Henrikh Mkhitaryan has explained the difference between Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger having experienced both manager’s training technique.
According to Miki, Mourinho works players far harder, which the 29-year-old found difficult to deal with. Whereas Wenger is more gentle in his man-management style.
“Mourinho required a lot from the players,” Mkhitaryan told SFR Sport. “A lot, he was very hard.
“Arsene Wenger is friendlier, he understands, can think about players’ situations, is calmer. That’s the difference.”
It’s no secret that Wenger is soft when it comes to his players. The Frenchman’s often accused of being too kind.
Mourinho, obviously, has never faced the same criticism. The Manchester United boss expects a lot from his players and when he doesn’t get the desired reaction from them, he will publicly tear into them until they do or bench them.
“I was not happy with his last performances,” Mourinho said in November 2017, reported the Telegraph. “I’m not speaking about one or two, I’m speaking about three, four or five.
“He started the season very well and after that step by step he was disappearing. His performance levels in terms of goal scoring and assists, high pressing, recovering the ball high up the pitch, bringing the team with him as a No 10, were decreasing step by step. That was enough [to drop him] because the others worked to have a chance.”
Mourinho’s technique works for some; Wenger’s works for others.
Players like Miki, who seem sensitive when it comes to criticism, struggle to develop under Mourinho. Tough love isn’t for everyone.
When the Armenian first signed for United from Dortmund in 2016, Mourinho instantly expected him to take part in the defensive work in order to fit in with the Portuguese coach’s style of play.
Miki wasn’t used to this and couldn’t quite find his rhythm, at least not consistently.
He was then benched and his confidence hit rock bottom.
With a manager like Wenger in charge of him, hopefully the playmaker can work on this and return to his best, although after his performance against Spurs, I wouldn’t bank on it.