Arsenal midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan says he “doesn’t know why people are criticising so much” after his side’s difficult start to the new season.

The Gunners have lost their opening two league matches for the first time since 1992 – to Manchester City and Chelsea.

“I’m the worst critic in my football game and I don’t need extra criticism,” the 29-year-old Armenian told BBC Football Focus.

“I know very well what I am giving to the team and what the team gives me.”

New boss Unai Emery has picked Mkhitaryan to play in both Premier League games so far this season – a 2-0 defeat at home to defending champions Manchester City and a 3-2 loss at Chelsea, in which he scored.

Emery, 46, was named successor to Arsene Wenger as Arsenal boss in May, having left French champions PSG after guiding them to the Ligue 1 title.

“We have a new manager and are trying to adapt to his philosophy and also his demands,” said Mkhitaryan, who arrived at Emirates Stadium as part of a swap deal that took Alexis Sanchez to Manchester United.

“It has been a tough start of course – we faced two good teams in Man City and Chelsea – but you don’t have any easy opponents in this league.

“We lost the first game and the second one as well. But that’s football. We just have to stay positive and continue working hard and the good results will come.

“We don’t feel any pressure. We are not thinking that something is going wrong because we are moving in the right way even if we lost two games.

“I don’t know why people are criticising so much. I’m not paying attention because I know if I’ve played bad or well.”

Mkhitaryan and team-mate Mesut Ozil have faced calls to be dropped by several pundits, including former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson.

He was signed for Arsenal in January by Wenger before his departure after 22 years at the helm.

Mkhitaryan said: “No-one knew he was going to leave after six months but I came here because he gave me this great chance to play for Arsenal, to play for the club I’ve been dreaming of all my life, and it’s a pity he’s not at the club but life goes on.”

Michael Okoye
Blogger/Football Analyst at Sportskick
Michael Okoye is an ardent football fan as well as a writer. He lives somewhere in West Africa with Lions and Leopards for company. He takes interest in football and detests mediocrity in sports writing. He has a massive man crush on Juan Mata. A Chelsea fan and a great lover of wits and sarcasm.
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