Monday, July 22, 2024

Arsenal preparing for Europa League final without Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Although a final decision has yet to be made, it looks more and more likely that Arsenal will face Chelsea in the Europa League final without Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

That’s according to our good friend Amy Lawrence, writing in the Guardian today, as the absurdity of holding the fixture in Baku becomes ever more apparent.

Earlier today Arsenal released a statement criticising UEFA’s decision to stage the final in Azerbaijan, making it impossible for most fans to make the trip. So much so that tickets are now on sale to red members – unheard of for any cup final because the allocation is generally snapped up by season ticket holders.

The Arsenal Supporter’s Trust also raised the issue of British-Armenian Arsenal season ticket holders being been denied visas to enter the country, and although a dispensation has apparently been granted to Mkhitaryan, the issue about security and safety with the club yet to receive satisfactory guarantees in that regard.

With the Gunners missing Aaron Ramsey due to injury, being forced to leave an experienced attacking option at home because of the location of the game and a political situation in the region is absolutely disgraceful.

We’ll wait and see what the official decision is, but right now it looks as if Emery won’t be able to play with his Micki in Baku.

Related articles


Notify of

newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

I think this is the right decision by Arsenal, if the Home Office of Azerbaijan can’t or won’t guarantee his safety, then don’t risk it.
This final is turning into a farce


Not really Azerbaijan’s fault.


Uh yes it is. They won’t guarantee the safety of one person? Ridiculous. Little recourse at this point but this squarely on Uefa and Azerbaijan.


It is their fault, as their foreign policy is setting the tone for the entire thing due to this ridiculous travel restriction of Armenians.

Faisal Narrage

Do you just enjoy being an intentional contrarian?


Gave you a thumbs up for being Uncharacteristically precise….otherwise, totally Azerbaijan’s fault

A Different George

Surely the shortest post he has made. By the way, shouldn’t we have bought Mahrez instead?

Kwame Ampadu Down

Yeah, sadly have to agree. Someone’s life far more important than a football match. If we can look for any positive, surely there should be some anger within the rest of the squad about this & a desire to win it for him ?


This final would have been better off held in Saudi Arabia. That’s how ridiculous this situation is.

Peter Story Teller

With 2 London teams in the final why not Wembley???
Neutral ground
Feels like a cup final
All the supporters who want to go can get there!
Oh I forgot Uefa will probably want kick off at 4 o’clock on a Thursday afternoon!

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Nope, want nobody to chop my head off during a travel because I look at a married woman. I have tendency to do that and it is no crime, lol.


Faku Baku.

Floppy Gloves

I was just on my way to posting that. Well done.


And just like that I have an opinion on Nagorno-Karabakh… the cup to Arsenal and Nagorno-Karabakh to the Armenians!


Mkhitaryan is pretty shit, so let’s risk bringing him. If he ends up in a gulag it could resolve our contractual obligations too 😉


That is just a horrible thing to say :/



Dave Cee

That is a really stupid comment


Just a bit of gallows humour Dave, sorry if I upset you.

Paul Roberts

That made me laugh sorry ?


Thanks Paul! I’m here all night!


You got down voted because Mhki is great not because of your dodgy sense of humour!


Oh 😀

Man Manny

Any psychiatrist here?
This fellow needs his head examined.


Con was clearly joking. We have we some seriously fucking precious fans that really like to feel butthurt and indignant about stuff. Don’t be a pussy, nobody really wants Mkhi to end up in a gulag.

Paul Roberts

Hear fucking hear! ?


Not so sure about that, I think he’s got a Gulag relegation clause in his contract. We wouldn’t get out of the contract, but we sure would be paying him a lot less while he’s incarcerated! Something to think about!


Damn you’re right – Mino Raiola would’ve thought of that. Still…i’d take it!




Change for Özil and THEN you’ll get “likes”!

Don Cazorleone

Wtf has Arseblog become.
Far too many cunts.

This used to be enjoyable now it just reads like The Sun comments section.

Kwame Ampadu Down

Good to see Alex focus on the human side of the situation for Mkhi & not just use another article to (yet again) make it just about Ozil.


Do we negotiate his contract in the Gulag? or as a result of Mhki being in the gulag his contract is automatically resolved?


