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10th Feb 2018

Some Man United fans’ criticism of Henrikh Mkhitaryan is a bit rich

He played poorly, but some of the criticism was peculiar

Robert Redmond

Some Manchester United fans seemed to take pleasure from Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s poor performance in the north London derby on Saturday afternoon.

Mkhitaryan struggled during Arsenal’s 1-0 loss to Tottenham, and made no impact on the match, like all of his teammates. Harry Kane got the only goal at Wembley, but Spurs could have scored three or four. Arsenal had a late chance when Alexandre Lacazette was through on goal, but the substitute pulled his shot wide. In truth, even Arsene Wenger would admit his team deserved nothing from the game.

Arsenal are now seven points behind Spurs, and appear unlikely to finish in the top four this season. However, the main talking point, for some United supporters on social media anyway, was the performance of Mkhitaryan.

The Armenian played poorly. Football statistics website Who Scored awarded him a rating of 6.3 out of 10, only Mohamed Elneny, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Laurent Koscielny received lower ratings. He lost the ball, was poor in possession and ballooned a cross in the first-half. Mkhitaryan really struggled, there’s no denying it, and Arsenal fans will have expected more after he set up three goals against Everton last week.

However, criticism of the player from some United fans was peculiar. United supporters would have recognised Arsenal’s insipid display, as Jose Mourinho’s team didn’t get a kick against Spurs at Wembley either, and their new forward – Alexis Sanchez – was anonymous in the match. So, they were in a privileged position to comment on Mkhitaryan’s performance.

Apparently Mkhitaryan is “soft.” A player from Armenia, who overcame the death of his father from cancer, escaped childhood poverty, speaks seven languages, was the best player in Germany and Ukraine, and reached the highest level of his sport is too “soft” to play in England.

Mkhitaryan, unlike renowned tough guy Jesse Lingard, is just too damn soft to be a top player. He’s also clearly a weakling for preferring to play for Wenger over Jose Mourinho.

Mkhitaryan was also a “no show” in an important match.

In completely unrelated news, Mourinho’s record as United manager against the top six in the Premier League, in the important matches, is six points won from a possible 27.

But what about Mkhitaryan, eh? Well, that guy really needs to pull the finger out. How does he ever expect to win trophies if he can’t win the biggest matches?

He’s clearly a flat-track bully, unlike, say, Romelu Lukaku. Now there’s a player who has never gone missing in a big game.

Also, Mkhitaryan is at fault for Arsenal’s inconsistency, because, before he arrived at the Emirates, Arsenal were a reliable team, who never followed a big win with a poor performance.

Luckily for some United fans, the club got rid of Mkhitaryan.

They can now focus on their free-flowing team, full of hard men like Lingard and big game players like Lukaku, with a manager who wins matches against direct rivals.

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