Report: Mkhitaryan to sit out Qarabag clash

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According to ESPN’s Arsenal correspondent Mattias Karen, Henrikh Mkhitaryan will not make the trip to face Qarabag FK in the Europa League on Thursday night.

His participation was always in doubt due to the political tensions between the midfielder’s home nation of Armenia and neighbours Azerbaijan – more on that here.

The 29 year old, who was on the bench for the 2-0 win over Watford at the weekend, would more than likely have started the game in normal circumstances, but will now remain in London and will be in contention for the Fulham game at the weekend.

Juggling his squad for this game, along with a five and half hour flight each way and a noon kick off on Sunday will provide Unai Emery with a real challenge as he looks to continue his team’s winning run.

Having lost the opening two games of the season, it’s now seven wins from seven in all competitions, and that’s a record he’ll be keen to protect.

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Shank

Take note of that………..5 hours 30 flight time.
Europe , how are ya!!!

C.B.
C.B.

Shame, want to see him playing more.

JamesKim
JamesKim

How a country that’s embroiled in such a conflict, featuring a ban on a population, is even allowed to host an elite European competition baffles me.
What happened to ‘football rises above’

49er
49er

Oil and gas money. That’s how!

allezkev
allezkev

That’s UEFA for ya, it’s all about the cash…

Donald's Trump
Donald's Trump

Lots of countries are involved in conflicts. You’d have to host it in the middle of the ocean if you want only ‘perfect’ countries to host stuff.

Mpls
Mpls

But anyone can see some are far larger security risks than others, and those should be out of contention.

GobiLux
GobiLux

You can easily distinguish between nations that have a stained history (read: all nations) but have applied democratic laws for the people today and nations that to this day to not grant the people in their nation unalienable rights!

ForeignGooner
ForeignGooner

The Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict goes back to the 1920s and, interesting to know, the British were involved as well.

KongoKim
KongoKim

Right mate, but im not suprised. Salah grinnin in the cameras at the WC with Kadyrow, still a hero. Arsenal having a “visit rwanda” print on the sleeves, nobody cares that Kagame is an dictator and an Arsenal fan(despite it might help the country, the sponsorship obv, not kagame). UEFA champions cup of nations….yeah let’s do this. monday night football sure also a blast for the traveling away fans. WC Russia. 222 million for a player to change teams. Everton also had that “Visit Azerbaidjan” slogan on their chest. Fans kept quiet for too long on so many occasions and now the ones in charge do whatever the fuck they want.
What baffles me is that still a lot of people say “football shouldn’t be poltical”(especially after the rainbow laces campaign). That’s ridicolous! Football is imminent political.
“How could this happen?”

Deo
Deo

Qarabag shouldn’t have been allowed to compete with this terrible rule. WTF UEFA?

Alex
Alex

Qarabag of s***… (sorry…, yes, I’m ashamed… truly… or… not…).

Goonerink

That’s a bit unfair on qarabag, they don’t run their government…
However uefa should not have awarded the country with the final and should have forced qarabag to play their home games away vs teams whom couldn’t bring a complete squad to baku

Crash Fistfight
Crash Fistfight

$$$$

A Different George
A Different George

Mkhitaryan would be allowed into Azerbaijan to play–UEFA (and FIFA in the matches it sponsors) does, in fact, insist on guarantees on this issue. I suspect that the inevitable hostility of the crowd towards the captain of Armenia is the reason he is being left at home–a hostility that, I think, would be significantly more menacing than the usual treatment of an away player (a Diego Costa or Troy Deeny).

Tas_Gunner
Tas_Gunner

Shame.Hope this means Nketiah gets some game time.He deserves it.

Hantal
Hantal

Based on what? We don’t see what he’s doing in training, all we’ve seen are his two goals a year ago

db10

Not his fault you don’t pay attention. He’s a great prospect, he also had a good time during our preseason tour and is going on in a good form in our U23 squad. I don’t know what else should be asked from him for now if he doesn’t get chances like Europa League or Carabao Cup

Hantal
Hantal

Hopefully he will get those chances but that’s comes from him working hard in training. Unfortunately good form with the under 23s doesn’t necessarily equate to good form for the senior side

Goonerink

It doesn’t directly translate but surely earns him contention for a start in a heavily rotated squad.

