Henrik Mkhitaryan; we don’t care how much you rate the guy, or whether you can shout about his stats whilst doing a walking handstand, there is absolutely no way you can spell that name correctly without having to Google it.
Dubbed the lost Armenian in Manchester, and the next footballer to fall foul of Jose Mourinho’s dictatorship; yet the former Bundelisga player of the year – because we haven’t heard that stat before – looks like he’s finally found his feet at Old Trafford.
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) November 30, 2016
Solid outing, against a solid side ?. The attacking-midfielder has replicated some of that form he showed at Dortmund last year in some recent games. However, the 27-year-old wasn’t quite as impressive under Jurgen Klopp in the 2014/15 season, as he registered just five goals in a total of 42 appearances. Maybe just a one season wonder in that case?
Where Klopp’s been so praised for getting the best out of forwards, I mean he has turned Adam Lallana into a world beater for fuck sake, but the German couldn’t quite get that connection with Mkhitaryan. The former Dortmund man revealed how he couldn’t play the game he wanted too, so much so that the bloke didn’t even want to go outside and get his grub.
However, Germany’s version of the Tinkerman, Thomas Tuchel, changed all that. The guy’s pedigree is none more so praised than by that of Pep Guardiola, and he certainly got Micki playing last season…
“The second season was a disaster. Not only was I not scoring, but I was not assisting, which is very unlike me.
“I had many hard nights in my apartment in Dortmund, all alone, just thinking and thinking. I didn’t want to go outside, even to have dinner.
“Thomas Tuchel, came to Dortmund before my third season, and he changed everything for me. He came to me and said, ‘Listen, I want to get everything out of you. He looked at me very seriously, and said, ‘Micki, you are going to be great.’
“That meant everything to me. After the season I had, I didn’t think I could be a star. But he did it. He got everything out of me that season, and it was because I was happy again.”
Whether Vladimir Putinho himself at United can get the Armenian captain playing with such panache in a Red Devils shirt remains to be seen. You can’t just prove yourself in the EFL Cup if that’s what the organisers have decided to call it this year; seems to change every season, or prove yourself in the Europa League against clubs where washed up talent such as Robin van Persie and Dirk Kuyt act as the teams talisman.
You’ve got to do it on the big stage Micki, and show you don’t need, Tuchel’s, arms wrapped round you and you’re not a one-season hit wonder.
Have a look at Ryan Giggs ultimate Man United XI…