Report: Mkhitaryan to sit out Qarabag clash


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


Shame, want to see him playing more.


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’


Oil and gas money. That’s how!


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

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.


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


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!


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


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… Read more »


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


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


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


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).


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


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


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


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


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

Crash Fistfight

Yes it does, just ask Arturo Lupoli.


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


Quit smoking that weird stuff.


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.


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


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


goner, some people have mush for brains

Godfrey Twatsloch

Makes a change from you moaning about Özil I guess.


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

Hmm. Interesting.


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


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


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.


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


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


He was excellent against Everton too


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.


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.


Not sure why Azerbaijan is considered europe let alone Kazakhstan.


Because it’s a transcontinental country straddling Europe and Asia


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


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.


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… Read more »


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.