Arsenal preparing for Europa League final without Henrikh Mkhitaryan

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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.

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Rich
Rich

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

Santori
Santori

Not really Azerbaijan’s fault.

Adams9802
Adams9802

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.

Badaab
Badaab

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
Faisal Narrage

Do you just enjoy being an intentional contrarian?

Chidi
Chidi

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

A Different George
A Different George

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

Kwame Ampadu Down
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 ?

AubaGoal
AubaGoal

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

Peter Story Teller
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
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.

Richie

Faku Baku.

Floppy Gloves
Floppy Gloves

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

pedro
pedro

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

Con
Con

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

Arunava
Arunava

That is just a horrible thing to say :/

Con
Con

🙁

Dave Cee
Dave Cee

That is a really stupid comment

Con
Con

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

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

That made me laugh sorry 😐

Con
Con

Thanks Paul! I’m here all night!

Laca-Sead
Laca-Sead

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

Con
Con

Oh 😀

Man Manny
Man Manny

Any psychiatrist here?
This fellow needs his head examined.

TommyGun
TommyGun

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
Paul Roberts

Hear fucking hear! 😊

Cacho
Cacho

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!

Con
Con

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

Jessferfun
Jessferfun

HAHAHA

Alex
Alex

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

Don Cazorleone
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
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.

YoungFabregas
YoungFabregas

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

Tom
Tom

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 Arsenal to withdraw. It would be the biggest fuck you to UEFA, would likely cause quite an uproar, and they wouldn’t want their precious final to be cancelled again in the future so maybe would make them think before giving the hosting to such a country.

Manjit
Manjit

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.

GraeB
GraeB

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.

sambo
sambo

Chelsea, Morals? lol

Rodus
Rodus

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

Dave Cee
Dave Cee

F UEFA btw

Dave Cee
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

Con
Con

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

Faisal Narrage
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
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.

Con
Con

Forza Uefa?

Tankard Gooner
Tankard Gooner

Yeah Forza fucked UEFA

Matt
Matt

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.

Con
Con

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
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!

Manjit
Manjit

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

Mpls
Mpls

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.

Santori
Santori

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.

GunnerMzalendo
GunnerMzalendo

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!!!!

Huss
Huss

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 we get the added bonus of a players fookin safety not being assured. Good thing we wont have to deal with Baku ever again after th-(looks at Euro 2020 schedule)

Aw shucks.

Melvin Bryant
Melvin Bryant

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

Olivije Žirod
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.

MrT57
MrT57

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

Faisal Narrage
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
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
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!

Pooner
Pooner

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
Floppy Gloves

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

Ross
Ross

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

Francesc
Francesc

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?

Fatgooner
Fatgooner

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 would abandon this “fixed” cup final venue system and decide the cup finals locations according to the participating clubs. But don’t hold your breath waiting for that to happen.

onenil
onenil

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.

GraeB
GraeB

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.

Vonnie
Vonnie

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.

George
George

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

Clockendrider
Clockendrider

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?

Assistantref
Assistantref

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.

Twatsloch
Twatsloch

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

Tig
Tig

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?

darthneel
darthneel

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.

pedro
pedro

Mkhis out for Henrikh! Let’s show Baku

Forest gooner
Forest gooner

The country is not even in Europe.

Merlin's Panini
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
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 behind them! Sure, sometimes the banter would go down a few notches below respectful. But under no circumstances would players from either country face any threat like our Mkhi. World politics has its place, sports should be above it.
Like I said, almost worthless as this comes from a different geography and sport.. But still.

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.

#BOYCOTTUEFA

Lucian
Lucian

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

Paul
Paul

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