Mkhitaryan excited by Wenger’s philosophy


Henrikh Mkhitaryan says Arsene Wenger’s emphasis on attacking football played a key part in persuading him to join Arsenal.

In comments that could be construed as a little dig at Jose Mourinho, the Armenia international, who expressed a desire to play for the Gunners as far back as 2009, played up the prospect of being able to express himself on the pitch.

“Of course it’s very important to have respect from your manager,” he told Arsenal Player.

“I know that he’s demanding and he likes his players to explore.

“He was one of the [reasons] to join Arsenal as well because everyone knows he’s a great manager.

“I’ve known him for a long time and of course it was not very difficult to make this decision to come to Arsenal, because I think the way that Arsenal play [makes] it a dream for every player to come here and play offensive football.”

Mkhitaryan is expected to make his Arsenal debut against Swansea City tonight as Wenger’s men look to close the gap on the Champions League places to two points.

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59 Comments on "Mkhitaryan excited by Wenger’s philosophy"

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Can’t wait to see this guy in action. COYG!!


the wait is over mates




You’re so fine!

Ted E.

You blow my mind!


Waking up at 3.45am later just to watch our Micky in action. Well, who needs sleep anyway…


Let’s hope he is buzzing as much on the pitch as in training (as Bouldy told Wrighty on the latest Arseblog podcast).


Ian Wright on the Arsecast said the noise from the training pitch is he is ”absolutely flying” and looking incredible.

Indian Gooner

โ€œDream to play offensive footballโ€. Sounds like a neat dig at Moronhoe and his shit football.

Twisted cuntloks

Looking forward to watching him play. Philosophy? One that has been failng for more than a decade?


Twisted, granted there are better managerial philosophies out there, but failing? How do the FA cups we’ve won mean nothing to the fans? How does finishing in the top 4 for the majority of that time and playing in the CL mean nothing? I get it, we haven’t won the PL in a long time and that is apparently the ONLY measure of a successful philosophy.

Spending 100’s of millions of pounds over a relatively short period of time does help with successful philosophies.

Thierry Bergkamp

PB70 getting battered in the CL and by rival top 4 clubs are part of that successful philosophy?


TB, I’ll just use a few specific scenarios where we did very well and say we have a successful philosophy. But that would be daft, so I won’t.

You’ll have to explain to me how you pick and choose very SPECIFIC problems we have at our club and completely ignore the many pluses or achievements.

Sure, the glass isn’t half full – but it isn’t a glass full of turd, either.

Thierry Bergkamp

The team has underperformed for years, get battered annually in the CL and by top 4 rivals. No genuine title challenges for 10 years.
But I guess you’re right, Wenger’s philosophy is successful.

Bould\'s Eyeliner

Wenger’s philosophy also created your pseudonym on this site, but we’ll just forget about that, shall we?

Twisted cuntloks

I don’t judge the team by winning the league. I judge it by its ability to really compete for everything, particularly the league. ‘Compete’ is the key word…

Since I started supporting Arsenal (mid 70’s) we got to 3 FA cup finals In 3 consecutive years and won one of them. We were an average club, a sleeping giant getting 6th or 7th in a typical season finish.
We went on to become a succesful club under GG, then fantastic sucess under the early AW.

Since then we have come full circle, we went 10 years without winning any cup final (the worst period in our history, not even a league cup) and are again back to the mid 70’s.

You could argue that our philosophy was failing then.
We are not progressing, we have players wanting out. We have just lost some very good players in a short period of time.
If the philosophy at Arsenal is so good, why are we in 6th and why are so many players wanting to leave?


Twisted, I didn’t say our philosophy is great – I said it can’t be considered failing. The trajectory of a club can’t be in an upward direction forever – you’ve been a supporter for a way longer time than me – as a snapshot in history, we are still doing reasonably well. Especially if you take in to consideration the landscape of football has completely changed with all the non-football related money flowing in to the game.

The players we have lost in the last decade have all been sold for different reasons, and I am sure some of them are to do with us not winning enough, so things are not perfect at our club. However, if Sanchez and Ozil are the players people are talking about – why do people ignore the fact they came to AFC in the first place? Since Sanchez is so concerned about ‘winning cups’ and not money, why did he come to AFC in the first place – since we are considered by many to be failures when he first arrived?

