Should Mhkitaryan be getting more sympathy from Arsenal fans?

Arsenal keep maintaining how unfair it is that Mkhitaryan will not be travelling to the Europa League Final, while UEFA insist his safety has been assured. Clearly the player and his family don’t believe in such assurances. While his club and the governing bodies’ PR department say the right things, as one of Armenians most profile sports people, he knows more then anyone if setting foot in Azerbaijan is dangerous or not. A professional athlete is not going to turn his back on a Final unless there is a very good reason.

Due to numerous issues, Arsenal and Chelsea have spent the last two weeks expressing their concerns about the location of next weeks fixture, yet all sides have known since September 2018 that Baku was hosting the event.
While some may have seen it as presumptuous, the two Londoners were favorites to win the competition way back in July. Could they not have waited sooner than after the semi finals to start questioning the decisions being made?
Arsenal knew gradually each round that there was going to be an issue based on their midfielder being from a country at conflict with the nation hosting the final.

While Stan Kroenke was never going to put the well-being of one of his employees before the chance to win Champions League money, if we truly cared about the player we could have put some pressure on months ago. Ask UEFA back in the summer, what are we meant to do if we get to the final? Instead of it being a problem you’re left with a couple of weeks to sort it out. Imagine the world wide pressure we could have put on UEFA if 6 months ago we threatened to boycott the tournament? Would sponsors like one of the most famous names in the whole event, pulling out for moral reasons?

Remember we pride ourselves as a club on doing things the right way. Yet in truth all we have done to support one of our own is to pay the situation lip service. I have listened to some gooners who, while accepting it’s wrong on a human level, feel it won’t affect us on the pitch, like that is all that matters to them. While I believe it will hurt Unai Emery to be minus an attacking option, this shouldn’t be a footballing debate. Someone is being prevented doing something he loves to do based on where he was born. What if half our squad were born in the same place?
This will also be one of the cities involved in the next Euros. Good job Armenia most likely won’t qualify. What if it was a Gabon native not allowed entry? I bet then gooners would want Arsenal to fight this harder?

What if Ozil felt it wasn’t safe to fly to Germany. Would that make more news because the player is more marketable? Because Germany is a bigger footballing nation would there be more pressure from the media for UEFA to only award places bidding rights if they can assure equal opportunities?

Whether you think he’s good enough or not. If you think he’s too inconsistent or not, should have nothing to do with the issue. Those who have that stance, I question if they understand what’s important. They should also look up the definition of supporter. Anyone who puts on the red and white crest we should back. At the moment one of our own is going through a horrible situation that he can’t control. He deserves our sympathy as much as if this were Lacazette. Our level of loyalty should not be measured on goals and assists.

3 years ago, Mkhitaryan scored in this European final for Man United against Ajax. Rightfully it was one of the proudest moments of his career. This time he won’t be allowed to match it or write his name into our proud history. All based on where he was born and political tensions he can’t impact.

For a player to miss a final in 2019 because of his origin taints this final, whoever wins it.

Dan Smith


  1. Poor Mkhitaryan never got his chance to play regularly as a CAM and now there is this conflict. I hope Iwobi and him can play centrally next season

    But let’s look at the positive side. Emery would be forced to select Ozil and I believe Ozil would not want to disappoint his Azerbaijani fans in Baku

    If we can get the locals to prefer us than Chelsea, their cheers and boos might be able to influence the officials. I just hope Ozil would click with Aubameyang and Lacazette in the final

    1. Iwobi has had enough chances. His decision making is poor and that’s crucial for the midfield position. Absolutely no way I’d give him a chance in the midfield. Add to that his meager tally of goals and it’s a waste of a chance and keeping out better players. I’d rather see AMN or Willock in the middle, or a new player on a transfer.

      Best thing for Iwobi is a loan to a midtable PL club where he can get a consistent run of games to show what he can do. If he can’t make an impact that way, then its time for him to move on and try with another club.

      I’d rather have Saka or Nelson given the backup role on the wings, and we have Ozil and Mhki in the middle who don’t seem to be leaving anytime soon.

      1. Emery can give Iwobi chances to play as a CAM in five consecutive matches, maybe the cup matches instead of EPL. If it doesn’t work, he can always re-assign Ozil or Mkhitaryan there

        Surely Iwobi would not do worse than Ozil, that has been playing badly and only made two assists, despite playing centrally in this season. Ozil could not even assist Aubameyang and Lacazette in EPL games

        Arsenal must give their own graduates more chances to play in their natural positions, because aging players like Ozil/ Mkhitaryan would eventually leave and we need younger players to take over. If possible, players that have been playing with Arsenal system for more than ten years, like Iwobi

        1. Ozil was not given a chance this season ,emery should have gotten more out of him ,the blames lies with Emery .
          As for Iwobi if you think him playing as a cam will help Arsenal then I’m sorry but I’m lost for words .he should be sold and replaced as our 1st priority this season ,but knowing Arsenal’s ambition he will be here for the next 5 years doing what he does best ,absolutely naff all

