Ian Wright has criticised the form of Manchester United’s Henrikh Mkhitaryan after the Reds’ 1-0 defeat at Chelsea.
Mkhitaryan was virtually anonymous for Man United on Sunday afternoon until he was substituted off for Marouane Fellaini, who was returning from injury, around the hour mark.
The Armenian has had a poor last six weeks, having started the season in good for. The absence of Paul Pogba hasn’t helped.
Wright was discussing the form of striker Romelu Lukaku, who hasn’t scored in his last seven ames for the club, and said, “I do feel for him.”
“He seems to be making the wrong moves and the chances aren’t coming,” Wright said on BBC’s Match of the Day 2.
“[Henrikh] Mkhitaryan had six passes to him today as their attacking midfielder. That is nowhere near good enough and he needs to look at himself.”
Wright is correct. The service Lukaku was given on Sunday was poor. When passes were made, they were difficult to control or in the wrong positions. It’s not just Mkhitaryan’s responsibility to create chances, but he is the main man on that front, and he has failed to do so for weeks.
Some have suggested the reason for Mkhitaryan’s downturn in form is an injury to Pogba suffered in September. Since then, Mkhitaryan has been far quieter, but has somehow maintained his starting spot under Jose Mourinho.
Pogba’s obvious ability draws players to him, marking or closing him down, which opened up more space for Mkhitaryan. This isn’t happening anymore, and won’t until Pogba returns, and Mkhitaryan isn’t having the same influence.