I get that we need improvements at AFC and the last 12 years under Wenger have been more difficult than the first 10 years. But some of the opinions and negativity is so over the top it doesn’t make sense to me. Listening to Ian Wright on Arsecast about us not having any coaching to improve players is laughable, and an example of the extreme and polarizing viewpoints that shouldn’t just be ignored. Apparently Walcott and Ox are the only examples to be looked at to prove Wright’s opinion, ignore the rest. It’s great that Wright loves the club and is a passionate guy, but lots of us are and still expected to be somewhat factual in our viewpoints, even if we aren’t such high-profile fans. So now, the next time we lose, we’ll have fans go on about how we suck because we don’t coach our players. It’s a vicious cycle of over the top opinions that gets more extreme and won’t end until we win something ‘big’. I find that a little more sad than us not actually winning!

I am going on a bit here and off topic, but trying to explain why I replied to your comment about us ‘failing’. All arguments – such as players leaving (which happens at other ‘big’ clubs), us not spending enough, us having lousy medical staff, us getting hammered in some CL and PL games..etc, etc – all stem from the understandable expectations of fans (and players) of winning the so called ‘big cups’. If we had won the PL in the last 5 years, I doubt a lot of our fans would look at any of these issues independently and be as upset as they are.

In my opinion, we are not close to having failing philosophies. We have issues with our midfield that need sorting out that Wenger has not addressed for a very long time or failed to do so by bringing in the wrong players. AFC have given Wenger too much power without the proper hierarchy being set up. We suck at transfers. We are inflexible with our game-plan regardless of who we play.

Wow..I wrote an essay here and could keep going…but will give it a rest ๐Ÿ™‚


Well said PB. The other thing people tend to forget is that our club was once run by people that really cared. They trusted Wenger and he trusted them. The likes of Peter Hill-Wood, Danny Fiszman, Ken friar, Sir Chips and of course Top Man David Dein. They’re not around anymore for various reasons. Instead we have Gazidis, Kroenke and son of Kroenke. People argue about contract situations and all but how come the board never did anything re Sanchez? I listened to Wrighty on the arsecast and he mentioned that Bouldy said the manager won’t allow him to do extra training with the players. Leave then Bouldy instead of sitting there doing nothing then complaining to ex team mates. Go somewhere else and prove that what you wanted to do was right, rather than just collecting your big bucks. Also, all the ex players say they use to do extra training because Dennis did. Well that was under Wenger.
And top players leave clubs all the time. Neymar, Real Ronaldo, Figo, Maradona, Beckham the list goes on and on and on. The only clubs that don’t lose top players are the clubs that never had them in the first place. We lost Overmars and Petit when we were at our best. It happens.
Ive supported the club for a long long time and my concern is that the club is losing its all for one appeal. Gazidis, in my eyes, wants the manager gone so he can have full control of the club. The manager may be all powerful but at least he loves the club. Gazidis doesn’t. Look at whats happening at Chel$ki. The manager that won them the league is about to go because he not in control of his team, and has to answer to some suit who know nothing about the game. At least Yanited have Sir Alex and Charlton. We’ve got Gazidis and son of Kroenke. SHIT
It all started to go wrong when Kroenke and Gazidis ousted David Dein


Hi Wezza, too true – especially about David Dein. I thought he was a big loss for AFC. I do not like Gazidis purely because I feel his words betray him. In my eyes, there is nothing genuine about his love for the club.

Also, it makes a massive difference when clubs are taken over by super rich owners who aren’t necessarily ‘connected’ to the club. If that owner runs the club purely as a business and actually cares about net spend and what profits the club makes, it’s going to make it that much harder to compete with clubs who’s owners ONLY want to win and don’t care about the finances (even if they have no real connection to the club). We got bloody Kroenke…with a history of running mediocre sports teams and not caring.

I know, ‘but what about Leicester!’ ๐Ÿ˜‰

Bould\'s Eyeliner

Leicester FC was no joke that season, and somehow the owner got all the ingredients together for a miraculous one-off. That’s the kind of hunger a new owner can instill, both by pressure and fear, as well as spending capital and new personnel. Kroenke sort of started the same, but all of his plans were half-assed, poorly executed, and we are still suffering.

