Arsenal playmaker Henrikh Mkhitaryan enjoys life in North London far more than under Jose Mourinho at Manchester United
PUBLISHED: 19:10 26 July 2018 | UPDATED: 19:19 26 July 2018
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Henrikh Mkhitaryan has revealed he has been ‘enjoying’ his time at Arsenal far more than when he was at Manchester United under Jose Mourinho.
The 29-year-old Armenian playmaker has admitted he likes the style of football Arsenal play far more than the rigid tactics imposed Mourinho at Old Trafford.
The Gunners creative talent fell foul of the Portuguese coach while with the Red Devils, only starting one Premier League game after the defeat by Chelsea in early November last year.
As a result the frustrated former Borussia Dortmund attacker was happy to leave Manchester behind and sign for the North London giants in a swap deal with wantaway Alexis Sanchez heading to United during the January transfer window.
Mkhitaryan conceded he was shocked at how his quickly his Old Trafford career nosedived last winter after starting the first eight matches of the 2017-18 season in which United gained 20 points.
He explained: “It was a hard moment for me but I was trying to pass that hard moment.
“Maybe something was wrong or something was not the way I wanted, but it’s life and it keeps going [but] itt’s life, you have to be ready for everything.
“Every aspect is different and I cannot compare, that’s what I’m saying. Everything is totally different being here because it’s like a new page in the book or in your life.
“Arsenal have always played offensive football. Under Jose, the team was playing a bit differently. I’m not criticising anyone, it’s just a different philosophy.
“I can just say I’m enjoying myself more here than I was in Manchester. The philosophy is different, the playing style is different, the club is different, it is not comparable to anything.”
Mkhitaryan rapidly settled in at the Emirates to become a fans’ favourite with his silky play and attacking intent allied with exceptional technical skill.
The former Dortmund forward has also been joined by two ex-colleagues at Arsenal, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at the end of the January transfer window as well as highly-rated derfender Sokratis this summer.
The Armenian did admit he was stunned at Arsene Wenger’s departure in the spring.
He said: “I had no idea that the manager was going to change. You know in football everything happens very quickly and you don’t know what can happen tomorrow.
“When I came to this club I felt the warmth of this team is really different, it’s like a family and everyone is taking care of you.
“It’s a shame to see Arsene Wenger leaving the club but this is football and you have to move forward.”
Despite the defeat on penalties to Atletico Madrid in Singapore on Thursday Mkhitaryan is looking forward to the forthcoming season.
The Arsenal squad have been working hard under new head coach Unai Emery at London Colney and his backroom staff in a bid to hit the ground running when they take on Premier League champions Manchester City at the Emirates on Sunday, August 12.
Speaking in Singapore, Mkhitaryan added: “Arsenal knew who they were going to sign in Unai Emery. They knew he was going to play offensive football so that’s why they signed him.
“It will be easier. Why?
“Because I am starting the season with this team.
“With the new manager you understand more of what he is asking of you and the new playing style he wants to bring to Arsenal.
“It’s going to be a good season for me and the club.”
Follow Arsenal reporter Layth on Twitter @laythy29.