English Premiership

Mkhitaryan: Emery's plan needs time

Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Getty Images)
Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Henrikh Mkhitaryan says that Unai Emery's new philosophy at Arsenal needs time to come good.

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The Armenian midfielder has defended the Gunners’ new head coach in the face of criticism for Arsenal’s expansive approach during defeats to Manchester City and Chelsea in their opening games.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Mkhitaryan said: "Everyone has their own opinion. We know very well what we are playing for and how we have to play.

"If we are just going to kick the ball up front and wait for God to give us a chance to score, it's not necessary.

"The only thing we have to do is to work hard, believe in ourselves and use the chances we create to score goals."

Mkhitaryan scored Arsenal's first goal of the season in the match at Stamford Bridge as they recovered from a two-goal deficit only to lose to a late Marcos Alonso goal.

"It was pleasure to score and assist in a game against Chelsea,” he said

"We're not happy with the result but we know where we're going, what we're doing, what the coach is demanding from us and we're trying to do that.

"We can say we had a hard schedule having played Manchester City and Chelsea, but we had to face them now or later so it doesn't matter.

"We did our best, in one case we can say we were unlucky a bit, but that is football, it can happen. The most important thing is to stay positive, believe in ourselves and to keep working the same way and the result will come.

"We are creating chances. Maybe we are not as good to score at the moment but I think it's just the first few games.

"We are going to try and realise them for the next games, maybe it can work, maybe it won't, but we are going to try and we want to win, that is the main thing."

The defeat saw Emery become the first Arsenal manager to lose the first two games of his tenure since caretaker boss Steven Burtenshaw in 1986.

Emery has a tough act to follow after Arsene Wenger, but Mkhitaryan insisted the playing styles under both managers were similar.

"It's not too different but there are different things because there is not people playing in the same way or thinking in the same way, the philosophy is different," he added.

"We have to keep working because we have a new manager, a new philosophy and want to play in a different way than before under Wenger.

"It's not too easy but we are trying to achieve that and do what the coach is asking from us. He wants to play football and dominate the game and that's what we're doing, we're not just kicking the ball up front.

"We are trying to play football, our second goal against Chelsea we had 19 consecutive passes and then Alex [Iwobi] finished the attack and we scored.

"It's a new philosophy, we have to accept that and work hard to achieve our goals."