Henrikh Mkhitaryan has praised playing under Arsene Wenger even though he only got to do it for six months before the Frenchman left the club and has highlighted major differences between him and Unai Emery.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan had the footballing life sucked right out of him in England.
Then, when he finally escaped his Manchester United nightmare, he was only at Arsenal five minutes when they got rid of Wenger and brought in Unai Emery who changed the Armenian’s role to such an extent he curtailed his talent.
Speaking to Four Four Two, Mkhitaryan explained what it was like under Wenger.
“Playing under him was a pleasure,” the 30-year-old said. “To every player he said, “Just play football and enjoy it – if you’re doing something and you enjoy it, it means you’re doing it right.” I had a great six months with him at Arsenal.
“When he stepped down, it was a shock for everyone at the club, and I was the guy who came to Arsenal because Wenger wanted me. But that’s football. You must be ready for anything.”
Under Emery, it wasn’t quite the same story. “He paid more attention to tactics,” Mkhitaryan added, “so my role changed.
“I was starting as a winger, but had to build play with the No.6, the defensive midfielder. It’s why I couldn’t contribute as many goals or assists.
“I like to play more freely and move wherever there’s space, but you have to do the job the manager asks – the team winning is more important than your individual preferences.
“It was a good experience to work with him, though, because he’s the first Spanish manager in my career and Spanish football is quite technical.”
Mkhitaryan has struggled with injury problems since joining Roma on loan for the season restricting him to just six Serie A appearances (399 minutes).
In that time, however, he’s still managed two goals and an assist, including one on his recent return from injury.