Henrikh Mkhitaryan is well aware that his position at Manchester United is far from certain and says Jose Mourinho isn’t afraid to make changes when necessary.
The Armenian midfielder knows better than most how cutthroat Mourinho can be after being slowly integrated into Man United’s first-team since joining from Borussia Dortmund in the summer, much to the dismay of fans at first but he’s now become one of our most important players.
With Anthony Martial and Luke Shaw currently out of the side, once again leaving fans frustrated, there are some question marks over Mourinho’s treatment of certain players. So, it’s interesting to hear Mkhitaryan’s comments in an interview with German newspaper with Sport Bild where he offers some real insight into the goings on behind the scenes at United.
“Manchester United are not just any football club,” he told Sport Bild.
“A part of the association with this club means to be part of a great story.
“That also means when you play for United you must always be ready, always try to get the best from yourself.
“If you keep trying to do this and produce the performance, then you always get a chance. But if you do not, then you are out quickly.
“I did not want to later look back in my life and say, ‘Why would you not make times change?’.
“I do not want to miss a thing. Life is too short, too short to pass this opportunity up.
“Sure, my agent Mino Raiola helped me in this, but in the end the decision for Manchester United — I made that alone.
“Then you have to be prepared. So I have prepared myself. I read about the history of England, of Manchester. I wanted to know how people here live, their interests.
“I also analysed English football. The important thing was you have to be mentally ready.”
It’s great to hear Mkhitaryan speaking about United like this. He’s spot on – we’re not just any club and he gets that. His attitude has been spot on ever since he arrived; we didn’t hear any complaints when he was being kept in the shadows and he’s been humble with his success since being re-integrated into the team. In that respect, he’s a shining example to anybody at United who isn’t playing every single week.
Mourinho is a manager who does rule with an iron fist in some respects and he isn’t afraid to drop anybody. Just look at how he’s handled Wayne Rooney – perfectly in my eyes, unlike other managers who have played him simply because of his name, whereas Mourinho hasn’t been afraid to bring him in and out of his squad.
Game by game, United are coming together under Mourinho. It’s going to be a real journey under the Portuguese boss and as Mkhitaryan has explained here, Mourinho won’t tolerate second best from anyone. When that mentality is back in the veins of the club, we’ll be right back up there challenging for titles on all fronts.