believe in ourselves and then in the final third try and do it a little bit more intelligently with more accuracy with our last pass.”