Still, because of the Emirates. The effectiveness of business as a whole is clearly not matching anyone’s ambitions, least of all Wenger’s, and I don’t know what to think anymore. Can Wenger do more with his squad? I think so. Can the board give better flexibility to Wenger and his squad? I think this is true too.

Maybe we should stop being concerned with who to point fingers at, and point more than one finger at once. Who knows, might do something.

Either way, we got a hell of a transition to witness for the next 1.5 years, here’s to hoping for the best. COYG.

Twisted cuntloks

Fair point. DD was a massive loss which we have never recovered from.

Stuck on repeat...

Agree with much of what you have posted PB70. Don’t worry about the essay as it was interesting & well thought out.

The only minor niggle I have is with the: “If we had won the PL in the last 5 years, I doubt a lot of our fans would look at any of these issues independently and be as upset as they are”. Your point is very true, however it is also because of these issues (which have to be looked at collectively) that we have NOT won the PL in the last 5 years. This is what upsets the fans.

I like that you are positive in your stance, & obviouly not unaware of our clear failings as a club (which seem obvious to all except those in charge). It is very AFC however to try to break down collective issues into seemingly trivial independent issues that are more justifyable (or spinable perhaps being more apt).


Stuck…your name sort of sums up what a lot of fans seem to feel! You’re right, it definitely is the various collective issues that causes a lot of fans to feel such angst! Also, how things are very slow to change (or change at all). Maybe people want something new and feel without some major changes – we will be stuck on repeat ๐Ÿ™‚

I tend to over do it with my long-winded explanations on here when it all gets too much – I love this website and sometimes the negativity in the comments section on almost every story gets to me. I think the word ‘philosophy’ was the trigger this time – fucking Blogs!

I know all us fans love Arsenal and even the negativity comes from a good place. Blogs does a great job – through his articles and Arsecasts – reminding me not to get sucked up in to the pointless arguments on the internet, so to speak. On the whole, there are far more reasonable people to debate/discuss everything AFC than most other places on the net. Ok, I’m rambling again ๐Ÿ˜€ Thanks for your reply – totally get your point. Helps me understand the level of frustration that others may feel when I look at it that way. I do hope my replies help them see that it’s all not THAT terrible.


Good post from both of you. Nice to have conversations with fans prepared to accept different opinions without it turning into a bun fight lol.
Keep it up boys.

On recent developments I’m quite excited

Twisted cuntloks

Thanks for putting so much effort, its much better than a straight thumbs down!
However, your opinion on what is a succesfull philosophy and what I consider it to be are miles apart and always will be.


Not failed, just not fulfilled.
Not a decade, just since we lost Santi.

Thierry Bergkamp

On the other hand, Alexis could say that it’s a dream to work with Mourinho and challenge for titles and other big trophies.


I don’t see Man U challenging for many titles. They’ve finished below us in the league for the past four seasons.


he’s got you there

Twisted cuntloks

It’s called transition, something we have been going through for 12 years…

Thierry Bergkamp

Which team looks like they’re on the way up?
Which team is going the other way?


alexis clearly went for the big pay cheque

Man Manny

I see only two possible ends to the Union between Alexis and Mourinho:
1. A short honeymoon and then, a very painful divorce,
2. A marriage of convenience with no real spark anymore.

sixteen swans

I have to admit I don’t see Alexis flourishing under Mourinho – Alexis is too much of a sulker and Jose is too much of a cunt who doesn’t care a fuck for his players.

A decent component of me not renting clothing over Sanchez leaving us is the soap opera at Old Trafford that will unfold over the next few seasons. It’s not a possibility, it’s a fucking certainty. Then there’s the salary thing. Alexis likes dogs not people for a reason.

Imagine Alexis repeatedly and angrily gesticulating to his team-mates over and over again as he did with us match after match (especially when HE was the one playing like a dick). Then add the wage disparity. And finally finish it off with the fact that he only speaks Woof.

Playing for United AND having to cope with Alexis AND the cunt that is Jose? It really doesn’t bode the least bit well for what’s now the wrong side of Manchester.

Twisted cuntloks

I agree, sadly others can’t cope with seeing the other side of the coin!

Bould\'s Eyeliner

“I’m more jaded than you are, so I’m the better Arsenal fan!” Yeah, lets not do those things.


Pretty thin to me. Canโ€™t take much for your wife to set you off.


What philosophy? I haven’t seen much free flowing wengerball this and last season.