It’s disgraceful, I can’t believe that this is actually a problem. I don’t expect he would start anyway, but it robs us of one of better options from the bench. UEFA should really compensate us for this huge fuck up on their part. But they don’t even admit to there being a problem, despite the issues with fans being able to even get to the country to see the game if they were lucky enough to get one of the few tickets in the first place. If we weren’t so desperate for the trophy I would honestly be happy for… Read more »


I hope Chelski withdraw from the Final citing moral reasons. This way we might get the Cup by default and a UCL place next season. It will also ensure that egg/faeces is all over the faces of those corrupt UEFA officials. I am not too sure ScroogeMKroneke would like to throw away an opportunity by us not participating. He himself is a morally corrupt bastard who gives a fish’s tit, honestly.


Can you imagine just what UEFA would do to any team not competing? Nice idea but not a chance of it happening.

We’ve always been aware of where the final was going to be, so UEFA will use that as an answer along with a desire to spread the world of soccer to new markets. I don’t imagine any other country is going to jump in and support us about a game which otherwise attracts little interest.


Chelsea, Morals? lol


The stupidity of banning a player or team based on nationality.

Dave Cee

F UEFA btw

Dave Cee

I have always thought it was the FA against us but no, it is the whole of eurpean football. Send off RvP again


Hi Dave, what makes you think the whole of “eurpean football” is against us?

Faisal Narrage

Sorry Dave but let’s not go down the Liverpool-esque “the whole world is against us” stuff, please. Don’t want arsenal to be associated with that kind of stuff.

UEFA are corrupt. That alone in and of itself is bad enough. I don’t really think they sit at board meetings plotting ways to take down Arsenal, if it weren’t for those meddling (academy) kids.

Kwame Ampadu Down

100% Faisal. Since when did Gooners become such whingers. The FAI, UEFA, referees, the media…they are all shit but this ‘they’re all against Arsenal’ is pathetic & childish and not befitting of what I feel is our great club.


Forza Uefa?

Tankard Gooner

Yeah Forza fucked UEFA


It’s just insane that a player is being excluded from playing in the cup final due to his ethnicity, and it’s somehow down the the club to make a deal about it.


It’s the result of extremely poor planning by Uefa for sure. This competition is a bit of an afterthought. But for the record, he’ll be granted a visa and so isn’t excluded, and it’s his nationality that is contentious, rather than his ethnicity.

Peter Story Teller

Actually in ‘civilised countries’ such as ours discrimination because of his background is illegal. Does Baku or UEFA for that matter have an equal opportunities policy because if they do they are likely to be breaking it!


Incredible that there is so much hatred for Armenians in Azerbaijan.


They’ve basically been in dispute since the end of Tsarist Russia. Just like every other neverending squabble it’s over a disputed section of territory.


Better safe than sorry. NOT worth it.

Why of course we are playing a finals there that can’t guarantee safety (or indeed why that area of the world is considered europe in beyond me)

We should have enough without Mhkitaryan.

Ozil will likely start. Iwobi can come off the bench too, maybe Nketiah.

In midfield one of Guendouzi or Torreira will likely rotate to pair with Granit to keep the engine room ticking.


Why the noise about the Armenian? We dont need him to win the match! We have Iwobi, Willock and the ” darling” Ozil who in reality should play because it will be his last match!!!Thumbs down on this last comment!!!!


From a footballing perspective this obviously sucks, because he’s Ozils ideal replacement around the 70th minute to give us a little more attacking sense between the mids and our strikers. He’s been shite for a month or two, but hes had his moments where he’s shook up the opposing back line a bit. Politically, this whole thing is pathetic. UEFA is a perfect microcosm of corporate cronyism run amok on every sector of our personal and professional lives. Arsenal and Chelsea fans just want to enjoy a Cup final, but instead the whole enterprise is an exercise of inconvenience and… Read more »

Melvin Bryant

We don’t want Chelski fans to enjoy it!!!

Olivije Žirod

I am totally fine of not playing it because of that. It is time that some club makes a strong statement against corrupt UEFA. I am ashamed that the president Čeferin is a Slovenian like me. In our country we say if he is your lawyer you are quilty.

Values > trophies.


Mate who isn’t a bit quilty every so often.

Faisal Narrage

Absolute farce.

In regards to who takes his place in the squad/bench (assuming the 3-4-1-2 formation), I’d want Emery to take the plunge on a complete wildcard that is just something Chelsea wouldn’t be prepared for. Someone like Saka. Doesn’t have to start or even play, but just an option if we just need something different; lively direct attacking prospect Chelsea aren’t prepared for.

A lot to ask though.

