4/6 Unai-ted front!
HENRIKH LOVES LIFE UNDER EMERY
HENRIKH MKHITARYAN claims Unai Emery’s revolution at Arsenal has totally changed the club’s culture.
In barely five months at the helm, the Gunners boss appears to have removed the dark clouds that were hanging over The Emirates – both on and off pitch.
Mkhitaryan has nothing but praise for the way Emery is transforming the north Londoners from a seemingly stale, spent force under Arsene Wenger into a resurgent and dynamic outfit.
The Gunners are undefeated in
15 outings in all competitions – a sizzling run that includes 12 wins and stretches back to the third weekend of the campaign.
And Mkhitaryan, having arrived at the club last January from Manchester United, is perfectly placed to discuss the differences between the final days of Wenger’s long reign and the new regime of former Paris Saint Germain boss Emery.
Ahead of Wolves’ visit to The Emirates today, the Armenia ace spoke of the upbeat atmosphere – with players and fans united behind the Spanish coach. Mkhitaryan, 29, said: “Yes, things have changed. And it’s down to the new manager.
“The culture has changed inside and outside the club and people are believing in us more because we’re playing differently.
“We’re playing the way they want us to. We’re scoring goals and winning games – and that’s the best feeling for supporters.
“Our style and philosophy has changed. The new manager has built on the base Arsene Wenger built in 22 years.
“And the players have accepted all his conditions – everything happening is what Unai Emery is expecting and asking of us.”
Emery’s desire to unleash an adventurous, attacking outfit was highlighted last Saturday in the 1-1 home draw against high-flying Liverpool.
For the first time this season Mkhitaryan, Apr 2012: Wolves 0 Arsenal 3 Dec 2011: Arsenal 1 Wolves 1 Feb 2011: Arsenal 2 Wolves 0 Nov 2010: Wolves 0 Arsenal 2 Apr 2010: Arsenal 1 Wolves 0
Arsenal – 57 wins Wolves – 29 wins Draws – 26 Mesut Ozil, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette started together.
And that approach – allied to the results – clearly appeals to his players as much as it does the supporters.
Mkhitaryan said: “Everyone feels we can play together at once. But it doesn’t matter who plays, the most important thing is the team.
“One game you can play with all these four players, the next you play with a totally different offensive system.
“And it’s not that we’re only attacking, we’re defending as well – doing a team job.
“It does make life easier having world-class strikers around because from the left you have Auba and from the right you have Lacazette. It’s a dream for me – and the others – to have these options.”
One attacking alternative no longer available is England striker Danny Welbeck, who broke his ankle during the Europa League goalless clash against Sporting Lisbon on Thursday.
That result made it three draws in the last four games – and left Emery admitting the team remains a work in progress.
The ex-Valencia and Sevilla coach said: “We must continue in our way, improving our positioning and aggressiveness with the ball and without the ball.
“It’s about the right mix.”