Winger and Armenian national team captain Henrikh Mkhitaryan has offered an explanation as to why he didn’t truly find success at Manchester United. Mkhitaryan was one of the first players transferred to United in the Jose Mourinho era, following a very successful stay at Borussia Dortmund.
However, the Mkhitaryan experience at Old Trafford was one of ups and downs, with the forward going through an adjustment period in the beginning, eventually finding his place, only to later lose it. Since Mkhitaryan moved from United to Arsenal in the January transfer window, part of the Alexis Sanchez swap deal, he’s hit out at Mourinho a couple of times, calling out the Portugese’s style of play as too defensive for him.
Mkhitaryan has said it twice now- that Arsenal play more attacking football and that suits him, while United were too pragmatic for his talents and abilities. Now he’s brought it up again, but this time he softened his stance quite a bit. Mkhitaryan struck a more diplomatic tone when asked why he couldn’t fit in perfectly at Old Trafford.
“Everyone knows Arsenal play offensive football, and I love to play offensive football. In Manchester we were playing offensive football too but not in every game, so it was quite different,” the 29-year-old said in an interview with Sky Sports.
“I don’t want to blame anyone because every manager at every club has a different philosophy. Maybe I couldn’t fit perfectly in the Manchester football.”
“I always loved the way that Arsenal played and the way that Arsène Wenger has managed the team. There have been a lot of young players, he’s managed them and they’ve done very well.”
Mkhitaryan also articulated one of the main reasons that he developed an affinity for Arsenal, and it happens to be be the club legend who may end up succeeding Arsene Wenger some day.
“Of course I was in love with the game of Thierry Henry. I loved the way he played – and maybe that was the reason to support Arsenal.”
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and the Tribune company’s blogging community Chicago Now.
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