Arsenal boss Unai Emery handed Armenian midfielderHenrikh Mkhitaryan a fantastic opportunity to impress for the Gunners against Liverpool. It didn’t exactly work, but it kind of did, football writer Josh Sippie says in a new article.
"Mkhitaryan has been a man out of sorts this season. For as much criticism as Mesut Ozil has taken, Mkhitaryan deserves twice that. He has been the weak link in this Arsenal attack by far, and Unai Emery is not the kind of manager who is going to hand out chance after chance just for the fun of it," the author says.
"That said, he did hand out one hell of a chance against Liverpool. In a move that I half-way predicted, he opted for Mkhitaryan to face Liverpool from the off, rather than Alex Iwobi, likely because of the experience factor, and the lack of trust in Iwobi after his complete collapse against Crystal Palace.
"Mkhitaryan did not start well against Liverpool but he did settle into some decent form as the match went on. By the time he was removed, I felt a tug of remorse, only because he did look threatening at times.
"Which was a big time reminder that I think we all need to revisit from time to time, given the state that Mkhitaryan has been in this year."
According to the article, the Armenia international is better than what he has been playing: "He was one of the best creators in the world at one point, and that doesn’t just leave a guy. While he has been incredibly poor this year, seeing that little bit of positivity against Liverpool, enough positivity to convince Emery to let the Armenian stay on for another fifteen, twenty minutes, rather than be taken off at half, was enough of a reminder that buried inside this poor form is a fantastic player."