Topside Smudger

I’ve been falling out of love with professional football for years, it’s just my deep love of Arsenal that has kept me from saying ‘fuck it’ and walking away. This situation epitomises exactly why I have become so torn, it’s a disgrace, nothing will change, and there’s practically nothing any of us can do about it.

Peter Story Teller

Come and support the women’s team. It is still about football there at least for the moment but I worry when companies like Barclays come crashing in with their sponsorship deals. I can still remember FA League Division 1 before sponsorship deals in the men’s game with Charlie George queuing for the bus with the fans after the match at 3pm Saturday!


Yet again one of football’s major governing bodies is exposed as corrupt, morally bankrupt and unfit for purpose. Yet again they’ll get away with it. Cunts.

Floppy Gloves

So much for that, “Kick it Out” campaign…


If we had not shit our pants and finished in the top 4 i would be saying let’s boycott the event and not play it. Unfortunately we don’t have that luxury as we really need CL next year


Is man city really going to be banned from CL? If yes will arsenal get that spot? Also is that ban going to be in 19-20 season or the next one?


Sadly, I’m in the sixth decade of my existence and have been a football fan for more than 45 years. Professional football has NEVER cared about fans. I can remember, as a schoolboy 40 years ago, crying because I couldn’t get a ticket to the FA Cup Final even though I attended almost every home game that season. That year, half of the 100,000 Wembley tickets went to various members of “the Football Community” while Arsenal and Man United fans had to split the rest. The ticket touts had a field day. If Uefa actually cared about fans then they… Read more »


Maybe Chelsea should do without one of their attacking midfield options to even things up? I’m sure that Hazard fellow wouldn’t mind sitting this one out.


Perhaps that’s why Loftus-Cheek is now out of the game? In fact, it seems like Chelski chasing the $ have managed to cost themselves a good squad player.


Azerbaijan and Armenia are basically on a war footing. Mikhi is the captain of the Armenian football team, a national hero and recently donated a car that he had won to an organisation that supports injured and disabled Armenian soldiers. There is no way it would be safe to take him, and he probably doesn’t want to go. This final is a total fuck up on so many levels, but UEFA is never going to admit anything.


Maybe they’re fans of Friends and we could sneak him in that way.


On the one hand the player is in the pitch. On the other hand he is left at home.
How are we to tell the difference?


If it isn’t safe to take one of our players we need to boycott the final. By going along with it we disgrace ourselves in the same way EUFA is disgracing itself. Call on Chelsea to join the boycott and play the game here instead unless EUFA can guarantee his safety. Yes, I know it won’t happen because our club is run by a bunch of spineless cowards. But this reflects as badly on us as on UEFA if we just roll over.


Why aren’t both clubs boycotting the final and demand it’s moved to somewhere else?


I was hoping UEFA stopped taking bribes after the Switzerland events in 2015. The philosophy this time is simple Azerbaijan is less likely to anger USA like Russia did in 2014. But who knows?


As much as I want to see Arsenal in the Champions League, I would not be against them withdrawing from this competition. This is fucking ridiculous.


Mkhis out for Henrikh! Let’s show Baku

Forest gooner

The country is not even in Europe.

Merlin's Panini

Fucking disgraceful that they put on a final in a place where a player’s safety is at risk. It should be moved to Wembley.

Tankard Gooner

My two bits on the subject, as worthless as they may be: I’m from India and we have a bit of the same situation with Pakistan, our neighbours, over disputed territories and all the other political ugliness that goes with these things. But until a couple of years ago, in the world of sports (cricket mostly) this would only charge up both fans and players on both sides for what almost always turned out to be a spectacular sporting affair. We even have a cricket league where Pakistani players would represent Indian clubs amd they always always gor the crowd… Read more »

Br St

Totally agree, we need to boycott this final – from the ridiculousness of the far-flung destination (not a problem if travel was available – would probably be easier / cheaper for fans if it was played in Singapore or Hong Kong travel wise!) to the absolute shambles of allowing a totally bigoted country to host it, who won’t allow one of our players in.



sorry if it’s been mentioned before and I haven’t seen it: can anyone try to explain what could happen to him if he goes there? I mean, concrete examples. thanks


Too late to change anything now but perhaps going forward there can be several stadiums that could host the final. The decision would be made based on likely finalist and travel length etc. Nothing against Baku, it’s an architectural splendor and has a huge and rich history., but it’s not practically in Asia it is in Asia

Share article

Featured on NewsNow

Support Arseblog

Latest posts

Latest Arsecast

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x