Arsenal have a colourful recent history against our next Premier League opponents, with all sorts of unsavoury incidents and mutual bad blood being built up in the time of Tony Pulis and carrying on under their new boss Mark Hughes.
Neither set of fans will soon forget the Aaron Ramsey and Ryan Shawcross broken leg incident and it-s ongoing aftermath and so our Welsh midfielder can expect a warm reception from the Potters on Sunday. The team have also struggled there in recent years and we really need to put that right this time.
That is why I think the new Arsenal signing Mohamed Elneny should be handed his debut at the Britannia Stadium. A lot of you might think it is too soon but there are two very good reasons why Arsene Wenger should stick him straight in.
The first is the fact that the Egyptian midfielder really is an all action player who will give everything and run all day in that holding midfield role. He is not all about defence, as the Arsenal boss is reported explaining by The Mirror, but that energy and work rate is a big part of his game.
Wenger said, “Overall I believe he will be a good addition to the squad,” said Wenger. “First he has not come in straight to a big club, he had an intermediate stay in Europe so the adaptation is less of a question mark.
“He is 23 years old and has already got Champions League, Europa League and Swiss League experience. He is a player who is adaptable in midfield.
“He can be box to box and be a holding midfielder so that is for us very promising. We wanted a versatile player and I wanted a player who can play defensive but can as well play to box to box.
“His strengths are his technical level, his vision, his intelligence, his disciplined attitude and his physical attitude to compete at a high level. I think he has the physical qualities to play at the top level.”
Even though the Stoke pitch is now bigger and they are more of a footballing side under Hughes, they will still provide a very physical challenge and will try to bully Arsenal off the pitch, so the game is definitely suited to a player like Elneny.
The second reason is that the player himself has revealed that he is very much aware how the Gunners play and he knows a lot about all of his new team mates.
Elneny said, “It is one the biggest clubs in the world, I know everything about it and its players.
“It is an indescribable feeling, I am really glad of course. Arsenal is one of the world’s greatest teams, and I am very keen to participate positively with my new team, God willing, and to give my best for the team and for myself.
“Arsenal is one of those teams that everyone enjoys watching and of course I would love to play for such a great team.
“Mr Wenger is a highly respected manager and one of the world’s best managers. It is my honour to be trained under his management.
“I would like to tell [the fans] that, although you have not seen much of me, I promise I will contribute positively with the team. I am hoping that we win the Premier League and cup this season, and the Champions League as well.”
So it appears that our new player has already spent a lot of time studying Arsenal and getting accustomed to what he will need to do to thrive in the Premier League. He has a few training sessions before the game as well, so will Wenger hand Elneny an early debut in Stoke?