          1. But what you fail to mention about Iwobi is the point made by TH-14.With the proper coaching Iwobi would have been a better player than Bergkamp.Thats the problem with all you Ozil lovers/girls.You just do not appreciate World Class talent when it is staring you in the face.
            Was Bergkamp able to flap those arms and head of on those dazzling runs down continual blind alleys?I never saw him do that once.
            Can you ever recall DB10 having time,space and the opportunity to pick out a teammate with a simple pass that even Stevie Wonder could see and then consistently F**k it up?I can’t
            Or how about his shooting?Iwobi has consistently hit the proverbial barn door when easier to score but Bergkamo never could.
            Stop your persistent criticising of our telly tubby maestro.You will miss him when he is gone(To Orient)

            1. You always tend to forget that Iwobi is a CAM doing a job on the wings because we are lacking there. As a CAM he blossomed in the Academy and graduated to the senior team without needing to go out on loan. He has showed maturity and improvements despite playing out of position for 1 full season.

              I know for sure when we get proper wingers next season Iwobi will have the chance to finally make the number 10 role his with his Nigerian flair and dazzling footwork… Oh I can’t wait ?

              1. Iwobi only made it as a footballer because of his uncle ,he got lucky .
                The day we rely on iwobi as a CAM is the day we will be fighting mid division .
                Problem is Emery seems to like him ,so I can’t see emery sticking around as our manager for to long if this keeps happening .
                He won’t start Wednesday but I’m sure he’ll come on and do his usual amazing stuff .?

                1. Cesc WAS a CAM.He was SO GOOD at 18 years old Wenger sold Patrick Viera So Fabregas was not held back.THAT IS THE SIGN OF A TALENT COMING THROUGH THE RANKS.
                  So you feel Iwobi will take the place of who exactly next season with his Nigerian flair ( he can’t even get a regular game with that third tier national side) and dazzling footwork ( that he keeps tripping over).
                  We have by far and away the worst midfield we have had at the Club in many many years.And Iwobi is now on the bench because Emery will not play him even with all our injuries.Thats how highly rated he is by his own manager.
                  And some idiot feels he was better than Bergkamp with the right coaching.Never did explain that one did you PAL

                  1. The same Wenger let Gnabry go for a player like Walcott .We no longer give youngsters chances .
                    Go look up Vinicius Jr stats in Madrid and you will laugh but people applaud him for running like a headless chicken and making bad decisions like someone familiar .
                    We keep mentioning Nelson who couldn’t break into the Hoffenheim team. i can imagine Ozil played in that position.
                    I watched Iwobi in the youth setup and i can honestly tell you he deserved a call to the senior squad maybe not to be a starter but definitely a squad player ,what i can tell you is both Iwobi and Miki have played far better this season than Ozil so please stop this whole bias approach and Phil please get around a bit Nigerian footballing side isn’t a third their side . Our while academy is filled with Nigerian players or players of Nigerian decent and that’s not just in Arsenal . Believe it or not they have more medals than the English side but on Youth and Senior level with exception of the world cup won by England .

                2. I remember JJ Okocha who do a spectacular player was also frustrating but was instrumental for his nation .It was when he moved to England he improved most of his decision making something Iwobi needs to learn to do ,
                  This lad is 22 i really dont know why he gets this much stick from his own fans , He was played by Wenger and is being played by Emery this are top class coaches .Can some of the fans here claim to know football better than these men .

                    1. but you agree he has been better than the lot of Xhaka , Mustafi, Ozil ,Lich this season at least . he is a professional footballer and he needs the support of his fans not the other way around . Lingard was shit this season but why wasn’t he insulted .Just out of curiosity can you name 3 player under the age of 22 from their respective club academies who had more than 7 assists and
                      3 goals in the premiership alone playing in a similar position this season

                    1. Gizzle-With such a polite reply how could I not answer your questions.
                      Firstly-I LOVE GREAT FOOTBALLERS.By this I mean talented players.Tony Adams is on record as saying the best footballer at the Club in the 2001-2002 Double Winning Season was Robert Pires.Note the word “FOOTBALLER”.This was a squad packed with supremely gifted and talented players.And yet TA chose to pick out Pires over DB10 ( my favourite player of all time),Henry,Viera Campbell etc etc etc.There are plenty of old ‘uns on here that understand what TA was saying.So you get my way of thinking and thought hopefully.I just love talented footballers.Alex Iwobi has ZERO talent.He has had far too many chances to impress and rarely does (never actually).And yes his stats cannot be argued against if that is correct.So he had 7 assists which likely should have been 107 if he only had a football brain but he doesn’t.The countless times this brainless zombie of a player took the wrong option when opportunities opened up for him.He is a plodder.A journeyman.At 23 his best days are over (well more like best 5 minutes and I most likely still in the bar) because I certainly missed it.As for his goal tally.The one he scored away at Huddersfield was a volley with his best (sic) foot from the edge of the area that would not even have gone out for a goal kick if it hadn’t deflected off a defender.It was so bad it would have been a throw in.But he can have the goal.He needs them from somewhere.
                      As for 22year olds and their goals and assists?You are among the wrong person.I don’t really do stats of other teams and their players but I will have a guess and tell me if I’m wrong on the totals and ages
                      Brooke’s Bournemouth
                      Maddison Leicester
                      Gray Watford
                      Trent Alexandra Liverpool
                      Rashford Man Utd
                      Winks Scum
                      Callum what’s his name Chelsea
                      Ward Prowse Southampton

