Footballbible on Facebook and Twitter get up to date football-related news from the English Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga and other leagues around the World. News from Chelsea, Everton, Arsenal, Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool
Henrikh Mkhitaryan has taken a swipe at Unai Emery’s tactics, explaining that they hampered his ability to contribute attacking returns while playing for Arsenal.
The Armenian midfielder is currently on a season-long loan at Roma, despite only joining the Gunners from Manchester United in January 2018.
Mkhitaryan made 38 appearances under Emery last season, but the summer signings of Nicolas Pepe and Gabriel Martinelli meant a reduced chance of first team football at the Emirates for the former United and Borussia Dortmund playmaker.
The 30-year-old started well at the Serie A side, scoring on his debut against Sassuolo but only lasted four games before tearing his abductor muscle at the end of September.
Emery is under pressure after Arsenal’s 2-0 defeat at Leicester before the international break, a result which leaves the north London club eight points outside the top four.
This season, supporters have criticised Emery’s strange tactics and a perceived dull style of play, something Mkhitaryan believes is due to Emery’s tactics.
Speaking to FourFourTwo , Mkhitaryan admits the Arsenal head coach’s instructions were not conducive to free flowing attacking football and stifled his own creativity.
“He paid more attention to tactics, so my role changed,” he said.
“I was starting as a winger, but had to build play with 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 that the manager asks.”
Mkhitaryan also explained why he decided to make the loan move to Italy in September.
“I couldn’t accept that I had to sit on the bench for some matches,” said Mkhitaryan.
“I know my qualities and what I can do. I’m 30 years old now and I like to play football, not just sit on the bench and waste my time.
“Emery and [head of football] Raul Sanllehi assured me I was important for Arsenal, but I signed for Roma because they believed in me more.”