Crash Fistfight
Crash Fistfight

Yes it does, just ask Arturo Lupoli.

afan
afan

can we swap him back for sanchez please, sanchez would be great in this team, just the sort of player Em likes

K9ine
K9ine

Quit smoking that weird stuff.

Goonerink

As much as I disagree with swapping back afan has a point, sanchez was the only player for us pressing from the front, we get rid and 18 months later start pressing from the front as a team…

If we had him now he would fit in quite well….
But I wouldn’t take him back.

Mpls
Mpls

Meh, he only pressed when he felt like it. Or felt like making a show of it.

Goonerink

I don’t understand the down votes which is it?…
Would you guys have him back? Upvote
He wouldn’t fit our system? Downvote

afan
afan

goner, some people have mush for brains

Godfrey Twatsloch
Godfrey Twatsloch

Makes a change from you moaning about Özil I guess.

Mpls
Mpls

Sanchez is toxic. Nasty attitude, and not in a good way for the team.

Hmm. Interesting.

shaka
shaka

you can swap them multiple times as both are sitting on the bench…so hardly makes a difference. no one will notice

arsepedant
arsepedant

You’re a little wrong there … Sanchez doesn’t even make Man Ure’s bench any more.

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

On the one hand he was a great player for us and had all the technical and physical attributes Emery is looking for. On the other, he’s a total dick. Hmmm, it’s a no for me, Clive.

Hantal
Hantal

It’s wrong that he shouldn’t be available but it’s not like he’s playing well enough to have started anyway

Hantal
Hantal

Not sure why all the negatives, that one short period against Chelsea aside he’s been pants this season

Martin
Martin

He was excellent against Everton too

TeeCee
TeeCee

How much was that European final?
The one without Messi or Bale.
How much was that European final?
It’s great that the final’s for sale.

#define
#define

It is unfair (“footballistically”) that Mkhi doesn’t get to play. The general rule football likes to enforce is that countries shouldn’t have sway over their football organizations. Yet, when we clamor for football to decide a country’s policy, isn’t that football trying to hold sway over a country’s policies ?
If we now say that countries can’t have their teams participate because of their political leanings, its probably a slippery slope. Who’s to say that Brexit doesn’t provide advantages to British footballers at the expense of others, etc.

santori
santori

Not sure why Azerbaijan is considered europe let alone Kazakhstan.

Martin
Martin

Because it’s a transcontinental country straddling Europe and Asia

Jon

At least they consider themselves European, unlike the British, who consequently refers to “Europe” as somewhere else:)

santori
santori

We have use for Mhkitaryan in the league.

We don’t have enough wide assets.

Whilst Mhki was not IMO the player we needed last January (we should have accepted less from City and got Mahrez rather than be prey to dictates of UnIted and Raiola), he is a quasi-winger.

I feel (when Ramsey departs) Ozil and Mhki are best suited to the position just behind the striker. BUT if we don’t have any option other than Iwobi out wide, Mhkitaryan is the next best thing on the right side for us.

santori
santori

i’m going to say this again with regards your ‘frustrations’ :

1) Ozil and Ramsey is an issue bc they BOTH play similar roles. They are both better behind the main striker, and trying to fit BOTH into a team means we end up going narrow/relying on fullbacks to come up (with consequence at the back)

Add Mhkitayran and we have 3 players who play very similar pass and play game.

2) Mustafi – The reason why he is played is bc he is NOT as poor as many imagine.

Firstly he made one bad pass in first half. BUT Holding, Torreira and Lacazette all made on bad pass too within first 15 minutes (watch the game again)

Secondly he got turned once by Success. But Holding was also beaten by Success later on which nearly ended in a goal.

Thirdly, he gave two free kicks away. BUT he also won a coouple of other similar challenges which helped recycle us back into attack. By contrast last two games before BOTH Torreira and Guendouzi also gave up free kicks in MORE dangerous positions right at edge of box (one of which ended in a goal). Guess what, Mustafi did not concede any freekicks in those two games.

The only thing I can say that he was very culpable for was his tacking of Deeney for the free kick but we were having problems all game with them.

I’m not saying Mustafi is the bee’s knees but I think its good that Holding is improved and can be an option but I don’t think your (and others) view of Mustafi is fair. It is coloured by the reputation that precededs him bc his mistakes tend to be sought and highlighted by media.

Jon

Fifa member states that deny access for other member’s players should be expelled.

However, an Azerbadjan team is unlikely to reach the finals. Far fewer local fans will turn up there.