Arsenal debate: Does Elneny deserve chance to displace Xhaka?

Granit Xhaka has come under scrutiny in recent weeks, and Arsenal may have to consider dropping him this weekend.

The Swiss international has put in a number of questionable displays, with him being singled out for criticism for his part in certain goals which have been conceded, and there are calls for him to be dropped for the starting line-up.

Mo Elneny has always impressed me since joining the club from Basel, and I feel he hasn’t been given a fair throw of the dice by Arsene Wenger, and his recent outings at centre-back leave me a little bemused by the use of his ability.

The Egyptian is clearly suited to the central midfield role, and his box-to-box style would be perfect for our 3-4-2-1 system, and for me he should be given the nod ahead of Xhaka thanks to his failings of late.

Francis Coquelin is another player who could be in with a shout should Wenger decide that the Swiss international is out of favour, a decision which I feel should have already been made.

Granit struggled in his opening six months of last season, but ended the campaign very well alongside Aaron Ramsey in our new formation, but has left a lot to be desired once again this term.

The 25 year-old is Wenger’s clear choice long-term for the role, and I feel that the Frenchman may be continuing to give him chances due to the fee paid to sign him, although I personally believe he needs a break from his duties, and that may just give him the kick he needs to get back on track.

Does Xhaka need to be benched? Is he the right man to lead our midfield in the long-term? Should Elneny be starting alongside Ramsey this weekend?

Pat J

Tags Arsenal Elneny Xhaka


  1. gotanidea says:

    As a defensive midfielder, Elneny and Coquelin are more aggressive and have higher anticipation than Xhaka. They deserve to start ahead of Xhaka, but Wenger would not bench expensive players like Xhaka and Ozil for a long time.

    To accomodate creative midfielders like Xhaka and Ozil, Arsenal could try 4-3-3 formation. With this formation, the creative midfielders would be protected by a good defensive midfielder behind them, like Elneny or Coquelin.

    If Arsenal keep using 3-4-2-1, they should find a more mobile, more skillful and more aggressive defensive midfielder like Kante, Busquets, Mascherano and Fernandinho. I believe Arsenal could find skillful defensive midfielder like them in Spain or Brazil.

  2. WIGGY says:

    OT. This is Wiggy from US. I understand there was a lot of uproar and criticism of the board and management of AFC. I assure you all fans that AFC is heading in right direction – top 4 finish is guaranteed this year and either the FA or the Mickey Mouse will be in our grasp this year. I have instructed wenka to close down the youth program. The seniors here in US can jog faster than the youth coming out of this academy. Reference the BATE game! Last year me and my family celebrated the FA triumph for a whole week – it was so exciting. Again nothing to worry we are on the right path!

    1. neil says:

      Is your real name Josh Kroenke !!! You can jog on ! (English phrase… look it up !)

  3. ThirdManJW says:

    Xhaka should have already been dropped! The problem is that we don’t have an exceptional candidate to replace him. The only options are Coquelin, and Elneny. Coquelin has gone off the boil some what, so Elneny for me.

    Elneny gets a lot of stick, but he’s so consistent! Yes he doesn’t offer anything spectacular going forward, but he doesn’t make the horrendous mistakes at the back like Xhaka consistently does. Elneny made a poor error against Red Star at the back, but he was playing completely out of position at CB.

    Overall I don’t mind if it’s Elneny, or Coquelin, but Xhaka needs to be dropped asap, because he’s fast becoming a flop!

    1. ALBERTOGUNNER says:

      Elneny deserves his chance if Wenger does not want to maybe Niles or Coquelin

  4. Sue says:

    Xhaka won’t be dropped end of

  5. gorin says:

    xhaka should not be dropped. let’s just manage him till January to see if we can get a gud defensive midfielder. elneny fades of during games. i saw dat in Watford’s loss. arsenal need a new defensive midfielder.

  6. SuperClaes says:

    Believe we should have another look at Elneny alongside Ramsey and all other first eleven. Admittedly he has grasped the opportunities in the past though… Believe Wenger was too nice again as seems Elneny was being offered for sale last summer.

    As for Coquelin I would rather see Maitland-Niles get a chance over Coquelin! I just can’t accept the lack of discipline on display by Coquelin in the game against Norwich….maybe Wenger played something different but in my view he should have simply protected back 3 and release Iwobi to drive forward. I also can’t believe Wenger contracted him at allegedly 50k pw!!!!!!!!

    However Xhakas left foot is giving certain balance to our midfield if only he could be more composed (Leicester and Stoke) and aware (Everton).

    In conclusion I say – buy a world class CM next summer or maybe even in January.

  7. Salmonella says:

    Neither Elneny nor Xhaka are good at defending, tackling etc.. But unlike Xhaka, Elneny rarely gives the ball away. Elneny’s short passes & link up play are better than Xhaka’s. On the other hand Xhaka is a much better shooter… IMO Elneny is more reliable

  8. abbey Adeey says:

    I laughed after reading all the comments.
    I understand most times we do not make the right judgement when we are disappointed with results. however, we must be rational in thinking.
    Xhaka is a Toni Kroos, Sergio Busquets or Adrien Rabiot type of player.
    Their skills speak for them.
    Xhaka would flourish in a team like Barca or Real Madrid or even PSG.
    His skill should be complimented with that of a rugged defensive midfielder playing alongside him and not Ramsey or Elneny. Coquelin could do for now.
    Ozil, Ramsey and Wilshere should be fighting for same spot, or interchange in matches
    All these years, we cry for quality and now we have it we, we want to go back and look for a Robbie Salvage.
    You never know what you have until you are missing it. Wait till you play Elneny and Ramsey in crucial matches and then you’ll see the effect.
    Watford’s game, the 2nd half showed how difficult it was to move the ball from the midfield to the forward line. Watford shut down the delivery line, which was from Xhaka and we suffered.
    And do you wonder why they did that? Because they recognize our attack emancipates from. We should have been 2 to 3 goals up in the first half. Watford shot the delivery line and went aggressive on our defense. They need not worry about Elneny.
    So in answer to your question, NO.
    Elneny does not have and cannot provide to Arsenal what Xhaka does.
    Get a rugged defensive midfielder to augment the work of Xhaka and play alongside him or facilitate the opportunity for one of the boys to step-up

  9. Atid says:

    If lacazette, ozil and alexis are to all start, then I would give coquelin a chance at Rwb instead of bellerin. It will certainly add more defensively, similar to the left hand side. Coquelin has experience of playing winger and full back, similarly maitland-niles should be given a chance on his natural side. If we had coquelin and kolasinac as the wing backs, I believe all of our midfielders would be better off. We could even try ramsey and Wilshire again. Any news on cazorla?

  10. Ivan says:

    Neither Xhaka or Elneny are good enough to be in the first team of Arsenal.

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