                      If I wasn’t in the Clubhouse waiting to tee off at 8.45 I would spend more time on this but it makes your argument pretty embarrassing don’t you believe?
                      As for Nigeria national team? I honestly do not follow international football and most especially England (especially at the moment with all those bin-lids in the side) and have not done since England-appointed Terry Venebles As Manager In 1994.Another Spurs link so that was it.When Hoddle followed him that was definately it.
                      So I hope you can see my view.Compare Iwobivto all those other young players I noted and tell me you would rather have the Nigerian Messi in our sidecover anyvone of them?Thought not.

                3. I remember JJ Okocha who though being a spectacular player was also frustrating but was instrumental for his nation .It was when he moved to England he improved most of his decision making something Iwobi needs to learn to do ,
                  This lad is 22 i really dont know why he gets this much stick from his own fans , He was played by Wenger and is being played by Emery this are top class coaches .Can some of the fans here claim to know football better than these men .

                  1. Why are we spending so much time talking about a very average player (Iwobi) who has had a number of years to make his mark and hasn’t. In fact he has gone backwards over the past two years. Has anyone noticed any big team making a bid for him? I thought so!!!

          2. I don’t disagree with you on Iwobi’s quality, but he can also improve with time. My problem with you is why you set the standard so low for World class Ozil but for young Iwobi you have a different standard, which is higher than that of Ozil. For you Ozil is always our best player even by just passing the ball around without doing anything special as an AM. But for Iwobi even when he is the main creator of chances in a match is still our worst player. Are you not wonderful?

          3. Oh please how can people still make excuses for Ozil . He played more than 20 games this season and what did he do , Iwobi is not great but I have never seen other fans shoot down their graduates like the way arsenal fans do , How good is Lingard or Rashford .
            Xhaka ,Mustafi ,Elneny ,Lich had worse games than Iwobi why are they not crucified . This rubbish has to end either encourage a player to do better or simply support another club

            1. Personally, I think Xhaka and Mustafi get more stick than your favourite player and Ozil definitely does. That’s what supporters do and always will, it’s called giving an opinion. There are some who make excuses for Ozil as you are doing for Iwobi, that’s how it works.

  2. I’m sure Mhki had is own and other Arsenal players safety
    in mind .
    Lets bring this trophy home.
    Lest we forget two trophies are up for grabs. Europa leaque and UEFA super cup in which the winner of champ leaue plays winner of europa

  3. I would have lamented if it were to be any of Auba and Lacca. They combine to give us advantage over Chelsea.

  4. It sucks. Shouldn’t have been held in Baku in the first place. Few planes going in there, few tickets for the finalists fans, Azerbaijan has an appalling human rights record

    Ozil Will need to perform well because we won’t be able to sub him with Mkhitaryan. Only Iwobi

  5. I feel sorry for him, because I imagine he’s under pressure not to play there from his own government. Let’s not forget, that he’s Armenia’s biggest sports star, so it’s a very big deal.

    UEFA are ultimately to blame for this mess, and no one else. I now make Chelsea slight favourites, given our bench will look a lot weaker now from an attacking perspective.

    1. I agree, our bench will be pretty weak! UEFA certainly have put a dampener on our first final, for 13 years – thanks a lot!

      We beat LASK Linz 6-0 yesterday. . but don’t know who played or scored

      1. Not a lot of info at present Sue but Welbz definitely played which seems odd when it’s been announced he’s leaving, but perhaps he’ll be on the bench.

        1. Thanks Declan… well looks like he might play a part on Wednesday then!
          Be nice… Dat guy Welbz for one last time!

    2. Can also blame Ivan who was on the committee that picked Baku as the hosts ,I’m sure he lined his pockets abit more with that decision aswell

  6. bayern have bid £70m for sane ,imagine a player city bought for 37m .
    i dont think we have 40m player now
    look what we’ve become, we let players we could sell 50 -60m (sanchez, ramsey)run down their contracts only for them to go free.

  7. Arjen Robben us free.
    Let’s take him on a one year contract and let him play left wing fir us.
    Imagine a line up with iwobi rw, auba St, arjen Robben lw, laccazette in d hole.(10).
    Belik as cb pairing with koz & sokratis

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