Answer: “free flowing wengerball”


i can recommend some good opticians with relatively less charge


It’s not as though Wenger has all of a sudden ditched his lifelong philosophy of how football should be played, though, is it, silly billy? He’s just struggling to implement it lately. Mickey Targaryen might just be able to help with that. Fancy that.


Apart from 45mn here and there, we have not been clicking right since Santi left us


Precisely, as much as I love Ozil, Santi was way more important to how we played and got the best out of our attacking players. Speedy recovery Santi.


I agree that we haven’t been playing free flowing football for a couple of seasons now but then again who can when you have a ball hog on the left throwing tantrums unless he has his way? I know its too early to say this but i believe we will be soon back to our sexy footballing ways.
And for all his shortcomings, Wenger has never been a park the bus kind of manager. So maybe he is referring to that philosophy


Swansea, a good opportunity Micky.. a debut goal would be fantastic


After a flaccid spell with the boring one, mikhy is finally excited by Wenger.
Looking forward to seeing Ozil, Jackie, Mikhy and Laca link up. COYG!!


I can see him getting either a goal or an assist…


Nostradamus saw him too


Typical for our Micki to be so easily excitable.

Kudos for resisting the obvious tinkering with the headline ?

Man Manny

Who wouldn’t be after spending 18 months in the camp of Mourinho? Welcome to Arsenal, the home of proper football.


Nothing i enjoy more than taking the Miki out of Man Utd.

Does that now mean we could get away with playing something resembling RB Leipzig’s 4-2-2-2 formation and system?
That formation has lent itself to some pretty high octane and dynamic football in recent seasons in the Bundesliga, it would seem nicely at home within this supposed “Wenger philosophy” and at the same time take advantage of all our latest acquisitions in positions they are adept at (which would be a welcomed beak from what has become the norm).
Something like this i would imagine:



Very unlikely we play without wingers


Who are the wingers we play with at the moment?
I thought we’ve simply repurposed fullbacks to wingers via the switch to three at the back, these guys would be the same ones providing the width just as they do now… no?


he has got to say that, hasn,t he, I’m nobody else thinks that


Can’t wait to see him play in shirt this evening.

Welcome to Arsenal!


Then wh didn’t you come for the philosophy before?


I feel Wenger is using a set of two “rotating wheels” of 3 players up top and 3 players in midfield.

So if you look at a potential line up :


Taking away the two fullbacks which must provide the width, we have the striker set in Aubameyang, Lacazette and Ozil each taking turns into the box or pulling the defense wide in conjunction with the fullbacks.

Then the midfield also rotates with any of Jack, Mhkitaryan and indeed Granit slotting into the deeper position when need be joined by the Cbacks as the other two take turns to push up with the deeper lying of the strike set.

Its the sort of fluid system Wenger has always liked which is opened to interpretation, difficult to get right but (when perfected)very hard to defend against.

It can easily morph into a 3-4-2-1 or a 4-2-3-1 all depending on emphasis required during each juncture of a game.

When defending deep we are easily transformed into a 4-5-1 or when laying siege against a deep defense conversely, we are a 3-5-2

Wenger switched the balance last game against Chelsea with Elneny dropping deeper into a 3 at the back from a 4-1-4-1 initially and it bore dividends.

For rotation into the set, I suppose Ramsey can also play in the midfield three or go in for Ozil (as can Mhkitaryan) so there is plenty of flexibility (assuming everyone knows their brief and not get carried away)

Iwobi can also be played left acting more of a catalyst type player like Alexis.

Elneny can slot into a defensive 3 (not to mention of course Holding, Chambers and Mavropanos). There is cover at fullback with Kolasinac on left, AMN should frankly cover his natural side at Rback.

The only two players who will require a bit of playing time is Giroud and Welbeck.

With Giroud (if he should stay), he is a different tool that can function in a 4-2-3-1 or indeed as the big man to knock down for one of the more mobile assets in the three “rotating wheel” system.

If Giroud should go, Welbeck has to somehow step up from current form. Otherwise if Giroud stays, Danny’s time may look more limited.

Reiss will make a couple of cameos but frankly may be better off on a strong developmental loan at this stage of the season (if there is one)

Mrs Maitland-Niles

You are free now, Henrikh.


Wenger has a philosophy?