Emmanuel Petit: Mkhi situation is a disgrace – it’s disappointing from UEFA

Supporters, players and clubs have all been let down with decision to host final in Baku, says former Arsenal and Chelsea midfielder

Henrikh Mkhitaryan


Arsenal are not responsible for the situation with Henrikh Mkhitaryan in the Europa League final. The political circumstances involving Armenia and Azerbaijan are not their fault.

For me, it’s about UEFA. They should have considered all this before – I can’t understand how they allowed a scenario where a player can’t play a football game because of political reasons.

When you decide to hold a European final so far away from the usual destinations then you need to anticipate problems such as Mkhitaryan’s. It’s a disgrace. Arsenal and Mkhitaryan are the victims, and I’m very disappointed with UEFA.

On top of this, it’s a nightmare for supporters trying to get to Baku. I wish all the best to the fans trying to get there. It’s a European final and a huge game for both clubs, but especially for Arsenal.

Chelsea are already qualified for the Champions League, but Arsenal are betting everything on one game. So, I can imagine the frustration for fans having to travel so far – I have nothing against playing finals in new places and expanding the game, but UEFA need to consider supporters more.

Is there no possibility of an arrangement between UEFA and the fans and travel companies to subsidise the price of flights or accommodation for supporters? The expense is so huge for fans. As a result, the stadium won’t be full – and when you see the capacity of the ground, you have to ask: who decided to hold the final there?

Supporters are the heart of the football business. I don’t know exactly how much they will have to spend for travel, or how long it will take, but from my point of view it seems like a nightmare for them. It’s a big sacrifice for fans. The cost is ridiculous.

Unai Emery

Chelsea won’t be able to cope with the loss of Eden Hazard

It would be a big, big loss for Chelsea if Eden Hazard left the club. For the last six years he has been marvellous for them – and this season has been one of his best so far, even if he wasn’t named in the Premier League team of the year.

Chelsea have so many quality players, but none at Hazard’s level. He can do whatever he wants on the pitch and is capable of making decisions with the ball at his feet.

Hazard going to Real Madrid would be a huge step for him – and he deserves it. But with the added complication of a transfer ban, if he goes then you look at Chelsea and wonder who is going to make the team alive on the pitch. Who is going to come up with the key dribbles, the key passes?

Chelsea don’t have anyone else like Hazard. And because of the transfer ban, they don’t have the power to replace him. I don’t see how they can cope next year without him.

I get bored watching Chelsea

I’ve been critical of Sarri in the past, particularly about some tactical decisions that I didn’t understand. But you have to give him the time to do what he wants to do with the team.

If they win the Europa League, they’ll have a European trophy, which alongside their earlier Champions League qualification, translates to a good year for Chelsea.

With all that in mind, there’s a lot to be happy about for the club. If you compare this season to the previous, he has probably achieved what the club asked him to do.

Most of the time when watching Chelsea I get bored very easily, but the important thing is to win games and win trophies, and they’re in a good place to do that.

Chelsea 13/10 | Draw 11/5 | Arsenal 2/1

What do you think?