Former Manchester United playmaker takes a swipe at Jose Mourinho

Henrikh Mkhitaryan believes he was always facing an uphill battle to curry favour under Jose Mourinho at Manchester United.

The former Borussia Dortmund star failed to make an impact during his 18-month stay at Old Trafford and was allowed to move to Arsenal as part of the deal that brought Alexis Sanchez the other way.

Mourinho’s methods didn’t always sit right with Mkhitaryan, who scored 11 goals last season before dropping out of favour this term, and the player has explained his struggle to impress.

“Everyone knows Arsenal play offensive football, and I love to play offensive football,” Mkhitaryan, when asked about his move to north London, told Sky Sports. “In Manchester we were playing offensive football too but not in every game, so it was quite different.”

Mkhitaryan also conceded that Wenger is more attack-minded than Mourinho, though the midfielder is well aware he must do his fair share of tracking back too.

“Every player has to defend, it doesn’t matter if you are a striker, winger, attacking midfield, you have to defend, you cannot just defend with four or five players, the whole team must defend,” he added. “I’m doing my efforts to help the team to defend, sometimes it can work, sometimes it doesn’t.

“But I always try to do my best for the team first of all, and then I’m thinking of myself. ‘I’m not an ego player to think of myself first. Then when I get the ball I can create.”

Mkhitaryan enjoyed a hat-trick of assists in his first game for Arsenal, but has gone off the boil slightly since and will be looking to make amends as they host title-winners elect Manchester City at Emirates Stadium on Thursday night