Bleacher Report
Jan 1 2015

Why Mkhitaryan Is Dortmund's Most Disappointing Player so Far in 2014/15 Season

By Clark Whitney , Featured Columnist

The 2014-15 season has been abysmal for Borussia Dortmund, who despite
being alive and well in the DFB-Pokal and Champions League, were lucky
not to finish the first half of the campaign dead last in the
Bundesliga table.

There are many reasons for BVB's woes, and it would be easy to pick
out individuals who have not been up to par. Not one of the quartet of
World Cup winners (Mats Hummels, Erik Durm, Kevin Grosskreutz and
Matthias Ginter) has played like a world champion, at least not on a
slightly consistent basis.

Ilkay Gundogan still hasn't got back to his once world-class
standards. New signings Ciro Immobile, Adrian Ramos and Shinji Kagawa
have failed to add much of anything to the Dortmund attack. However,
the most disappointing BVB player of all has been Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

It would be too easy to pick on any of the newcomers, but it's
expected that even star players will struggle a bit upon moving to a
new team, league and country. Mkhitaryan has now been in Dortmund for
18 months and still hasn't fulfilled the potential that saw him
command a club-record EURO 27.5 million transfer fee from Shakhtar

Since scoring in the DFB-Superpokal, Mkhitaryan has scored and
assisted just one goal apiece in 19 Bundesliga, Champions League and
DFB-Pokal appearances. For a player as talented as he is, one who
scored 25 in the Ukrainian Premier League two seasons ago, that return
is simply atrocious.

Mkhitaryan was regarded as something of a flop even last season, with
his inability to finish costing Dortmund dearly in the Champions
League quarter-finals. But even then he at least had a decent return
of goals. He couldn't make a difference when it mattered most but
could still help decide lesser games, and by season's end, he had
recorded 13 goals and 10 assists in 43 appearances.

The Armenian has, however, taken a step back since the beginning of
the current campaign. Now, not only does he fail in big moments, he
just doesn't make a lasting impact in ordinary Bundesliga matches.

It's not that Mkhitaryan is lazy or has a lack of desire. He often
gets himself in positions to create goals, but he has very rarely been
able to finish or play the final ball accurately this season. He lost
a lot of confidence by failing to convert at key moments last season,
and it seems that has had a snowball effect into the current campaign.

In this regard, perhaps it is a blessing in disguise Mkhitaryan
injured himself and missed the last few games of the fall campaign. At
the time, the pressure on him was immense, and he didn't look likely
to overcome it at any point soon. He'll be back in January and will
have had plenty of time to reflect, recharge and find his resolve.

If he indeed can find his nerve, Mkhitaryan has all the qualities of a
big contributor. He's had plenty of chances (63 shots in all
competitions, per ESPN), and Jurgen Klopp recently backed the
Armenian, per the official Dortmund website, claiming his time will

Mkhitaryan should be wary, though, if he does not step up his game
soon. BVB have signed Kevin Kampl, and the Slovenian is a direct
competitor for one of the starting spots in the Dortmund midfield. If
Mkhitaryan does not start taking his chances, Klopp's patience could
run out.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress